Das Keyboard needs your vote to become LifeHacker’s Best Mechanical Keyboard!
As one of LifeHacker’s “Five Best Mechanical Keyboards,” Das Keyboard stands up against some of the industry’s most recognizable brands to become the ultimate “best.”
This week we’re pumped to have our first guest post from Jerry Berg, known to many as Barnacules Nerdgasm on YouTube. As a Das Keyboard user and fan, Jerry’s here to share his insight on the 3D printing trend…and cookies. Keep reading for the full story…
My name is Jerry (aka. Barnacules) and I produce Barnacules Nerdgasm on YouTube (http://barnnerd.com). I am about as nerdy and geeky as they come and have a huge passion for all things technology. A few years ago I discovered 3D printing through a series of YouTube videos showing how large corporations were rapidly prototyping parts using these giant machines costing hundreds of thousands of dollars and it amazed me. It was like seeing a Star Trek replicator in real life only much slower.
The problem was these machines were way outside of the consumers hands due to cost, space and power requirements and I knew it was a pipe dream to think I could ever own one. About a year ago my friend Eric who works at Bungee studios as a graphics artist told me about a printer that he had purchased called the Ultimaker that fit on his desktop and extruded plastic filament into just about any shape imaginable and the best part is this printer could be owned for around $2000.
You could imagine after this discovery I flocked to Ultimakers website to order one up! I’ve printed literally hundreds of things both decorative to functional since I’ve had the printer and it still amazes me every time I power it on. Now in the last year 3D printing technology has come down in price to become even more affordable. I recently picked up a Robo3D printer (http://robo3dprinter.com) for ~$700 and it is not as fast as the Ultimaker and it might not be quite as high resolution but it does a great job and is proof that the demand for the technology is driving the price down.
Now as you already realize the holiday season is upon us! This means that it’s time for me take this opportunity to impress my wife with my 3D printing abilities to ensure she won’t fight me on future technology purchases. To accomplish this goal I am going to make her a Turkey shaped cookie cutter since she is an avid baker (and I love cookies!). To accomplish this goal I simply go to www.thingiverse.com, type in turkey, grab a model and go! I could design my own model but that would take time away from this awesome blog I’m writing.
It blows my mind you can simply download something and print it into physical existence. This is the second cookie cutter I’ve made for my wife and she gets excited now every time I fire up the 3D printer. And everyone knows the saying ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life’ and I can verify that statement is 100% true! The utility of having a 3D printer is unbound; if you can think it and 3D model it you can own it and can touch and feel it with your own hands. I don’t know about you but this makes me really excited to see what the future has in store for us if this type of technology exists today and can be wielded from your desktop.
I can still remember when I was a kid and dots matrix printers came out and I was fascinated that you could take text from the screen and apply to paper in the real world. I’m starting to understand how my Grandpa must have felt when the first computers came out. Kids will undoubtedly take this technology for granted someday but I’m honored to have seen it come into existence and look forward to seeing it evolve into the future!
Many of us know those relatives or friends who simply can’t stay away from their computer keyboards, whether they’re gaming, typing, coding, editing, or maybe even navigating because their mouse stopped working.
Why not get them a gift that acknowledges that constant usage (and possible obsession)? Here are 5 keyboard-themed Christmas gift ideas to help you get started.
As versatile as keyboards are, they can be a pain to travel with or use with something as small as a tablet.
Fortunately, some creative minds have invented virtual keyboards, which can be synced with many different types of devices. Virtual keyboards are one of the easiest ways to type when you’re on the go, as well.
There are lots of different options on the market, but the Magic Cube seems to be one of your better options for the keyboard user in your life who needs a portable yet reliable alternative to the typical full-sized model keyboard users are used to.
Sometimes gifts for your PC friends don’t have to be all digital or mechanical.
For example, this keyboard doormat is a homey but still awesomely nerdy touch for the friend or relative who likes to entertain and host LAN parties.
Yes, the letters are mixed up a bit, but that’s not the point — it’s a cool doormat. Keystrokes won’t matter here. If it’s still going to bug you, look for the doormats that are the simple “Enter” key.
