Correspondence: More on DataDesk Keyboards

I think DataDesk has been in the slow process of going out of business for about a decade, but not enough people ever show up at the office at one time to close it. I think they congregate there mainly to party when someone actually buys a keyboard.

I agree they are the most brilliantly designed ergonomic keyboards ever made. But they were noisy. Complaints at the office made me retire mine – people thought I was “angry” when I was typing, until I figured out what was going on, explained, and apologized.

My theory about your question on lackluster marketing: most people don’t really know how to type. I don’t mean they aren’t competent enough, only that most of them learned on disposable $15 keyboards and have no conception of how a good keyboard touch increases both speed and accuracy. Anyone who used a Selectric typewriter regularly knows what I mean: I did, and it trained me so that flow-of-typing habits still help with the cheap keyboards they farm out today.

And I was never trained in touch typing. I have a modified hunt-and-peck method that’s improved over the last 50 years so that I can still hit bursts of 70 wpm with low error rates. But I was never so good as with the Selectric, with DataDesk following as a close second.

That is what today’s consumer doesn’t understand, and can’t help but not understand – there is nothing on the market to offer them much comparison, except DataDesk, this one company that gave up trying to compete with the throwaway keyboards.

I have a couple of the older KeyTronic “Lifetime” series that are still working. Newer ones are not made in Mexico, but overseas, and don’t hold up. When they’re gone, I guess it’s back to PaperMate.

Thanks for writing!


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