If you happen to be one of those lucky individuals dating somebody working in the computer forensics department of a law enforcement crime lab, there’s only one gift you need to give. It’s inexpensive, thoughtful, and it really comes in handy. That one gift is the plastic, waterproof, roll-up keyboard.
There are a few varieties out there, and they’re carried by multiple vendors, including Adesso. They can easily be found in the keyboard aisles of MicroCenter, Fry’s, and maybe Best Buy if you’re lucky. They’re compact, easy to carry and indispensable when it comes to working on a crime scene. It takes awhile to get used to the typing on soft rubber keys, but once they get the hang of it, it’s pretty simple to switch back and forth between this and a regular keyboard.
Every once in awhile, your forensic investigator/significant other may come across a computer they have to administer, but there is no keyboard readily available; or there is a keyboard, but it hasn’t been fingerprinted yet. In some cases, the keyboard may be a biohazard if it’s covered in blood, mucus, or other bodily fluids. Maybe the original keyboard was damaged by gunfire, or maybe the cold body of a white collar criminal is sprawled across it waiting to be attended to by a coroner.
With a roll-up keyboard, the investigator can quickly plug in through a USB or PS/2 port and do whatever necessary things he or she needs to get done. They can issue a shutdown command, or stop that last desperate attempt of performing a DoD wipe of a hard drive. Once the work is done, they can roll up the keyboard into a biohazard bag if it needs to be cleaned up later.
The only feature that this keyboard lacks is a pass-through USB port to attach a cheap $2 mouse. But considering the other benefits of these keyboards I’m willing to overlook this. The average price I found for these in stores is roughly $20. Don’t you think the forensic investigator in your life is at least worth that much?