Andrew Lekashman offers a brief pictorial a history of mechanical keyboards, from adding machines to dumb terminals to Symbolics monstrosities to modern blank-key hacker totems. There was a lot of ingenious tech left by the wayside on the way to finding the perfect click.
Pictured above is one not included in the roundup, a particularly beautiful Raytheon(!) model that can be bought on eBay for $300, then sent to me.
Lekashman's tastes are grittier:
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Ultrasonic I Plus
This keyboard is acoustic and operates entirely by vibration. This makes it more like a musical instrument than a workplace device. This is something that hasn’t been replicated in the keyboard market since 1982. The specific principle that allows it to work is called Time Difference Of Arrival (TDOA). This is like a form of echo-location to measure which key hits the acoustic transfer bar. Whenever a switch is pressed, a metal “slapper” strikes the bar, and transducers measure the sound wave produced, which differs based on the distance of the slapper from the transducer. Typing on the keyboard is delightfully clicky and pleasantly tactile.
Centron Corp. was good enough to prepare this helpful safety video for pre-helicopter parenting days. Oh, for the days when you'd send your kids out for a night of trick-or-treating at strangers' houses with nary an adult in sight, all the time wearing sight-restricting masks and dark clothes. Read the rest
Now there are three: Neil Gaiman's best-loved novels are being re-released with gorgeous pulp covers; back in August, it was American Gods, in a month you'll be able to marry it up with the stupendous Anansi Boys, to be followed in November by Neverwhere (painted by Robert E McGinnis, lettering by Todd Klein). (via Neil Gaiman)
RetroConnector (aka Charles Mangin) makes tiny Raspberry Pi cases in the form of mininature reproductions of Apple IIs, Lisas and Atari XLs—and more besides. The pitch is simple: "Connect your old Apple computer to new computers and peripherals. Outfit your desk with nostalgic miniatures." Read the rest
Igor Chubin's wttr.in shows the weather in non-proportional ASCII-art form. It's beautiful, clean and completely legible, unlike almost every modern weather service on the web. On my terminal (Windows, Chrome) the rendering of Lucida Sans Typewriter seems not quite perfect: a pixel too wide here and there. I think it's because of the unicode directional arrows for the wind, perhaps in combination with me browsing on Windows. Read the rest
Philippe Lang is looking for $140,863 from fellow Amiga enthusiasts, which he'll spend producing a run of new cases for Amiga (and Amiga-alike) computers, in 12 colors of UV-resistant plastic. Read the rest
Colonel Steve Austin nearly died in a fiery space accident. The Office of Scientific Intelligence rebuilt him better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster.
Online clothing boutique Shinesty wants you to Shine On. Their mission is "to bring you the most outlandish collection of clothing the world has ever seen", and they deliver. Read the rest