I used to have a Compaq keyboard with nothing written on it. It was useful for learning to touch type. :)
PC buyers have become used to having to do most of the donkey work when it comes to setting up their machines, but Hewlett Packard has gone one better by supplying keyboards that are not just wireless, but letter-less and digit-less too. Just look at these pics from Reg reader Ian who said he has just received this pristine, …
Think computers on the bars in pubs. The biggest hazard facing a mechanical keyboard is getting a pint of beer spilt over it. Waterproof keyboards are essential in the hospitality environment. Here, before flat membrane type keyboards came out we used to have plastic films which covered the entire keyboard, but evidently they did it differently over there.
(The whole hospitality universe has gone touch-screen since.)
It's a pity that the seller doesn't ship to the US. Probably wouldn't be cheap even if they did.
(Yes, there probably is someone in the US with similar keyboards. I can't be really be bothered to look--they're no Model M. Yes, I've got a couple of similar ones with letters on.)
Now if someone's got a letter-less Model M... (and no, I don't mean "pull all the keycaps off" - it doesn't feel the same if you do)
... it's HP's attempt at a budget keyboard with dynamic OLED keytops. It needs to be plugged in.
And then fitted with OLED keytops at a rumoured $10 a pop (but only if there's any OLED bits left after Samsung and Apple have finished hogging them). For now they'll be shipping a set of stickers of what the OLED screens will show to complete the item. It's a bit awkward changing them all to the CAPS stickers every time someone presses shift, and then back again...
They do have budget pricing on their side though - Art Lebedev's Optimus Maximus keyboard costs a tiny bit more ...
Yeah, but with piano keys, the same key always make the same sound.
With keyboards, you notice how the different keys jump around all over the place depending on who's PC you use, and which keyboard they have. I especially hate having to hunt around for the @ and \ symbols and then give up and type their ASCII codes instead.
Also the collection of ´ different ` apostrophe ' symbols that you get from different keyboards and the fact that nothing appears until you press another key makes me extra happy.
While some computer users are inclined to pay a premium for keyboards with blank keys - Fujitsu's Happy Hacking Keyboard is an example - it certainly is true that the typical computer user would find the absence of legends on the keys to be an unpleasant surprise.
If HP can get their deliveries sorted out, though, offering blank keyboards as an option would be a way to make extra money.
Reminds me of some of the aftermarket keyboards that were sold for the ZX Spectrum and the ZX81. The keyboard ribbon connectors were the same for both machines - so some manufacturers used to ship keyboards with blank keys and two sets of key-cap stickers in the box for the user to apply (to suit the different ZX-Basic keyword layouts of the two machines).
PFU do a Happy Hacking keyboard with blank keytops. The idea being that you learn touch typing quicker and can spend your time looking at the screen rather than the keyboard. It also makes switching keymaps a breeze.
I love my hhkb. Sadly I have to say I bottled out at the thought of blank keytops...
Back in the gold old days of DOS, corruptions in the autoexec.bat and config.sys files were always re-setting the keyboard to the default US layout. Trying to recover was not easy as the : and / keys were those which shifted between US and UK keyboards (and Norway - where I happened to be working at the time). I got quite good at closing my eyes and finding them again.
I still hate traveling to West Africa though where all the pubic keyboards have french layout - I have even seen these in supposedly anglophone countries - maybe they are cheaper?
(can we have an old fogey icon please?)
For the problem you describe I actually memorized most of the non-graphic alt codes. At one point in the 80's I had a keyboard without some essential characters (<|>) and playing Hack was next to impossible without the "stairway keys"... (and the scandinavian letters åöä could only be typed thru alt codes as well when working with US layout to which DOS always defaults and keyb.exe wasn't always there)
Here in Canada, HP only sells their PCs and laptops with their new "Canadian" keyboard, which is a mix-n-match of Euro and French Canadian... I'm sure someone likes it, but here in the English speaking part of Canada, most of us are used to US keyboards, because that's what every mfg has shipped forever. Very hard to get used to. Had to order a US keyboard for my laptop off eBay.
My guess is HP ran out of ink during the manufacturing process and couldn't afford a new cartridge. If only they hadn't installed that micro-chip in the print head...
Or maybe an employee was given the objective to drive down email customer complaints for new builds.
PS Where's the I, T, <, etc ? Oh, I see.
This keyboard's perfect for all those security based tasks...PGP enhanced - I want one....
If the operator can't make out the keys, then imagine the jumble a keylogger will get at the other end. I'm sure the average BOFH would love to deploy these in the enterprise
On a Piano the "D" key is always next to the "C#" key -- regardless of intonation and if you drop-tune a semitone, for example, you would probably still use the same key for the same note on the stave as would the rest of the musicians.
The only way it could be the same is if you made the black keys a full tone after the white ones, made a note appear to the right of a lower one or deliberately tuned the whole piano up or down a tone or so to change the range of notes available -- but the last would still cause almost anyone to be a little confused and is hardly "normal", though it's still just playing one note to the right rather than hitting a key in a completely different location every so often during a piece.
Ever tried to buy a Ukrainian keyboard in the UK?
He carefully painted the tops of all the letter keys black. Then he equally carefully relabelled them in Ukrainian.
Someone should sell a blank keyboard with stick-on labelling for every known keyboard variant in the world. Also Klingon and Elvish.
Otherwise this is very cool keyboard. Only logitech makes decent keyboard with good layout anymore. I seriously hate those over sized return key and extremely small "less used keys".
I don't need to look at the keyboard, so I have no problem with or without the print.
I set up a new computer once which had two 'e' keys. It was where the 't' key was. I never noticed it until a student pointed it out to me.
Been touch typing for so long I never noticed it.......
Still, shame I couldn't have found a few of those and put them in the computer lab for April 1st.... Would have confused more than a few students (I admit, that isn't exactly hard).....
my local council used when they replied to an email.
The touch typist missed by 1 (ie was letter out to the right) eg if they wanted an 'r' they typed 't' - when I realised that I decoded it quick smart - but was still mystified as the reply was in bureaucratese instead of english
As I needed a USB keyboard and the only one I had at that time was a Dutch layout one I had been given, I fould that a quick slap of snopake let me write in the 'correct' letters with felt pen. The re-topping survived much more wear and tear than I expected. I really must learn to touch type properly.
PS I really would like a blank keyboard if one is going spare :-)
'"Good for touch typing, but the strangest thing was the double space bar as you can see in the pic. The left side is backspace, the right side is forward space. Takes a bit of getting used to..."
That keyboard would be rubbish for PC gamers.'
Actually they were awful for ordinary typing as well. Half the time you pressed space it would delete the previous character. There was some (long forgotten) hack to restore sanity.
It seems bizarre that this ever shipped. Presumably this feature was dreamt up by someone too senior to be told just how barking it was.
...took typing class, there were real mechanical typewriters with blank keyfaces.
We future exectutives were allowed to use them, but they were totally unusable.
To this day, 50+ years later, i can't keyboard in the dark.
In the other hand, most touch typists can't drink and type at the same time