One hundred and four concrete computer keys populate a 50 x 13-foot area on an embankment of the Iset River in the middle of the city of Yekaterinburg.
Russian artist Anatoly Vyatkin’s “Keyboard Monument” was installed in 2005. Since then it’s become a beloved landmark and is believed to be the largest QWERTY keyboard in the world.
The monument was based on an IBM PC, built to a scale of about 30:1. Each of its keys weighs somewhere between 100 and 1,000 pounds. It’s more than a little puzzling that thieves made off with the F1, F2, F3, and Y keys. (They were replaced in 2011.)
The giant keyboard is a popular site in Yekaterinburg, and annual celebrations are held around it. Local technicians meet there for Sysadmin Day every last Friday in July and participate in competitions like computer mouse throwing and powerlifting bundles of empty hard drives.
It’s said that if you make a wish and then successfully type W-I-S-H and hit Enter by leaping from block to block, your wish will come true. No word yet on what happens if you manage to populate Ctrl, Alt, and Del at the same time.