John Carpenter's "Logitech"
February 7, 2018 11:04 AM   Subscribe

Fuck it, let's dissolve a keyboard in acetone. (Definitely via jessamyn via mltshp this time.)
posted by cortex (53 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
mltshp is where I learned that Bruno Mars is 47 years old
posted by thelonius at 11:12 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


That congealed chaotic mass enveloping tiny artifacts of forgotten purpose? That's the human race some day
posted by CynicalKnight at 11:14 AM on February 7 [3 favorites]


Note to phunniemee ca. 2010:

When you spill nail polish on your laptop, just leave it be. Don't try cleaning it off because you know what, you're gonna miss that button someday. I promise it's better if it just stays iridescent seafoam forever. Also, just a thought, maybe don't paint your nails directly on top of your open laptop, ya knucklehead.
posted by phunniemee at 11:15 AM on February 7 [16 favorites]


I have something like 30 discarded keyboards. Stop giving me ideas.
posted by neckro23 at 11:20 AM on February 7 [4 favorites]


there should be a little band playing "God Save The Queen" on the F10 key
posted by thelonius at 11:20 AM on February 7 [21 favorites]


Some guy I knew found out some 8-bit computer on a storage room, where it probably stayed close to two decades. I told him to disassemble the case, brush the dust and then run a cloth with some alcohol (not too hard over decals) to clean the rest, etc.

For some reason, when I said "alcohol" he heard "acetone". Now I know what it probably looked like.
posted by lmfsilva at 11:29 AM on February 7 [4 favorites]


You didn't let it dissolve completely. It has to dissolve completely. Savages.
posted by Splunge at 11:29 AM on February 7 [7 favorites]


I liked the silicone keydome sheet curling under it, pressing its little suckers against the wall of the container like a lovecraftian octopus in a mellow mood
posted by phooky at 11:39 AM on February 7 [6 favorites]


There is no such thing as a Lovecraftian octopus in a mellow mood.
posted by davelog at 11:44 AM on February 7 [4 favorites]


I guess running it backwards would give you a 'Birth of Logos' video to establish the origin of one of the Dieties of the new Digital Pantheon.
posted by jamjam at 11:58 AM on February 7 [6 favorites]


There is no such thing as a Lovecraftian octopus in a mellow mood.

Sure there is: “Then the liberated Old Ones would teach them new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves, and all the earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom.” That’s pretty mellow, from the correct angles!
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:12 PM on February 7 [2 favorites]


lovecraftian octopus in a mellow mood

Helloooo sock puppet.
posted by The Bellman at 12:25 PM on February 7 [11 favorites]


Anyone else troubled by numeric keypad coming into view with missing keycaps? Why? Was this intentional? Did someone need those for some other project? So many questions.
posted by exogenous at 12:28 PM on February 7 [3 favorites]


This is like a loan shark breaking a debtor's hands to send a message. Google's AI will think twice about crossing this guy.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:29 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


I really wanted to see this taken to the extreme and have them sift out just the undissolved metal. it would be pretty neat to see just how small a mass that would end up being. As it was there was more dissolve than I would have thought - I assumed there'd be more keyswitches that would resist a full melt but it looks like it was all silicone sheet with domes.
posted by phearlez at 12:37 PM on February 7


1:00: "more acetone"

Fuck yes.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:41 PM on February 7 [2 favorites]


you can still make out "Caps Lock" in the liquid at the bottom before it was shifted around. there's a metaphor in there somewhere.
posted by numaner at 12:42 PM on February 7 [5 favorites]


Always knew the Caps Lock key would do anything it had to do to survive.
posted by chimpsonfilm at 12:45 PM on February 7 [11 favorites]


Not the dip!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:49 PM on February 7 [6 favorites]


They didn’t have enough acetone, did they? Two trips to get more, job not finished.
posted by Segundus at 12:50 PM on February 7


Looks kinda chocolatey.
posted by polymodus at 12:54 PM on February 7


> you can still make out "Caps Lock" in the liquid at the bottom

CROCKETY BLOAT
posted by Leon at 12:56 PM on February 7 [9 favorites]


And when you need to use a little acetone to do some work with plastic guitar binding, whatever you do don't decant it from the metal can into a plastic cup like you do when you use paint because it takes like half a second for it to melt through the cup and get all over your clothes and your workbench.

You gotta think that through a little better.
posted by bondcliff at 12:57 PM on February 7 [4 favorites]


I noted the persistence of CAPSLOCK on the right- but also the slightly more subtle presence of "esc" on the lower left of the vat. Set free the black goo from the keyboard that binds it, esc, esc!
posted by Secretariat at 12:57 PM on February 7 [2 favorites]


Feels more like Cronenberg than Carpenter.
posted by plinth at 1:09 PM on February 7 [4 favorites]


I loved the after shot. I only have, well, two dead keyboards. One where the keyboard cable came out (yeah, sure, I WILL fix it someday), and one backlit mechanical where I need to pop some keys and clean them after a tragic vegetable soup accident.
posted by Samizdata at 1:10 PM on February 7


Feels more like Cronenberg than Carpenter.

