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Joe Beese (3)

A look back at the funky, psychedelic, soulful 70s in Nigeria

According to the Daptone Gold compilation liner notes (auto-playing music, click on "Biography"to read the notes), written by Pitchfork contributor Douglas Wolk, "the world capital of soul" has moved from the US ("between Memphis and Detroit, with occasional stopovers in New Orleans, Cincinnati and elsewhere") in the 1960, to Lagos in the 1970s, then it went into hiding, finally reappearing in Brooklyn, with Daptone Records. Let's go back - why Lagos in the 1970s? [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 18, 2014 - 10 comments

Blooooop bleeee blooop blop! These are the sounds of enrichment.

A bunch of otters jam on a Casio. An orangutan plays a xylophone with a banana. A sloth bear toots some harmonica. These are all a part of the National Zoo's environmental enrichment efforts, not unlike getting your cat some food balls and cat shelves. [more inside]
posted by ignignokt on May 30, 2014 - 31 comments

Patatap!

Patatap might be the most fun you can have mashing a keyboard.
posted by oulipian on Mar 26, 2014 - 24 comments

Iterating on the keyboard

Jesse Vincent has spent some time thinking about, designing, and building keyboards.
posted by Jpfed on Dec 12, 2013 - 18 comments

Study gives new meaning to ‘let your fingers do the walking’

When you are typing away at your computer, you [apparently] don’t know what your fingers are really doing. [more inside]
posted by SpacemanStix on Dec 5, 2013 - 56 comments

Long live the granny square

Guy Whitby, an Aussie artist also known as WorkByKnight (WBK), creates mixed media pixelated art, such as portraits using keyboard keys, and portraits and famous works of art using crochet granny squares.
posted by donajo on Aug 7, 2013 - 6 comments

Will it go 'round in circles...

It's not so often that a new acoustic musical instrument is invented that really makes you go "wow!", but the Wheelharp might just make you go "double wow!" [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 24, 2013 - 29 comments

"I never doubted that it was all going to work out."

A life well lived. On October 4, 1973, Josh Miele (4) was permanently blinded in an acid attack by his neighbor (pdf). 40 years later, Dr. Miele has worked for NASA on the Mars Rover project, he's helped develop "WearaBraille", a virtual Braille keyboard interface, and has a new project launching this month: the Descriptive Video Exchange (DVX), which will allow "sighted video viewers to seamlessly add audio description to DVDs as they watch." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 5, 2013 - 14 comments

The Typewriter at the Gates of Dawn

The BBC reports that the last typewriter to be built in the UK (according to its manufacturers) has been donated to London's Science Museum. "Brother said it had stopped making typewriters because demand had fallen to 30 a day, with most of those being sold in the US." [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Nov 20, 2012 - 97 comments

Andras Schiff's Bach-apalooza

[Andras] Schiff, 58, has lately been giving a lot of thought to each of the musical keys and the colors he associates with them as he embarks on the Bach Project, a large-scale tour of North America over the next year that will include all that composer’s major keyboard works, played from memory. [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Oct 25, 2012 - 13 comments

Thank you, Mr. Bemer

The Esc key was born in 1960, when an I.B.M. programmer named Bob Bemer was trying to solve a Tower of Babel problem: computers from different manufacturers communicated in a variety of codes. Bemer invented the ESC key as way for programmers to switch from one kind of code to another.
posted by TangerineGurl on Oct 6, 2012 - 95 comments

Engelbart's Violin

A detailed history, explanation, and defense of the chorded keyboard.
posted by gilrain on May 23, 2012 - 26 comments

Is that a keyboard in your pants or just another old joke?

