2182: When I'm Back at a Keyboard

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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When I'm Back at a Keyboard
[after typing 1,500 words on feathered dinosaurs, paleontology, sexism, lava, and dinosaurs as animals rather than movie monsters] Sorry to cut it short, I'm on my phone. When I'm back at a keyboard, I can give you another 5,000 words.
Title text: [after typing 1,500 words on feathered dinosaurs, paleontology, sexism, lava, and dinosaurs as animals rather than movie monsters] Sorry to cut it short, I'm on my phone. When I'm back at a keyboard, I can give you another 5,000 words.


Cueball is texting someone on his phone. However, since with a full sized physical keyboard you can type with all of your fingers, which is usually a much faster and more accurate way than using an on-screen keyboard on a smartphone, Cueball cuts off the conversation and says he will get back to whoever he was talking to when he can type on an actual keyboard, presumably at home and on his computer. While there are multiple techniques for making a smartphone increasingly easier to enter words into using its on-screen virtual keyboard, such as keyboard swiping, on-the-fly spelling and grammar checkers, and voice recognition to minimize using the keyboard at all, the combination of a full-sized keyboard along with a generous sized screen is hard to beat for speed and accuracy when typing larger blocks of text.

The joke is that despite claiming to be more proficient with a physical keyboard, rather than a digital one, Randall still goes into long rants through messages on his smartphone, whenever anybody brings up Jurassic Park.

There might also be a reference on Dennis Nedry, a character from the first Jurassic Park film. The programmer is responsible for a security sabotage and intends to be away from his keyboard only for a short while, but dies (not altogether) unexpectedly, worsening the situation in the park.

The title text shows a typical sentence from Randall after having been in a chat over his phone. Before the sentence he has written 1500 words on his phone, all related to Jurassic Park, more or less. When he finally have written his fingers off he then says that he will have to stop now but once back at a keyboard, and even though he just typed 1500 words on his phone, he is ready to type even more (5000 words) using his keyboard.

The widespread uptake of mobile devices has stark implications for user-generated content sites on the internet. According to a 2014 New York Times article, only one percent of the changes to Wikipedia articles were made via mobile devices, although they displayed about a third of all Wikipedia page views that year.


[Cueball is walking while holding his phone in both hands. A line from the screen on the phone goes to the text above him, indicating what he writes:]
Cueball (texting): Sure, I can reply once I'm back at a keyboard and can type more easily.
[Caption below the panel:]
I say this a lot for someone who routinely types thousands of words in text message conversations when someone brings up Jurassic Park.

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Should be added to Category:Jurassic Park. PvOberstein (talk) 17:09, 29 July 2019 (UTC)

There are ways to type into your phone using your computer keyboard. Should we add that piece of info to the explanation? FlavianusEP (talk) 19:47, 29 July 2019 (UTC)

There are, but they're mostly redundant. When on the go, how would you juggle a phone AND a keyboard? When back home, why not use a big screen with a keyboard instead of a tiny one with same? -- Malgond (talk) 05:55, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
More and more people only have a cell phone and don't have a computer at home. Of course, it's unlikely those would bother with figuring out how to attach a full-sized keyboard and/or cast their screen to a large display anyway; if those were important to them, they would probably opt for a regular computer anyway. Either way, probably not worth adding to the main page. -boB (talk) 14:22, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
Some phones have a physical keyboard built-in, such as the Gemini and Cosmo Communicator.  As a happy owner of the former, I can vouch for how easy it is to generate as well as consume ‘content’ on a phone.  PS. You'll never guess what I'm typing this on… Gidds (talk) 16:07, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
True, and for my first smartphone I insisted on a model with a built-in keyboard (the original Motorola Droid) because I didn't trust virtual keyboards, however it was a miniature keyboard so it didn't have much size advantage over the virtual keyboard, and couldn't do things the virtual keyboard could do like changing layouts (alpha vs numeric vs symbols vs emoji), predictive choices (click here if the word you've started typing is this word), etc. Now I don't bother looking for phones with built-in physical keyboards. Looks like the Gemini you got does have close to a full-sized keyboard, at the expense of missing lots of symbol keys a "standard" keyboard would have, so you're definitely closer to the ease of using a full keyboard. -boB (talk) 17:21, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
My first smart phone was an early Samsung Galaxy (no number like 4, 5, whatever) with a slide-out keyboard. I LOVED that. About the size of the phone, so significantly bigger than any on-screen keyboard. Also the physical response helped when typing. Also being able to type numbers without switching keyboards. Seems like Samsung dropped the feature in future Galaxies. :( For my next phone I tried to insist on a physical keyboard, couldn't find one, ended up with a separate Bluetooth keyboard about the same size as my phone, with the downside that it randomly repeats a key with no way to stop it. (Lost and replaced twice, all 3 had this issue) So, currently without a physical keyboard and missing it, LOL! I do THIS on an iPad, whose keyboard is at least a decent size. NiceGuy1 (talk) 07:22, 31 July 2019 (UTC)

This comic is exactly me. Some of my highest-viewed answers on Quora are ones that I started with "I don't feel like typing this now, it's 3AM and I'm on my phone, so I'll just give a quick answer and then edit it tomorrow from my computer". Sometimes I do fix it later, sometimes I type thousands of carefully formatted words before falling asleep by 4AM with it maybe posted, then leave it that way. Weirdly, feathered dinosaurs is at least two of those answers. — Kazvorpal (talk) 01:47, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

Some of the worst questions and answers on Stack Overflow are from people using cellphones. They might not be so bad for typing plain text, but code formatting is nearly impossible, and cut-and-paste is not too easy, either. Barmar (talk) 18:30, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

"when i'm back on a leopard" 06:23, 23 February 2021 (UTC)06:23, 23 February 2021 (UTC)06:23, 23 February 2021 (UTC)06:23, 23 February 2021 (UTC)06:23, 23 February 2021 (UTC)06:23, 23 February 2021 (UTC)Helpimstuckinahole smith (talk)

You know, a phone with a chorded keyboard could be the perfect solution. It's just the right size to hold it in your hand, and some six buttons can easily fit on the phone's sides. And the typing speed is allegedly pretty good with those. "But you don't use a chorded keyboard, do you?" The only downside is that learning to type with it would require some effort. 19:39, 4 May 2022 (UTC)