WorthyD’s Great Keyboard Test

Everyone I work with knows I’m a mechanical keyboard nutcase. I’ve owned 4 mechanical keyboards and I’ve been tempted to invest and build the great and legendary ErgoDox keyboard. I originally purchased a mechanical keyboard because I kept breaking keyboards at work from heavy use and because of hand fatigue. I take credit for converting 3 people at my work for switching to mechanical keyboards. It’s not 100% true, but I have an ego to feed.

So what makes a mechanical keyboard better than an average keyboard? The standard keyboard nowadays operates with a rubber membrane that require a decent amount of force to press. Mechanical keyboards have (you guessed it) a mechanical switch behind every key. These mechanical switches require less force to press than membranes and last up to 50 million operations. WASD keyboards has a great guide page on mechanical keyboards. Check it out if you want to learn more about mechanical keyboards.

So what’s the big deal? Why aren’t all keyboards mechanical if the benefits great? Well it boils down to cost. A mechanical keyboard will run you between $80 and $200 depending on brand and features. Most people I’ve talked to freak out over the price. Think about it, you spend 8 hours a day typing if you are a developer. You’d drop $200 on a pair of Beats By Dre that you wear most of the day. Don’t you think you should put good money into the piece of equipment you interact with the most?

I’ve really been curious how much faster my typing speed is with a mechanical compared to other keyboards. I came up with a big super scientific test to see what keyboards I could type fastest on. I took a five one minute tests with each keyboard I could get my hands one. The tests were from typingtest.com and the same test was taken each time. There was a one day break between each keyboard.

The Contenders

Logitech G15 – $60-ish original retail – I really liked this keyboard. It’s non-mechanical, but has a lot of nifty features to make up for it.
Apple’s Keyboard – $50 – I really like the keys on this keyboard, but I don’t like the windows and alt keys being flipped. This keyboard actually uses a scissor switch membrane. It allows for a very thin key with a short travel distance.
Microsoft Comfort Curve 3000 – $15 – There are ton of these around now. I really don’t like them…..
Microsoft Comfort Curve 2000 – $20 4 years ago – There were a ton of these around several years ago… now they are going for 50 bucks on Amazon? You couldn’t give these away 4 years ago. It’s a great basic cheap (at one point in time) keyboard.
Razer BlackWidow – $80 my version – I have a very early run that has Cherry MX Blue switches. The new ones use a different, but still great switch. This was my first mechanical keyboard and I’ve gotten a lot of good use out of it. I currently loan it out to friends to try out. It’s clicky and really loud, but I feel like I can type really fast on it.
Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Stealth -$150 – I have a Cherry MX Brown version. The backlit keys are awesome. Cherry Browns are much quieter than Blues. They have a bump instead of a click. They require less actuation force, but I feel like I don’t type as fast on it.
CM Storm QuickFire Stealth – $80 – I picked up two tenkeyless versions of this keyboard a couple of years ago and it’s my absolute favorite. The smaller travel distance from keyboard to mouse is very comfy and cuts down on a decent amount of work space.

It’s worth noting that there is actually a Cherry MX Switch shortage right now. Mechanical keyboard popularity has gone through the roof recently. Manufacturers have started using different switches and retailers are jacking prices up pretty bad on keyboards still using Cherry switches.

The Results
Keyboard Average WPM Average MPM Highest WPM
G15 69 5.4 76
Apple Keyboard 70 1.4 78
Microsoft 3000 69 8.4 75
Microsoft 2000 77.4 7.6 83
BlackWidow w/ Blues 82.4 6.4 86
BlackWidow w/ Browns 81.4 7.3 82
CMStorm w/ Blues 84 6.2 88

wpm – words per minute. mpm – mistakes per minute

I wasn’t really surprised by the results. I was happy to see that my current keyboard had the highest average WPM. Lets put this in perspective. There is 480 minutes in a work day. Lets say you’re actually typing for 75% of that (360 minutes). I would average about 25,200 words in a day with the Apple Keyboard. I would average 30,240 with my CMStorm with Blues. That’s a pretty large different when you are looking at productivity of typing in general. Coding involves a lot of numbers and special characters. WPM isn’t very accurate in measuring productivity in coding, but I still feel like it’s a decent base to test off of.

I originally picked up a mechanical keyboard for the durability and comfort, but I now know that I can get more work done while using one. My purchases have been fully justified! Now the real question, when are you going to switch?

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

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Amanda and I are expecting in April. We’re having a little girl. We’re going to be entering an exciting new part of our lives and I can’t wait!

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

Geek Office In The Closet

Space is running out in our house. We’re looking to clean out one of our bed rooms. Amanda had her craft room and I had my office. I read an article recently from Elijah Manor, a developer I follow on twitter, about how he moved his office into his closet. I got a little inspired. I probably have A.D.D. and being in a smaller space would probably do me some good.

I moved into the closet and used a spare plank and some shelves I had for a desk. This worked, but the desk was shaky and wasn’t a comfortable height. I decided that I really needed to build a desk into my wall to really utilize the space. I did little bit of research and found out I could do all of this at a fairly low price.

Space is running out in our house. We’re looking to clean out one of our bed rooms. Amanda had her craft room and I had my office. I read an article recently from Elijah Manor, a developer I follow on twitter, about how he moved his office into his closet. I got a little inspired. I probably have A.D.D. and being in a smaller space would probably do me some good.