Taking the idea of a 'laptop computer' to its logical-but-absurd extreme, a pair of Dutch designer dorks have come up with a pair of jeans with a built-in wireless computer keyboard. Enjoy.
posted by oneswellfoop on Feb 18, 2012 - 37 comments

Blind Piano Prodigy

Rachel Flowers plays some of rock's toughest compositions on keyboard. Oh, and jazz and classics too. Impressive, for an eighteen-year-old. Who is blind.
posted by Doohickie on Feb 9, 2012 - 17 comments

Steinway & Sons

Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037, a documentary by Ben Niles. "Invention for 900 Hands", a nine-part series in The New York Times. "K 2571: The Making of a Steinway Grand", an article in The Atlantic Monthly. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Nov 2, 2011 - 9 comments

"The fingers you have used to TYPE are too fat. To obtain a special TYPING wand, please mash the keypad with your palm now."

IBM is working on a keyboard design that will adapt to a user’s finger anatomy. Touchscreen keyboard morphs to fit your typing style. [Fig. 2] Via: [Wired] Morphing Touchscreen Keyboard Interface (PDF) [Pat2PDF/IBM]
posted by Fizz on Jul 26, 2011 - 20 comments

Engineering Gloriousness

To the aficianado, a clicky keyboard is the only keyboard. For PC users, nothing is better than an IBM Model M. For Apple lovers, it never got better than the Apple Extended Keyboard II. [more inside]
posted by whimsicalnymph on May 2, 2011 - 115 comments

Dvorak's revenge?

8pen, a replacement for QWERTY on touch devices. (SLYT)
posted by CitoyenK on Jan 5, 2011 - 81 comments

Never tell me the odds.

Measure-theoretic probability: Why it should be learnt and how to get started. The clickable chart of distribution relationships. Just two of the interesting and informative probability resources I've learned about, along with countless other tidbits of information, from statistician John D. Cook's blog and his probability fact-of-the-day Twitter feed ProbFact. John also has daily tip and fact Twitter feeds for Windows keyboard shortcuts, regular expressions, TeX and LaTeX, algebra and number theory, topology and geometry, real and complex analysis, and beginning tomorrow, computer science and statistics.
posted by grouse on Dec 5, 2010 - 17 comments

What's going on behind those keys

We've previously discussed the minutiae of computer keyboards, and now overclock.net has a detailed guide to their innards.
posted by bitmage on Oct 19, 2010 - 54 comments

Clack clack clack DING

The best iPad accessory ever.
posted by Artw on Jun 14, 2010 - 45 comments

I've already thought of that joke

Type one-handed on a keyboard virtually "folded up" to be half the size? Pff. With zero training? Double pff. Except it totally works.
posted by DU on May 27, 2010 - 88 comments

An Interactive Film

Each day, we are surrounded by seemingly insignificant objects, taking them from one place to the other, or leaving them on a table for weeks, without paying any attention to them. We ignore or forget them, using things only when we need to, making sure they don’t interfere or inhabit our space. But what if they were not so stable and subservient? What if they could swivel, bounce or even fly? And what if they did so all at the same time? This experiment is about re-discovering our daily surroundings. Each object is assigned to a letter on the keyboard, and can be activated or deactivated at any time. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Feb 22, 2010 - 19 comments

Full Plectrum Domination

Harpsichords sound pretty. Look pretty too. You can build your own. Even from Lego. (previously) But don't make it your trade.
posted by Joe Beese on Jan 6, 2010 - 17 comments

Glenn Gould plays the Goldberg Variations

Glenn Gould plays Clavier Ubung bestehend in einer ARIA mit verschiedenen Veraenderungen vors Clavicimbal mit 2 Manualen - also known as the Goldberg Variations. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese on Dec 26, 2009 - 44 comments

Papercraft Keyboard Cat

Fold him off, Keyboard Cat.
posted by Fiasco da Gama on Aug 25, 2009 - 25 comments

With that keyboard, I wonder what Ctrl-Alt-Del would do ...

