Copy & Paste The Stack Overflow Way
Written by Sue Gee   
Sunday, 03 October 2021

A keypad just for Copy and Paste. Who would have thought of that? The third key is the clue - Stack Overflow. Having started out as Stack Overflow's April Fool's joke, The Key Macropad has now become a real commodity from tech retailer Drop.

cvkeyboard

When we made our initial report on The Key, the hardware device Stack Overflow unveiled on the eve of April Fools' Day, we acknowledged it was just a ruse. But even so many people thought it was a brilliant idea - the video tweeted by its designer Cassidy Williams had 16.5K likes and was retweeted or quoted almost four thousand times. So what started out as a gimmick has now become a commercial product and can be yours for just $29 from Drop.com. Although, as reported by Ben Popper on the Stack Overflow blog, the initial run has sold out and it's a case of pre-ordering and waiting for new stock.

The original fake version of The Key was part of a research gather exercise to quantify the copying behavior of Stack Overflow visitors. The results, which as we reported in Copying From Stack Overflow - It's Not Just A Joke are quite staggering - roughly one in four of Stack Overflow’s 15 million users tries to copy and paste within five minutes of visiting the site. So having a device that makes this operation simpler does, perhaps, make sense.

In fact The Key is configurable to be put to other uses. Out of the box its three keys act as the “ctrl”, “c”, and “v” keys but it can be remapped so that each key press results in a different character, or set of characters. On its helpful online guide Drop says that users commonly find it helpful to remap to media keys (Play, Stop, Next Track), utility keys (volume up/down) or application shortcuts (launch Chrome). 

The demand for The Key has been overwhelming. The initial batch of 2,000 units went on sale on September 28th and sold out in 6 hours. Drop immediately started accepting pre-orders for the next batch, initially of 3K units but  almost immediately increased to 5K, with a delivery date of December 13th. With the number of units sold now standing at 7.4K orders, which can be placed here will probably ship at a later date. A proportion of each sale goes to digitalundivided, a social startup  to develop innovative initiatives that catalyze economic growth in Black and Latinx communities and so far over $50,000 has been raised.

 

More Information

STACK OVERFLOW THE KEY MACROPAD on Drop.com

No joke—you can buy our copy/paste keyboard right now

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Copying From Stack Overflow - It's Not Just A Joke

What Programming Has Come To - Copy & Paste

Stack Overflow Considered Harmful?

Stack Overflow: A Code Laundering Platform?

 

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 03 October 2021 )