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Keyboard thread

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:56 am
by xjas
Allright, we've got a thread for joysticks, and I'm bored, and this forum could use some life... What are you typing on?

On my DOS machine I have this little space-saver PS/2 keyboard which ticks all the right boxes but has some serious deficiencies:
I love the idea of this thing - getting a full set of arrow keys *and* a proper numeric pad in something 2/3 the length of the Sun is awesome, but the actual layout is really poorly thought out. I constantly overshoot the backspace and get 'home' instead (infuriating) and delete/insert (between the arrow keys and ctrl) are way easy to hit if I misplace my right hand. Also I wish it didn't have the windows and menu keys either, they just take up space. Oh well, it was $2 on Tradme, and it's black.

For my "modern" (USB-capable) systems, I scored one of these recently - a Sun type-6:
Not the springiest in the world but I like it. Thankfully I have the "PC" layout which has control/caps lock and backspace/backslash in their usual locations. Supported natively by both KDE/X11 and OSX, but the Sun special key block on the left doesn't do much. Can be remapped in software though.

I seem to be in the minority in that I don't particularly like Model Ms, they're just too clunky for me. I can use one, I just type faster and more fluidly on a membrane keyboard. Usually. I think the best 8-bit keyboard I ever tried was on an MSX but I don't remember which model.

Re: Keyboard thread

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 1:24 pm
by Carcenomy
I run a whole plethora of keyboards myself, my all time favourite especially for older machines is an old Ultra by Imagineering AT 101-key dealie. I don't know what type of switches it uses, but the feel is somewhere between regular cheap membrane and Model M, plus it has a proper switch for XT/AT mode. Clickety click, clickety click...

When I need something USB that's bog standard and basic, I use a mid-2000s HP Basic USB Keyboard. These are the typical corporate grade keyboards they give away with basically everything that isn't a Pavilion, and they're wonderfully durable and nice to type on.

Otherwise, I run a horde of Microsoft keyboards. For my older machines generally it's the Natural Keyboard or Natural Keyboard Elite, the home theatre PC has the new All In One Media Keyboard and my gaming PC uses a combination of a Wireless Desktop 800 and a Sidewinder X6. Mitsumi's build quality isn't what it used to be however, I'm on the third X6 and it's starting to show signs of cable failure too. Which is a shame, it's a lovely keyboard otherwise.

Next keyboard I buy will likely be a Das Keyboard.

Re: Keyboard thread

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 1:33 pm
by tezza
I'm using a genuine IBM Model M out here in the computer shack.

Re: Keyboard thread

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:42 pm
by Gibsaw
tezza wrote:I'm using a genuine IBM Model M out here in the computer shack.

I can't bring myself to pay for a model-M but they're nice to type on.

Re: Keyboard thread

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:13 pm
by Clym5
tezza wrote:I'm using a genuine IBM Model M out here in the computer shack.

And I thought I was alone! I also find the Model M is great for games too, particularly modern ones.

Not so great if that games uses voice chat though.. clickclickclickclick...

Re: Keyboard thread

PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:22 pm
by LilJoe
Yeah, just repaired my model M2 (its slightly smaller than the orignal M) no more squishy membrane keyboard for me :D

Re: Keyboard thread

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:29 am
by artig
I don't know what I'd do if my genuine Model M keyboard, built in December 88, finally bites the dust. I do have a spare one, but with slightly different layout or key legends. The left shift key is starting to stay down sometimes. As if it's catching on something, or being pushed slightly askew. Can't get it to fail when I deliberately try, though. Can anyone suggest a cure for this?

Fortunately the original M keyboard still seems to be available from Unicomp at if all else fails.