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Typically, I touch N computer keyboards daily:

Displaying poll results.
N = 1 (my own, my precious)
  3812 votes / 10%
N = 2 or 3 (home/work, or desktop/laptop, say)
  22130 votes / 60%
N = 4 to 10 (helping coworkers, perhaps)
  8915 votes / 24%
N = 11 to 30 (dedicated tech support role)
  1506 votes / 4%
N > 30 (admitting your addiction is the 1st step)
  490 votes / 1%
36853 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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Typically, I touch N computer keyboards daily:

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  • A desktop and a notebook each for work and home, plus a Bluetooth keyboard for the tablet, plus the tablet's own virtual keyboard, plus the work Blackberry and the personal smartphone... That's eight a day, and that presumes that I don't work on any servers or others' systems directly.

    • by cashman73 (855518)
      the personal smartphone

      Would I count my iPhone's touch screen as a "keyboard", or should I be saying, "My iPhone doesn't have a keyboard, you insensitive clod!"

    • by snero3 (610114)

      dude you need to let go :)

  • by cshark (673578) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @10:33AM (#38202602)
    Softly, and only when asked. I can run my fingers down their sweet curveys and tight buttons. Pressing in just the right spot. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it.
  • by SleazyRidr (1563649) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @10:38AM (#38202642)

    Isn't it more fun when they just post the numbers and let us work out what the significance of them is? Sure you'd lose the joke but you'd gain so much more. Also, what about parts of keyboards. If I get pissed off at my computer and smash the keyboard, and half of it flies behind the couch, then I clean up the mess that's within reach, then after a few years when I move the couch I clean up the rest... how should I count that?

  • by oGMo (379) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @10:40AM (#38202680)

    Sure, the desktop and the laptop are obvious. But thinking about it, there are a lot more in common use:

    1. Dev workstation
    2. Laptop
    3. Game PC
    4. Phone
    5. Tablet
    6. E-reader
    7. Game Console (on-screen or physical)
    8. Handheld game console
    9. TV Remote

    Maybe the TV remote is pushing it, but you could easily double up on a few here... more than one game console, handheld console, and a game keypad for the PC. This is probably (hopefully?) average for most slashdotters, some of whom may have multiple laptops, phones, etc.

    • by tepples (727027)
      The gaming PC and the development workstation are probably the same machine unless you game on a home theater PC. (CronoCloud is under the impression that almost nobody does.) The game console, handheld game console, TV, and some phones, tablets and e-readers don't allow installation of applications from unknown sources, so they're not general-purpose computers.
      • by oGMo (379)

        In my case, at least, they're not (very different hardware configurations), though there are other common variations if you have a desk job... your primary game PC is probably not your employer-supplied workstation, for instance.

        That said, "not general-purpose computers" doesn't really matter; the poll says "computer keyboards," and as touchscreen keyboards are just another hardware configuration (as would any special-pupose on-screen keyboard, assisted input device, chording keyboard, etc), there's no reas

        • That said, "not general-purpose computers" doesn't really matter; the poll says "computer keyboards,"

          Did you mean to count the keypad of a microcontroller-driven appliance such as a microwave oven or land-line phone as a "computer keyboard"? If so, then I voted wrong. If not, then one has to draw the line somewhere between the lever of a toaster and the keyboard of a desktop or laptop PC.

          • by oGMo (379)

            Obviously this is a bit more complex than it seems at first glance---as are most things---but if you can enter words into it in a character-by-character fashion, it's probably good enough to count. At a glance, you include most unusual keyboards/assistive input hardware/software that should be considered, along with smartphones, many of which are or can be full Linux systems and even have hardware keyboards.

            Otherwise you start splitting hairs. Does an Android device not count as a computer because it does

            • but if you can enter words into it in a character-by-character fashion

              "Typically, I touch N alphabetic keyboards daily" and I'll vote 3.

              Otherwise you start splitting hairs.

