The best computer keyboards ever made - still

WhatMACHI

WhatMACHI

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The old IMB keyboard i had from 8 or so years ago is still one of the best keyboards ive ever had. It still works 100% and i dont ever see the need to replace it unless it breaks.
 
LuxLuthor

LuxLuthor

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I'd kill for one of these.
I love split keyboards, they are much easier on the hands than ordinary square, and even ergonomic "bent" ones.
I also love buckling spring boards.
Put both things together and that'd be my dream typing keyboard (I'd still use a rubber-pad one for gaming).

I have 6 of those split models too. Maybe I better take a more complete inventory of all the crap I do have that I was gonna have sent to the dump.
 
Y

yummytummy

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I'm still using the M keyboard that was attached to the used IBM 300PL that was my 1st computer. It's odd to think about it now because it's such a common fixture in my space like a chair but this device is the oldest computer artifact that I personally possess. Everything else computer-wise from 10 years ago - monitors, trackballs, hard drives, operating systems, mp3's, cd's - has fallen into the obselete bin. I'll probably throw myself under an elephant if my M ever breaks down.

12007792219.jpg
 
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LuxLuthor

LuxLuthor

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Or get a spare now while you still can find them.
 
js

js

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Just wanted to report that the Apple Extended Keyboard II, with the Griffin iMate ADB to USD adaptor does indeed work in Tiger, despite a report I read that it didn't (or had problems). I just recently upgraded to OS X 10.4.11 (Tiger) and the keyboard is working just fine.

Also wanted to report that I test drove the new Apple keyboard kit, and it's really nice. Very different action than the Extended Keyboard II which I use, but still well done and effective, unlike many of their other offerings in recent years!

Also, there is a company making new keyboards that utilize the buckling spring mechanism. Google "Buckling spring keyboards" and you'll find them.
 
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HarryN

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We tend to use laptops a lot, even at home, and the two main failure modes are always the screen and keyboard.

One of the things I really like about my HP 6515B laptop is that the keyboard is easily replaced. It is actually not bad for a laptop, but no doubt will fail at some point due to the heavy use. No problem - it is designed for end user replacement.

I think this is one of the areas that is often overlooked when people buy "consumer" laptops vs paying just a bit more for a "business grade" laptop - ability to keep it going.
 
greenLED

greenLED

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I think this is one of the areas that is often overlooked when people buy "consumer" laptops vs paying just a bit more for a "business grade" laptop - ability to keep it going.
Yup. That's why we went with Latitude last time I bought a lappy. A lot more rugged than my old Inspiron.
 
A

AMD64Blondie

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I'm also a rabid IBM Model M fan. I have 2 1991 Model M's and a 1995 Model M. My main Windows PC is using one of the '91 Model M's,and my backup OpenSuse 11 Linux PC is using the other one. It's quite funny to me that while most of the hardware inside my PC is so modern,it's all controlled by a 17-year-old keyboard.
Long Live The IBM Model M!!!
 
NA8

NA8

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M

manoloco

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I liked and still kinda like Model M keyboards, still have some in great conditions, and a black one with a mouse stick in the middle - trackpoint - (last model Ms iirc), however my true choice for best keyboards, are the ones that have Cherry MX switches on them, specially the maroon switches.

Cherry is a german company that has been making mechanical switches for a long time now, as long as model M keyboards, i have an NCR keyboard that has cherry MX black switches, and i love it, a special touch are the red leds it has for numlock caps lock and scr lock (usually they are green).

the feedback on the cherry marron switches is great the travel is good, long enough to make the weight of your fingers do the work, and short enough that you pull your fingers as soon as you push them and making them ready for the next stroke, it has a low tactile click and a low audible click, as a matter of fact you can hear more the keys when you bottom out than when you reach the audible click section of the switch.

Needs low force to push, but its very positive, and for those who use all their fingers to type (which i assume is most of the people in this thread) its great.

will look for info to post here about them, Cherry still makes them i think but its kind of a niche market, and they are more expensive than other keyboards of course, specially if you rate your keys for 50 million worry free keystrokes :D

however since they are old and i live in a 3rd world country, this is the place to find old used but in good condition hardware, i have bought many model M keyboards for less than $3 USD, some Cherry keyboards (Made for old Compaq rack servers) for less than $10 dollars, all in perfect conditions, my friends that have seen me buy them say why in hell would i use those old looking things, i answer: because i type with my fingers not with my eyes (altough cherry keyboards imo are really good lookers).

