Tag Archives: brown

Das Keyboard (Model S Professional Silent)

If there’s something interesting about humanity, it’s that people want better products. Products that not only satisfy some kind of need, but do it in a way that’s better than anything else on the market. From swanky coffee machines and Herman Miller chairs, all the way through to Apple products and whatever else you care to name, these kinds of products command premium price tags and claim to offer better experiences. And now, even the humble keyboards has joined this cohort.

This desire for premium products that offer better experiences than their lesser-priced counterparts begs the question: wouldn’t you want a better typing experience, if you could have it? If you’re going to spend long hours typing things into a computer, wouldn’t you want a better input mechanism for that input?

The thing is, you can. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the loudest, most obnoxious keyboard you’ll ever use: the mechanical keyboard.

A little while ago I picked up the Das Keyboard Model S Professional Silent, a mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX Brown switches (more on this later). It’s a mechanical keyboard designed for PCs, even though my primary usage is with a Mac (again, more on this later), and it offers a fantastic typing experience. As well as having the distinction of the most expensive keyboard I’ve ever owned, it also carries a far more prestigious title:

It’s the best keyboard I ‘ve ever owned.

The first thing you have to understand about the Das Keyboard series of mechanical keyboards is that they are big black monoliths. They can easily take over your desk if you give them the chance, and these days even my 27″ Dell UltraSharp looks smaller by comparison. From what I can tell, most of the Das keyboards sport more or less the same design: they’re big, black, and, for the most part, have glossy surfaces with matte black keys. The Professional series of their keyboards feature the labelled, laser-etched keys, while the Ultimate series simply have blank keys.

As for physical dimensions, the Das isn’t overly huge. Generously sized, perhaps, but not overly huge. They’re a few centimetres longer than the Apple aluminium keyboard with numeric numpad, my previous keyboard, but nothing too extreme. You probably won’t notice the extra length unless you have a tiny desk, or have some kind of aversion to innuendo in seemingly innocuous keyboard reviews.

Overall, the build quality of the Das is good. It feels incredibly solid, and seeing as it weights in at 1.36 kilos, this is the kind of keyboard that would make a nice impression on someone’s head, if it were to be used in that fashion. I probably wouldn’t recommend it, though — for one, you would definitely be kissing your warranty goodbye. Alternatively, if you’re one to fall asleep at your keyboard, I’m sure the keys will make a lovely impression on your forehead.

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So, I met Matthew Reilly yesterday…

…and I don’t feel special for it.

I think something has to be said with regards to this – Matthew Reilly, of all people.

It’s not that I don’t think he’s a literary genius – I do, he’s absolutely brilliant in all respects, it’s just that, well, it didn’t lack the “sparkle” I was expecting.

I’m not actually sure what I mean by “sparkle”, by the way. He was an excellent, captivating speaker, and he managed to keep the auditorium enthralled the whole time (much the same way he does with his books), so it’s definitely not that.

After his talk, we waited for him to sign books. This isn’t unusual – hugely popular authors like Mr Reilly have huge lines to get his autograph on a couple of books. Personally I managed to get The Six Sacred Stones and The Five Greatest Warriors signed, completing my Jack West Jr trilogy (he had previously signed my copy of Seven Ancient Wonders), but I also managed to get my Scarecrow trilogy signed as well, which was a plus.

I don’t know – maybe meeting him revealed someone who I just wasn’t expecting, the guy with the DeLorean, the life-size Han Solo in carbonite, the guy who takes pictures of his TV in order to use them as his screensaver… Actually going and meeting that guy who managed to keep me up till 3am in the Uni exam period, hooked on The Five Greatest Warriors, was something else.

It was funny – because when it was my turn to get my books signed, I had hoped I was going to say something witty. Something snappy. Instead, I managed to mumble some lame attempt at a joke that went something along the lines of “No, I wasn’t waiting for The Five Greatest Warriors because I had resolved to just forget about it, making the release date come all the more faster” or something along those lines.

There was also an awkward moment at the start where I went to shake his hand, but he had a pen it it – I partially withdrew my hand, only to have him put the pen down and shake my hand. Sigh.

In any case, I don’t think I’ll enjoy the Matthew Reilly books as much now, but not because he’s a crappy writer or anything like that. Sometimes you’re better off not knowing, you know? I don’t mean this in the sense that he’s a bad guy – it’s just that sometimes, the mystery keeps you going. Keeps you in the game. Now that I feel like I know the man that little bit better, there’s no more mystery.

I think it’s the same with Dan Brown, another fiction writer I also enjoy (although some say I shouldn’t). If I ever met him, I don’t think I’d enjoy his books as much anymore – and again, not because he’s a bad writer, but because – there’s no more mystery surrounding him. He’s no longer some person who sits at a desk, pumping out good-quality book after good-quality book – instead, he’s just some guy, with glasses, who does this, and talks like that. (Having not actually met Dan Brown I’m not sure what mannerisms he would have, so I’m doing my best here :p)

Just one of those things, you know?

I’m yet to talk about why I didn’t enjoy The Five Greatest Warriors as much as I did some of his other books – but that’ll come later, I’m sure.

This post part of Blogtober 2009, where I try and write at least one blog post every day. Most of the time they’re not hugely substantial – a quick snap there, a quick viral video there – but this time, substantial comes into it’s own.