Reminding us that things can always be worse, YouTube’s Foone Turing has created a keyboard that is based around a floppy drive and a stack of floppy disks that somehow looks even more frustrating to use than Apple’s much-maligned butterfly keyboards.
Instead of keys laid out in an obscure QWERTY arrangement that dates back to typewriters, Foone’s keyboard uses a stack of 29 3.5-inch floppy disks, one for each letter of the alphabet, plus shift, space, and an exclamation point. Typing, if you can even call it that, is accomplished by inserting the floppy labelled with the letter you want to appear next into a disk drive, housed in a ‘90s-era beige SCSI enclosure, and waiting for it to load.
Out of frame, the floppy drive is connected to a Raspberry Pi running a custom Python script that detects when a floppy drive is inserted. The floppy disk’s volume label is read upon insertion (which corresponds to the letter written on its physical label) and sent to a Teensy LC development board which then translates the character into a USB keyboard command.
Typing even a single word on the FlopKey terrible keyboard seems like an arduous task that will have you reaching for a pen and paper, or at least make you stop complaining about Apple’s failed keyboard experiment you’re stuck with until you can afford to upgrade again.