We are excited to bring you a new series of installments on this blog, titled, ‘Typing Through Time: Keyboard History.” This page will be published in a series of chapter installments, and begins with the Evolution of the Typewriter.
Typing Through Time is in the format of a research paper, and focuses strictly on the history of typing devices. Please comment with your input, thoughts, and/or anything you feel we left out. This is a draft that we will continuously be adding to and are open to revisions, so please comment your feedback.
Read our first chapter and let us know what you think. Visit regularly for more chapters and updates.
(Above Image: Remington’s First Sholes & Glidden Type-Writer. Image source: from the Early Office Museum)
You just got your Das Keyboard in the mail. Now what are you going to do with that old keyboard it’s replacing? Whatever you do, don’t throw it away! Many consumer electronics contain materials that can negatively impact the environment if just tossed in the garbage. Almost all electronics can be recycled and sometimes re-used. If neither of these is an option, there are plenty of places that will properly dispose of your equipment. So what can you do to responsibly dispose of your keyboard, and other electronics?
1. Go online to find the nearest recycling center.
Check EcoSquid. This is a great place to check for not only nearby places to drop off your equipment and local programs to recycle your gear, but also possible trade-ins or purchase opportunities you might not have known about. There are also several companies that offer discounts when you trade-in an older model, which can really help when upgrading your tech.
Earth 911 is a similar site that will help you find the nearest local recycling center for your electronic gear. They even have information on why you should recycle electronics and how they are recycled.
2. Donate functioning equipment.
Goodwill is a great local place to donate equipment. All donations are either refurbished or recycled. Either way you are helping put people to work and benefiting your community. You can find the nearest Goodwill on their site.
Check to see if there is a nearby World Computer Exchange. All donations are delivered to developing countries that desperately need them. You not only get to clear that old equipment out of your house, but also feel good about doing it!
3. Sell your equipment.
If it’s still functioning, sell it! Whether you decide to throw a garage sale and include your equipment in the sale, or use Craigslist or Ebay, you might find someone wanting to buy used equipment to save money. Either way you can help pay for that new keyboard by selling your used one. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
Being someone who went from being obvlivious of mechanical keyboards to a huge fan, I have to say that the only true way to understand what makes them special is to use one. Whether you physically seek one out to test for yourself or just dive in and buy one, you will see, hear, and feel the difference. Guaranteed.
Because there is a general lack of knowledge about mechanical keyboards, I felt it was important to write a guide about them. Not only are they made to last longer, but there are some distinct advantages in both typing speed and typing comfort. Learning about the different elements that go into making a keyboard will help you make a more educated decision when purchasing your next keyboard.
Check out our first installment of The Mechanical Keyboard Guide. The guide begins with a comparison of membrane and mechanical keyboards and includes a list of terminology so you’ll have a clear understanding of what goes into keyboards and makes different types really stand out.
We all want to type faster than our current words per minute (wpm). Whether it’s just to get your ideas into the computer quickly or increasing your reaction time in an online video game, how fast you type can have a serious impact on your success with both. But what do we need to do to improve our typing speed? While our keyboards can help you to type faster, and they do-I went from an average of 80wpm to about 98wpm in 3 weeks, there are so many other ways to build your typing speed outside of a keyboard. If you are looking for some great resources to get your fingers flying, I have dug up a list that will get you started.
I’m a firm believer of start at the beginning when learning a new skill. First things are first, If you don’t know where to place your fingers on the keyboard, you are never going to get up to speed with typing. So, one of the first resources I found, Custom Typing, will show you the proper finger placement on the keyboard. What’s really nice is that the finger placement page is interactive, allowing you to type and see what fingers press each key. Believe it or not, you can save serious time by learning proper finger placement on the keyboard.
If you want to continue learning about typing, including a review of finger placement, there are a few free online typing courses that will help you:
Typing Web is a free online typing tutor that will help you learn to type with interactive lessons. The lessons give you feedback on your accuracy and wpm. You can even get your typing speed certified to show employers and friends you aren’t exaggerating about your amazing typing speed.
Peter’s Online Typing Course offers a series of lessons to get you used to typing including several typing exercises.
Once you’ve learned how to properly type and thrown the hunt and peck out the door, practice is the best way to increase your typing speed. You can always practice by typing a daily journal, writing a blog, or whatever you want to type. However, there is another alternative and that is typing games.
