I came across an article today about Susan Kare called “The Woman Behind Apple’s First Icons“. The article talks about how this traditional artist made the leap to pixel art to create many of the icons that still grace our Macs to this day, most notably, the Command Key.
Her concept for the “command” key mimicked the Saint Hannes cross, which was originally the symbol for a “place of interest” in 1950s Finland, became a traffic sign in Scandinavia, and, later, was used in Sweden to indicate an interesting feature or attraction in a campground. After Jobs had an outburst over the profligation of the apple symbol, Kare had leafed through a “comprehensive international symbol dictionary” to find this new alternative. To this day, it graces the keyboards of Apple’s computers.
I found it interesting to learn where that iconic symbol came from since it’s something I use every day.
However, she didn’t just work for Apple, she was also the designed many of the icons found in early Windows Control Panel, the icon for Notepad and even Solitaire.
It’s a good article and worth the read.
This is a bit of a departure for this blog, since it deals with a full-sized keyboard. However, this keyboard tour provided a unique experience that allowed me to sample a key switch that may never be available in my preferred form factor. So although the core focus of this blog is the compact keyboard, I think it’s good to step outside your comfort zone and try new things now and again.
As a huge fan of film, movies, and television it’s only natural that I would want to fiddle a bit with the storytelling medium I enjoy so much. Add to the fact that I grew up with the original MTV, live in “Music City” and my wife is a singer/songwriter, so the idea of shooting a music video also looms largely in my mind as well. Suffice to say I have been wanting to play around with video for some time now, but there never seems to be enough time at the end of the day or week. I have some ideas, but nothing strong enough to get me off my duff and actually try shooting something. Then in mid-July I came across a catalyst that changed all that.
I’ve always had an affinity for keyboards. From my grandfather’s Burrough’s typewriter, to my Commodore 64, to the IBM Model M, to the custom modded KBC Poker that I’m typing this entry on. Thoughout my keyboard history, you can trace a love of typing, or perhaps just pushing buttons. In late November 2012, that affinity turned into a bit of an obsession.
Instead of just being someone who types all day, I found myself facinated and drawn to all manner of mechanical switches, key caps and of course keyboards. In fact, I have three of them on my desk right now. I’m seven months into this new hobby and I’m still enthralled – so much so, that I’ve worn out the subject with all my friends and find it best to refrain from the subject.
Although I like just about any style of keyboard, this passion mostly revolves around compact sized keyboards. I have a personal blog where I wrote a few posts about this new hobby of mine, but it just didn’t feel like a good fit. It’s not like I have a ton of followers, or even an audience for that matter, but given that my interest is so specialized it felt like it needed a home of it’s own. As a result, cpkey.com was born.