Desktop Computers Are Easily Fixed And Easily Upgradable

Repairing computers isn’t too much of a big deal, if you know someone who knows a bit about computers then your problem can be resolved almost immediately. What you need to know is that if your problem is software, fixing your computer will be a breeze with a reformat. Means that your files will all be deleted and replaced with a fresh new operating system, blank and without any viruses and malicious malware but also void of any past files you have had, important files or not so important files will be lost. The good news is you will have a PC again, very fast because of its newer operating system but the bad news is that you can never retrieved those files you had before. So before you decide to reformat, be sure you dint have important files on your hard disk first.

Now how about if your problem is hardware? If you have a broken motherboard, then you must replace it. But you can keep your other cards and add it up on your newmotherboard. Your processor won’t need to be changed too; the good thing about a PC is that if you break one part, you only have to change that part. If you break your video card, you buy a new video card, you’re other cards stays and you get to use them till they break down as well. Work wise, it better if you own a PC instead of a laptop. Sure you can change your laptop parts but it won’t be as convenient as when you change PC parts.

Those are the two things that when broken on a computer can be fixed by almost any IT worker. Even an IT student can do that job and without any hassle whatsoever. It’s quite easy really, fixing computers, the hard part is assembling it from scratch. Most computers today are built in to one huge monitor with the other PC components inside of them. But their hard to fix when they break, sure they are durable and will last a long time but when the time comes when they break apart you will need to send them to expert service technicians which will charge you a lot for a service that not so many people could fix. That is why a PC is the better choice for people who know its importance.

Simple Step to Consider when Choosing a Notebook PC

Just like choosing any other PC, one must be very careful when choosing a notebook PC. It is unlikely that you can return the computer once you buy it just because you do not like it. Once you buy your notebook, you will have to stick with it for quite some time and therefore it very important that you are sure to get the best product that will serve you for the longest time possible.

The first step is just to be sure of what you want. There are many computers that you can choose from. You may want a desktop or an AIO instead. These are equally good options and therefore, you must decide which one works best for you. Once you are clear in your head on the product that you want, you can now go ahead and follow other steps that will lead you to your purchase of the best option.

Then you have to decide what you want the laptop for. The latest notebook PC may not be a solution to you problem and therefore instead of going for the latest, assess what you want to use your it for and get the best one that suits you. For example, you can want a good notebook for gaming. Select one that will give you the best capabilities.

One of the best steps you can take is to go to a physical store, pick up the laptop just to find out how it feels and if it best appeases you, physically. Ask for different varieties of colors that the particular laptop comes with to choose the color that best suits your personality. Check out the size and feel the weight of the PC and if you think that it is the best for you then can go ahead and follow other steps.

You may prefer a thin notebook that is light in weight and therefore easy to carry because huge laptops at this point in time are very outdated and you might as well go for an AIO or just a desktop instead. This is something that you will be stuck with for quite some time so take your time in checking out if the product is perfect for your needs.

You then have to try out the keyboard and assess its responsiveness. There is no way that you can change the keyboard and get a better one like people do with desktop PCs. If the keyboard does not suit you, it will be too bad for you. You might just have to deal with it. You should as well try out other devices like the pointing devices like the track pad just to know how it feels and responds.

Speed Up Your Slow Computer

 Is your computer causing you problems, such a significant decrease in performance so you can get anything completed.

I’ve been there and believe me I know how frustrating this can be. I therefore hope that the following tips can help you out.

1) Repair or Clean The Registry.

Most of us that use computers are totally unaware of the important of the registry, when it comes to the performance of your laptop or PC. It’s only when the system starts slowing down or freezing that you realize how important theregister actually is.

If the problems are not dealt with, your system will eventually crash. Therefore you need to ensure that that maintenance is done regularly, so that these common problems don’t re-occur.

Therefore the best and safest way to implement this procedure is to use a quality registry cleaner and I stress the quality part. The good ones will allow you to have a free scan to highlight the existing problems that are causing you the relevant issues.

If you considering trying to fix the problems manually, then I stress that unless you are fully aware of what you are doing, I would strongly advise against it. You will only make worse, the issues that exist already.

The software worked for me on fixing the issues on my own laptop. It was running so slow that it was driving me absolutely crazy. However this software restored my laptop performance. I found it easy to download, install and implement. This are the reasons that I can recommend it to you.

An important point if you should decide to go ahead and download the software, always make a backup of your registry. Indeed it’s a good habit to make backups of all your vital data.

