Keyboard monument

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The monument in 2011, the building in the background is sometimes dubbed the "computer case"

Keyboard Monument is an outdoor sculpture featuring the QWERTY keyboard. It is located in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg alternatively spelt Ekaterinburg and is popular among tourists.[1]

History[edit]

It was created by Anatoly Vyatkin and installed on October 5, 2005 on the embankment of the Iset River in the city centre.[1][2]

The landmark depicts an IBM PC compatible Cyrillic computer keyboard at 30:1 scale (the area covered by the monument is 16 × 4 m), with 104 concrete keys. Each regular key weighs 180 pounds, while the space bar alone weighs 1,000 pounds.[3]

The keyboard attracts many visitors to the city and is today considered one of its top sights. It is also referred to as "one of the miracles of Russia" by some researchers.[4] Niklaus Wirth, Pascal programming language designer, evaluated the object while it was being constructed and found it to be fascinating.[5]

Keys F1, F2, F3, and Y were once stolen and in 2011 were rebuilt. Thanks to the keyboard, new city legends came to life. Rumour has it that if you "type" your wish on the keyboard and then jump on Enter, your wish will come true. If you want to reboot your life, press Ctrl, Alt, Del. [6]

Ekaterinburg Sysadmin Day near Keyboard monument in 2011

Events[edit]

Regular celebrations are held near the object. Among them the annual internationally recognised Sysadmin Day on the last Friday in July. Before 2010 Ekaterinburg technicians were gathering at separate places, and since 2010 Ekaterinburg authorities granted official permission for the event to be held near the Keyboard Monument with support from IT companies.[7] There are "sysadmin competitions" between participants: they throw defunct PC mice to reach maximum distance and also throw such mice (with their "tails" cut out) within an empty distant computer case used as basket. Additionally, they powerlift a bundle of unused HDDs.[8] In 2016 during such an event a memorial plaque was set up at the monument to honour Eugene Zorin (ru), the Ekaterinburg FidoNet organiser and Internet pioneer who died recently.[9] In the end of April, the "Keyboard Subbotniks" are also held, when people are cleaning and re-painting the monument, and "sports competitions" also take place. Two volunteers from the USA took part in the procedure in 2017, local press reports[10].

References[edit]

Coordinates: 56°49′56″N 60°36′27″E / 56.83222°N 60.60750°E / 56.83222; 60.60750