Cat Scream Fever

Luna has acquired a new skill that I can only describe as “yowling in utter distress”. This has been happening for a while now, but she’s been steadily increasing the volume and urgency with every passing day. With that said, that sounds a lot worse than what’s actually happening.

Luna is old. Super, duper old. I’ve addressed this multiple times in the past. Well, she’s now at the point where she’s starting to go a bit senile. The issue is that she’s now falling into routines, and when something deviates from her expectations, she yells about it.

For example, I work in my home office generally from 8am to 5pm. If I’m in another room during any of this period and she’s awake and wants to sit in my lap, she will be extremely perturbed that I’m not in my designated area, and will sit there and howl as if her organs are failing and I’m the only one who can save her. Of course when I arrive, she’s perfectly fine and looking around innocently as if she didn’t just perform her best impression of a banshee which as been lit on fire and chucked into a wood-chipper feet first.

Yet she’s also rather ancient, so any screaming like that can’t be ignored. There’s really no “crying wolf” when a 21 year old cat repeatedly wails in distress; there really could be something wrong. It’s things which convince me this is likely her last year, but I’ve been wrong about that prediction before.

One the Keyboard front, I am overall extremely pleased with the typing experience of the GMMK itself. The feel of the Kailh box white switches is very responsive and impressively clicky, and that’s really what matters. The other reason I chose these switches is because I loved the crisp and high tink noise emitted by the clicking mechanism. Unfortunately with the key-caps installed, that sound is drowned by the noise from each key bottoming out on the keyboard backing plate. A loud “clack” will vastly overwhelm a “tink” every time.

And unlike Cherry MX Blue switches, the use of o-rings won’t actually solve this. Part of the problem comes from the key stem striking the bottom of the switch itself. I figured this out by testing the escape key. Even when the key comes nowhere near the backing plate, it still makes a clacking sound. Additionally, when releasing the key, it makes another clack when it pops back up due to the strength of the spring causing the stem retaining stub to hit the top of the switch. Apparently there is a way to dampen some of this by installing a much smaller o-ring inside the switch itself, but dismantling 100 switches and modifying each one with the aid of tweezers isn’t exactly high on my to-do list.

The GMMK itself isn’t perfect either. The keyboard comes with a red cap for the “escape” key labeled “Ascend”, which is a reference to the “PC Master Race” meme. Cute. But they have completely neglected to laser-etch this legend, so the backlight doesn’t show through only this key. Similarly, while the keys use a bold and clear font for the key legends, the secondary legends which are clearly present on the samples shown on their website, are completely absent. So media and function hotkeys are a mystery. Yes, I get that function-F11 is volume-up, but I feel like I was misled at what I would be receiving based on their website. This is distinctly less convenient than having a volume roller above the numpad like my G710.

I also keep having an issue with “phantom” spaces, where I’ll be typing along and without touching the space bar, I’ll see a space entered into a word that I didn’t put there. There’s a possibility that this is somehow due to how I’m typing because it happened occasionally with my old keyboard too. My addition of a gel wrist wrest seems to have made the issue less prevalent, so I wonder if I’ve been somehow skimming the keyboard with my palm without realizing it. Having a 45cN actuation force is a bit of a dual-edged sword that way.

We’ll see; I’m not one to give up so easily. I may have to simply order an alternative set of key caps with proper legends on them, and possibly search far and wide for some method for silencing the bottom-out sound that seems otherwise intractable.

Until Tomorrow