Das Keyboard

I'm pretty sure this isn't a hoax because it's possible to place an order for it. However, it still seems extremely odd to me. It's a keyboard marketed to 'ubergeeks' under the brand name 'Das Keyboard'. This is the part that gets me:

Das Keyboard is an enhanced 104-key USB PC keyboard equiped with 100% blank keys mounted on precision and individually weighted key switches... Since there is no key to look at when typing, your brain will quickly adapt and memorize the key positions and you will find yourself typing a lot faster with more accuracy in no time. It is amazing how slow typers almost double their speed and quick typers become blazing fast!

So it's basically a keyboard with all symbols removed from the keys. I can type over 100 wpm, and I don't normally look at the keys. But occasionally you need to. I would find it very annoying to never be able to look at them, and I find it hard to believe that anyone would want this as a feature.


Posted on Wed May 25, 2005


hooleon.com again
Posted by Splarka  on  Thu May 26, 2005  at  12:33 AM
This is very conceivable. Many years ago, never mind how many precisely, I remember seeing a whole classroom filled with typewriters that had no symbols on the keys. The reason of course was to teach typing. It's probably a good way to begin. Once you become proficient, then you could switch to a keyboard with symbols.
Posted by Captain Al  on  Thu May 26, 2005  at  12:46 AM
No, it's not a hoax. This isn't the first blank keyboard offered for sale. Actually, overlooking the starkness of the blank keys, it sounds like a pretty good keyboard; the individual keys have different strength springs beneath them to accomodate the strength of the fingers.

Whatever. It's pretty damn pricey for a friggin' KEYBOARD.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu May 26, 2005  at  01:52 AM
I had a friend who could touch type who deliberately blanked all his keys on his keyboard (just like this) to stop people from using his PC.
Worked like a charm - after a few minutes of trying to type an email on it I gave up in frustration, and I thought I could type.

As for price... well, this one looks nicer than his, but yeah, who would really pay that?

Posted by Bruce  on  Thu May 26, 2005  at  06:48 AM
I could understand the letter keys being blanked out. But all the other keys are also blanked out... all the ones which no touch typist ever uses and has no reason to memorize. For instance, you'd have to memorize where the volume keys are, and where are all the special function keys are. It would be pointless.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Thu May 26, 2005  at  07:46 AM
It reminds me of learning French without speaking English (immersion). I did horribly and was frustrated the entire four years.
Posted by Chadds Ford Prefect  on  Thu May 26, 2005  at  08:31 AM
Yeah, Bruce, that was going to be my argument: no one would use your computer. I think I'll just get a can of paint and blank out the keyboard I have now.
Posted by BugbearSloth  on  Thu May 26, 2005  at  09:26 AM
I am a senior programmer with masters in applied math and the single most useful course I ever took in school was the "C" I got in "secraterial typing" in high school. My mother said I should take it because I would have to write term papers in college. Sorry it's sexist, but there was only one other guy in the class. The classroom was full of typerwrites that had all blank keys. To be a good typist, you are not suppose to look at the keyboard or at the paper. You are only suppose to look at what you are copying. For the final the other guy busily copied the entire test page at a good speed. Only when he was finished did he look at the paper and notice that his hands had been offset one key to the right and it was all giberish. That is what the little bumps on the "F" and "J" keys are for, to let you tell by feel where your index finges go. I still can't type the numbers by touch alone.
Posted by Peter  on  Thu May 26, 2005  at  10:15 AM
I don't see what the big deal about typing is. Hell, I can close my eyes and type, like this, anh yj wirsd wokk xomw oit jidt dinw. No biggie. Oh, wait. Nevermind.
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Thu May 26, 2005  at  10:34 AM
If you're copying something that's one thing...of course you look at the original...But when you're just typing on a computer, you should be sitting so that you can see both your hands and the computer screen. Even if you're not looking directly at the keyboard, you can still see the placement of your hands. I hardly ever use the top row of #s keys, unless I'm making special characters like !@#$%^&*()...so I use the # pad at the right.

Then again, I don't really use the fingers that I'm sposed to when I type.
Posted by Maegan  on  Thu May 26, 2005  at  11:42 AM
Blank computer keys isn't the problem. It's the poor spelling and grammar that some of you need to worry about. I think some of you need a refresher course in rimedial spelling. I have a 5th grade speller available for sell. Come on, people, get with it.
Posted by booch  on  Thu May 26, 2005  at  12:58 PM
booch said:

"I think some of you need a refresher course in rimedial spelling."