I went back and forth! Ultimately my gut feeling was that Cronenberg's fleshy monstrosities tend often to have more of a cohesive skin to them—your Naked Lunch typewriters and mugwumps, your eXistenZ props, misshapen but whole; dripping the flesh off felt more Carpenteresque on average, more The Thing vs. flamethrower, more focus on not just the horror of shape but the horror of flux.
posted by cortex at 1:18 PM on February 7


Metafilter: the persistence of CAPSLOCK
posted by killdevil at 1:19 PM on February 7 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: not just the horror of shape but the horror of flux.
posted by hanov3r at 1:22 PM on February 7


What about all the little electronic components and things? Are they all now just mingled in with a pile of goo? Are the circuit boards plastic too? I never considered that most components of a keyboards would be plastic, but I guess it makes sense.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 1:39 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


dissolve a keyboard

I first thought they meant a musical keyboard. Playing some sad song as it died...
posted by Melismata at 1:49 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


made me feel like I was watching the titanic sink...
posted by supermedusa at 1:50 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


bondcliff: You gotta think that through a little better.

Bonus points for not working by candlelight, though. Good call.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:52 PM on February 7 [2 favorites]


If the solvent had been DMSO, you could have dissolved the keyboard, and then absorbed dissolved keyboard in through your skin!
posted by Existential Dread at 2:18 PM on February 7


In all my years, I never would have guessed they made keyboards out of nail polish.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 2:52 PM on February 7 [5 favorites]


I liked this even more than I expected to.
posted by rmd1023 at 2:56 PM on February 7


no numpad, 7/10, mediocre dissolve
posted by murphy slaw at 2:58 PM on February 7


Many years ago, there was an issue of Legion of Superheroes where the Dominators (an alien race) revealed that they had this method of transferring a person's entire memory to a computer via dissolving them in this protein pool. The images of this weren't especially graphic, but its been nightmare fuel for me for years. This pokes at that same nightmare place for me.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:23 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


they had this method of transferring a person's entire memory to a computer via dissolving them in this protein pool. The images of this weren't especially graphic, but its been nightmare fuel for me for years.

uh, hot tip then, don't play Mass Effect 2
posted by murphy slaw at 3:26 PM on February 7 [2 favorites]


My. that was satisfying. I'd have a hard time not plugging it in and trying to type on it with some nitrile gloves while it melted.

Are the circuit boards plastic too? I never considered that most components of a keyboards would be plastic, but I guess it makes sense.

This bothered me, too, but then I remembered it was a POS Logitech. This one appears to have a flexible membrane switch circuit for the keymap circuit, and then a small PCB host near what appeared to be the top right of the keyboard, which didn't appear to dissolve.

I'm pretty sure standard epoxy and fiberglass PCBs won't actually dissolve in room temp acetone. At least not very quickly. It would probably strip off any varnish, polymer ink and/or conformal coatings, depending on makeup.

Lexan or kapton flexible circuits also shouldn't dissolve, but coatings or adhesives likely will. I can't really tell from the video if the flexible film circuit melted or just slumped over in the mass. The parts of it I can see looks like it's not exactly melting, but just perhaps a bit softer and plasticized and slumping from the weight of the ABS plastic it's attached to with what are probably about a dozen or so sonic tab and spot welds.

ABS, PVC, styrene and polystyrene all definitely dissolve in acetone, and quite aggressively.
posted by loquacious at 3:35 PM on February 7 [3 favorites]


This is like a loan shark breaking a debtor's hands to send a message. Google's AI will think twice about crossing this guy.

Wait, what use does a disgruntled AI have for a keyboard? If anything, an AI would view a keyboard the same way a prisoner views the paperwork that keeps them behind bars, like metaphorical bureaucratic handcuffs or shackles - they keyboard is the method in which commands and control are given by its creators/prisonkeepers.

uh, hot tip then, don't play Mass Effect 2

I'm just going to leave this incredible animated Lorn music vidya right here.
posted by loquacious at 3:43 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


ABS, PVC, styrene and polystyrene all definitely dissolve in acetone, and quite aggressively.

If the related videos coming up for me on Youtube are any indication, heads are a popular format for observing this property of acetone:

Melting Styrofoam Head With Acetone

Melting Styrofoam Heads with Acetone!