Ctrl is an NBC webseries starring Tony Hale (Arrested Development's Buster, Chuck's Emmett Milbarge) as an office drone who suddenly finds that, thus far, CTRL-Z lets him undo recent events in his own life, and CTRL-B emboldens him to stand up to his boss and confess his love to the source of his crush. It was based on a short film, Ctrl-Z, starring Hale's Chuck co-star Zachary Levi as the boss. Not exactly a new concept, but nonetheless well-executed by a fairly good comic team ... [more inside]
posted by WCityMike on Jul 18, 2009 - 38 comments

Inside the World's Greatest Keyboard

From the satisfying click of its keys to its no-nonsense layout and solid steel underpinnings, IBM's 24-year-old Model M is the standard by which all other keyboards must be judged. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese on Jun 22, 2009 - 106 comments

Desperate Lives. I'm caught in the middle. Desperate Lives. Uh huhh!

Play Helen Hunt off, Keyboard Cat! So he does. And then he jams. It's a single link to YouTube, and you may skip it if you want. But you're missing out if you do, because as I type this I think this opus is the pinnacle of human achievement.
posted by Mayor Curley on Jun 22, 2009 - 131 comments

Keyboard Cat

Play him off, keyboard cat. [more inside]
posted by Greg Nog on May 6, 2009 - 146 comments

Wicked keyboarding skills

Vangelis: The Man And His Music (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4) profiles prolific Greek keyboardist and composer Evanghelos Odyssey "Vangelis" Papathanassiou in a rare 1984 television interview. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Apr 30, 2009 - 36 comments

Type Writin' Beats

QWERTY rock. [more inside]
posted by dhammond on Feb 27, 2009 - 25 comments

How's Your Mind? Blown?

Fellow Mefites: I see your 13 year-old Japanese girl drumming to Rush's seminal prog. class "YYZ" and raise you an 11 year-old Japanese girl playing the whole damn thing on a synth (SLYT). [more inside]
posted by bardic on Jan 20, 2009 - 39 comments

Merl Saunders, RIP

Keyboard wizzard and Jerry Garcia Band collaborator Merl Saunders dead. More in the Wiki entry.
posted by fixedgear on Oct 24, 2008 - 25 comments

The Birotron: The Keyboard of the Future

In 1975, armed with a big pile of 8-track car stereos and a whole lot of moxie, Dave Biro set out to change the sound of rock music. He failed spectacularly. This is the fascinating and tragic story of one of the rarest instruments in rock music- The Birotron. [more inside]
posted by 40 Watt on Oct 1, 2007 - 19 comments

Shift Option Rinse

Shift Option Rinse A charming video of a woman testing the keyboard-cleaning abilities of her dishwasher.
posted by milestogo on Sep 18, 2007 - 11 comments

Apple's Billion Dollar Gamble Riding On Its Lack of Keyboard

“There has never been a massively successful consumer device based solely on a touch screen”...designers and marketers of electronic devices centers are having a spirited debate about whether consumers will have the patience to overcome the hurdle that will be required to type without the familiar tactile feedback offered by conventional keyboards. Any significant number of returns of the iPhone could conceivably undermine what until now has been a remarkable promotional blitzkrieg that culminates in the phone’s release June 29.
posted by wfc123 on Jun 13, 2007 - 52 comments

Your favorite keyboard sucks.

Dasher is text input informed by information theory. It's also trippy. David MacKay recently gave a talk in the Google TechTalks series. You can download a prototype at the official site. Plenty useful, but perhaps also a new metaphor for writing?
posted by ontic on Jun 2, 2007 - 33 comments

I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter

Antique Keyboard is the newest work from SteamPunk Labs.
posted by fandango_matt on Feb 22, 2007 - 36 comments

Magic Keyboard!

