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  • While in camera world we have clear progress year after year, in keyboard business things in mass market are going in reverse.

    If you get IBM PS/2 keyboard from 1991 and after working on it you go to your shop and try various keyboards you'll be in shock. Starting from $5-10 crap invented only to type up to 140 symbols a day (makes you understand twitter popularity), to pricey junk "space ships" designed to run video player.

    And gaming keyboards. This is long story. Not only you must send all your time down the pipes, but you must do it on cool keyboards. I am not even start the story of motherfuckers who place extra keys in the bottom row, more and more. Inventor of Windows keys (and Fn keys on notebooks) must be found and executed in public using some very paintful way.

    This was few thoughts I got after looking at keyboard market and getting Razor BlackWidow (not big choice of localized mechanical stuff is available really).

    image

    This is mechanical keyboard based on Cherry MX Blue switches

    Razor keyboard is very good example of modern "inventors".

    1. Key size is slightly reduced compared to normal keyboards (whole main block is smaller than normal keyboard).
    2. Typeface used for keys is just awful, not major, really, if you type constantly, but anyway.
    3. As this is "gamers keyboard" it has macro keys that are on the left and placed in such distance that makes harder intuitive use of left Ctrl.
    4. It is glossy and keys are made from quite cheap plastic (if you compare to IBM keyboards)

    But overall, of couse it can't be compared to rubber dome crap, even good one as some Microsoft keyboards.

    It not have ideal main key block layout like some keyboards:
    image

    As Enter is still small.

    May be in future we'll see something ideal, like IBM keyboards, but with larger bottom row, no widows keys and with buckling spring or mech switches options.


    Available at:

    Note: You can get older (not 2013) version, it is cheaper but absolutely the same from practical standpoint

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  • 60 Replies sorted by
  • I hear you Vitaliy .. I use the AVID PC Version found here. http://www.logickeyboard.com/shop/video-1004s.html

    And it's not just the nice coloured keys .. while it's subjective .. these keyboards are beautiful to use imho.

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  • @kavadni

    I think it is slightly different thing.
    I do not know how about you, but I find this fancy different colors not very useful.

  • I wish I could rip the keyboard off my IBM Thinkpad T43 (before Lenovo), and have it on a desktop-surface-level layout, and use it for everything until the end of times.

    While producing Thinkpads way back when, IBM unknowingly created THE BEST DAMNED KEYBOARD in the Universe. If you have ever used one for a few minutes, you know what I am talking about

  • Your best bet if you want something as similar as possible to the IBM Model M is to get a Unicomp (since IIRC they're updated versions of the IBM) - and I think you can swap the caps too for localization. If you absolutely want something that works like a Model M and has no Windows keys, why not just get a Model M and use it with a PS/2 to USB converter? I have a small pile of them and if shipping isn't too insane, I'd be glad to send it to you as a thanks for the hacks you do.

    Since I don't mind having a Windows key, I got a Das Keyboard Model S Ultimate Silent and I like it a lot, though I wish the mx browns were a little bit more responsive. I may end up trying something with mx blues.

  • The IBM Model M is not exactly the same as the silent Thinkpad keyboards. In fact, I would say they are a universe apart.

    A close friend loves the loud KLAK KLAK from keyboards like the model M, but I have other preferences. The Thinkpad notebook computer has a keyboard that embraces the tip of your fingers and gives way without hesitation nor struggle. Is the equivalent of walking in velvet barefoot, while eating chocolate, and getting a massage.. in a climate controlled beach, with a margarita in hand.. the hand of a beautiful lady holding your drink that is.

  • I have a small pile of them and if shipping isn't too insane, I'd be glad to send it to you as a thanks for the hacks you do.

    This is very interesting offer :-) You can PM me :-)

  • @pdlumina

    Do not tell me about Thinkpad keyboards :-) As I keep old Thinkpad 600E just for this, love this outdated motherfucker.

    You can look on ebay for old stock IBM keyboards with trackpad. They are similar, but not up to the standards.

    Lenovo idiots kept constantly "improving" things. Making it worse and worse with each generation (as I have two newer ThinkPads I can assure you).

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev - have you ever heard of Das Keyboard? Sounds like just about what you'd like, one of the most pleasurable keyboards to type on:

    image

    Same Cherry MX Blue switches.

  • @csync

    I prefer localized keyboard, plus really do not see much difference with Razor one.

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev - you're right, not a lot of differences, but at least the key font isn't quite as obnoxious, and a little bit of a nicer key layout. Localization isn't something I think about a lot, so that's probably a big factor.