              Which is why I often try to get the hair-splitting out of the way first so that the discussion doesn't collapse later [].

              Does an Android device not count as a computer because it doesn't have coreutils or a compiler?

              Android has both SL4A and adb install and therefore counts as general-purpose.

              Is an iPhone not included because it happens to not be jailbroken?

              Yes. Jailbreaking an iPhone or Wii turns it into a general-purpose computer.

              What about a Chromebook?

              Because nobody in my family owns a Chromebook, I have not had a chance to explore its operating environment and therefore cannot answer this question definitively. But if a C

    • by Rary (566291)


      ATM, PIN pad at checkout stand, alarm code entry pad...

      Really, computers are everywhere these days, and we interact with them so frequently we hardly notice it.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      When I first upgraded to dual monitors I loved it but thought something was still lacking. Then I realised what I needed: dual keyboards!

  • Scientific work (Score:4, Interesting)

    by eastlight_jim (1070084) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @10:53AM (#38202802)
    If you do a lot of scientific or similar work, a lot of machines have dedicated PCs, each with their own keyboard. For myself, that's two HPLC machines, a mass spectrometer, a microplate reader, a real time PCR machine and a fluorescence microscope all without touching a "normal" computer.
    • by Walzmyn (913748)

      I thought of this too. My industry uses a lot of computer controllers that are self-contained boxes triggering a few dozen relays, everything is on the front panel of the controller. I play with several of these every day, but I finally decided anything in this genera (and my phone as well) was a keypad. For "Keyboard" I'm going with 1 for my laptop.
      There's a couple of other computers in the house, but I don't use them on any regular basis.

  • I typically use 3 keyboards every work day. Two at work and my home laptop. I'll also use a virtual keyboard on my phone.

  • If you touch ten keyboards a day, you will forget to wash your hands before scratching your nose at least once.

    • by syousef (465911)

      If you touch ten keyboards a day, you will forget to wash your hands before scratching your nose at least once.

      THAT is what you're worried about? I'm much more concerned with people's toilet habits being less than stellar. The thought of touching my coworker's faeces/urine/semen/vaginal secretions/sweat/hair and pimple puss is enough to put me off lunch, that's for sure!

  • by alphatel (1450715) * on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @11:36AM (#38203370)
    Due to virtualization and remote management, the number of keyboards we touch has dramatically decreased, though we are in fact still interacting with hoards of servers daily. We still occasionally have to get off our rumps and touch user keyboards and servers in maintenance mode.
    • by Creepy (93888)

      Virtualization helped a lot for # of keyboards for me, as well, but that only helps server side. Client side requires hardware accelerated graphics, so I still have to sit at the head on those machines (VNC was banned due to security or something a few years back, so I can't use it, and stuff like Windows remote desktop doesn't work with Linux or work with hardware acceleration). Since I split my time between server and client work, I guess I use between 2 and 10, depending on the day.

      • by Muros (1167213)
        You can run an xrdp server on linux to connect to it via rdp. It does use vnc, but a copy that doesn't accept remote connections. It pipes incoming rdp connections through to the vnc server, and works resonably fast. Certainly a hell of a lot faster than the "when all else fails" option of remotely running X programs on a windows X server through ssh when u need a gui.
    • by Muros (1167213)
      Indeed. I can often work on 30+ machines in a day, but usually only use a few keyboards. Home PC, phone, work laptop, and second work machine I keep around both for when I want a larger screen and also for running certain vpn clients with conflicting NCP virtual adapters to one I use on the laptop.
    • If you get a remote connection to the KVM switch, you can still do maintenance without going to the physical keyboard. Much easier! Much more "rump time"
  • I'm still waiting for that interface which can read my brainwaves or do facial recognition.

    If you keep doing that, your face will freeze into a permanent 'WTF' expression!

