The Qwerkywriter: a delightful Bluetooth keyboard based on a manual typewriter


I blogged the announcement of the Qwerkywriter more than a year ago, when the company was retooling from its successful kickstarter to full retail production. I've had one of the production models in my office for a couple of months now and I've been very impressed! (I wrote this review on it). Read the rest

Auctioning off a Datamancer keyboard to benefit his family

Thomas sez, "I don't just want to give condolences to my friend's family. I want to do as much actual good as I can. I am auctioning off this signed and dated Datamancer keyboard. Sadly, there will not be more like this ever again. If you have ever thought that you just have to have one, this is your chance. Help keep his legacy alive. Every penny is going to his family. I have contacted them directly to ensure this is done with good grace and honor toward his name."

Datamancer Barrister Brass Steampunk Keyboard

See also: RIP, Richard "Datamancer" Nagy Read the rest

RIP, Richard "Datamancer" Nagy

Very sad news today: Steampunk pioneer and virtuoso maker Richard "Datamancer" Nagy has died, apparently in a car accident in California. Richard's work was nothing short of spectacular (we'd featured it repeatedly over many years) and he was especially known for his keyboards (I'm privileged to own one). Richard was kind, a good friend to many, and gave generously of his time to mentor and support his fellow artists, many of whom came to steampunk through their exposure to Richard's work.

The world is a much, much poorer place without Richard in it. Details about Richard's final arrangements are still sketchy, but I will post as they become available, as well as any information about supporting his family and any nominated charities for memorial donations. Read the rest

Steampunk PC from Datamancer

Datamancer is selling an astounding steampunk PC on eBay (starting bid: $14K), whose every detail is awesome in every day, from the fool-the-eye case that appears to be full of brassworks to the brass keyboard to the mouse made from a telegraph clacker. Read the rest

Gift Guide 2012

Welcome to this year's Boing Boing Gift Guide, a piling-high of our most loved stuff from 2012 and beyond. There are books, comics, games, gadgets and much else besides: click the categories at the top to filter what you're most interested in—and add your suggestions and links in the comments.

Datamancer modernizes the steampunk laptop

Datamancer has finally built an up-to-date laptop to go with his legendary steampunk keyboards. It looks like a Victorian music box, but runs like a kick-ass gamer laptop.

We are currently filling orders on the first small batch of laptops, but will be opening up another batch soon. Please subscribe to the out-of-stock notification below to be alerted as to their availability. This exquisitely handcrafted, limited edition laptop features a full-wood chassis, physically-engraved, lacquered brass keys, semi-precious gems that act as LED indicator lights, and a beautiful lid design with a gold foil map (other customizations available). It is the second revision of the ever-famous Datamancer Steampunk Laptop.

This laptop is made to be as functional as it is attractive, using an Asus gaming laptop at its heart with an Intel I7 2670QM processor, NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 555M graphics, 8 Gigs of DDR3 RAM, a glossy 17.3" Full HD (1920x1080) screen, and a Super-multi DVD drive.

Datamancer Victorian Laptop Read the rest

Datamancer's Seafarer keyboard: brassy, nautical steampunk confection

The latest Datamancer keyboard is the Seafarer:

Coming Soon! We recently decided to try our hands at some brass-casting and this is the first result, "The Seafarer", an intensely ornate, nautically-themed keyboard with a worn-in, weather-beaten aesthetic. It features a gold foil map faceplate, protected by thick acrylic, spiral cut rods, and engraved gold metallic keys.

We plan to make several more cast brass designs in the near future, so feel free to join the mailing list to stay informed of their availability.

The Seafarer Keyboard Read the rest

Datamancer accepting steampunk laptop pre-orders

Crummet sez, "Datamancer, aka Richard Nagy, is offering his most primo steampunk laptops for sale, finally! A little pricey ($5500) but hey! Steampunk laptop!"

Datamancer is one of the most skilled, detail-focused steampunk makers out there; I have one of his famous keyboards, which I love to pieces. This looks like a smashing laptop indeed.