Speaking of gifts that don’t need to be digital, here’s another great option for the computer lover in your life who also has a flair for interior design.
As seen on the show Two and a Half Men, these pillows make a blatant “I’m a keyboard user and proud of it” statement to all home visitors.
A few different Etsy sellers make these pillows, but they’re essentially the same idea. Just look around for the store/seller you prefer to purchase from.
So what happens to all those old keyboards that people throw away?
Well, sometimes the more craft-sy people like to use what they can out of these devices to make things like this keyboard picture frame.
Made from recycled keyboard keys, you know you’ll be doing the environment a favor as well as making your relative or friend excited about their unique gift they can proudly display next to their monitor.
Doesn’t it seem like keyboards would be easier to deal with if they were on your pants?
No? Well, the company Niewe Heren disagrees. They’ve created a set of denim jeans with a full keyboard, speakers, and wireless mouse embedded into the jean’s structure, topped off with orange stitching to mimic the style of circuit boards.
If you want these pants for future holiday gifts, make sure to contact the company as an official release date hasn’t been announced yet.
These Christmas gift ideas should help you get started when you’re searching for that perfect “something” for the keyboard user (read: enthusiast) in your life.
Oh, and if this relative or friend happens to be of the hipster type, you could consider this 1960s-style typewriter that’s USB-enabled and hooks up to your computer. Which… is pretty awesome even if you’re not a hipster.
Did you have an early morning at the mall? We want to make sure you don’t forget about the deal that doesn’t require you to brave the traffic or the crowds.
From right now until 11:59pm on Monday, December 2, our Clicky Experience and Soft Tactile Experience Model S Professional keyboards are available at a special price of $119.
The Das Keyboard Model S Professional provides an awesome tactile feel with audio feedback. It sports a modern glossy look along with media functions and other useful features.
Love to hear a satisfying click click while you type? Check out the Clicky Experience. Need something to match your quiet working environment? The Soft Tactile Experience is the keyboard for you.
Now’s the time to purchase a Das Keyboard and save! Shop now on our website.
With Thanksgiving this week, our U.S. fans are preparing to celebrate the holiday with friends and family. Your email inbox is full of communications you’ve typed back and forth with them just trying to figure out the plans.
But have you ever stopped to think that at the time of the first Thanksgiving, there were no keyboards?
That’s right – those devices you’re so reliant on for communication in this modern era didn’t even exist in the 1600s.
This isn’t shocking news to you, but you have to admit that you probably don’t think much about the history of keyboards and writing devices when you’re pounding away on yours. So to help you gain a better appreciation for your ability to communicate quickly and efficiently, here’s a brief glimpse into the history of writing devices in the era of the first Thanksgiving.
It All Starts With Bird Feathers…
In the early 1600s, inventors were going crazy with cool new gadgets. An Italian physicist named Evangelista Torricelli was developing the barometer, Hans Lippershey invented the first telescope, and some Dutch eyeglass makers invented the microscope.
Even though technology was developing all around these creators, their writing devices were nothing more than a quill pen and paper. All their notes were jotted down with bird feathers cut to the right shape and size that were then dipped in ink.
These and many other writers had to live with bird feather quills for many years. Typewriters weren’t invented until the early 1700s, and metal pens not until the early 1800s.
But don’t think that quills were worthless instruments; the “tech” of quill pens was pretty impressive.
There’s Power in the Pen
Quill pens dominated writing history for over 1000 years. They were generally made from primary wing feathers whenever possible because they were the strongest, especially if taken from a live animal.
Though some people believe that the left-wing feathers were desired because they didn’t block the sight-line of a left-handed writer, this is thought to be a myth as quill pens weren’t sold as “left” or “right-handed.” They were just sold by their length and type of bird feather.
Goose feathers were most common, but swan was more desirable (and more expensive) for making larger lettering. Quill users also discovered that crow’s feathers worked well in creating fine lines, followed by feathers from eagle, owl, hawk, and turkey.
