Pah! Letters are for wimps!

This is great: Das Keyboard

It’s a keyboard where they haven’t printed any of the letters on it. Sounds stupid? Well, it’s not as daft as you might think. The mind can learn to type incredibly well without looking at the keys, and this keyboard forces you to do that.

I was in the US a few years ago, staying at the Green Tortoise hostel in San Francisco. It’s a very interesting building in a good location, but the people behind the desk in the hostel seemed to believe that they were too good for the job and gave terrible service, they’ve most likely graduated by now so it’s probably fine again. I figure that if you’re going to take a job then you’ve got to be prepared to do it, rather than sneer when given a reasonable request such as ‘my luggage was lost by the airline three days ago, can you please let me know as soon as it arrives’. Anyway…

I was in the US a few years ago, staying at the Green Tortoise hostel in San Francisco, and they had free internet access there, however, one of the keyboards had been in service for so many years that all the print had worn off of it. That was some seriously old hardware! I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to use it, but I found that if I just made sure to continue staring at the screen then my fingers would naturally find the key that they were looking for. It was quite and odd feeling really!

So, if you fancy showing off at the next LAN party you go to, then this is the keyboard for you. If you like that sort of thing. And it’s probably very 1337. If you like that sort of thing.

5 thoughts on “Pah! Letters are for wimps!”

  1. Best way to try it is without a keyboard at all. Sit at a table or something, hold your hands as they would be if they were above a keyboard, and think a word. If you’re like me, your fingers will try to press the right keys in the right order…

  2. i was going to mention air-keyboard, but sean appears to have got here first… i can type pretty much anything, at full speed, in the air. importantly, touch typing allows you to look at the screen, so if you do make mistakes you know immediately.

    of course, the true 1337 g33k will buy one of these, then set it to dvorak. (which i learnt, for pain, but don’t use because i can’t be assed to get fast with it)

    i was mostly impressed by the ‘5 different levels of force’!

  3. Hello stranger!

    I got draggen into joining here kind of cos of this post (and also since I’ve spent too long shutting out the world in the name of freelancing and need to talk to people again)

    Was chatting about this with my brother recently and be pointed out it’s nothing new – about 10 years ago he sprayed a keyboard black to make it look cool and never got round to painting on the letters – the rest of the world just caught up 😉

    (Mind you, my brother is kind of more 1337 then most

  4. Hey Lilith. Yep, freelancing can really mess up your social skills!

    Spraying the board black sounds fun, but my girlfriend would kill me! She’s not as confident on the keyboard as I am so it would take her ages to type anything. Then again, maybe she’d learn to type faster…

  5. I got really annoyed whn in spain last year- obviously they didn’t have the qwerty keyboards, but also because I was in an internet cafe in the Thai part of Madrid, it also had Thai keys on the board.
    Needless to say, there were some very confused recipients of my e-mails…

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