Tag Archives: keyboards

It’s Not the End for Keyboards

Would a company that makes keyboards and mice recommend an article titled The End For Keyboards and Mice?  Yes. Man Hugging Keyboard

BBC Future wrote about the changing ways we interact with computers.  Strangely, The End For Keyboards and Mice doesn’t predict the end of these important tools.

“The mouse and keyboard won’t go away completely as they are an extremely fast and efficient way of interacting with computers,” says David Kurlander, formerly of Microsoft’s User Interface and Graphics Research Group.

Posted in autumn, the article highlights the changing ways people interact with technology.  It shares theories on where this change is going.  One scenario imagines taking existing technology that measures stress levels and using it to assign workloads…or sending your spouse’s call straight to voicemail!

We love technology; that’s a given since Technologies is part of our name.  It’s wonderful seeing how devices evolve.  Yet the fastest way to get what’s on your mind onto the screen is still your keyboard and mouse.

 

Read the BBC Future article here:  http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20121023-the-end-for-keyboard-and-mice

“Keyboards are disgusting”

Keyboards Are Disgusting – http://www.xkcd.com

Its true.  Short on incredibly interesting and engaging things to say today, I thought I would share one of my all-time favorite time-wasters with you.  http://www.xkcd.com  They are hilarious over there.  And I love this strip, because it is so true.  Please, do not actually try this.  At least not over your face.  Unless your keyboard is nearly new, you will be showered with eww-inducing particulate.  Don’t risk it – unless you have a handy-dandy keyboard seal, of course.  Then go right ahead, you are safe as a …. well.  Something really safe.  Because these things keep all the eww out of your keyboard, no problem.  Plus, you can wipe them down with just about any sort of industrial strength disinfectant out there.  For all you germaphobes.  (I am not pointing fingers here, by the way; I may join you.) 

New Technology

This past week saw technology buffs and professionals from around the world gathered in Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show.  The CES hosts nearly 150,000 visitors yearly, and is often the event of choice for tech companies to unveil new products and partnerships.  This year’s CES featured many new technologies and surprising developments.

Big developments include Microsoft’s venture into ARM-chip technology, which has producer Nvidia poised to threated leader’s like Intel and AMD; Intel’s deal with major studios to stream movies as soon as they are released to DVD/Bluray; the Motorola Atrix smartphone, which docs to run as what is essentially a fully functional netbook; IoSafe’s nearly indestructible hard drive; a robotic suit designed to aid in heavy lifting, physical therapy, and mobility for disabled individuals; a plethora of hot new tablets; wireless charging for mobile devices in GM vehicles; and some huge announcements for Vizio, a smaller, lower-end TV manufacturer.

These are just a few of the hundreds of new products and announcements showcased at this year’s CES.

Although CCT did not attend the show, we’d also like to take the chance to tell you about some of our new products.

     TextSpeak is a perfect on-the-go AAC (AlternativeAugmentative Communication) solution.  This intelligent text generating speaker and keyboard combo creates speech anywhere, right at your fingertips, and paired with many of our Chester Creek keyboards, including our large-print and large-key keyboards, allows individuals with speech impairment to be heard.  Great for students who need unlimited vocabulary, TextSpeak works right out of the box, can be programmed to male or female voices, and has 30 programmable phrases.  Small, light, and portable, TextSpeak is also an item users can throw in a backpack or purse for use as needed in social or work situations, and works from both battery and AC power sources.  


Chester Creek is now offering a wireless keyboard.  Our Wireless VisionBoard offers greater mobility, flexibility, and convenience while decreasing the clutter of cords on and behind your desk.  We also offer the option of purchasing this new wireless keyboard with a matching mouse, also wireless.


        Children often struggle learning all the correct buttons needed for computer use.  For those still learning and those who prefer a mouse without it, we have eliminated the scroll wheel in our new LittleMouse.  With two buttons, the left “green for go” and the right “red for stop,” teaching use of a mouse is easier than ever.  Like the Chester and TinyMouse, this model is also child-sized.


        Another new learning tool being offered this year is the LessonBoard Pro.  With the same color-coding and layout as the original LessonBoard, the Pro is for more advanced students and lacks letter and number labels.  Perfect for the classroom, the Pro continues to teach students correct finger placement and also encourages memorization of letter and number placement.