No matter what type of feather you used, though, the cutting process (known as “dressing”) was lengthy. Quill users needed a special knife to cut and shape the instruments and remove the barbs. Quills also needed sharpening when they got dull.
Despite their problems, quills actually reached higher popularity in the 1600s (the time of the first Thanksgiving) because writing was starting to use less print and more calligraphy-style scripts, promoted by the “writing masters” of the day. Nowadays, you can just select a font in your word processor and type away!
It may seem silly to be thankful for your keyboard this holiday season, but it’s preferable to cutting, de-barbing, and sharpening a quill all the time, isn’t it?
Want to buy a shiny new Das Keyboard for someone you love this holiday season? Or, are you just hoping to increase your productivity and PC gaming power by buying a new Das Keyboard for yourself? (We’re okay with that too!)
No matter why you’re looking to buy a Das Keyboard, we’re sure you’ll be a fan of our upcoming promotion.
From 12:00am Friday, November 29 to 11:59pm on Monday, December 2, we will offer our Clicky Experience and Soft Tactile Experience Model S Professional keyboards at a special price of $119.
The Das Keyboard Model S Professional sports best-in-class, German-engineered mechanical gold-plated key switches that provide outstanding tactile and audio feedback combined with a modern glossy look, media functions and other useful features.
Crave a satisfying click click while typing? Check out the Clicky Experience. Want a little more solitude in your day? The Soft Tactile Experience is for you.
So mark your calendar and be sure to take advantage of this deal while it lasts!
In our deepest of hearts, we gamers have always known that video games can’t be as bad as society’s made them out to be.
And now we have scientific proof to back us up.
Several studies in the last few years have shown that the benefits of video games have a greater positive impact on the development of the mind than previously thought. Researchers say that playing games could make you smarter than if you didn’t play them at all.
Video Games Help Teach Us
“Video game brain training has the same effect as reading a book or riding a bike,” writes Dina Spector. “When the brain is learning, thousands of new connections are being formed. The addition of a reward system motivates players to continuously improve their skills.”
And video games definitely improve learning skills. In a talk at TEDxKids in Brussels, Gabe Zichermann told the story of Ananth Pai, a Minneapolis-based educator who replaced the regular curriculum in one classroom at White Bear Lake Elementary School with his own, custom-made, video game-based curriculum. The games were both individually and socially-based, and focused on teaching the students math, English, science, etc.
After only 18 weeks, the students in Pai’s classroom went from a below-third grade level in reading and math to a mid-fourth grade level. Zichermann said Pai’s students described learning as “fun” and “social.”
This just goes to show that learning can be done through the right educational video games.
They Also Improve Our Mental Functions
In another study published in the August 2013 issue of PloS One proved that certain types of video games can definitely make you a more flexible thinker (many experts assume that if you’re able to deal with lots of information at once, you’re more likely to be a smart, out-of-the-box person).
The researchers had one group of participants play a simple version of StarCraft, another group playing a complex version, and another group playing the SIMS (a life simulation game that doesn’t require nearly as much strategy as StarCraft). After the groups played their games for 40 hours, they were given a series of cognitive flexibility, visual tracking, and task-swapping tests.
Though there was no significant improvement in the latter two tests, the researchers found that the StarCraft players (particularly the ones playing the complex version of the game) retained more information and scored higher on the flexibility tests than the group playing SIMS.
This study suggests that if you want to get smarter, you better start playing more strategy-based games.
Many of these studies point out that other factors come into play when dealing with video games, like the amount of time someone puts into a game or their predisposition to violence, which can obviously sway results.
But the overall takeaway is that more educational, strategy-based games will help exercise the average gamer’s brain in positive ways. So if all you’re playing is Call of Duty, you may want to turn on your computer and pump out a few League of Legends games if you want to get smarter!
If you’ve never stopped to think about how often your fingers touch your keyboard every day, do it now.
Did you think about it? Good! Were you surprised by how often you touch those keys? Yeah, it’s pretty crazy.
