Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Positive-pressure laptop keyboard

Prior art duly acknowledged
  [vote for,

Some computer users have a bizarre and repulsive habit of consuming food while using their device. This often results in nothing more than unsightly accumulations of organic material on the surface of the keys, but if the comestible is of a dry, friable nature - biscuits* and some other products are the guilty parties - then the crumbs can infiltrate between the keys and form a dense layer between them and the supporting substrate.

In extreme cases this can result in one or more keys becoming partially or totally non-functional. Then the device needs something a bit more than merely inverting and gentle shaking, as the crumbs can amalgamate with other detritus to form a disgusting concretion. Removing this is an unpleasant task often involving dismantling the keyboard.

For inveterate nibblers, the answer is to invest in a device incorporating one of the new BorgCo positive-pressure keyboards. Many portable devices incorporate a cooling fan; the new design uses redesigned ducting to divert the airflow to an array of holes carefully placed under the keys.

By pressing a function key sequence, the user can switch their unit into anti-crumb mode, where the air forms a counterflow to push the contaminants away from the surface and cause them to be deposited elsewhere, where they can be more easily dealt with, or more likely simply ignored.

There are other similar ideas to this already posted, but we consider that this is sufficiently different to be innovative, as it prevents the accumulation of muck, rather than removing it after it's built up.

*"Cookies" in the less educated and articulate portions of your planet.

8th of 7, Oct 25 2020

EZ dust Keyboard EZ_20dust_20Keyboard
Prior art duly acknowledged [8th of 7, Oct 25 2020]

keyboard cleaning tray keyboard_20cleaning_20tray
Prior art duly acknowledged [8th of 7, Oct 25 2020]

Self-cleaning keyboard Self-cleaning_20keyboard
Prior art duly acknowledged [8th of 7, Oct 25 2020]

Keyboard detritus-eating insects Keyboard_20detritus-eating_20insects
I like the idea of a colony of insects living on keyboard detritus [hippo, Oct 27 2020]

Towards fungal computer https://www.ncbi.nl...rticles/PMC6227805/
... propose that fungi Basidiomycetes can be used as computing devices: information is represented by spikes of electrical activity, a computation is implemented in a mycelium network and an interface is realized via fruit bodies. [kdf, Oct 27 2020]

Anthill inside https://wiki.lspace.org/mediawiki/Hex
"Well, we think it might be able to do quite complicated maths. If we can get enough bugs in it." (Ponder Stibbons) [8th of 7, Oct 28 2020]


       Software to delete cookies is widely available.
pocmloc, Oct 25 2020

       That would pre-empt some aspects of the problem, but other crumb-releasing nourishments are Baked (or in some cases fried) and WKTE.
8th of 7, Oct 25 2020

       There goes my "Clean The Keyboard Using Diet Coke" idea.   

whatrock, Oct 25 2020

       Interesting link, [hippo].   

       "My laptop keyboard is full of crumbs etc. from eating over my keyboard. This makes some keys hard to press, and others "bounce"." - Aug 08 2005   

       Obviously far from a new problem, and still seeking a solution ...
8th of 7, Oct 27 2020

       An edible keyboard would solve this problem as the unexpected particles of trapped food will add variety of both flavour and texture.
xenzag, Oct 27 2020

       Why? Why did you have to make my stomach heave?
Voice, Oct 27 2020

       Keyboard could be made of mycelium, feeding on crumbs to grow extra connections.
pocmloc, Oct 27 2020

       Yes, but might not that risk creating some weird, evil fungus-computer hybrid that infects, parasitises and ultimately takes over any unsuspecting human that uses the keyboard ?   


       Yes, jolly good, carry on.   

       (There's probably a Dr. Who script in there if you can be prepared to do some work on the concept).
8th of 7, Oct 27 2020

       Could be a benificent fungus-computer hybrid that always strives to do good
pocmloc, Oct 27 2020

       <Nods, smiles, backs slowly away, makes note to tell doctor to increase [poc]'s medication/>   

       When does that sort of thing ever happen, even in fiction ? And certainly never in the real world, if there is one, which we increasingly doubt.
8th of 7, Oct 27 2020

       "(fungus-computer hybrid) ... when does that happen, even in fiction?"

       Link. And if it doesn't work out, I'm sure it will be delicious sautéed with a little garlic and butter, other seasonings to taste.
kdf, Oct 27 2020

       It's the // benificent .. that always strives to do good // part that we have credibility issues with ...
8th of 7, Oct 27 2020

       You’re just skeptical as you haven’t found the right mushroom yet - or it hasn’t found you. You can’t go off looking for them you know, you have to just take the ones that are in your path.
kdf, Oct 27 2020

       An excellent concept. A simpler design might be to have the top half of the keyboard slightly separated from the bottom half and spring loaded. Press firmly down on the top and a bellow-like effect blows the keyboard clean.
AusCan531, Oct 28 2020


       Ants are good at clearing away crumbs. I wonder if it would be possible for a keyboard to have a built-in formicarium?
hippo, Oct 28 2020

       Your computer would end up full of bugs ... . <Obligatory Pratchett "Anthill Inside " reference />
8th of 7, Oct 28 2020

       It's strange you should ask that, as I was sure the idea of keyboard cleaning ants was already on the hb. In fact I thought I might have posted it, so I searched and didn't find it, but yet I believe it was here??? Maybe it was one of the 50+ ones I lost a few years ago or maybe it was someone else's but it was here.....was it not?
xenzag, Oct 28 2020

       ^ Fourth link ? Silverfish ?   

       // blows the keyboard clean //   

       Like with a pyrotechnic gas generator ? Or ... hmm ... yes ... <Giggling/>   

       Today, the R & D team have a new keyboard-related project ...
8th of 7, Oct 28 2020

       The way I visualised it was a transparent perspex keyboard (with the keys and all innards which can be transparent made so), full of ants.
hippo, Oct 28 2020

       Of course it would need to be ants - if it was a hive, it wouldn't be possible to type anything comprehensible because the keyboard would have nothing but B's ...
8th of 7, Oct 28 2020

       //benificent fungus-computer hybrid that always strives to do good// strives, yes.   

       This is the best explanation I have ever found as to why Excel insists on converting fractions to dates, aggressively ignoring leading zeros, and putting exponents on phone numbers.
lurch, Oct 28 2020

       Now that you mention it, I'm (somewhat) surprised that "phone number" isn't an available Number Format in Excel, since there are a lot of "database" type functions, & a ph. no. would be an obvious common entry.
neutrinos_shadow, Oct 28 2020

       If only there was somewhere on the Internet for posting whacky new ideas like that
hippo, Oct 28 2020

       You'd probably just get a bunch of idiots endlessly arguing about politics, gun control, and climate change ... it would never work.   

8th of 7, Oct 28 2020

       //isn't an available Number Format in Excel//   

       You just need to feed your mycelium keyboard with more and better quality crumbs, so that it can evolve better spreadsheet options.
pocmloc, Oct 28 2020

       ... or alternatively, release ergotamine derivatives and other mycotoxins that are inhaled, or absorbed through the user's skin, causing them to hallucinate that the software they're using is adequate.   

       It worked well for IBM for decades ...
8th of 7, Oct 28 2020

       //if it was a hive, it wouldn't be possible to type anything comprehensible//   

       Those devices are known as 'KeyBorgs'.
AusCan531, Oct 29 2020

       There's room in the Saimhain Wicker Man for you as well as [xenzag], you know ...
8th of 7, Oct 29 2020


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