When I was quite young, maybe around 10-12, my Grandfather decided that I needed to learn how to drive a real car/truck before I started to learn on the cushy simplified vehicles of the time. So he took me to the mall in his old Dodge pickup with no power steering and what was called “three on the tree” shifter. The shifter was a manual transmission with three forward gears and a reverse, but instead of a stick through the floor of the truck it was on the steering column. It was hell for a young man of such diminutive stature to steer that truck around and change gears. Even the clutch was so heavy I could not press it without squatting into the floor board and bracing my back against the seat. I did it though, I drove that truck and I did fine. As I grew up, I learned how to work on it also, but I hated that part. I mention this because times like that have really affected me and influence every decision I make when it comes to vehicles I buy.
All this leads me to the point that, the kind of tactile response I grew accustomed to while driving early on, has lead me to prefer vehicles which are “rough around the edges”. I actually wish they still made cars that did not have power steering and all the amenities that come standard on vehicles nowadays. I know that it is easier to drive a car with power steering but I feel disconnected from the road. Humans like to use all of our senses, at least I do. Car manufacturers know this and are making great strides to re-introduce the kind of tactile response I miss from my early experiences. The automotive industry is not alone; a growing demand for precision tactile response is trickling into the PC industry also, namely through gaming, of course. All sorts of new and interesting ideas for greater virtualization is coming to PC gaming. Things like the Oculus Rift and Virtuix Omni are making great strides to actually put us, our bodies, in the games we play. Until then, I am happy with simpler solutions, like mechanical keyboards that give great tactile feedback. There are quite a few different kinds of mechanical keys though, and finding the right one for you can be difficult.
The HERMES Mechanical Gaming keyboard by GAMDIAS is a standard sized keyboard measuring 474.85x310.83x39mm (with wrist rest). The GAMDIAS HERMES mechanical gaming keyboard uses Cherry MX Blue mechanical switches. HERMES has built in memory of 512kb and a polling rate of 1000Hz. There are 13 macro keys and 6 multi-media keys. The life cycle of the mechanical key switches is 50 million presses. Every key is individually back lit with a red LED and has six settings for brightness, ranging from off to a breathing mode. The HERMES is full N-key rollover capable with an option for 6-key rollover for MoBo compatibility. There is support for on the fly macro recording using the HERA software (downloadable from the GAMDIAS site). The HERMES also has a key lock function, which locks out the entire keyboard. The GAMDIAS HERMES keyboard uses a USB interface connected by a 2.2 meter braided cable with dual, gold plated USB connectors, and 3.5mm jacks for both headphones and a microphone. Additional USB and headphone/microphone input ports are on the top of the keyboard, as well.
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