Now imagine how much time you lose when you aren’t typing quickly enough.
Time is a precious commodity for many people, and if typing slow is a problem that you know wastes your valuable time, you need to learn to improve your speed. Here are a few key ways you can train your brain and fingers to type faster and become the master of your keyboard.
Pay Attention to Physical Setup
The first step in learning how to type faster is understanding your body and how it relates to your work space. The fancy term for this idea is ergonomics, and it’s becoming more of a priority for people who want to maximize their computer skills while also keeping their bodies properly cared for.
So what’s the big deal with making sure you sit up straight, keep your shoulders back, and pay attention to your wrist posture? These things all effect your ability to type faster and effortlessly.
Slumping and hunching screw up your back and shoulders, and letting your wrists fall over the edge of a desk will make them ache. You’ll be focusing more on how your body hurts than on your typing, and you’ll be more likely to make mistakes and lose productive time.
Make sure you’re following all proper ergonomic practices when you type. Purchase a comfortable chair that fits your body and a desk that lets your forearms rest at a comfortable 90-degree angle from your body when your fingers are on your keyboard.
And of course, make sure you get a quality keyboard (that one’s a given). You want one with keys that feel easy to press so you’re able to focus on your typing instead of the stickiness of the keys.
Learn Your Way Around the Keys
Once you’ve got your setup configured, start paying attention to the keys themselves.
This is because one of the most common issues with people who type slowly is that they’re not used to where the keys are or keep looking at the symbols instead of the screen. It’s like when you’re trying to learn a second language, and you can’t speak or read a sentence without having to reference a bilingual dictionary.
In the same sense, the sooner you can type without resorting to looking down, the better your typing speed will be. This is known as touch typing.
If you have problems looking at your keyboard while typing, try saying the names of the keys as you push them, which will help you memorize their location. Continue this practice as long as you need to before you’re typing without any vocalization at all. You can also…
Practice Your Butt Off
Honestly, practice is what will eventually help you start feeling more confident around the keyboard (just like practicing a second language more will make you less uncomfortable trying to speak it fluently).
You should set speed goals for yourself by the end of a few months or a year of practice. Pull up a blank word document every day and simply write for 5-10 minutes without stopping. Don’t worry about errors – they’ll become fewer and farther apart the more you practice.
You can also look into typing tests and programs that are offered online (Metadot has a great typing app for you, especially if you like racing competitions!).
Typing faster can be achieved in any number of ways, and these are of course just a few suggestions to get you started. Have you found other tactics that have helped you type faster?
Research from the experts at Harvard Health Publications states that expressing gratitude relieves stress and increases productivity. But with a busy lifestyle made even more hectic as the holiday season approaches, how do you find time to give thanks and get stuff done?
The Das Keyboard team compiled their top tips for giving thanks this season – all without leaving your keyboard. Check out the full list below, and tell us your ideas in the comments!
1. Make a list.
There’s nothing that excites the Das Keyboard community more than typing up a to do list (except maybe completing items on said list). We recommend starting off the holiday season by simply making a list of everything you’re thankful for this year. What are you glad to
2. Deliver a small gift.
From gifting coffee through Facebook to simply ordering a present on Amazon, picking out “thank you” gifts is one of the easiest things to do online. Even a $5 purchase can make someone’s day.
3. Send a quick note.
Never underestimate the power of thought. Show someone you care by shooting them a quick email, text or tweet to say “thanks.” Make thanking people from your computer a weekly practice, and we’re sure it will add value to your life.
4. Share on social media.
Plenty of people (we’re not naming names) use social media to complain or share bad news. How about tweeting out something you’re thankful for or even just a video or article that made you laugh? Share your thanks with the Das Keyboard team and hashtag #GiveThanks.
5. Donate to a good cause.
Don’t have time to volunteer or drop off donations to the charity of your choice this year? Give online. Websites like JustGive.org make it easy to choose a cause and spend what you can to support what you care about.
What other ways do you give thanks with your keyboard? Share with us in the comments or tweet at us with hashtag #GiveThanks. Happy typing!