  • @csync It is still small enter. A4tech I provided use best compromiss layout of that I know. I think ideal keyboard must be available in multiple layouts.

    Btw buckling spring is very good example of enougmous damage a simple patent could do. As such keyboards are easy to make, and they could be made cheaper than switch based. Switch based keyboards keys are also much more flimsy, compared to old IBM ones.

    Other though is that if most good keyboards are now marketed as gaming keyboards it tells us a lot about problems we have. And this is global problems, as huge number of motherfuckers spend their time gaming.

  • @vitaliy .. I bought the coloured keyboard, as I was trained in AVID 15 years ago .. it helped me refamiliarise after 12 year break .. once you know the keyboard and set up your own shortcuts, colours are redundant.

    I was worried that the colours would hide my main point ..
    'while it's subjective .. these keyboards are beautiful to use imho' They sell plain ones too

  • I have a old IBM PS2 keyboard I still keep as it has the mechanical keys with a nice positive click, great for typing on, still works flawlessly, but its really big and heavy and looks wise, is yellower than a banana, as the old white/grey plastic ages.. but I still love typing on it.

  • " I wish I could rip the keyboard off my IBM Thinkpad T43 (before Lenovo), and have it on a desktop-surface-level layout, and use it for everything until the end of times."

    You can get a T43 keyboard for PC as well :)... its called Ultranav http://www.geek.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/ultranav_keyboard_04.jpg

  • You can get newly manufactured IBM M-type buckling spring keyboards here:

    http://pckeyboards.stores.yahoo.net/index.html

    This company will also modify key positions, for a small extra charge. I have one with 24 function keys on top and 10 function keys on the left (like the very early PCs), and a full numeric pad on the right. To get correct function of left-side function keys, a modification was required.

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  • @jrd complete with a TrackPoint! sweet mother of.. that device looks funtastic. I was already in the stages of designing my 'DESL' for a Thinkpad keyboard, so I guess I don't have to anymore.. mm or maybe I do.

    Too bad that while at work I must use these keyboard abominations from Dell (miss my T43, X41 at home)

  • @Alfi666

    Ultranav is different. Not bad also, but different.

  • Happy Hacking Keyboard, Filco, Realforce. My younger brother is way into this.

  • I love the trackpoint of my lenovo (you keep your hands on the keyboard, and don't have to move back and forth to use a mouse/touchpad). I looked for a wireless keyboard with this for some time (to control my PC from my sofa when projecting with a beamer), but never found one. I ended up buying the PS2 keyboard with a small touchpad on the right, poor quality, and a lot of blutooth deconnections, but still usable for this specific need.

  • I am adapting now to Razor keyboard. Typing on it, especially after initial adaptation, is like having constant prolonged orgasm :-) Typing speed returned to my T600 days, may be even more.

  • http://www.ebay.com/itm/CHERRY-NEW-PC-KEYBOARD-G81-1800LUMUS-0-16-USB-/140737596367

    Cherry new mechanical keyboards for $14.99. Layout on right part is non-standard, but seems pretty useful.

  • Got two Model M keyboards from @eatstoomuchjam.
    Quite a nostalgia. They need cleaning and some keys need new keycaps and repairs, especially spaces are strange.

    The IBM Model M keyboard is a time traveler. You might be slightly surprised to see one on a friend's desk, as if it might foreshadow by only a few minutes the naked arrival of a Sarah Connor-hungry Arnold Schwartzenegger. Like the Terminator, the existence of a Model M today is an anachronism. In the recent past, the world used computer parts made by people in different places instead of receiving the entire trough on the slow boat from China. It still mattered more what a computer did than what it looked like. Manufacturers presumed you cared that their products last longer than a year. Trying to mend computer hardware instead of rebuying it wasn't an entirely quaint and hilarious waste of time. From such a time the Model M has traveled.

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    From: http://plope.com/Members/chrism/25_years_of_the_model_m

    Found small thing about Model M cleaning - http://www.preater.com/modelm/

    Btw considering Cherry above, I see that seller relisted next batch http://www.ebay.com/itm/CHERRY-NEW-PC-KEYBOARD-G81-1800LUMUS-0-16-USB-/140755070768

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev

    Don't know what kind of repairs you need, but you can get buckling spring replacements here:

    http://www.clickykeyboards.com/index.cfm/fa/items.main/parentcat/11298/subcatid/0/id/112467

  • image

    http://en.360buy.com/product/genius-m1-mechanical-keyboard-black/586351.html#

    Seems to be cheapest mechanical keyboard

    Price: $32 + about $11 saver shipping