2) Hard Drive Needs De-fragged.

Again most users don’t realize the impact of a fragmented hard drive upon the performance of your computer. The fault happens over time and when the data is all over the place on the hard drive, it means that the system has to jump too and fro to read it. This means in effect a slowing down of the system.

In some cases files are split up and this actually makes things worse. The tools to de- frag the drive and sort out the data to be read, should exist on your computer and it will certainly benefit the existing speed.

3) Make Sure That You Have Good Anti-Virus and Malware Software Installed.

Are you getting unwanted pop ups appearing. Then please don’t ignore them as it’s probably a sign of unwanted malware. The important thing to stress is that this type of spyware can monitor your keystrokes and obtain vital personal and financial information such as passwords and credit card details.

In addition if a virus exists within your computer it will place quite a strain on the workings of the computer system.

Ways to Renew Your Old Computer

Ways to Renew Your Old ComputerWhat happens when you have an old, poor performing computer which sucks your time and create frustration every day? Here are 7 ways in which you can make the best of it.

1. Upgrade

Did you just install a software or game, and your computer is crawling while loading them?

Yes, it’s probably a very good to spend some money, and upgrade that tortoise. It’s definitely one of the best ways to speed up the old computer with minimum cost.

While it’s not always possible to do an upgrade, especially for laptops, you should still be able to upgrade its RAM and hard disk drive. RAM, also known as PC memory, can give you an extra boost in performance. And upgrading your hard disk to a solid state drive is another way to do it – not only will it boot up faster, your applications will perform better as well.

Just these two minor upgrades will keep your computer fresh and faster.

2. Steroids for CPU

While some computers don’t have the option to upgrade their processor unit and graphics card, you can always work around tweaking its processor.

Overclock it.

If you are adventurous enough, you can try overclocking your processor. It’s one of the best way to squeeze out more performance without breaking the bank.

3. Monthly Clean Up

Before you jump to conclusion, you may want to troubleshoot your computer and make sure the slowness is not caused by malware – viruses, worms, trojan horses spyware or adware.

Do a full computer scan with your antivirus software like AVG, Symantec or McAfee. Also, you can clean up temporary files, update windows, and defrag your hard disk.

If all else fails, don’t despair, you can try to reinstall your operating system from scratch.

4. Speed up Your Applications

Even when it sounds weird to be true, the truth is that some good programs are not optimized to run at their peak performance.

For example, if your web browser loads slowly, it could be due to its history size, installed extensions, or plugins.

5. The Older Versions

If your hardware doesn’t support the latest version of a particular application, like Photoshop CS5, use an older version instead. While running older software isn’t always the best idea, if it can still get the job done, you will get lesser frustration and time wastage.

6. Deal with Your External Components

Besides their superior performance, brand new computers offer the fresh feeling of owning it, like a brand new car. New mouse, keyboard and speakers. These are the items which you can replace easily, without breaking much of a sweat. Sometimes all you need to do is to just buy new external parts.

It will make your computer feel nicer – at least for a few months.

If you dislike your current mouse or keyboard so much, because of their worn out look or clicking issue, find better ones and replace them instead. (Using a mouse feels so much better than using your laptop’s trackpad.)

Hate your old speakers? Get a new headphone set – it’s up to you to decide what you want.

It’s true that those external parts won’t make your computer perform better, but it could save you from pulling your hair – while dealing with the frustration.

7. Light Weight Champion

If you really don’t want to part with your old computer, here’s another way to get around.

Install another operating system and then try them out.

And there are plenty of options out there. Great news is that some of them are free.

Here are some of the options available in the market today: Linux mint, Chrome OS, Jolicloud, Ubuntu. They should perform better even on older hardware.

Online Computer Tech Support Provides Quick and Affordable Remedies for Your PC

In today’s fast paced life, nothing is possible without computers. All over the world, computers have become the primary support system to millions, across all kinds of functionalities. Hence the world comes to a standstill if something happens to our desktop or laptops. There are many times that we face the problem of a slow running computer, or a non responsive machine, and don’t know how to fix the problem. Many of us who are regular computer users don’t know the complexities of the hardware and software that make a computer run. So, when something happens that is beyond our control, we generally panic.

This kind of problem can crop up at any time, and can take you by complete surprise. But worry not, as there’s a fairly easy way to deal with this problem. There are remote service providers, who are referred to as online computer technical support, who can fix your PC problems just over a phone call. It sounds too fantastic to be true, but it is how many around the world are fixing their PC problems at all hours 365 days. The most reassuring thing about these kind of service providers is that they are available round the clock, and it is possible to reach them at any hour of any day, which would have been impossible if you had to contact an actual repair shop at a specific geographical location.

