Oh man, am I one happy nerd camper!

 

After much research into what made good keyboards great, I decided I wanted one with Cherry MX Brown switches. They offer the tactile feedback that I want without as much noise as the old M style keyboards.

With that decided, the next step was to decide where I was going to get the keyboard itself from. There are many retailers that offer keyboards with Cherry MX switches in them, but most of them use the same manufacturer for the internals. There’s nothing wrong with that, the internals are solid, but it means that quality of the internals isn’t really a factor in the decision.

Eventually I wandered into geekhack and discovered a whole new world of keyboard enthusiasts doing all sorts of interesting things. While the blank keyboards seemed somewhat popular, the colored keycaps caught my interest right away. A bit of time searching Amazon and other retailers told me that getting a set of colored keycaps wouldn’t be too hard.

Then it happened.  I saw a post on geekhack from the owner/operator/genius of WASD Keyboards, a place to get truly custom keycaps. While other places offered a somewhat limited selection, WASD offers a wide range of colors which you can specify for each and every key! In addition, you can choose exactly what appears on each key. Common themes are the nuclear warning symbol on the escape key, stand out colors for the wasd keys, and the classic “Any Key” labeled key.

The custom keyboard designer on WASD lets you pick any character from their font set, including three wingding fonts, to use on the keys. You can control the alignment of them as well, so if you like your 2 down low left and your @ up high right, go for it. If you want them lined up in the middle, cool. If you want the word “two” instead of the number, you got it. There’s also a small set of icons you can use instead of any text. While this small set is adequate for most users, I had my own ideas 😀

Making use of a set of icons a fellow known as Lorc posted on the reddit roguelike subgroup, I set about making the king of nerdy keyboards. Weyman from WASD was kind enough to send me a template file (now available on the WASD site directly) and I got to work laying out my new keyboard!

I went with an all icons approach, eschewing numbers, letters, and normal keyboard symbols. Where there was such a command, all keys have an icon representative of a command that uses that key in Ancient Domains Of Mystery, commonly called ADOM. Since one of ADOM’s most (in)famous features is a crazy number of keyboard commands, that provided direction for all but three of the letters and most of the rest of the keyboard as well. For the rest of the keys, I picked out icons I liked, pretty much at random 😀

End result: the most amazing/nerdiest keyboard my human mind could imagine!

If you’d like to have one with the same icon keyset, feel free to use my template through WASD. Just send them an email explaining what you saw and tell them Eben sent you 😀

 

Robots sharks and ninjas!

 

Custom design by me made by WASD Keyboards.

 

My bag has a loaf of bread, a left boot, a fedora, an electric guitar, and some weapons. I’m ready for anything!