Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Self-cleaning keyboard

Evicts crumbs with a flick and a clunk
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Eating at computers: everyone does it even though we know we shouldn't. And we always get crumbs and blueberry fragments stuck between the keys. What do you do? Try to pick it out, or turn your keyboard upside down and tap it firmly on your desk? Well, not any more. From the people who brought you keyboard tweezers, comes the self-cleaning keyboard.

It's simple: little infra-red beams between the keys detect any foreign matter, before it gets squidged up by your super-skilled not-looking-at-the-keyboard typing. Then: here comes the clever bit. A powerful spring at the front of your keyboard is released, launching the keyboard into the air. It lands with a thud upside down, knocking all the debris out onto your desk.

Then it bounces up again to right itself, giving you a quick chance to sweek the crumbs onto the carpet, before it lands right-side-up, ready for work (or halfbakery, or emailing people to explain what beans on toast is, or whatever you do all day). If that hasn't got rid of the dirt, the detectors detect it is still there, re-activate the keyboard, and, BOING! it leaps up again until all the dirt is out.

Not suitable for people with protruding chins, the self-cleaning keyboard is aerodynamically designed to perform exactly one half-flip per tigger-bounce, and never to smash your monitor.

pottedstu, Feb 18 2002

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       Hmm. Perhaps best not to fit this device to my laptop. What keyboards need is a crumb tray, like toasters have.
mcscotland, Feb 18 2002
  

       fantastic. Having just finished a whole bag of cookies myself, I need this right now! ((question is, did it land that half-flip two-footed? is there a French judge in the house?))
sappho, Feb 18 2002
  

       This thing needs lasers to just vaporize debris instead of ejecting it.
phoenix, Feb 18 2002
  

       Alternatively, it could just vacuum itself and eject the crumbs in some controlled way. Compressed into a recycled cookie, maybe. Or the opposite: blow the crumbs out with air jets.
herilane, Feb 19 2002
  

       Perhaps it could gather up the muffin crumbs, and compress them into a hard cake for feeding to birds in wintertime.
pottedstu, Feb 19 2002
  

       I am so pleased other people have this problem, I bang my keyboard upside down at least 2 or 3 times a week but fear I may damage it. I'm quite sure I have, the return key and the 'N' key have problems, not sure if it is through tapping the keyboard (more like slamming), or 'stuff' wedged under there.
arora, Feb 19 2002
  

       Simply obtain a very valuable and pleasant to use keyboard, such as a 1984 IBM AT classic weighted "clickey-board." If you are in the habit of eating at the machine, you will now feel too guilty to continue.
dsm, Feb 20 2002
  

       Arora, you have a problem with the letter 'M'? I've mever heard of such a thimg. Just a little Momty Pythom humor (humour) -- The Travel Agemcy.
miles, Feb 20 2002
  

       There are typeable plastic keyboard covers, you know... Croissant for the safety bit on protruding chins.
RayfordSteele, Feb 20 2002
  

       try putting your keyboard in the dish washer on lo tremp wash. this works espesaly well if you spilled soda on it
vivaelryan, Apr 27 2002
  

       You know it doesn't take much energy to flip your keyboard over and bang it on the desk a couple times, and they do make small, battery-powered computer technician vacuums. This idea is just pure laziness. Plus you got the cord to worry about and different spatial set-ups. If you're that concerned about getting crumbs in your keyboard, you could probably slip a keyboard-specific flexible coating over the board, a device which serves to smother all the keys to protect it from spills. I think I saw those before, but that was back in the 80's.
Dicer, May 30 2003
  

       Computer keyboards in operating theatres have those covers on them, for obvious reasons. They also make the keys less klunky.
briandamage, May 30 2003
  

       //typeable plastic keyboard covers//   

       I/ve used on eof those a keyboard condoms for years. Everyone thought I was odd... then SARS happened and now everyone has their keyboards wrapped in cling film.   

       I only do it to keep lint and coffee out.   

       But anyway, basic keyboards and mice cost only a few bucks each. You can treat them like expendables. One of the cheapest ways to give your secretary or staff a morale boost is to replace their worn-out input devices.
FloridaManatee, May 30 2003
  

       //It lands with a thud upside down, knocking all the debris out onto your desk//   

       And depressing any number of keys, creating mayhem in whatever application you are using. Just use a vacuum cleaner, while the machine's switched off.
OnionBread, May 30 2003
  

       //And still no windows keys. Huzzah!//   

       Probably explains why I'm on the fourth PC at work but still my first keyboard. That plus I like examining the wear patterns. The left-shift has the most wear, and left-ctrl probably second-most. Other keys with major wear are A, S, F, C, N, M, and O, and Enter. I wonder why those letters. Odd.
supercat, May 30 2003
  
      
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