The primary factor that has led to a growth of dependence on online tech support is the time factor. It has now become a thing of the past where you had to carry your machine to a computer repair shop, and then wait for days on end to get your machine back and resume your work. Now with a call or email, you can describe the exact nature of the problem that you are facing and an experienced technician will guide you as to how to resolve the issue without leaving the comfort of your home or office.

The variety of issues that are resolved by this Online Computer Technical Support ranges from virus removal support, operating system support, internet setup support, PC speed up support and many more. This kind of assistance is also more cost effective. The service providers will usually extend their know how for a minimal fee, which can be segregated into monthly, quarterly, or yearly support plans. Also, you do have the option of checking out the kind of services available and then only choose to avail of a particular service providers’ help. That is, the technician will have to first diagnose the nature of the problem and provide a resolution, and then only charge a fee.

I have researched the variety of issues faced with computers, as I am myself employed in IT/ BPO, and the quick solutions available with online tech support.

How To Print Parts At Low Costs

Printing parts at lower cost has become a reality nowadays. In the past, parts of machines and other stuff were made with heavy industrial machinery, and the cost of this machinery was in billions of dollars. But 3D printing has changed everything. Let’s know more about it.

3D printing, aka additive manufacturing, is a state-of-the-art technology, which is used for fabricating objects with the help of a machine that binds materials, such as metal or plastic together and then prints the object layer-by-layer. The application areas of this technology include medical field, education, manufacturing, architecture and archaeology, just to name a few.

Since 2010, the 3D printing industry has been making a lot of progress on a global level. After 4 years, the market size grew to an awesome figure of 4.1 billion dollars. Primarily, 3D printing uses high quality materials, equipment and software in order to print objects.

For ease of understanding, you can make two categories of the equipment used for 3D printing: personal equipment and industrial equipment. 3D printers that are designed for personal use come with a lower price tag. Basically, they are used in education and personal DIY projects.

By the end of 2014, the sales volume was around 100,000 units across the globe. On the other hand, 3D printers used in industries have various applications. They are marketed in Japan, USA, and Germany. The market share of the USA is about 40%, according to the statistics released in 2014.

The two giant players, Stratasys and 3D Systems have become one through acquisition. As far as the sales value is concerned, the two players got a share of 34% in 2014. During the same year, Stratasys managed to acquire a number of other companies, such as Robtec, Laser Reproductions, GrabCAD and Solid Concept, just to name but a few.

Nowadays, the share of China in the 3D printing market is not very noticeable. For instance, many core parts and 3D printing stuff for Chinese 3D printers is imported from other countries. However, the 3D printing technology has an edge in the national defense and aviation industry of the world. Moreover, the size of 3D printing market share of China was 4.65 billion. The market size went up at a fast rate after 2010.

Around two years back, the 3D printing market in China featured a lower concentration level, and the number of players involved in the industry was around 100. However, all of the companies were small.

Lately, an increasing number of companies are becoming part of the industry because of the new favorable policies of the state. Hopefully, in the next few years, we will see this industry on the list of No 1 industries of the world.

Should You Build Your Own Mini PC

Nowadays there is a large number of alternatives when it comes to mini-PCs, many of which are barebones that you have to assemble yourself. Of course, these fetch a lower price and are often preferred by some people. Other mini-PCs come ready-to-use with all the parts and even the operating system pre-installed. Of course, their price is higher, though not by much, something that deters some people. So, what alternative should you go for?

If you are a hard-core IT enthusiast (the type of person who would prefer Linux or some other more esoteric OS, while also do computer-related DIY projects for fun), then a barebone may be the alternative for you. Although turning a barebone into a fully functional mini-PC is no easy task, it is still manageable and may be even fun for those super geeks out there. Plus you get to choose what components to put in your machine, something that some people like to have control over.