These new versions will be better and faster than my original prototype, featuring cutting-edge internal components capable of running any of today's games and other software. They will also be much lighter and slimmer, so as to actually still be "portable" and as convenient as a standard laptop, and have a much more refined and professional design while retaining the elegant Victorian styling of my other work. Several customizations will be available including a few different options for the design on the LCD lid including clockworks as seen on the original (except these will be semi-functional and spin), recessed gold foil maps, brass plates with a variety of designs engraved or photo-etched into them, and any other ideas I can think up along the way. I also plan to include a key-shaped USB flash drive with every laptop that will also open a brass lock on each machine. Why not add a little analog security to your digital device? You will also have several options as to the color of the wood stain from light oak to a dark red mahagony and anywhere in-between as well as key fonts, metals, LED colors and styles, etc, etc.
Read the rest

Streamlined Deco keyboard

Datamancer's latest bespoke keyboard is a departure from his customary (and beautiful) steampunk motif: this one revisits his work on cool, streamlined Art Deco models.

The "New Yorker" (Thanks, Richard!)  Art Deco keyboard - Boing Boing Scrabble-tile keyboard - Boing Boing Steampunk keyboard from Datamancer - Boing Boing The Alchemist Keyboard - Boing Boing Writers: Clarion wants your dead keyboard! - Boing Boing The Ergonomic Steampunk Keyboard - Boing Boing Read the rest

Turn your keyboard to Lego with decal

Etsy seller Openandclose has made a keyboard decal that turn your laptop's keyboard into Lego bricks.

Lego Style MacBook Keyboard Decor Decal Sticker Previously:Medical transcriptionist melts keyboard with fingertips Steampunk keyboard from Datamancer Viscous keyboard-cleaning goop Rii Mini Wireless Keyboard The Alchemist Keyboard Writers: Clarion wants your dead keyboard! Bag made out of a keyboard Read the rest

Writers: Clarion wants your dead keyboard!

Are you a pro sf/f/h writer? The Clarion Foundation, the 501(c)3 charity that oversees the original Clarion workshop wants your keyboard!

Like all nonprofits, we're always in fundraising mode, and to that end, I have a curious, easy-to-fulfil request for you for something that we're pretty excited about.

WHAT I'D LIKE FROM YOU IS AN OLD, BROKEN-DOWN KEYBOARD, from a desktop, laptop or even a typewriter. I'm guessing that you're like me and can't bring yourself to throw out your old keyboards even after they start sticking, lose keys, and are replaced by modern ones.

We're trying to get as many as 101 old keyboards from genre writers, and then we are going to send keys from each to Datamancer, a talented steampunk hardware hacker who builds beautiful retrofuturistic keyboards that normally retail for about $1000-$1500 (and he sells them as fast as he can build 'em!). Datamancer is going to build us a keyboard that we are going to auction off as the most totemic artefact in science fiction history, a keyboard whose keys have been used, in aggregate, to write hundreds of beloved novels, thousands of classic stories. A keyboard whose products have won Hugos and Nebulas by the bushel.

The keyboard will be auctioned off with a hand-bound book listing all the works written on its keys (so in addition to the keyboard, we'd like you to recall, as best as you can, which books, stories, teleplays, essays, etc you wrote on it).

Additionally, Catherine Cheek -- a talented visual artist who is also a Clarion alum and volunteer -- will be making a variety of sculptures and objets from the remaining keys, all to be auctioned. Read the rest

The Alchemist Keyboard

A beautiful "Alchemist" keyboard mod found at Datamancer. "The symbols for Earth, Air, Fire and Water are found on the arrow keys and the number pad uses stylized Roman numerals. The Enter and Shift keys are labeled with the symbols for Alchemical processes like mixing, stirring, combining..." (thanks, Pipenta!) Read the rest

Working steampunk firearms

Jamie sez, "Denver artist Jonathan Alberico has created two fully functional steam punk guns. Black Betty, a dual barrel pistol uses flash paper to shoot fire balls. Doris is a beastly air cannon that fires bouncey ball at high enough speeds to rip through boxes and even bounce back and catch the videographer in the hip! Both pieces have corresponding youtube clips of them in action."

