Solved: Mac Pro Losing Connection to USB Kinesis Keyboard

I've been having a frustrating problem lately. I use a Kinesis Advantage contoured keyboard and I love it. My current computer is a 2006 Mac Pro. The problem is that randomly the keyboard will cease to be recognized by the Mac. I wondered if the aging Mac was developing flaky USB controllers.

If I reboot the Mac (which I can do, since the mouse still works) everything is fine.

But a keyboard that randomly stops working is not a pleasant thing.

I plugged it into a USB hub instead of directly into the Mac. No dice. I brought in my Kinesis from home and swapped them. Same problem! Hmmm.

What would cause this to happen? For one thing, I noticed that whenever I burned a CD it would happen. Strange.

By careful observation, I then noticed that it usually happened when I got up from my desk. When I got back the keyboard would no longer work. Weird! So it wasn't really the CD burning, it was the getting up from my desk.

Finally it occurred to me that the problem was static electricity. When I sat back down at my desk, I discharged static electricity through the keyboard.

I took a grounding wrist strap and connected it from my desk to the radiator nearby.

Since then I have not had the dead keyboard problem at all. Yay!

Reference: Antistatic Desk Strip