A keyboard for geeks only

Tech Culture

So you think you're a good typist? Consider trying the new keyboard designed by programmer Daniel Guermeur. If you're alarmed by the fact that none of the keys are labeled, you may be closer to the hunt-and-peck category than to what Guermeur's Web site says is the ideal customer for the device: the "uber geek."

"If you are an elite programmer who can write sophisticated code under tight deadlines," the site says, "someone who makes impossible projects possible, or a silver Web surfer your colleagues turn to when they need IT advice: This keyboard is for you."

At the same time, the site says that the USB device, which is called "Das Keyboard," will help poor typists get better.

Another unusual feature: The keyboard was designed so that certain keys are more sensitive than others. The keys that typically get struck by the pinky finger, like the "a" and the "l," don't require as much force as those that get hit by the thumb, like the space bar.

The keyboard prompted chatter recently on "unofficial Apple blog" Tuaw.com, where some posters praise the idea of a keyboard that forces the typist to remember which key is which, and others disparage it.

"Nice idea, but why spend $80 on one of those when you could get a far cheaper standard USB keyboard and just paint over the keys?" one poster says.

Counters another: "I'm a dork for admitting this, but I'd buy one if it was white."

Priced at $79.95, the keyboard is compatible with Windows, Macintosh and Linux systems.

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