Solved: Keyboard lettering quesion . . .

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BobJam

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Jan 10, 2005
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Question: The lettering on the some of the keys on my keyboard is coming off . . . probably because I pound on the thing so much. Can't I purchase some kind of stencils or lettering sticky that I can place on the worn keys??? Some office supply place or Radio Shack???
 

BobJam

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Jan 10, 2005
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380
It's a laptop, so replacing the keyboard is not really an option.

I do have a USB port, and could get a USB keyboard, but the way I use this thing, in my lap in my recliner, pretty much makes a USB keyboard too cumbersome. Plus there's the issue of the touchpad, which means that even if I rested the USB keyboard on top of my laptop keyboard, I'd have to remove it every time I wanted to move the pointer. Seems like I'd be falling out of my chair trying to maneuver the USB keyboard. And even though I'm sure USB keyboards can be purchased WITH touchpads, I really don't want to go that route.

So, I'd much rather just get some replacement lettering I can stick on my existing laptop keyboard.
 

BobJam

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Jan 10, 2005
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I know I marked this "solved" (because I had gotten several options for solutions), but I'm happy to report that I finally attended to my keyboard lettering problem. Actually, I don't know the proper way to refer to it . . . lettering, stencils, stickers, labels, or what. DataCal, who I finally got them from (that story in a second) calls them "overlays", so I guess that's the industry term and as good as any.

I was out and about and stopped in to an office supply store and also a Radio Shack, thinking that perhaps I could find the things locally and avoid a shipping and handling charge that would likely be about half the value of the overlays themselves.

No luck . . . neither place had them.

But then I got to thinking (dangerous for me). Maybe I could just paint the letters on, using nail polish or something like plastic airplane enamel. After all, it's just a few letters (the "E","I","O","S","D","G","H","L", the "N", the "A" and the "M", that are starting to show signs of wear).

Ben ("aarhus2004" in this thread) sent me a link for Sharpie pens, and on their web site they have a white pen that looked like it would do the job. I saw some of the Sharpie pens at some retail outlets here, but none had the white ones.

So I finally figured that I was going to have to do an Internet order . . . which I'm reluctant to do unless it's something big like a computer. I do use virtual credit card numbers for ordering (I learned that lesson when I used an actual credit card number one time, and ended up getting a bill for close to $800 dollars because somebody had stolen the number I used on line and made a bunch of purchases . . . get this . . . in England!!).

But all I wanted was the white Sharpie pen, so I figured for that small an order I might as well order the "overlays" from DataCal (Hughv on this thread gave a link directly to the DataCal web site where there were the exact kind of overlays I was looking for . . .take a look at http://www.datacal.com/products/d-standard-replacement-overlays.htm) for $14.95 and go the full way. Glad I did. I suspect my freehand lettering on the keys with a Sharpie would have been nowhere near the symmetry of these overlays.

Actually, had I found a white ink Sharpie at a local place, I probably would have gone that route.

But here's the real story. (Btw, the total fee for the overlays, including shipping and handling was only some $17 bucks). When I got them, in a 5X7 manila mailing, regular mail, they were the large variety . . . which was NOT what I had ordered. I ordered the "standard" size. So that evening I wrote an email to DataCal customer service about it. I fully expected to be blown off. It's hard enough to get customer service when you call Dell or HP or any one of those big guys for a big order, so for an order of only $14.95, I thought they would laugh me off.

And then I thought that if they even responded, they would tell me I'd have to send the wrong ones back, at my own expense, before they would give me the right ones. I wasn't going to do that and was prepared to order a pen from Sharpie.

Well, I got pleasantly surprised by a phone call from DataCal customer service the next morning. The customer service gal very kindly apologized, said that the packing guy must have put the wrong overlays in the envelope, and then said that DataCal would send me the right ones, and that I didn't have to bother to send the large ones back.

So I got the right ones in the mail a few days later, and my keyboard is now in good repair. They are pretty slick, are the right size and have the font of the rest of the keys, went on pretty easy, even with my shaky hands (tweezers solved that problem), and the only sign of them is that they are much whiter than the keys that didn't need overlays on them. But with my dirty paws, I expect they'll soon have the hue of the rest.

So . . . problem solved (finally!!), and I'm a happy DataCal customer. Thanks, Hughv.
 
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Well done.
It's good to hear that some internet stores are learning about customer service.
If you mark this thread "Solved" someone else might find it and make use of your solution.
 
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