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I type hard. I eat through inexpensive membrane-based keyboards and usually replace them after keys quit responding despite the keyboard being recently cleaned. I almost always wear the letters off the key caps to a point that people using my keyboard complain that they can't read it. (I don't think I count as a touch typist since I do occasionally look down at my hands, but I don't *have* to in order to type accurately.)

In hopes of finding a longer-lasting keyboard, I've been using a Key Tronic keyboard I picked up at an office liquidation store. Since I acquired it in late 2003, five letters have at least halfway rubbed off the key caps. The wear will probably accelerate if past keyboards are any indication, but it's satisfyingly clicky compared to the overpriced "soft touch" keyboard it replaced. (I hated it, but it was the only keyboard I could find in Goldsboro had that didn't have a "natural" layout or all those extra buttons for features like volume control.)

In a perfect world, I'd be typing this on an IBM Model M (unofficial motto: "Type hard or go home") or a Northgate (more likely a CVT Avant keyboard, which are reportedly based on Northgate keyboards). Alas, I own neither and they're rather pricey. Whatever I eventually replace this keyboard with will not have Windows keys because they bug the crap out of me, which in turn bugs Vogon since I remapped them on my system. Heh heh.

edit 2100: I picked up a Model M made between 1989-1993 on eBay with Buy It Now (I prefer it to bidding on most items since I don't use a sniping service or whatever) for $26 including shipping. I am pleased.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 26th, 2005 09:12 pm (UTC)
Model M
Model M's can be had for five to fifteen bucks on ebay, used. That's where I got all mine, which I'm hoarding against the day my first one fails. Some googling may yield a used equipment dealer who will sell you one outside of ebay.
Apr. 27th, 2005 12:03 am (UTC)
Re: Model M
Thanks for the tip! I'd been looking at clickykeyboards.com, which sells new and used Model M keyboards at a significantly higher price.

Hoarding good input devices isn't a bad idea. I've been using the same trackball since 1996 and need to keep my eyes open for a good condition used one as a replacement after this one wears out. (I didn't think to buy a new one when the model was discontinued.)
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 26th, 2005 10:12 pm (UTC)
Keyboards are a thing, aren't they? I was very fond of my Kinisis ergo keyboards, they are at least semi clicky, and very nice to type on. But the need repair, or at least a good cleaning.

There was a run of new Mac keyboard with clasic clicklieness and such, and they will work on your PC Tidbits for details.

www.jerrypournelle.com has regular discussions of where to get keyboards like what you like.
Apr. 26th, 2005 10:52 pm (UTC)
I've got a stack of keyboards in my techpile to account for my keyboard pickyness. I'm currently enjoying my translucent black kensington (for Mac). I swear, my next might be one of these though.

Apr. 27th, 2005 02:01 pm (UTC)
I'm drooling over that one too. Looks pretty sweet and with durability specs like that it might actually stand up to a couple weeks in my house.
Apr. 27th, 2005 02:43 am (UTC)
I like the really clicky type of keyboards. I _despise_ the mushy kind. That are like, I don't know, typing on a sponge. I want to hear noises when I write and type. If I am not hearing nothing, something is wrong.

Ben found a very old, heavy IBM keyboard. I don't know what sort it was, but it was from Teh Early Days. Which is awesome. That was a Keyboard.

I actually do like the new Mac keyboards, by which I mean the ones that come with it, but I am digging that Matias Tactile Pro Keyboard linked above. Man, now I kinda want that.
Apr. 27th, 2005 01:58 pm (UTC)
Lemme know what you think when you get the IBM one and start burning letters off. It's about time to replace the newer IBM one I'm using. The action on the keys started out perfect and straight, but now the keys have a slight wobble (side-to-side) as they go down. They still click somewhat though :)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


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Melissa, starry-eyed soy-lovin' Expatriated Zulu

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