Yifeng Wang

Bury the Obsession

If you know, you know.

It all started when I needed a keyboard and a trackpad that can be easily switched between my work and personal laptop since the whole working from home episode had begun.

A quick Google search led me to the Logitech MX Keys and the Logitech MX Master 3, a universally praised productivity combo. Order was placed and soon I’d have the ideal WFH setup. Seemingly easy enough.

The devices arrived in a few days. The pairing was simple. I could now switch between my work and personal laptop with a single unplug and plug of a thunderbolt cable from the monitor which also served as a hub while everything else kept wireless. Things were going great and then the devil emerged from all the places I didn't anticipate.

The first stop was the keyboard. After typing on either a Mac laptop or a Magic Keyboard without numeric keypad for over 10 years, I forgot the compact layout was different from that of a full sized keyboard. Having the Fn key located in a different location and having the Command key not directly under X or , gave me an abundance of errors. I also wasn't too keen on the size of a full keyboard. The extra length from the numeric keypad meant the pointer device had to be placed further away from the center of the desk and that seemed unnecessary. Surely I’d get used to all this soon, thought I. I did, except I couldn't quite shake off the itch for finding something better, something perfect.

To research I began and to my deepest regret, I found the dazzling world of mechanical keyboard. My adventure with mechanical keyboard was filled with YouTube videos, Reddit discussions, purchases, and returns. I didn't like any of the keyboards I tried because they all had a thing or two that weren’t perfect. I didn't know where to go next, so it was only natural I turned my attention to the mouse.

If using a third party keyboard on a Mac meant preferences and compromises, using a third party mouse on a Mac was simply pain. The scrolling was horrendous. This was Apple’s fault. Luckily a little tool called Mos stood up and solved it for me. MX Master 3 did great in the gesture department. I was able to replicate all the trackpad gestures plus some more. However Logitech’s software was so buggy that the mouse would freeze up randomly when the software crashed and relaunched in the background.1 MX Master 3’s scroll wheel was a weird case. The magnetic scroll wheel would have been the best scroll wheel ever made if it were well executed. It would have been so smooth and so silent. Unfortunately in reality, it made squeaky noises and the scrolling would skip to be registered every so often. I thought I had a defected unit, but a replacement came in worse, so I had to conclude that the design was flawed.

In the end, I realized I couldn't use a pointer device that bothered me so often, and while the Magic Keyboard couldn't make the thock typing sound (which was delightful indeed), I was so comfortable with it and that was all I needed. In the amount of time I spent finding the perfect solution, I could have paired and re-paired the Magic Keyboard and the Magic Trackpad a million times.2

The detour wasn't that bad of an incident on its own but the wanting, the obsession, of always finding the perfect everything—the perfect keyboard, the perfect to-do app, the perfect decision—was so energy draining and time consuming, energy and time can be spent to enrich life in so many ways.

The perfect something doesn't exist and I already knew that.

The obsession has become so ingrained. I wrote this one to keep myself accountable in burying it over and over again.

  1. SteerMouse is a much better replacement.
  2. The fastest way to unpair and pair a Magic Keyboard or Magic Trackpad is to plug it in.