functional Steampunk rifle

functional Steampunk gun 1

(Thanks, Jamie!) Previously:Steampunk Nerf guns - Boing Boing Steampunk Magazine #2 - Boing Boing Mass-produced gun as olde worlde heirloom - Boing Boing Steampunk Star Wars modded action figures -- woah! - Boing Boing Steampunk Justice League costumes - Boing Boing Steampunk PC from Datamancer: The Archbishop - Boing Boing Steampunk leather mask with a breathing tube beard Boing Boing Read the rest

Scrabble-tile keyboard

Steampunk keyboard maker Datamancer has switched it up with this fabulous keyboard capped with Scrabble keys:
This keyboard was commissioned by a couple of friends of mine from back east (NJ) who are avid Scrabble players. Most of the keys are made from real Scrabble tiles that were all hand-beveled (truly an exercise in patience/masochism!) and built onto a USB, clicky, mechanical-switch keyboard. This keyboard was going into a Mac environment so I decided to use brushed aluminum for the casing and round all of the corners to keep with the sleek, simple Macintosh styling. Near the end of the build, I decided that the keyboard looked a little too minimalist so I added some silver hardware and a seam to put a slightly industrialized twist on the design.
The Scrabble Keyboard (via Make)

Previously:Steampunk PC from Datamancer: The Archbishop - Boing Boing Steampunk keyboard from Datamancer - Boing Boing Datamancer's steampunk laptop - Boing Boing Steampunk maker Datamancer video - Boing Boing Read the rest

Steampunk gallery show in the Hamptons

Tor's award-winning art director Irene Gallo's been to the steampunk gallery show in the Hamptons (which sports work by some of my favorite steampunk makers, including Jake von Slatt, Roger Wood and Datamancer) and come back wiht a short and glowing review:
My favorite work was from clockmaker Eric Freitas. He took the interior mechanisms of the clocks and morphed them into organic shapes–metallic twigs, almost-leaves, and shapes reminiscent of insect exoskeletons. Stunning. They evoke both decay and growth:
Steampunk in the Hamptons, Steampunk Art And Design Makes Hamptons Debut Read the rest

Steampunk PC from Datamancer: The Archbishop

Steampunk maker Datamancer has just unveiled his latest, a PC called "The Archbishop" that knocked my socks off. I have one of Datamancer's steampunk keyboards at my office and it's just fantastic -- a clicky-clacky pleasure to write on.
This case was rushed and completed just in time to be seen at the huge upcoming Steampunk art show at the Hamptons Antique Galleries at 2546 Montauk Highway in Bridgehampton, NY from August 16 through August 24. It will be for sale at the show but if it doesn't find a new owner there, it will be posted on ebay probably near the beginning of September. Also featured there will be many of my talented steampunk colleagues including Art Donovan, Jake von Slatt, Bethany Peters, Sam van Olffen, Steve Erenberg, Tatjana van Vark, Jos De Vink, I-Wei Huang ("Crab-fu"), Hunter Herrick, Eric Freitas, and Suzanne R. Forbes (who made the lovely portrait of Jake von Slatt and I at the Bay Area Maker Faire as well as a painting to benefit the EFF that featured my Steampunk Laptop and Jake's monitor in the background)
"The Archbishop" Computer Read the rest

Steampunk keyboard from Datamancer

When I got back from my book tour earlier this month, I was delighted to discover that the handmade steampunk keyboard I'd ordered from Datamancer had arrived. I unpacked and connected it right away and I've been using it ever since, every day, here in my office. The action is great, a little like well-oiled manual, a little like one of the classic indestructible IBM clacky sysadmin keyboards. The keys are shaped like tombstones (I got to specify that) and the three little crystalline lamps on the top right corner light up for power, caps-lock and numlock. There are plenty of gracenotes, too -- like the heavy metallic keyboard cable and the legend "Aether" on the spacebar. It wasn't cheap, and it took eight weeks to arrive, but man, was it worth it. Link, Link to pictures of my keyboard in situ Read the rest

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