Happy Hacking Keyboard
The Happy Hacking Keyboard is a small computer keyboard produced by PFU Limited of Japan, co-developed with Japanese computer pioneer Eiiti Wada. Its reduction of keys from the common 104 keys layout down to 60 keys in the professional series is the basis for its smaller size while retaining full key size. It returns the control key to its original position as on the early 84 key PC AT and XT layouts. The current models in production are the Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional 2, Professional JP, both either dark or light colors, Type-S silenced variants and blank key caps variants, and the Happy Hacking Keyboard Lite 2 with an additional Macintosh specific variant and a blank variant for each.
Some of the Happy Hacking Keyboard design tenets, as dictated by Wada, include a minimal 60 key design, no cursor or function keys, and standard keyboard pitch, all optimized for use in UNIX environments.
Happy Hacking Keyboards lack a numeric keypad, and keys outside the typewriter key area are mainly accessible through the Fn key. The keys are arranged in a layout resembling the Sun Type 3 keyboard. Specifically:
- The control key is found where most keyboards place the caps lock. This is the only control key on the keyboard.
- The esc key is located to the left of the 1 key; the tilde key normally found there is at the right end of the same row.
- The delete key is located directly above the enter key; the key normally found there is the second rightmost key on the row above it. Furthermore, this is an actual delete key, not a historically named backspace. Backspace is accessible through Fn+Delete.
- The meta keys are located between the space bar and the alt keys.
- Turn the delete key into a backspace. Fn+Delete remains backspace, and Fn + top-right key remains delete.
- Swap the alt and meta keys.
- Enable/disable downstream USB ports on USB models.
Apart from being a status symbol, in part due to price and minimal design, the keyboard is one of the few currently produced with both the left centered control key position and mechanical switches. An anniversary edition now discontinued has the distinction of, at the time, being the most expensive keyboard available. Costing about US$5000 with Japanese VAT, the anniversary edition was hand lacquered with 10 coats of Urushi, a traditional toxic tree sap lacquer, and given a sprinkling of gold dust.
Features by model
|Model Name||Model #||Color||Switch Type||Interface||Blank Keycaps||Introduced||EOL||Other Features|
|Happy Hacking Keyboard||PD-KB02||White||Membrane||PS/2, Sun, ADB||No||Dec 20, 1996||Dec 10, 2006||Buzzer (Sun), Power supply switch (Sun/Mac)|
|Happy Hacking Keyboard Lite||PD-KB100W||White||PS/2||Jun 7, 1999||Unknown||Was also available in black and white non-labeled versions|
|Happy Hacking Keyboard Lite 2||PD-KB200W/P||White||Mar 15, 2001||Dec 19, 2008||Arrow keys, 2-port USB hub. Available in Japanese and English layouts.|
|PD-KB220MKW||White||Mac version, has command and option keys in addition to the other Lite 2 features.|
|Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional||PD-KB300||White||Capacitive||Apr 24, 2003||Dec 10, 2006|
|Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional 2||PD-KB400W||White||No||Mar 24, 2006||2-port USB hub|
|Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional JP||PD-KB420W||White||No||Nov 10, 2008||HHKB Professional 2 with Japanese layout and arrow keys|
|Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional HG||PD-KB500W||White||No||Oct 12, 2006||Special 10-year anniversary models|
|Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional HG JAPAN||PD-KB500J||Wajima-style lacquer|
|Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional 2 Type-S||PD-KB400WS||White||No||June 29, 2011||with Silencing|
|Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional JP Type-S||PD-KB420WS||White||No|
- Internet Initiative Japan, Inc list of researchers
- Happy Hacking Keyboard (Japanese manufacturer's site)
- HHKB Professional2 (Japanese site)
- HHKB Professional JP (Japanese site)
- Wada bio at Information Processing Society of Japan's museum
- DIP switch functions
- The Verge denotes Happy Hacking Keyboard as a status symbol
- The anniversary edition of the Happy Hacking Keyboard is "the most expensive keyboard in history"
- Happy Hacking Keyboard Specifications
- "PFU America releases "Happy Hacking Keyboard Lite" for all PC/Linux users and power users". Archived from the original on 2000-01-23.
- "Happy Hacking Keyboard Lite". Archived from the original on 2001-10-24.
- "PFU America Releases "Happy Hacking Keyboard Lite 2"". AllBusiness. 2001-03-15.
- "Happy Hacking Keyboard Lite 2 for Mac touts Apple Key, demotes Caps Lock". Engadget. 2007-01-26.
- HHKB/Features/High quality keys
- "Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional 2". AkibaLive. 2006-03-26.
- "HHKB Professional HG Specs".
- "The 3300 euros keyboard for PC". Akihabaranews. 2006-10-12.
- "HHKB Professional HG JAPAN Specs".
- "HHKB Professional 2 and JP Type-S press release".
- Official website
- Verge celebrates the Happy Hacking Keyboard as a status symbol
- engadget review of the Happy Hacking Keyboard Lite 2
- Linux Journal review of the Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional
- Linux Gazette review of the original Happy Hacking Keyboard
- CNET article about a lacquered version
- Keyboard layout
- EliteKeyboards - A US Distributor of Happy Hacking Keyboards
- Happy Hacking Keyboard Lite 2 online sales page with images of different versions