*edit

forgot to add, each key module has gold contacts in a system called goldcrosspoint to insure proper contact every time (not gold plated, the contacts on that part are all gold).

good models from Cherry have the key characters not printed, or laser engraved but injected in the mold, you can wear all the plastic on it, and it will still show the character :D, like this:

http://park16.wakwak.com/~ex4/kb/tech_mold.htm

here come the links:

http://www.cherrycorp.com/english/switches/key/mx.htm
http://mykeyboard.co.uk/keyswitches/
http://www.maltron.com/maltron-cherry-mx.html
http://park16.wakwak.com/~ex4/kb/tech_cherry_mx.htm

*update

forgot to mention: i have executed maintenance of a number of model M keyboards (empiric way) and they are not fully mechanical, they are a combination of mechanical and membrane, its called buckle spring.
 
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js

js

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Great posts everyone! Thanks! Good info here. I'm looking forward to checking out some of these links.
 
M

manoloco

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Was a bit tired yesterday and forgot i had pictures of my keyboards in my HDD:

One of my favorites (very small footprint but keys are full size):


Compaq MX 11800 (cherry mx switches):


Picture018.jpg


Picture007.jpg


Picture008.jpg


Picture012.jpg


Picture017.jpg



NCR (1985), i wish more keyboards were like this with the leds on the keyswitches, and in red:


Picture030.jpg


Picture008-1.jpg


Picture004.jpg


Picture023.jpg


Picture025.jpg

this one shows the 2 color plastic injection that has the character in the whole thickness of the plastic key.
 
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E

eluminator

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I just bite the bullet and buy the adapter. You can get them for about $11 shipped. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812101117 What's the fuss? A good typing feel is easily worth 10x that to me.


Have you bought one in the last couple of months? The one I bought 6 months ago from newegg works fine, so I bought another. The second one doesn't work with my old pre-USB keyboard. It looks almost identical to the first but the PS2 connectors for keyboard and mouse are not labelled with K and M, but rather they have icons.

But I found one that does work. It looks just like the first one I bought from newegg. Notice the package is labelled "active".
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1113581&CatId=469

I'm sure the ones clickykeyboards.com sells work also, but they are more expensive and the shipping is rather outrageous.

By the way, I'm also a touch typist. I took a course in typing in high school. That was one of the most useful courses I ever took. My taste in keyboards is different though. I like my 10 year old HP keyboard because it has a rotary volume control.

I spilled coffee on it one too many times. I almost had a panic attack when it stopped working. I drink black coffee so there was no cream or sugar to gum up the works, but it corroded away some of the conductive trace on the plastic membrane. I repaired it with a conductive pen used for repairing printed circuit boards. While it was apart I washed and cleaned it thoroughly. I guess I should do that every ten years.

I no longer trust myself with regular coffee mugs. I now use a travel mug and my problems are over.
 
Black Rose

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I remember using the model M keyboard on our IBM 8088 PCs at college in 1986. I liked the feel of the keys.

Following graduation, I ended up working in a shop that used IBM ES 9000 series mainframes with 3270 terminals. The keyboard wasn't the model M keyboard (different layout for mainframe vs PC) but it had the same feel. Solid keyboards.

I really liked the 3270 terminals...for years afterwards I altered the colour coding of my editors to match the 3270 screens I worked on.

Now come to think of it, I may have one of those keyboards in storage. I'll have to check that out.
 
E

Eye of Unk

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31142_saitek_cyborg_keyboard.jpg
I just bought a Saitek Cyborg, I will write up a review when it comes in. My current Saitek Eclipse has worked fine for the last couple of years.
 
wquiles

wquiles

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I also miss those early keyboards, but not their loudless. Now-a-days, I use the MS Natural Keyboard for comfort reasons - they definitely work for me, even if they are not as "smooth" and effective as the older keyboards ;)

Will
 
C

ckthorp

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Have you bought one in the last couple of months? The one I bought 6 months ago from newegg works fine, so I bought another. The second one doesn't work with my old pre-USB keyboard. It looks almost identical to the first but the PS2 connectors for keyboard and mouse are not labelled with K and M, but rather they have icons.

No, I haven't bought one in the last couple months. It's been about a year or so since I've bought one.
 
E

Eye of Unk

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31142_saitek_cyborg_keyboard.jpg
I just bought a Saitek Cyborg, I will write up a review when it comes in. My current Saitek Eclipse has worked fine for the last couple of years.


Well I have been using it for a couple of days now, I really like it, it has different colors like red, green and orange though I wish it had blue, the keypads used for gaming are extra tough but I have yet to do gaming with it. Typing is a breeze in the dark, the pads have a soft click feel not the mushy type like remotes feel like, its heavy duty built, I like it.
 
LEDAdd1ct

LEDAdd1ct

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Typing on an IBM Model M right now, and very pleased with it. I run only the Model M on my main desktops, though my little sister hates them. She likes the light, new, soft-touch types, which makes my fingers hurt.
 
turbodog

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I've got some rare nmb boards with the 'magic black' keyswitches. Very sweet.
 

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