Okay, so here’s what’s turning out to be the most gratifying purchase from my shopping spree last week:
An accountant, like other laborers, develops an affinity for his tools, and for the accountant, at least the accountant of the mid-20th century, the one indispensable tool was the 10-key adding machine. The firm that hired me out of college could not justify putting us out in the field until we had spent a month or so becoming adept at running a 10-key by touch. There were days when we were assigned to sit with a phone book and run through columns of telephone numbers for practice. (I always questioned the efficacy of this drill, as I’ve yet to find a hash total in the phone book against which to check one’s accuracy).
In this profession, you get to really appreciate the feel of a nicely-designed keypad, and I used to gravitate towards certain brands or models when plunked down in an office without my own machine.
These days, the laptop is the primary tool of the itinerant accountant, for obvious reasons. Sheafs of workpapers that we used to lug in Samsonite-sized leather cases are now stored on laptop hard disks and transmitted to the home office each night for safekeeping. However, as one regards the admirable economy of the laptop keyboard, only the accountant may grieve the absence of that luxury of the desktop keyboard, the 10-key pad. The laptop keyboard tries to fake one on the right side, where close inspection reveals the faint outline of numbers accessible by using the function key. However, these keys are skewed and oddly placed, and no self-respecting (and technologically challenged) accountant would put himself through the heartache of actually learning how they work. (I believe I tried it once, and then couldn’t get the keyboard switched back to its normal alphabetic function).
Imagine, then, my almost erotic delight upon seeing the item pictured below:
Even encased in its blister-pack, my twitching fingers could tell how it would feel, and longed to fit it to the end of my hand like a prosthesis.
Reader, I bought it, and slipped it lubriciously into my USB port, and we’ve been together ever since.