I moved into the closet and used a spare plank and some shelves I had for a desk. This worked, but the desk was shaky and wasn’t a comfortable height. I decided that I really needed to build a desk into my wall to really utilize the space. I did little bit of research and found out I could do all of this at a fairly low price.
Continue reading “Geek Office In The Closet”

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

WorthyD’s Guide to the Self-Checkout Line

I’m generally a “keep to myself person” when I’m in public. When I’m in a super market, I try to get out as soon as possible, avoid eye contact with other people and avoid small talk with cashiers. The self-checkout line has been the greatest thing for me EVER!

The self-checkout line can also be the most annoying and frustrating thing ever…. How? Why? User error, impatience, and general lack of paying attention. So I’ll stop rambling and present you with (in a giant h1 tag!):

WorthyD’s Guide to the Self-Checkout Line!

AKA: How not to piss-off the people behind you in line
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I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

Going to be a Warrior Again at the Warrior Dash!!!!

I came to grips with it a while ago. I’m a pansy. The only time I was remotely awesome was during my paintball stint. I played at D-Day and it was kinda cool acting crazy and screaming random insane war cries (IE: Leeroy Jenkins!! and random phrases from the movie DodgeBall). That was a long time ago, and I’m a bit overweight now.

My Dad and brother ran the Tulsa Marathon a few weekends ago. It was my Dad’s 32nd marathon and the first since his triple bypass in December 2009. This was my brother’s first one. There is no way I could pull off a marathon with a year of training.

However, my brother showed me this “thing” of awesomeness. It is called… THE WARRIOR DASH! Check it out at http://warriordash.com/.

Here is just a taste of the awesomeness from their FAQ.


Warrior Dash is the ultimate event for thrill-seeking athletes. This running series is held on some of the nation’s most demanding and unique terrain. Participants will conquer extreme obstacles and celebrate their feat with music, beer, warrior helmets and muddy shorts.

I’m thoroughly excited about this event. It’s going to be AWESOME!!!!

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

Zelda T-Shirt: +30 Nerd Cred

Dorkly.com is one of the many geek/dork/nerd blogs I subscribe to and actually read. Well today they posted up an article titled 7 Real Life Items and Their Stats that hits home for me. Yes, I own a several toy lightsabers and one of the expensive ForceFX sabers. This is what caught my attention:

Ok, big deal. Its a Zelda shirt. Well the Zelda shirt in the picture is the first video game shirt I ever bought and it started my awesome video game t-shirt collecting. I own like 4 Zelda shirts, a Zelda track jacket and a Hyrule hoodie so I must have +302 nerd cred. I don’t care about the -10 girlfriend… I’m married and she buys me the stuff!

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

Equipment Counts! A lesson I keep learning!

I consider myself very fortunate that my parents raised me the way they did. I had to pay for anything “extra” after I was tall enough to push a lawn mower. This included video games, paintball, and camping stuff. I learned when I was 8 that quality counts. I used my allowance to buy a hand saw from Walmart. My family has always been big do it yourselfers and carpenters and I was ready to have my own tools. I purchased a multi function saw that you could swap the blades for four dollars. Now, when your allowance for chores is only two dollars a week, four dollars was a good amount of money.

I quickly learned that this purchase was bad on two levels. First, I learned be very careful when buying a multi-functional tool. A TV/VCR combo may sound like a good idea, but what happens when the screen goes out? You have a giant VHS rewind machine. Second, I learned its not a good idea to go cheap on stuff you will regularly use.

Over the years, this has been drilled in my head by learning the hard way. I bought cheap video game controllers, that would quickly break and rattle. I would get cheap hiking shoes and go on a ten mile hike with my boyscout troop. I would come home with giant blisters from wet feet and poorly fitting shoes.

What did this do? It taught me a valuable lesson about quality. I learned to only buy official licensed Nintendo controllers and go to an established outfitter for hiking boots. I’ve owned 3 pairs of hiking boots in the last 10 years because I bought quality. The first two pairs have been heavily worn out and I’m still wearing the third pair to scout events. Now, I’ve never had a good sense of style. I wore those boots EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK. I could go all day on that.
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I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

A Geek Shirt For Saturday! I Void Warranties!

Another shirt from Think Geek! The I Void Warranties shirt is probably one of my favorite shirts I’ve collected. I’ve gotten a lot of laughs from this shirt. I think it’s because it’s so very true for me. I’m rocking out at B&E Paintball today and I felt it was appropriate to wear this!

I’m not one to appreciate warranties at home. I greatly value them in the professional world however. As a kid, I ripped apart any and all mechanical or electronic toys I had. I had boxes full of motors, circuit boards and batteries. I learned at my first IT job that laptops were generally only as good as their warranty. My brother and I had warranty issues on both of our first “new” computers.

Warranties are definitely a double edged sword. Get a 5 year warranty on a laptop and throw it down the stairs 4 years into it. You could get a new laptop of same value then for “free”, but guess who pays for it? All the other customers that purchase from that brand.
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I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

Geek Shirt Thursday: Soul Mates

I’ve been a fan of Lord of the Rings since before the movies were announced. I was definitely excited when Shirt.Woot.com released this shirt. I haven’t seen many other LOTR shirts, but this one is definitely my favorite. I love seeing the purely evil Sauron and the Ring depicted as a small somewhat innocent creatures.
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I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

Video Game Shirt Friday: School

I’m a big fan of the Mario Kart franchise. I’m always excited to see a Mario Kart themed shirt on Shirt.Woot. You can still get this shirt on the reckoning wall for $15 at the time of this posting. The first one I saw was this one. If you’re a fan like me, you love and hate the blue shell.
Continue reading “Video Game Shirt Friday: School”

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.