Nevertheless, if you are not a super power-user and care more about having a fully-functional and accountable PC, then it would probably be better to invest in a ready-to-use mini-computer. Apart from the obvious plus that you can start using it right after the unboxing stage, there are a few other advantages to it as well:

  • Reliability. Of course a mini-computer assembled by professionals is bound to be more accountable than one you have built yourself. And although replacing a failed part may not be that difficult, what about the data in your machine? Without a doubt, it would be safer in a machine that’s been properly experimented.
  • Warranty. If you buy a fully-functional mini-computer from a reputable brand, you will receive some sort of warranty providing you with the priceless peace of mind.
  • No compatibility issues in the hardware. Unless you are super knowledgeable about PCs, assembling a machine from a barebone is a huge liability, since some of the components may not be compatible with the motherboard, or may not perform as expected.
  • Saving time with operating system and application. Though not all fully-functional mini-PCs come with a bundle of useful application, most mini-computers come with the operating system pre-installed, saving you a lot of time.

Summing up, building a mini-computer from a barebone may appeal to some people, but oftentimes it is not worth the effort. The few dollars you may save through this route are not enough to justify the extra work such an endeavor will take, plus there is no price tag for the peace of mind that you have when opting for an out-of-the-shelf solution. So unless you are a Steve Wozniak kind of individual, it would probably be better to stick with the fully-functional mini-computers that you can find online.

How to Increase the Life of Your Printer

You have just come back from your holidays, you dust off your printer, pop in a camera memory card and set off printing your pictures only to find your printer isn’t working properly. Now before writing your printer off, here are a few tips and ideas to help prolong your printer lifespan and to get it working perfectly again.

Keep It Clean

You would think this is a pretty obvious point, but it is amazing how many people neglect to clean their printers.

Everything needs a clean now and again to keep it working properly, especially printers. In order to aid with the printing process, ink and toner contain additives such as wax, drying agents and lubricants all of which, expectantly, get into all the little cracks of the printer after long print jobs. A build-up of this will cause mechanical parts to stick and seize and cover important sensors in your printer.

The best way to clean your printer is to first turn it off. Next you will need a small brush (A clean, fine Bristle paint brush works well) to clean off excess dust in and around the printer exterior. For the interior and mechanical parts, I tend to use 70% Isopropyl Alcohol on a small cotton ball and gently dab out the thickest chunks of ink, followed with a dry paper towel to polish. NEVER use water inside your printer, Isopropyl Alcohol evaporates very quickly and leaves very little liquid residue behind.

Be Gentle When Unblocking Paper

When paper is jammed DO NOT pull the paper out through the output tray. Doing this is harmful to the paper wheels which feeds the paper through and can also tear the paper, leaving behind bits of torn paper, which will harm your printer later.

Most printers come with a rear hatch which will allow you access to the printer wheels and where the paper jam is likely to be. Once the jam is located be careful when removing the paper to avoid bending or harming any parts of the printer.

Use Your Printer Often

It is a common recommendation from most manufacturers to keep your printer in regular use. Regular use will prevent ink from clogging your printer heads which can result in smudgy results or missing colours. Regular use will also prevent dust from settling inside your printer which will ultimately improve the printers performance.

Quality Paper Helps A Lot!

To the naked eye, printer paper looks all the same; however, printer paper comes in many different types. One of the main measurements for paper is its grammage or density of the paper. Paper with less density or a lower grammage is often cheaper and probably the choice of most people looking to save a few pennies, the drawback is that low density paper, due to its flimsiness, are more likely to cause paper jams which can ultimately damage your printer. A grammage of 90g/m2 is the industry standard for high quality printer paper.

Avoid Cheap Compatible Inks and Toner

Ink and Toner is expensive, this is fact. It is very tempting to use compatible, refilled or remanufactured ink and toner to cut back on the cost of printing but new, original cartridges are by far the best and safest to use. It is like putting a compatible or used engine part into your car instead of the manufacturer approved part, it may work at first but the performance of the car will be affected and you are likely to break down.

Data Center Relocation And Moving Its Associated Hardware

Data Center Relocation & Moving its Associated Hardware often leads a client to a specialty data center and server moving firm, for assistance managing and executing their relocation project.

“We are looking for data center movers and/or computer equipment movers”. Seems easy enough, just need to move some servers from A to B. Moving a data center seems like it’s just a matter of picking things up and putting them down. This isn’t the case at all and there are many considerations often left out of the thought process leading up to physical move.

The hope is that this short guide version will help to create a required level of awareness when you are physically moving your data center.

Not every company has the resources required to relocate a data center, or to physically move servers from place to place. The resources that are in place are often times working on the software, storage, DR, migration planning, checking over planning, and trying to work out the fail over bugs.