One of my favorite is TyprX. You’ll get a blurb to type and compete against other typists or a computer bot. The site displays the highest speeds for the day on the front page and I am always working to put my name on this list. I love the competitive aspect of the game, whether I’m racing someone or attempting to beat one of my high scores.
Fun to Type has a good variety of typing games for practice as well. They are all very nicely designed and even the simplest of them will help improve your touch typing skills.
And finally, for those of you with children, the BBC has a typing program for kids called Dance Mat Typing. I’ve used it and I think it’s a pretty fun way for kids of all ages to learn typing. It’s a great interactive tutorial that teaches typing with animated characters and game-like exercises. Nowadays it pays to learn to type early as it is definitely a life-long skill.
Now that you’ve got several options for improving your typing skills, it’s time to learn touch typing and improve your typing speed! Not only will it improve your productivity, but you might enjoy your keyboard even more.
I’ve used the Das Keyboard with my MacBook Pro the past few weeks and it’s been a great experience. I had never used a mechanical keyboard before, and like most people, I thought a keyboard was just a keyboard. But after just the first week, the differences between the Das Keyboard and the other keyboards completely blew my mind. Whether it is the audible clicking sound as I type or the tactile feel of pressing each key, I really enjoy typing on it and have seen my typing speed significantly increase.
If you’ve hesitated because you own a Mac, there’s no need. Das Keyboards work fine on Macs. I haven’t had any problems with mine but I also took the time to set up my keyboard preferences correctly. On all PC keyboards the option and command buttons are inverted from the normal Apple layout, which can really mess you up if you aren’t ready for it. Luckily, it’s an easy process to fix this. Go to the system preferences, open keyboard preferences, and change which actions are set for the option and command keys to remap your modifier keys.
In order to make things easier, we created a video to show you step-by-step how to set these keys up in the Apple layout. These changes will ensure you get the greatest enjoyment out of your Das Keyboard.
Tomorrow, Tuesday June 28th, DasKeyboard will be sponsoring the Austin Java Users Group meeting. This event will take place at J. J. Pickle Research Center, in the Lil’ Tex Auditorium. Doors will open just after 6pm, and the Presentation will begin at 7pm.
DasKeyboard creator, founder of Metadot Corporation, and author of Google APP Engine Java and GWT Application Development, Daniel Guermeur, will be speaking about Google App Engine, and GWT. This an event not to miss.
Show up early for Pizza at 6:15. Also before the presentation, Das Keyboard will have a booth set up with tons of free swag (DasKeyboard T-Shirts, pens, magnets, stickers), as well as two TyprX stations- equipped with DasKeyboards to test your WPM speed and race against each other and the computer.
Check the Event’s Page on Facebook to RSVP. Admission is Free. See you tomorrow night!
Have you had problems using the insert key on your PC keyboard while typing in Microsoft Word? Thanks to Kirk M., our attention was brought to this insert key/Word issue with all PC keyboards (Das Keyboard included). Follow these instructions to enable your insert key.
How to Enable the Insert key in Microsoft Word:
- Go to file > word options > advanced > editing options
- Check the box that says, “use the Insert key to control overtype mode”
- Now the insert key works.
iPads are awesome. What isn’t so awesome? Typing for long periods of time on them (whether that’s in the form of writing long emails, blogging, or any form of writing and text-editing). As great as touch-screen technology is, there really is nothing quite like typing on an actual keyboard- for speed, efficiency and satisfaction. Typing on an iPad can be a total drag, especially if you are a fast keyboard typist, and don’t want to lose any of your typing speed.
Straight from our facebook fan page, Michael L. resolves this conundrum and creates the ultimate iPad typing experience:
“Das Keyboard on iPad. You only need to plug in one of the USB cables to the Apple Camera Connection kit. Works great for writing. Here I have Clean Writer open in a 1980s style (green text on black) with Das Keyboard connected. So retro yet so usable.”
Check out Michael’s Set-Up:
Michael, you have it going on! Thanks for the tip
Not all computers come equipped with all the ports needed to fully optimize the power of the Das Keyboard’s n-key rollover (aka NKRO: a user can press any number of keys and have them *all* registered by the computer, no matter how many keys are being held down at once). We recommend Syba’s SD-NECPS-2U2PS2 card to add two PS/s ports to your PC (for full n-key rollover), with the added bonus of two added USB 2.0 ports. Check out the pic below (taken straight from newegg.com, click this link to purchase). Happy gaming.