  • by The Archon V2.0 (782634) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @12:03PM (#38203708)
    I'm in dedicated tech support but between KVMs, remote administration, and people who drag their boxes to me, I deal with about 8 keyboards but over 20 computers. Good heavens, if I had a keyboard for every computer I fix I'd have no desk space for anything else.
    • by Nimey (114278)

      Going out in the field to touch other peoples' computers, when it's important to watch them to see what they're doing wrong.

      I support a little north of 200 computers.

  • by Sez Zero (586611) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @12:54PM (#38204382) Journal
    They're ALL precious, you insensitive clod!
  • Setting phones and ATMs aside, I work with just the one.

    But I have 4 (primary) systems networked together around the house that happily run X clients for me. From this one keyboard.

  • by VVrath (542962) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @01:39PM (#38204990)

    I teach ICT, and don't currently have my own classroom - there are some days when I teach in 5 different computer suites.

    5 classes per day means I only have to assist ten pupils per lesson and I'm up to 50 keyboards touched, and that doesn't include the keyboard of the teaching machine, my work laptop or my home PC etc.

    No wonder I seem to catch every bug going round...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I used to work in tech support, and even now I volunteer with the elderly in a computer club. I long ago came to the conclusion that if I'm touching the computer (keyboard/mouse) while 'helping' someone, then I'm doing it wrong.

      By having the user keep control of the computer, small side lessons get slipped in while still getting the main point across. If the user gets confused while we're working, then I'm not explaining clearly enough.

      If I'm in a hurry it can be maddening seeing someone struggle to type so

  • Work keyboard and home primary desktop for certain every day. (Well, *NEAR* certain. When I'm on vacation obviously that drops.)

    Often use my iPad physical Bluetooth keyboard - NEARLY daily. So MOST days I'm up to 3.

    I have a few 'lab' machines at home that I TEND to use at least one of every day, so now I'm up to 3-4, depending on if I use the iPad keyboard. Usually, I will only use one lab machine per day, but sometimes I use more than one.

    So on a typical day, I will use 4 keyboards, with some days as l

  • Why wasn't there a "zero" option, for exclusive tablet and smartphone users??
  • ... I have three keyboards at work (production + test PCs), one at home, and my old school CASIO Data Bank 150 calculator watch. ;)

  • I have two at my desk at work, and two at home, and I usually use each of them at least once per day.
  • The Original (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lucidus (681639) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @05:02PM (#38207578)
    I touch two: my computer keyboard, and my piano. Surely there are other musicians on Slashdot?
    • by quadrox (1174915)

      My violin doesn't have a keyboard, so that doesn't really help...

      • by jd (1658)

        Depends on what sort of key you are considering. I'd say there are two types of key (musical keys and the individual frets, since hammer-down can create a sound) and you've four independent keyboards for that second sort of key. That makes for a total of 5 - 4 physical and 1 virtual.

  • by Bigbutt (65939) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @05:11PM (#38207664) Homepage Journal

    I'm using synergy at work to work with three systems but through one keyboard and mouse.


  • Work purely on my company laptop. Runs windows 7. Fire up a virtual machine on external harddrives that I own myself, and do personal stuff there, contacting my server through ssh. With internet, ssd, virtualization and cloud, who needs to sit behind more than one physical machine?
  • by trolman (648780) *
    I have over 300 keyboards to deal with but rarely touch more than five per day. VNC and RDP. Oh yeah; for mod points, we use UltraVNC on all of the workstations.
  • In addition to my personal smart phone, laptop, desktop, I support numerous embedded systems in the course of my work. Many of the machines I work on have full on PCs to interface with the user, and they use combinations of keypads, mice, touchscreens, and regular old keyboards, and some have more than 1 PC. All of the machines with full on PCs have keyboards, in addition to the touchscreens mice, and keypads. Other machines have a somewhat simpler interface, using an LCD display and keypads with 4 Arrow k

  • 1. desktop at work
    2. work laptop, used for remoting to client sites
    3. personal laptop
    4. NAS boxes at home (does it count as 3 keyboards if I'm using a KVM?)
    5. gaming box at home
    6. pc in bedroom
    7. phone has a qwerty keyboard, throw that in
    8. tablet while on the train
    9. and typically my girlfriends laptop gets some bad-touch too.
    crap... if I help co workers I go up into the next category of 'it support' I may have a problem...
  • I work from home. My beautiful das keyboard ultimate.