Often times the IT side of the house is presented with the task of moving the company’s data center, along with keeping the current IT infrastructure in place, all while they are running day to day operations. Typically we see a couple difference scenarios when hearing from a client. Once is that the planning and testing has been happening for a period of time and they now need to figure out how to physically relocate the data center and server equipment out of the current production environment. The other times we hear from our clients are when it’s dropped on their desk and the move has to be executed with no time to spare (or yesterday).

We do notice that the physical portion of relocating a data center often does get looked over, or there is a lack of focus on this area. Oversight is understandable because the focus of resources is often times on other areas planning to get all of the computer equipment moved. When it comes time to physically move network, servers, SANS, racks and such, the IT department often stops in their tracks and pauses for a moment (just staring at the equipment).

There are several logistical items to plan into your data center relocation. When you move servers don’t forget the physical logistics! It isn’t often that the average IT personal relocates or moves a data center.

Here is a common list of questions we think about when we are reviewing and planning for a data center move. These questions are for the physical move of the data center.

Cable management and server equipment labeling, along with hardware labeling.

  1. Are all of the network, power, fiber cables pre-labeled accurately?
  2. Are the servers, network, SANS, and computer equipment labeled?
  3. Are the destination rack elevations prepared and ready to execute?
  4. Is there a plan to label rail sets?

Labeling is one of the most important measures to keep time loss at a minimum. Label everything, and when labeling, be sure that the label is in a secure area that is easily identified when moving (and so it doesn’t fall off when being packaged). Often times with rails for example, the client will opt to not have us handle this aspect. We show up and there are 150 different rail sets or various makes and models thrown into a box. This will add considerable time and frustration to your staff at the destination.

Cage screws & nuts are also another item to consider. Sometimes the staff that originally racked the server equipment may have over tightened or stripped the hardware used to secured rails, network items, and shelves. This is often an unfortunate oversight, and can quickly lead to frustration. Plan on having the appropriate tools to swiftly remove stripped or over tightened cage screws. It would also serve as a benefit to have extra cage screws and nuts handy. Do remember server cage nuts, screws, and securing hardware come in various sizes.

The quantity of server equipment being moved can determine the best course of execution when un-mounting. With a couple of racks of server equipment you may worry less about the order in which the equipment is un-mounted. If you have a multiple of data center racks and equipment, you may want to consider removing everything in an organized manner making it easier to re-mount at the destination. Tip: Always check the warranty requirements prior to removing any warrantied equipment from server racks. It may be a requirement that the equipment under warranty be removed by the warranty holder (you do NOT want to void the warranty).

Think WET NEWSPAPER! Depending on your data center or server rooms status, some of the equipment may have been spinning for quite some time, and may never have been spun down. The goal is to have a current DR plan verified and in place. When packaging data center equipment, the way in which you package and materials used to package should protect your equipment against static, shock and humidity. Effectively preserving the data center environment while transporting your data center.

Who will have the liability for moving the servers and computer equipment (the considerations)

  • This includes the physical handling of equipment
  • Transportation liability (think about if the staff were to use their own vehicle or rent a truck, if an accident was involved where injuries were reported while possessing company property and on company business)
  • Do you have multiple insurances that will cover the data center relocation from all liabilities? These insurances include but are not limited to workers comp., general liability, transportation, and cargo.

The Physical Handling

You need think about injury from the physical and lifting, and damage to equipment or data from dropping or accidents. If the company staff member is going to use their own car, a company vehicle or rent a truck, the thought process needs to consider if there were an accident. We would never want this to happen but if the staff member was transporting company property, and an accident occurred (depending on how severe), where would the liability fall? TIP: Be mindful that most buildings in which are involved in your data center relocation require a certificate of insurance showing the current insurance policy coverages.

Origin and destination building travel routes, and physical logistics also need to be looked at. Some considerations:

  1. Are there any stairs or steps involved in any of the travel routes
  2. Are there any stairs or steps involved in any of the travel routes?
  3. Are there any ramps involved in any of the travel routes?
  4. Are there any doors or thresholds that will impede travel?
  5. Are the any signs, door hardware, door handles that will impede travel
  6. Are there any height impediments that would cause you not to be able to “fit” equipment through a certain area height wise?
  7. Is there a staging area to park the transportation vehicle (off road parking or on road)
  8. Does the origin and destination have truck height loading docks?
  9. Are there truck height restrictions at the origin or destination?
  10. Are there certain delivery times required in order to deliver in the equipment?

Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket! Consider your total inventory and split your load if you can. Our belief is that if you have a 53′ trailer of packaged equipment, the load should be split into to 26′ trucks. If there were to be a catastrophic event, this would help to minimize loss. Also depending on logistics, often time’s 26′ trucks are a bit easier to navigate in tight quarters and lift gates help as well.

Travel distance, time of year, traffic, road construction, and weather should also be considered when transporting/relocating a data center.

Security is a very important consideration when moving your data center (if not the MOST important). You must maintain a controlled chain of custody, and security protocol. The equipment is going to be leaving a secured environment, so the considerations on safe the keeping of data, assets, your company, its stock holders, and yourself need to be factored into the overall scheme of things. We factor in security from pre-planning, to the moment we step foot at the origin, and our safety protocols secure your assets and data all the way to completion of the relocation. TIP: If you subcontract out the transportation to a vendor, it is very likely that your equipment will be offloaded and on loaded from truck to truck (driver to driver). The personnel transferring your equipment will not have an understanding of what they are moving. The focus is typically to get it off and onto other trucks as soon as possible, and there is little to no chain of custody or care in process.

Spicing Up Your Keyboard Collection

When it comes to must haves for me concerning mechanical keyboards I always recommend the MKC Zinc Gold Tone Keyset. While the set can be a bit pricy at $50 for the set of just 37 keys to me it was well worth the investment. The first benefit you get from the keys is simply the look of them. Because they arrive individually wrapped they have no scratches or blemishes on the keys. Then when you contrast the keys to the plastic ones on your keyboard these shine and reflect all the light making them look very beautiful. Then the feel of the keys is much more superior to any plastic counterpart. Although they can be a bit cold at first touch it’s never an uncomfortable temperature. The smoothness of the keys also feels much nicer than plastic keys that usually are slightly textured. Even with the lack of texture your fingers don’t slide all over the keys and it’s still easy to use. These keys also provide a physical benefit along with an aesthetic one. Because the weight of the keys is a bit heavier than plastic keys it makes the spring in the switch easier to compress which makes it easier to type. While the effect is very minimal, it is still noticeable. It is also useful to note that I have had these keys for over a year and have never noticed any corrosion in the metal. Before buying I had read that heavy use caused some of the coating to wear off and hurt the look of the keys but this turned out to only be the case for older versions and has been much improved in newer sets which I can attest to. While metal keycaps can be a bit hard to find they tend to have a reliable supply of them available here.

Multiple times I have made mention of the customization that mechanical keyboards offer but have never gotten too specific with what you can actually do. While a very popular option is to buy complete key sets which give the whole board a matching design or theme a growing area of customization is in artisan keycaps. There are many artists that are very active in creating custom keycaps that are often one or two keys instead of whole sets. Because these keys are hand crafted and often made in small batches the value of them can be very high. Some of these single keycaps have sold for over $200 on eBay. While they aren’t all such a high price the average starting price for a single key is still $25. Although the price of a single artisan key can be very close to the cost of a whole set the popularity of these keys is growing. The designs are getting more and more intricate as the artists gain more experience. In the beginning of artisan keys they were almost all just single color sculpted keys. Now many artisan keys are multiple colors in the same key and now it is common for the keys to be multiple parts and can even have moving parts. An interesting artist that is rapidly gaining popularity works under the name of “Jelly Keys” and creates unique and interesting keys by imbedding gems or plants into the resin when casting the key. Although artisan keys can be a bit expensive the offer an interesting way to spice up your keyboard with only having to change one keycap.

I’ve talked before on custom boards and boards that are smaller than you may ever expect to be possible. One of the most popular custom “miniature” mechanical keyboards is the Planck. Its size is what you would call a 40% keyboard. What this means is that it has no number pad, arrow keys, function keys, or even the top row of number keys. While this may sound like a keyboard lacking usability since it is “missing” keys it is actually very easy to use. It has 3 separate layers of keys that can be accessed by either holding down no special key, the upper key, or the lower key. This allows for each key to have 3 different options assigned to it. An example would be holding down the upper key then pressing “q” to get the number “1.” While it can take some getting used to once you get the hang of it you can type just as fast as a regular keyboard while taking up 60% less space on your desk. Another advantage of this keyboard is that it is ortholinear which means that instead of the keys being offset from each other from one row to the next they all are in a straight line. While this aspect does also take a bit getting used to it can actually improve typing speed once you become accustomed to it. Because of its small size it is actually a reasonably priced custom board starting around $120. While most of the time it is sold as a “kit” where you are expected to assemble it yourself it can also be purchased pre-assembled.