The set consists of four green replacement keys—W, A, S, D—as well as a red Esc key, and is available for both the Ultimate and Professional versions of Das Keyboard’s highly acclaimed Model S mechanical keyboard. The W, A, S and D keys represent the most popular key configuration used to control a subject’s movement in computer games. Check it out:
One year and a half ago, I was looking for looking for a typing application we could use for our typing championship. There were few that I like and I approached their authors to try to buy them. Unfortunately their asking price was too high and we could not afford any. So I decided to develop my own: Typrx – Typing Races. I had to choose a highly scalable platform that minise - Google App Engine – which is the only platform that scales automatically in real time based on user load. Furthermore, I wanted to have a non-flash UI, so I selected Google Web Toolkit (GWT) which generates smooth Ajax UI based on Java code (crooked I know but so awesome: you work in Eclipse with all the Java debuging tools).
Making a real-time online multi-player typing game is not trivial to say the least. I was able to fight network and App Engine latency with some tricky time synchronizations. Other challenges were undertaken: datastore concurrent updates, large scale schema changes, overall UI responsiveness and so on and so on.
The result was awesome. Multi-player typing races are smooth. The typing championship when well and Sean Wrona won the crown. Little known fact: Sean did an unrecorded practice race topping 213 wpm with 100% accuracy. This is unreal.
Using GWT with App Engine has a steep learning curve even for experienced programmers. At that time, I wish there had been a book that would have explained how to build scalable apps like this. There was none. I had to discover all best practices by Googling, asking forums, and creating some myself after bumping into problems. I acquired valuable experience. I thought I could write that missing book. I contacted Amy, a friend and software wizard (after all she is a Stanford Computer Science Ph.D) and she came on board as a co-author. Packt publishing trusted us as first time writers and sent us a contract. And voila – we were on our way to spend depressing nights and weekends over the blank pages of a book that was not going to write itself alone…
After a year of hard labor it finally came out (post). Today, our book Google App Engine Java and GWT Application Development is now available on Amazon.
(Cross-posted article from Daniel Guermeur’s blog)
Daniel Levy from Sacramento decided to review the Das Keyboard Professional Clicky, i.e. our model with Cherry blue key switches. What is nice with this review is that Daniel also does his own photography and recorded a video that captured the sound of the mechanical key switches. Read Daniel’s review on ReviewStach.
Promotion ends on 11/29/10 11:00 AM.
Orders placed after 3pm (CST) from November 24 – November 28 will ship on Monday, November 29. Thank you for your interest in Das Keyboard, and we hope you have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!
When looking at old typewriters, you’ll notice the key for number one is missing.
It’s not because someone took it out or because it broke. Here is another one:
So did you find out why the one key is missing?
Here is the answer: the number one key was not implemented by design. Instead, the L key – l – in lowercase, was used in its lowercase form as a letter or a number, because a lowercase l looks like a one. That allowed manufacturers to save some space in the overcrowded area where hammers were located.
Andreas went through some “oops!” while reassembling his Ultimate keyboard after cleaning. He realized all keys are not the same shape – not talking about the space bar and return key here – but letters and numbers. Even though they have the same size, they don’t have the same angle of curvature. The angle of curvature makes fingers hit keys at the optimum angle of attack, limiting the impact pressure can have on the highly sensitive finger extremity. Fingers are fragile as some heavy Blackberry users know (Wired article: The Agony of ‘BlackBerry Thumb‘). That being said, Andreas shared his experience putting it all back together on his blog:
Google is about to release a feature that I am looking forward to: Gmail Priority Inbox. It is supposed to make important emails more visible in our overloaded inbox.
A few years ago we had lots of spam: the spam filter was born and saved us from insanity. Nowadays, email overload is the problem and hopefully Gmail Priority Inbox will help.
How does it work? It compares incoming emails to similar older ones and increases an ”interest” value based on the number of reads and replies. The highest ranking emails will wear a visual cue to make them stand out. There is probably a lot of Bayesian statistical computation going on as there is in spam filters, but I am just guessing here.
You can feel a renewed energy in the air with school just getting started, and we thought that it would be fun to get in the swing of things with a promotion; hence, Das Keyboard’s “Back to School Promotion.”
Receive a 24% discount plus free shipping on all models (ground only – US residents only).
Please note that the Model S Professional keyboard can now be ordered and will be shipped on September 20th. All other keyboard models are available to ship immediately.
Hurry the promotion ends on August 31 2010!
Click here to take advantage of the sale.