Is that an actual keyboard?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2012/10/11 07:01 -04:00, original URI:

I was shown this picture the other day, from this site:

What he wanted to know was simple enough:

Is it real, Michael?

And, if it is real, can I get it for Windows? In Windows 8?

Well, it is on a site called, so I don't think it's real.

But in theory, it's possible to plug it in and such.

Now obviously the GetKeyboardState function is limited to 256 key state values. So regular keyboard state info can't handle a keyboard that has so many keys.

But if you create a custom hardware driver, you can cause it to look like some of these keys are alternate shift states of each other that share the same scan code!

These are the kinds of tricks laptops use to enable their Fn keys; it is how Apple can make CTRL+ALT+BACKSP act like CTRL+ALT+DEL in Boot Camp (if they didn't, you would have to type CRTL+ALT+SHIFT+BACKSP!).

This would be a fun project to work on, wouldn't it? :-)

But like I said, I don't think it's real....

Tony Toews on 11 Oct 2012 12:58 PM:

In the 1980s I worked on IBM S/34, S/36, S/38 and AS/400 minicomputers.   I came across a Chinese keyboard in one of the technical manuals.  It looked very much like the top photo on    I have a vague memory that it also had twelve shift keys.

cheong00 on 11 Oct 2012 7:24 PM:

I can't read all the keys clearly, but aren't the keys there arranged in Changjei sequence?

There's very little point to make a Chinese keyboard with characters line up in Changjei (it would be faster to just use Changjei IME) except for a good laugh... :P

So agreed it's not likely to be real... except maybe for memory tight DOS programs that don't use overlay so has tight memory requirement, therefore Chinese language support TSRs won't fit.

Brendan Elliott on 12 Oct 2012 10:17 AM:

This was a Google April fool's joke a couple of years back. It's just one part of a "Japanese hardware keyboard".

Jan Kučera on 19 Oct 2012 9:21 AM:

...which can be found here: Worth checking! :)

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