Here is the the way the keyboard on my Thinkpad T60 looked three months ago, when it was four months old.

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r96/jfallows/IMG_3066.jpg


Here's the way it looks today, at seven months of age, after three more articles and one bazillion additional emails have been pounded out on its keys:

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r96/jfallows/IMG_4285B.jpg


This second one is a little harder to see, but here's the casualty count.

Now entirely gone: the E, N, and A keys, plus the marking.
On their way: L, M, R, S, and >
Worried: D, O.
Should be worried: U, B

No wonder my fingers are tired -- I mean, strong! And good thing China is dotted with electronic parts shops where I can buy a new keyboard, cheap, when too many letters vanish from this one. I can probably find a supplier who sent them to the factory in the first place.

When I find that guy, maybe I'll ask him whether they would consider investing an extra 50 cents for more durable keytop decals. (Yes, I know the Mac's, and others, are molded in.)

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.