I have this question,

What types of keyboard does Neo/Mr Anderson use?

It was recently closed as off topic. I've read the faq previously and I think it's clearly on-topic.

The faq says what is off-topic:

Facts easily found on a reference site? - no
Questions calling for a list of works, authors, … - no.
Reading or viewing recommendations - totally no
Genre classification - no.

The faq further points to What questions are on-topic, and what questions are off-topic?

Personalized recommentations - totally no
Questions about writing (filming, etc.) SF - not at all
Recommendation/Categorization Questions - not at all (see definition and example questions when in doubt)
Questions about genre classification - no

They are not even "still controversial":

Questions about SF fandom - no
Real-World Speculation Questions - no
Bibliographic questions - no

I think it's a behind the scenes question.

I added optional questions but even that's not a question for listing anything, it's about identification of thing in the same scene. I didn't want to ask all as separate questions and they seemed to be the best here, and they are optional. In my opinion, neither of that makes my question off-topic. I cannot see why the question is not totally valid according to the faq.

  • For one thing, and this isn't a full answer, when a question about such trivialities starts with "Question has it all..." and the question is, to begin with, a poor fit for the format, that indicates the asker thinks it's not only a good question, but a great question. Honestly, from there, it just goes downhill.
    – Tango
    Jun 19, 2012 at 15:39
  • @TangoOversway no offense, but then should I skip questions that could be asked in a simple sentence? I really thought that further description would be simply redundant, and also the image serves as the description. Maybe it's just I have a terrible writing style? As for the keyboard model itself, I find it interesting and simply checked the FAQ and that didn't seem to tell me that I'm wrong to ask it.
    – n611x007
    Jun 19, 2012 at 16:18
  • If you had said, "Title has it all," or the old "TSIA" (fully written, "Title says it all"), that would make it clear, but "Question has it all" makes it sound like you're saying, "This question has EVERYTHING!" So I might have misinterpreted it, which could be due to language differences, but that's what it reads like.
    – Tango
    Jun 19, 2012 at 16:23

1 Answer 1


I think it's a behind the scenes question.

It totally is a behind the scenes question, but it's an extremely trivial one. The type of keyboard Neo uses isn't of any importance to the story or the making of the movie, it's just a keyboard. That he's a hacker is important to the story. But they specific type of keyboard he uses is merely window dressing that shows he types a great deal. Everything about the scene in his apartment helps paint the picture that he's a hacker, but one minor detail (i.e. a keyboard) isn't of particular value.

The specific model is apparently one you want to buy, but shopping questions are usually not allowed on Stack Exchange sites. Honestly, I could have voted to close using either the off-topic or the 'too localized' reasons, but I found the triviality of it to make it off topic.

  • Thanks for explaining. But I didn't want to buy this keyboard... I was simply interested. It's true I made an example about why would someone value this information, but it was simply to show that it's useful. The main reason I asked because I was interested and I felt like the fandom would know the answer. For example now that it's answered, I know that it's either the first model from 1994 or Elite from 1998, either of that would add a little to Neo's character by adding details to his style of living. Actually I find all facts regarding how a movie was made interesting.
    – n611x007
    Jun 19, 2012 at 13:11
  • I would argue about "it's just a keyboard". I know many programmers and only two of them cares about ergonomic keyboards and they value it highly, while the rest couldn't care less. At first sight it has nothing to do with the main plot but actually it shows that Neo is a minority who tries new (94 or 98?) things out that enchances his world. Does the plot just happens to the characters, as Fate, or does their personality actually drive events?
    – n611x007
    Jun 19, 2012 at 13:18
  • Regarding what the specific model has to do with it, Matrix starts with "Call trans opt: received. 2-19-98", and the Elite was released on 26th February, 1998, according to pc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/article/980227/ms.htm Since the keyboard is new Neo must have been very up-to-date on information (another sign that he cared about innovation), and rushed to buy a model, but maybe only got an older one. It actually adds a little back story about his life. It could also serve as a means of more detailed in-time measurement.
    – n611x007
    Jun 19, 2012 at 13:33
  • 2
    "Natural" keyboards were not new in 1999, when The Matrix was made. They had been around since at least 1992 (and probably longer). How new could it be if Microsoft had been making their natural keyboard since 1994? The exact make and model really doesn't add any backstory. The point in question, along with the additional ID requests are all so trivial, there really is no gainful purpose to the question.
    – Tango
    Jun 19, 2012 at 15:37
  • @TangoOversway just a small note, The Matrix was released in (March) 1999, I don't think it was made in 1999. I think it was made in 1998. The date on the shooting script is March, 1998.
    – n611x007
    Jun 19, 2012 at 15:45
  • 1
    As someone who cares a lot about keyboards the other one is way more interesting, I don't think I've seen a 5-way dpad layout outside of the IBM 1390876 and that didn't have the strange spacebar layout or a single row of function keys. That sells the scene to me way more than the (pretty common at the time) split ergo.
    – user1030
    Jun 19, 2012 at 15:52
  • @naxa, even with those figures, the ergo/natural keyboard had been out for years.
    – Tango
    Jun 19, 2012 at 16:22
  • @JoeWreschnig thank you for this very nice remark :) I hope in the end it will be identified... (but maybe I need to rephrase).
    – n611x007
    Jun 19, 2012 at 16:31
  • @naxa Closed questions can't be answered.
    – user1027
    Jun 19, 2012 at 16:34
  • I'm sorry to inform you, that you are technically wrong. In Matrix lore a human's perception organs are the gateways to their "soul" (or "mind"). This connection is repeated again and again, featuring the Oracle checking Noe's eyes (and ears, if memory serves), as well as the pills that are ingested. The list goes on. The tactile sense is an important sense, so especially for a programmer the choice of keyboard could have a dramatic influence within this particular universe. Regardless of that, we accept much more silly questions that aren't half as well researched by their resp. OP.
    – bitmask
    Jun 20, 2012 at 11:44

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