Is this computer, as in hardware, fictional? It has a very strange keyboard layout.
Everything with the computers is wrong, given the high-tech background of Lumon Industries.
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They're props, but the design is based on a real terminal screen/keyboard from the 70's
The entire design premise of the show is based on an uncertainty of where we are in time.
"We wanted to confuse the viewer about whether this is a period piece, contemporary, or the future."
The "Lumon Industries" terminals are based on the Data General Dasher D2 or D3 terminals (circa 1977/1979), but, according to production designer Jeremy Hindle and set decorator Andrew Baseman, "any single brand of computer would be too identifiable for viewers".
“We brought in every imaginable desktop we could think of. [...] We made a computer that, if it ever came out in the real world and the engineers described what they were doing, no one would believe them. It’s a cathode-ray tube, but it’s a touchscreen. It has a trackball. We recognize some aspects of it, and some not at all.”
The contradictory qualities are supposed to be baffling but also a bit amusing. “It doesn’t look like an adult high-tech computer,” Baseman added. “It looks like a toy.”
I chose this particular one because underneath it has…
u/gza-genius posted some photos with the title:
My buddy made the keyboards in Apple TV’s “Severence”
…and as some else noted, "There's no Escape." Quite fitting.
Original Dasher D2, for comparison…
No. According to this interview in the New York Times, it was a custom designed prop. However, it was inspired by vintage and classic computer designs from the 80s and earlier. In particular, the Data General Dasher:
The museum which the product designer probably visited to get inspiration seems to have a slightly different Dasher with a monitor that looks more like what they used in the show:
As for the odd keyboard design in the show, while the Dasher seen above has something more familiar to modern computer users, but it wouldn't be unusual for various computers throughout history to have certain customisations to fit specific requirements. It's really only since the late 80s and early 90s that computers and keyboards became highly standardised and generalised (though there are still custom layouts).
They're custom-designed by the prop department, but they're "real" in that they're fully functional computers that the actors actually use on-set. Per The Verge:
Hindle says that the computers are functional and that the actors are really messing with numbers on screen during the show. The machines also went through multiple revisions before production began to get the size just right (among other things), so that they were large enough to be a focal point but small enough to not obscure the actors or interfere with their eyelines.