Computer: Keyboard Alternative
Keyboard Ant Farm   (+22, -2)  [vote for, against]
Live entertainment and a clean board.

My office has ants, enough that I have given up trying to evict all of them every day. Most frequently they climb around my keyboard and mouse pad cleaning up leftover cereal bars. Why not make them more at home?

The Keyboard Ant Farm will have a clear housing and all non-essential areas sealed off and filled with whatever ants like to live in. Great entertainment watching them scurry around feeling important while you are at work (scurrying around feeling important). Optional flexible plastic run tube for them to travel to the matching Mouse Ant Farm and back (note:will not work with wireless).
-- rbl, May 01 2002

(?) Recent news story about ants. http://animals.abou...1932000/1932509.stm
Don't mess with the ants, man. They're gonna be ruling the world soon. [DrBob, May 02 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Phase IV
You damn right, DrBob. [calum, May 03 2002]

(?) Ant Farm Keyboard - Frisky Dingo
If you don't click this link, you'll be sorry. [phoenix, Apr 10 2008]

Diatomaceous earth https://en.wikipedi.../Diatomaceous_earth
[Voice, Oct 30 2015]

Your office has ants? What, *real* ones? Good grief.
-- salachair, May 01 2002

The trade off I made in order to get near a door, and therefore a window. Note I use the term office loosely, it is truly a cubicle.
-- rbl, May 01 2002

some ants keep aphids the way dairy farmers keep cows. you want aphids too? you going for a whole eco-system in your hardware.
-- po, May 01 2002

the similarity between ants in the farm and people in the cubicles is just amazing. the ants don't seem to gossip or bitch as much.
-- rbl, May 01 2002

Just keep 'em away from the contacts, and hold the termites.

I always thought my hardware had a few bugs...
-- RayfordSteele, May 01 2002

now THIS is a beautiful idea. croissant!
-- efarns, May 01 2002

What if you had ant farm sand underneath the keys? Every time you pressed a key, it would look like you were about to squish an ant! Ehhh . . .
-- ashibaka, May 01 2002

efarns, please explain to me how this is beautiful? rbl, who exactly is scurrying about looking important? this gives me the creeps!
-- po, May 02 2002

po-so I guess my 'ant farm bath pillow' is not worth posting?
-- rbl, May 02 2002

formicarium - for all I care(ium)
-- po, May 02 2002

¯rbl: good guess!
-- reensure, May 02 2002

explain beauty? HA! i won't be tricked into that one.

why do i like the idea? i might be able to handle that. your average keyboard isn't really constructed for visual pleasure, but a lot of people enjoy watching ants do their thing underground. suddenly, your keyboard becomes not just a tool you use at work, but also an interesting sideshow and kind of a pet. it would be sort of like an aquarium for people with really small workspaces.

granted, if you don't like ants at all, this idea isn't for you. that doesn't make it a bad idea though.
-- efarns, May 03 2002

Ant farm bath pillow? Tee hee! Eliminate the 'bath' part and I'll take one for my sister's 30'th. Just the thought of sleeping on a bag full of bugs would be enough to totally creep me out. I don't want to think what it would do to her...
-- RayfordSteele, May 03 2002

No problem with aphids, po--aphids feed on the internal fluids of plants (eh, go suck a leaf, aphid!) so as long as you don't grow aphidaceous plants in your cubicle you're OK.

Use a membrane-contact type keyboard, keep the ants out of the electronics. But what if some of the little geniuses decide to explore the inside of your PC? Dang, that's the third time this week a video card's gone gunny on me...
-- Dog Ed, May 03 2002

Heck, why not connect everything up? Let them scurry around the inside of your case, the mouse, the monitor... and take a few with you in a PDA!

In fact, why not let the actual desk join in while we're at it?
-- sadie, May 03 2002

I get marching ants whenever I use the marquee tool in Photoshop.
-- waugsqueke, May 03 2002

The problem is that, were you to seal them within the keyboard, you would miss out on the useful cleaning function they provide...
-- yamahito, May 04 2002

An ant habit "surround" to add to the front of your monitor. Now there's an idea that's bound to become baked at some point. For full effect, it would have to contain a maze pattern somewhat suggestive of an office cubicle layout. (and maybe some free accessories like tiny little Dilbert and Dogbert ant costumes)

Marketing bonus, the ants might be able to serve the "canary in the coal mine" function in case the x-ray protection fails in the monitor.

I care nothing about Ant Farms, but I'm tempted to go to my garage and hack up some acrylic to make one of these just for the novelty.
-- half, May 06 2002

The keyboard could also be used by the ants to tell us something if they want to.
-- pashute, Oct 10 2002


...for those live ant screensavers at work, better get some boric acid-sugar-water mix. I recently had to do this, and I was curious what they were doing to my cpu. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
-- UfosOverChina, Oct 10 2002

I think an uncle farm would be good too
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Oct 11 2002

Maybe it doesn't count as a farm, but in the movie 'Pi' ants seemed to live on or grow out of his special computer.
-- joeforker, Jul 21 2004

I just felt so bad you had to deal with ants on your desk that I gave you my vote....
At least you've come up with a creative idea to deal with it. I'd love to see a prototype =)
-- holophile, Jul 22 2004

It may be nice if the ant farm is under the keyboard in fixed secure place. The last thing you want is ants crawling all over your fingers while you type.
-- travbm, Oct 29 2015

random, halfbakery