What is Nasty?
Nasty is the keyboard of my well-loved 29 year-old Apple II Plus.
It's always a bad sign when a keyboard that's been sitting untouched for ten years in climate-controlled storage is wet beneath the keys, coated with a glistening, gooey gunk of unknown origin. Mix in two decades of fuzzy dust and moldy cat hairs, and you have yourself a potent cocktail of pure, unadulterated Nasty.
What Does One Do About Nasty?
One cleans Nasty with a vengeance. Key by key, if one has to.
In this case, I got lazy and just washed all the keys in a plastic colander.
When Vengeance Isn't Enough
Time for a complete tear-down and clean-up. I wanted this unit to be as close to new as possible, although I decided to leave my customizations — the pressed four-leaf clover and red novelty "panic button" (in place of the reset key) — as they originally were. Those add what we call character.
All better now.
This computer deserves as much. It was on this computer, some eighteen years ago, that I first studied the arcane art of BASIC programming. I spent countless days of my pre-teen years delving into AppleSoft manuals, wholly gripped by my quest to craft new and better software diversions. I loved this machine, and I still do.
Unlike fading Apple IIe cases, the Apple II Plus's case, after a little cleaning, appears almost as good as new. Why? The color of the Apple IIe was molded into the plastic, while the Apple II Plus got its color from a snappy coat of paint. It cleans up quite nicely.
Sadly, cat hairs and dust have already started accumulating on my newly cleaned keyboard. But ah; such is entropy. In another thirty years, it will be time to do it all over again.