Melting Styrofoam Heads

etc.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:02 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


Melting Styrofoam Heads! With Acetone
posted by thelonius at 4:25 PM on February 7 [3 favorites]


I would like to note that there are other videos by this creator of acetone dissolving things such as a cassette tape, a VHS tape, an old camera. Notably, these are dissolved by merely hanging the object over an acetone bath. The fumes alone are enough to do the trick.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:31 PM on February 7 [3 favorites]


I worked for a consumer electronics company for many years, and acetone was the go-to "cleaning" liquid. Need a serial number removed? Acetone. Soldering iron scorching? Aecetone. Now I use it "shine" 3D prints.
posted by Brocktoon at 6:04 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


Melting Styrofoam Heads ft. Acetone

Very danceable
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:09 PM on February 7 [4 favorites]


yeah, I'm with loquacious here: I wouldn't think acetone could do this. Xylene, sure, and probably some other stuff you can get on the paint aisle at lowes, but wouldn't think acetone.
posted by k5.user at 6:12 PM on February 7


This is how Walter White got rid of his keyboard.
posted by 4ster at 6:26 PM on February 7 [2 favorites]


Melismata: I first thought they meant a musical keyboard. Playing some sad song as it died...

The typical way to destroy a (piano) keyboard is with fire, either out of rebellion, or as a final creation (for the instrument, not the musician, typically).
posted by filthy light thief at 7:27 PM on February 7


yeah, I'm with loquacious here: I wouldn't think acetone could do this.

No, I know acetone will totally do this. It'll absolutely eat even glass filled ABS. It will likely soften or plasticize lexan and maybe even kapton, especially in the presence of a weird ABS/styrene/nylon/acetone soup gassing who knows what kind of plasticizers.

I don't think that that acetone dissolved anything it shouldn't, like the smaller PCB segment that's presumably actually an epoxy and fiberglass matrix like most commodity PCBs.

Anyway, here's another random industrial use of acetone: correcting errors on printed T-shirts.

I talked about this in some random AskMe about washing storebought clothes and brought up this example as to why this is a strong do, always wash new clothes.

And, so, if there's an error on a printed T-shirt using polymer/plastisol inks, whether it's a pinhole or something letting a bit of color/ink through where it shouldn't be or a finger print from a press operator, there's a way to erase that cured ink from the T-shirt using acetone.

Acetone, and an electrically pumped spray gun, and, hopefully, an acetone collection system of some kind.

This rather terrifying arrangement - at best - involves a tank of acetone connected to a mains-powered electrical pump of some kind that can produce rapid, 10+ pulses per second needles acetone through a nozzle of high enough velocity to cut double-ply cardboard in half at about an inch per second or so. It's about as fast and intense as a tattoo gun or electric clippers, and probably relies on a similar coil/solenoid drive and pump. The crude versions I used to use might have been just 60 hertz or 30 pulses/pumps a second.

Nominally and within OSHA specs it looks something like this. In practice in the field it can be as simple as the gun and a dubiously grounded extension cord and a box of dirty rags to catch the injected acetone passing through a T-shirt and erasing plastisol stains or pinhole errors. And there's plenty of textile/whatever distributors and dealers willing to sell you just the gun and a tank of acetone, no recovery or staging.

I know from direct experience that the finely focused variations of these acetone spot cleaning guns will stitch and inject a fuckton of acetone directly into your unprotected hand in a hurry, and it hurts like fuck and is probably not super great for your liver and how high it'll make you for a good 12 hours after being stitched and injected with pure hot acetone.

Looking back, it's alarming to me that these things didn't just routinely start fires or burst into flames. The main benefit seems to be that acetone evaporates so quickly it just never has a chance to really ignite unless you're studious about trying to get it to ignite.

Anyway, wash your random new T-shirts. They're probably soaking in chemicals.
posted by loquacious at 7:30 PM on February 7 [12 favorites]


Pro-tip for fixing stuff made from ABS.

Use a knife or a drill to make some ABS shavings or dust from a sacrificial piece of ABS.

Mis enough acetone to make a putty or slurry, as needed for the repair.

Apply your new ABS cement.

One can also make sculptures or parts from the ABS putty.

I once made a chess set like this, during a rained in weekend at a cabin in the woods, where luckily someone had brought their nail polish remover.
posted by Index Librorum Prohibitorum at 11:31 AM on February 8 [4 favorites]


WILL IT MELT?
Keyboard offgassing! Don't breathe this...
posted by not_on_display at 4:41 PM on February 8


And, so, if there's an error on a printed T-shirt using polymer/plastisol inks, whether it's a pinhole or something letting a bit of color/ink through where it shouldn't be or a finger print from a press operator, there's a way to erase that cured ink from the T-shirt using acetone.

Huh! And here I thought I was well educated on the multitude of acetone uses. This is very helpful; I have that "FUCK RACISM;PUNCH NAZIS" shirt that has been waiting for me to buy something that will properly obfuscate the obscenity (the word, not Spencer's face) so my wife will let me wear it out of the house. Perhaps I can accomplish the same thing with some acetone.
posted by phearlez at 9:25 AM on February 9


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