Saturday, April 26, 2008


The Urban Dictionary defines "steampunk" as "a subgenre of speculative fiction, usually set in an anachronistic Victorian or quasi-Victorian alternate history setting. It could be described by the slogan 'What the past would look like if the future had happened sooner.'" While that's an accurate description, it doesn't allow for the influence steampunk has had on other areas, such as art and craft.

A little while ago, someone e-mail Neil Gaiman with a link to the website of Richard R. Nagy (aka Datamancer), the creator of some really awesome pieces of art/technology. Behold the keyboards below:The designs are based off of one by Jake von Slatt, who wasn't particularly interested in making many of them and let Nagy have at it. Von Slatt runs a website called The Steampunk Workshop, so anyone interested in steampunk projects need not look any further. He recently constructed a Victorian All-in-One PC that's pretty amazing.

My favourite of the projects done by these two is Nagy's Steampunk Victorian Laptop. You wouldn't believe that the photo at the top of this post was of a laptop, but it is, I assure you. Here's a better look:
This may look like a Victorian music box, but inside this intricately hand-crafted wooden case lives a Hewlett-Packard ZT1000 laptop that runs both Windows XP and Ubuntu Linux. It features an elaborate display of clockworks under glass, engraved brass accents, claw feet, an antiqued copper keyboard and mouse, leather wrist pads, and customized wireless network card. The machine turns on with an antique clock-winding key by way of a custom-built ratcheting switch made from old clock parts.
This is the kind of creativity and craftsmanship that I love to see!

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