Uh, that would be REMEDIAL spelling. Ah, the irony!
Posted by crankymediaguy  on  Thu May 26, 2005  at  02:16 PM
Ha! Well spotted, Cranky Media Guy! What's that saying from the Bible, "judge not lest ye be judged yourself"? And if you do judge, make certain you proofread. . .
Posted by Accipiter  on  Thu May 26, 2005  at  02:38 PM
I think that was his joke: "I have a fifth grade speller available for sell."
Posted by Chadds Ford Prefect  on  Thu May 26, 2005  at  02:51 PM
Did somebody mention the "volume keys"? Eh? I do a lot of typing myself, and I can envisage the cluster of symbol keys between the PLM column and the rightmost edge of the main key group being a problem; the [];'#,./ {}:@~<>? keys. Probably only if you're a computer programmer, or you're addicted to Everything2/Wikipedia-style websites where you have to use the square brackets as mark-up, and you'd get used to it - and besides, wouldn't a blank keyboard with strobing multi-coloured neon keys be even cooler than a jet-black version?
Posted by Ashley Pomeroy  on  Thu May 26, 2005  at  02:52 PM
Thank you, Chadds- your a geneus, my friend.
Posted by booch  on  Thu May 26, 2005  at  04:19 PM
I remember one of the characters from that old movie Hackers painting his keyboard totally white. Seems like a 1337 thing to do.
Posted by Citizen Premier  on  Thu May 26, 2005  at  07:25 PM
Accipiter said:

"Ha! Well spotted, Cranky Media Guy!"

It's what I do. It's who I am (a guy with WAY too much time on his hands.)
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Fri May 27, 2005  at  01:06 AM
Better yet, blank the keys on your Dvorak keyboard.
Posted by cvirtue  on  Fri May 27, 2005  at  12:25 PM
That's a querty good idea cvirtue!
Posted by Captain Al  on  Fri May 27, 2005  at  05:10 PM
Damn! There goes my spelling too. Should be "qwerty good idea".
Posted by Captain Al  on  Fri May 27, 2005  at  05:12 PM
It's a statistically proven fact that in 32% of posts regarding typing, the poster claims a typing speed of over 100WPM.
Posted by Gazzer  on  Sat May 28, 2005  at  03:39 AM
And your point is?
Posted by Smerk  on  Sat May 28, 2005  at  03:44 AM
It's called irony.
And the point of looking for the point is?
Posted by Gazzer  on  Sat May 28, 2005  at  04:09 AM
My question is, how do you possibly mistype "qwerty"?
Posted by student  on  Sat May 28, 2005  at  03:18 PM
You mistype it by applying great skill and years of painstaking training, Student.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Sat May 28, 2005  at  05:18 PM
Gazzer, it's called curiosity. What's your excuse?
Posted by Smerk  on  Sun May 29, 2005  at  08:10 PM
Booch says:
Blank computer keys isn't the problem.
I say:
Blank computer keys AREN'T the problem.
I think some of you need a refresher course in rimedial spelling.
B:I have a 5th grade speller available for sell.
I conclude:
(Disclaimer: typos here and there are nothing. Just make sure you correct them if you are going to criticize someone's spelling! Boy did I learn that the hard way...)
Posted by Electra  on  Mon May 30, 2005  at  06:35 PM
In the ancient bestseller, "Cheaper by the Dozen" (circa 1950?), the authors describe their father, efficiency expert Frank Gailbraith, teaching them to type with a typewriter that had blank white caps covering all the keys, so their attention wouldn't be distracted from touch typing. Based on the time frame of the memoir, this would have happened in about 1905-- 1915. So using blank keyboards is an old, though not necessarily popular, method to learn fast typing.
Posted by Big Gary C in Dallas  on  Wed Jun 01, 2005  at  05:57 AM
My mom taped over all the letter and number keys on our computer keyboard when I was a kid, and posted a picture of a keyboard on the wall next to the computer monitor. It was a painful way to learn how to type, but it worked.
Posted by d regina  on  Sun Jun 05, 2005  at  06:25 PM
Thank you, Chadds- your a geneus, my friend.
Posted by booch on Thu May 26, 2005 at 02:19 PM


Maybe you should call Chadds a genius.

if yoo wont too apoint yerself the spleling an grammer pollice yuo mite wnt to boockmark wwww.dictuniary.con
Posted by Noah Webster  on  Sun Jun 12, 2005  at  05:28 AM
"Thank you, Chadds- your a geneus, my friend."

Ha! So few words, yet so many errors! Don't need a GENIUS to point out that "you're" is spelled this way.
Posted by Dilshad  on  Thu Aug 18, 2005  at  03:11 PM
I wanted one of these just because I thought it was super-l33t. Then I found out that it's actually a Key Tronics E03600QUSUSBC, minus the letters and plus about $55.

I'm gonna get one of those and paint it. I've also heard acetone will simply strip off the letters.
Posted by Dan  on  Fri Aug 26, 2005  at  01:24 AM
Way back in the dark ages of the 1960's, before computers and electric typewritters, we were taught to type on typewritters with nothing written on the keys. We knew we had the home keys, by the bump we could feel on the F and the J keys. I was never better than 45 WPM, but my sister could do 75 wpm on a manual typewriter with her eyes closed. So I don't see these keyboards are being to ridiculous.
Hey, I can't look at the keyboard while I'm looking at the screan anyway -- the keys are not in range of my bifocals.
Posted by Jude  on  Sun Sep 04, 2005  at  02:57 AM
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