The Modifier Key

Posted on November 4, 2019

How It All Started

If you followed this blog through the years, you’ve likely read the 2016 article mentioning my obsession with mechanical keyboards in passing. The love for clicky keyboards originated way back in 1990, with Andreas Pilgrim handing me an IBM Model M keyboard with buckling springs. The typing experience – very similar to the IBM Selectric Typewriter – sparks the rhythmic flow of words and sentences, and typos are felt the moment they happen. 

The Clicky Side of Life

With one Model M at work and another one at home, the pitter-patter of the mechanical keys accompanied the flow of my creative writing. National press releases, speeches, and brochure copy, and plenty of articles for the ASM video games magazine. Aside from productivity, the keyboard assisted me in expanding my Railroad Tycoon empire, enabled me to control the fates of a whole Civilization, and live the adventures of Guybrush Threepwood.

As IBM discontinued the Model M keyboard, and Microsoft introduced the Windows key, I had to find an alternative. The legendary tactile and auditory feedback lived on in Cherry MX switches, like in the Cherry G80-3000 keyboard and builts by enthusiast keyboard manufacturers like Das Keyboards and WASD Keyboards. These days, I write multitudes of content on a custom CODE V2 Mechanical Keyboard with Cherry Green switches – the epitome of clicky.

The Accident

Life was good. Until recently, an accident, however, involving a Grilled Chicken Salad, Kraft Golden Italian Dressing, and a styrofoam box turned my typing life upside down. It killed my (left) shift key – NOW IT WAS ALL CAPS ONLY, ALL THE WAY!

I mourned the loss a few days when a friend with a kind soul, vast mechanical knowledge, and a soldering iron volunteered to bring the broken modifier key back to life. The tradeoff? A standard Cherry Green switch replaced the LED-lit one that fell victim to the dressing and a set of pliers this mechanically challenged individual took to it.

Lessons Learned

Failing forward, events like these often have a lesson in store to those who care to apply the learned to their life or work environment. To me, it set off a light bulb – highlighting what Made in Germany’s services provide to our clients. Above all, we are the proverbial shift key, the modifier key to their message.

For instance, once actuated, we bring clarity, distinction, form, and style to the corporate communications of the client organization. We precisely affect and modify the way its customers, contractors, vendors, current and future employees, and their social network experience its brand and message.

In conclusion, like the shift key, our work has its focus all set on the outcome for our clients. As you look at the metaphorical shape, brightness, and color of the message describing our clients’ products and services, you notice them, not us. And we’re happy this way; we enjoy the limelight vicariously through the success of our clients. Lit or not, we – as the modifier key – are here to stay.


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