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A Rejunenated Classic

July 25, 2008

I hate my Mac’s keyboard.  I find I end up uncomfortably holding my fingers so as to produce no pressure on the keys.  This causes strain on my wrist, and also some keys don’t reliably click unless you press them at the right angle.  So I wasn’t too torn up about it when I accidentally spilled a glass of water on my keyboard a few days ago.  They keyboard mysteriously stopped working, even after fairly extensive drying.  I needed a new keyboard

I knew I didn’t want another Apple keyboard, and the choices of other keyboards seemed uninspiring.  I could take a risk on some kind of ergonomic keyboard that some Amazon reviewers loved and others hate, or I could buy a cheap keyboard, and be done with it.  I was paralyzed by indecision and too many mediocre choices.  Then I thought back to what keyboards used to be like when computers cost $8000, and an expensive keyboard didn’t add much to the price point.

There will always be a soft spot in my heart for the ancient IBM model M keyboard.  For me, modern keyboards aren’t fun or comfortable to type on, while my old IBM keyboard (probably still in DOF’s basement) had a very satisfying click to it and was quite pleasant.  I could actually rest my fingers on the keys without worrying about accidentally depressing one, and I could always tell by the auditory cue whether the key had actually been pressed.  After a few minutes, I discovered that there is a company that still makes old-style IBM keyboards (they bought the technology from Lexmark).  A quick look around pckeyboard.com, and I was sold.  For any DOF readers who have been longing for a modern update to a long-loved keyboard, now you can have it…

UPDATE:  The keyboard arrived last week, and I like it quite a bit.  It’s been several years since I’ve used a Model M, but this seems to be a good facsimile of my old keyboard.  I’ve found that I can type quite a bit faster and more accurately than before.  Highly recommended!

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  1. July 25, 2008 at 18:39 | #1

    Does your new keyboard have Mac-specific keys?

  2. July 25, 2008 at 20:01 | #2

    Make sure you give us an after-action report. Most people claim even though these have the “buckling spring”, they just don’t clicky like they use to.

    Most people I know score an 80s era one on fee-bay and then buy a PS/2 to USB converter, if needed.

    Here’s my post about my flea-market model-m score:


  3. Lucas
    July 25, 2008 at 22:09 | #3

    DOF: It’s got Windows keys, which I understand get mapped to the Mac keys, though I’m not sure exactly which keys map to which.  From what I’ve read, it’s not that big of a deal.

    Standard:  I thought about that (as I said, the old Model M should still be in DOF’s basement), but there were a few concerns.  The first is the lack of the Window key, which as I understand it means that one key is missing when used on a Mac.  The second is that I worry that a PS/2 to USB adapters might not work correctly on a Mac.  I suspect that despite the alleged lack of “pure click” in the new models, it will still be a massive improvement over my old keyboard.  I’ll post about it when it arrives.

  4. July 25, 2008 at 22:12 | #4

    The cable had me puzzled; I didn’t see an option for USB.

  5. July 26, 2008 at 17:36 | #5

    Interesting. I too will be interested in how it ends up working out.

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