    It's the silent one, but my wife says it's way too loud anyway.

  • My keyboard at home is an IBM Model M (P/N 52G9658, AUG 1993).

    At work, I bought my own keyboard. Since that PC is USB only (and USBPS/2 adapters suck), I got a Unicomp Customizer 105 USB [], which is the direct lineal descendant of the Model M. (They own the patents which used to belong to IBM/Lexmark.)

    All hail the Model M! Buckling spring forever!

  • Regular:
    Home linux
    Home gaming
    Work terminal
    Work root physical only login

    Mobile nursing computers... 1-3 average a night; sometimes none, sometimes up to a dozen... but only with gloves. SERIOUSLY.
    Mom's ancient G3 mac-mini... ugh, what the hell did you do now?
    Netbook at Starbucks... for stuff I won't risk browsing at home.

    If the various pop-up keyboard/search functions on my Ipod count, then +1 irregular.

  • I work as a computer service technician, among others I do warranty work for HP and Lenovo, as well as regular old Joe Average "Mah computah is kinda funneh" walk-in service. On any given day I work on at least 12-16 computers. About half of these are laptops with their own keyboard, the other half is stationary computers for which I provide my own keyboard. The three keyboards I keep on my workbench have literally been plugged into hundreds of computers just the last few months.

  • People hate when I touch their keyboards, because the first thing I do is change the keyboard layout to dvorak. I've occasionally forgot to change it back. The variation of physical keyboard layouts alone makes it suck to work on other people's keyboards. First, you have the short right shift or backspace buttons. Then you have keys that they put wherever the hell they want. These include the backslash/pipe, page up, page down, home, end, arrow keys, etc... I've even worked on more than one laptop that was
  • Its such a great way to spread viruses around. I avoid it at all costs. To help with this I use a left handed mouse configuration and tell others that its just too hard to deal with so go the fuck away. It sometimes works.

  • I touch, commonly, 4 keyboards a day. And one of that keyboards are attached to a KVM Switch, in order to prevent yet another keyboard on my life! =]

    • by Lisias (447563)

      virtual keyboards do not count.

      That FSCKING thing on my Nexus One IS NOT a functional keyboard, for God's sake!

  • I'd rather touch the toilet then another person keyboard, the thing is so full of germs I wash my heads every time I had to use another person keyboard.
  • On a typical day, I usually end up using five different keyboards.
    1. My computer at home
    2. Video capture/editing system
    3. Audio recording system in broadcast room (only because the above doesn't have a line from the mixing console)
    4. Laptop recording from FOH console in Audacity and running Sennheiser WSM to monitor on-stage mics (RF levels, battery life, frequencies, etc.)
    5. System controlling audio/video in the atrium

    That's not counting the servers I interact with through vSphere. Although I guess those would cou

  • 1. Netbook
    2. Desktop
    3. Laptop (maybe, I'm using this less these days)
    4. Workstation at work
    5. Maybe another workstation at work if its a day where techs>work stations or if that one doofus who refuses to use the other machine to make labels gets on mine again.
    6. The workstation I get called to support
    7. The server that needs to be rebooted.
    8. The other server that needs to be rebooted. (we have 1,000's)

    Really four or five is a reasonable daily guess, but it can far exceed it into the 100's on occasion.

  • I answered 1 as it's my own laptop.

    However I could easily have said 3 - iPad, android phone - so do touch screens count?

    Also what about door entry systems or cash machines?

  • I've finally picked up mechanical ones. I never wanted to be one of "those" nerds but I'm in love :)

  • Suggestion for next poll:

    Number of time you get sick in a month.

2 pints = 1 Cavort


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