        Additional new products include transparent braille stickers for our large-key keyboards and educational software bundles for preschool and early elementary students. 
      

Kids’ Keyboards

Children, in some cases even toddlers, are now using computers at home and in school. However, learning the keys can be very frustrating for a child. All the keys look the same, the typeface is small, and the keys are often hard to reach. Children become discouraged and confused trying to remember the location of specific letters. Chester Creek’s keyboards for kids are great tools. Specially designed, with bold color-coding for vowels, consonants, numbers, and function keys, our children’s keyboards eliminate frustration and stress, providing a valuable, fun, and successful learning experience.

Teaching a child to use a computer at an early age can give them a head-start advantage. Knowledge of computer use and navigation can help stream line the process of creating projects and doing research for school. Later in life, good typing skills can cut work time in half for essays and papers, and in the work environment computer skills are a must.

An investment in your child’s computer skills is an investment in their future. One of the best values on the market today is a keyboard from Chester Creek. Chester Creek produces keyboards that are safe, sturdy, and practical. With boards in both standard and large-key layout, color-coded by character-set or finger placement, CCT has everything your child will need to learn to type quickly and correctly. Additionally, Chester Creek mice are designed specifically with a child’s hands in mind. Smaller and easier to grip and use, a CCT child’s computer mouse is also long-lasting, well-constructed, and color-coded. Our mice come with one or two buttons and with or without a scroll wheel, depending on what you, the consumer, need.

Top Five Words of 2010

Continuing our countdown of Merrian-Websters top words of the year, we start off with number five.

5. Bigot. M-W defines bigot as “A person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.”

Bigot earned its place on this list when Rick Sanchez, formerly a CNN anchor accused comedian Jon Stewart of being “a bigot,” and implied that everyone running CNN was Jewish.

Even the greatest bigot in the world is forced to admit that the radical coloring on some of Chester Creek’s products is rather attractive.

4. Landing in the top four is socialism: “Any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.”

The term popped up surrounding a good number of news stories throughout the year, particularly stories about the federal bailouts and the health-care legislation.

Chester Creek does not endorse socialism; FunKeyBoards and Tiny Mice for everyone! But you’ll have to buy your own.

3. The second runner up for the year is moratorium. I’m sure most of you in the US immediately think of the moratorium President Obama placed on off-shore oil drilling after the Gulf spill, and that is exactly why it made the list. A moratorium is “a legally authorized period of delay,” or “a suspension of an activity.”

There are no moratoriums on production at Chester Creek this season. We’re working as hard as always to bring you our great products, in great time, and with great customer service!

2. Pragmatic made it almost to the top of the list. M-W defines pragmatic as “relating to matters of fact or practical affairs often to the exclusion of intellectual or artistic matters : practical as opposed to idealistic.”

After the mid-term elections in November, politicians across the country began to talk about more pragmatic solutions to the nation’s problems, in response to evidence that that voters were unhappy with the way things had been done lately.

Pragmatism need not prevent you from getting a fun new keyboard for yourself or a loved one any time soon. Our keyboards and mice are fun and practical, with large-print, colorful keys, and sturdy construction all year round.

1. And the number one word of the last year?

“Austerity”

When:
Lookups on Merriam-Webster began spiking around May 1, 2010.
Why:
Austerity figured prominently in news coverage of the economic panic and protests triggered by the debt crisis in Greece.
For example, as the New York Times reported,
“The Greek Parliament passed a package of tough austerity measures on Thursday, trying to stave off economic collapse and help prevent debt contagion from spreading.” (Dan Bilefsky, May 5, 2010)
The definition for this sense of austerity says it all: “enforced or extreme economy.”
The word’s origins are – coincidentally – Greek; austerity comes from austēros, meaning “harsh” or “severe.”

-Merriam-Webster

Even austerity in your budget need not preclude purchase. Chester Creek is offering 15% off our FunKeyBundle for the holiday season – plus free shipping!

Words of the Year & Shameless CCT Plugs (It is our blog, after all.)

As the end of the year draws nearer, Merriam-Webster has compiled a list of the top words of 2010.