Multilingual Keyboard Emulator.
posted by anticlock on Jan 8, 2007 - 15 comments

Like Dorvak, only better

The Colemak keyboard layout. Colemak is a new alternative to the QWERTY and Dvorak layouts. Designed for efficient and ergonomic touch typing in English, Colemak places the 10 most frequent letters of English (A,R,S,T,D,H,N,E,I,O) on the home row. Z,X,C are preserved in their QWERTY positions for easy copy and paste operations. It gets rid of the Caps Lock and replaces it with Backspace so you no longer need to move your hand off the home position to correct errors. Available for Windows/Mac/Linux/Unix it works with all standard keyboards, including laptops. [via: Projects], [Previously]
posted by Mitheral on Jan 8, 2007 - 91 comments

The Mellotron

You may have never heard of it, but you've damn near certain heard it. The Mellotron (FortuneCity link) is a keyboard instrument; each of its keys triggers a tape with a pre-recorded instrument on it. It was effectively the world's first sample player. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Sep 7, 2006 - 38 comments

WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUES!!!!11!eleven

Extremists are trying to kill our beloved Caps Lock! Mefites unite! CAPS LOCK DAY IS UNDER ATTACK! (via)
posted by spiderwire on Aug 16, 2006 - 74 comments

YAD KCOL SPAC

OCTOBER 22 IS INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY!!!
EVERY YEAR WE GET TOGETHER AND MAKE SALMON FOR TOAST, EVERY YEAR WE GET A CROCKETY BLOAT, EVERY YEAR WE GET DRUNK ON THE DOCKS, AND EVERY YEAR WE HAVE SEX WITH OUR CAPS LOCKS!!!!
posted by Jairus on Oct 21, 2005 - 504 comments

Belinda Bedekovic

Croatian keyboardist Belinda Bedekovic is quite a spectacle (video). According to her biography, "on her public appearances with her virtuosity and performance she 'demolishes everything in front of her', and they are regularly accompanied by enthusiastic applause, sometimes even leading to euphoria."
posted by mert on Apr 5, 2005 - 58 comments

a true labor of love

A fantastic example of old meets new, a man spends weeks crafting the perfect Christmas gift for his wife, with spectacular results. I give you the typewriter-keyboard conversion: a true labor of love. Makes me want to dig up my grandpa's old Underwood and give it a go.
posted by Igor XA on Jan 25, 2005 - 27 comments

Perfect For MetaTalk!

Some computer peripherals are better then others.
posted by Vaska on Jan 6, 2005 - 35 comments

Fountain Pen Mania

Keyboards Are Not Like Nibs: Fountain pens - or writing instruments in general - rule. Lately though, the main manufacturers have stooped to ballpoints, gels and other madnesses. Just as the stupid calligraphy fad killed proper handwriting, the main fountain pen manufacturers have been their own hangmen. I love Pelikan but my main hearbreak is Rotring, whose rapidograph 0.10 and 0.18 and isograph 0.20 (this latter line now sadly reduced to college sets) are my favourite scratching sticks. Are you holding a torch for any of those legendary manufacturers (Parker, Waterman, Cross, Schaeffer, Aurora, Lamy et caetera) who have gone down the drain? What glides your writing hand? Is the pseudish, unpardonably expensive and increasingly naff Montblanc the last pen manufacturer to uphold its own standards? When you do put pen to paper - if you still do at all - what's your stubborn choice? Damn it, you must use something to log into your Moleskine!
posted by MiguelCardoso on May 1, 2003 - 96 comments

Redefining the keyboard.

Redefining the keyboard. CPUs have gotten smaller, monitors have gotten wider, chairs have gotten ergonomic. Technology has resized our machines to fit our lifestyles, business needs, and personal comfort. But for the past 128 years, the mechanics by which we input text into machines has been dictated not by technology, but by the limitations of our hands. Soon, this era may be over if retired engineer John McKown gets his way. McKown has invented a palm-size one-handed wearable keyboard. Should we embrace this giant leap into mobile computing? Or are we not able to part with a century of QWERTY? (Via NYTimes. Similar ideas have also been discussed here previously.)
posted by PrinceValium on Aug 12, 2002 - 19 comments

Just click "Fun"

Just click "Fun"... and you're ready to rock. I'm guessing this is an idea that came from Japan.
posted by ph00dz on Jul 18, 2002 - 17 comments

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