10. At the bottom of this list is furtive. M-W defines this as
“done by stealth : surreptitious.”

It makes the list because of the failed Times Square bombing in May. The bomber was described as looking furtively around. Used in a sentence:

No need for furtive, Christmas Eve wrapping – Chester Creek now offers gift wrapping!

9. Coming in at number nine is dissident, meaning, “disagreeing especially with an established religious or political system, organization, or belief; non-conformist.”

It makes the list due to the Novel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, who is often described as China’s best known dissenter.

Feeling a need to break the conformity of your office space? Try a fun and funky keyboard from Chester Creek. They’re not just for kids anymore. (Our own Tasha uses a FunKeyBoard at her desk)

8. Eighth on the list is ebullient, “having or showing liveliness and enthusiasm.”

This word was used by many journalists to describe the atmosphere of joy surrounding the rescue of the Chilean miners. Used in a sentence,

Looking forwards to an ebullient Christmas morning? Everyone will love a Chester Creek keyboard or mouse!

7. Ringing in at seven is shellacking,
“a decisive defeat : drubbing.”

President Obama said

Now, I’m not recommending for every future president that they take a shellacking like I did last night. I’m sure there are easier ways to learn these lessons

of the 2010 elections.

While that is already a good example of use in a sentence, I’ll go ahead and throw in my own:

No need for your checkbook to take a shellacking this holiday season. Save money on our FunKey Bundle Special!

6. Sixth on the list is doppleganger. M-W defines doppleganger as, “someone who looks like someone else,” or, to put it simply, a person’s “double.”

Now, I’ll admit it. I don’t have a clever (haha) little plug for Chester Creek using the word doppleganger. So, here goes a completely unrelated example:

You look so much like Ally Sheedy from the Breakfast Club, you could be her doppleganger!

(I actually hear this all the time.)

Check back later in the week for the Top Five Words of the Year.

Ho-Ho-Hurry

Chester Creek is offering a great Holiday deal starting this Monday - 15%  off and free shipping on the FunkeyBoard and FunMouse bundle, thr
– Chester Creek is offering a great Holiday deal starting this Monday – 15% off and free shipping on the FunkeyBoard and FunMouse bundle, through January 1st.

About Us

“In the beginning, there was a Little Mouse™…”
…and one simple goal: to be a progressive and innovative company people rely on for colorful computer keyboards and mice for children, and for individuals with special needs.

The company is located on the scenic shores of beautiful Lake Superior, just a stone’s throw from Chester Creek, a picturesque creek surrounded by towering pines and hardwoods that turn brilliant shades of orange and red each Fall. It’s a peaceful place in Northern Minnesota where the hard edge of technology and the time-honored ideals of rural America converge.

Chester Creek offers a high-tech lineup of functional, fun and affordable computer keyboards and mice for all ages and abilities, keyboards with big, oversized 1″ keys, two-button and one-button tiny mice sized just right for little hands, color-coded and standard-sized keyboards, a color-coded typing tutorial, software and accessories.

Above all, Chester Creek strives to meet our goals everyday, in the products we market and the service we provide. We know that to maintain a superior reputation, we must first earn it. To that end, Chester Creek designs and manufactures “the very best” products, contributes to minimizing environmental burden through the effective application of RoHS and CPSIA standards, and most importantly, makes every effort to meet the ever-changing needs of our customers.

A Recent Thank-You

We here at Chester recently had an opportunity to help an autistic student struggling with writing, and wanted to share this thank-you-letter with all of you.

“Dear Chester Creek,

Thank you for the KinderBoard for our first grader. He loves it and now loves typing his spelling words, names, and his thoughts. We could not get him to leave, he was so involved in writing his words. His mother was in tears with gratefulness watching his excitement. We all were, actually. The Lego Team was helping him with smiles, knowing it was their letter that brought such joy. This is a lesson that neither I now any teacher would teach this team. This was a lesson in caring, generosity and helping each other. Thank you so much. I know they will never forget this day.


Respectfully yours,
Mrs. Liller”

Chester Creek’s product line of colorful and high visibility keyboards are a great resource for those who struggle with learning or motor skills. The KinderBoard mentioned in this letter can be seen here.