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TYPE HARD OR GO HOME
November 3, 2007 11:47 PM   Subscribe

Some people care about their keyboards. The Northgate OmniKey (now resurrected) was once legendary. There are those who mourn the passing of the space cadet keyboard and its successors, and those who campaign for its revival. The late, lamented (though not by everyone) Apple Extended Keyboard was finally recreated.

But, for the purist, there is only one true keyboard, the best ever made: the IBM Model M.

The Model M was built with steel plates. It weighs five pounds. You can smash things [Google Video] with it. Its buckling spring keyswitches (they are loud [MP3]) remain unsurpassed; this is typing like you mean it. It inspires and obsesses. Sometimes it is unrecognizeable (previously).

IBM doesn't make the Model M anymore, but these people do, almost. And these people will sell you the real thing.
posted by enn (124 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite

 
The Model M was a pretty damn good keyboard.
posted by caddis at 11:56 PM on November 3, 2007


One of the most commonly hit keys is delete/rubout. Maybe it shouldn't be, but it is. So the rubout key deserves to be close to where the hand is when it's on home row (asdf). It is. [from 'campaign for its revival' link]

QFT
posted by Poolio at 11:57 PM on November 3, 2007


I got one of those unicomp/pckeyboard.com keyboards. It's great. I guess it's blasphemy that I got one with a Windows button, but I actually use it.

I wish I could use it at work, but I fear my co-workers will not put up with the clickety clackety.
posted by mullacc at 12:00 AM on November 4, 2007


The windows button has become kind of unavoidable for me as has some important functions in Pro Tools on the PC. As I was reading about the unicomp site I wondered about that... so I'm actually kind of happy they've got it on there. It's very tempting.

Now if someone could just tell me why they got rid of "Open Apple / Closed Apple" (and I've heard that recently, the apple key all together?) I'd be happy.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 12:03 AM on November 4, 2007


For a minute I thought this post was about the XT keyboard. That thing was solid. Bizarrely laid out, but solid.
posted by lumensimus at 12:05 AM on November 4, 2007


The only reason why I stopped using my Model M is because of my growing dependence on the Windows key (not to mention my eventual 95% switch to Mac OS X).

Up until that point (around 2001), I had been using the same Model M keyboard that I stole from my highschool's computer lab back in 1989. Damn thing was a tank.

I actually thought the layout of the XT, with it's function keys on the left side, was a brilliant design. As a professional video editor and visual effects guy, I wish someone would bring back this layout, because it makes a lot of sense for people like us who are constantly using the F-keys all day long.
posted by melorama at 12:16 AM on November 4, 2007


The Apple key is still there, Smiley. They just got rid of the Apple icon on it, since it's more commonly known as the "Command" key.

I haven't heard those keys referred to as "Open/Closed Apple" keys since way back in the Apple II days. I honestly don't understand why some people care so damn much.
posted by melorama at 12:21 AM on November 4, 2007


I've one of these in storage, it's too good to throw out/sell/give away. When I reinvent the computer after the apocalypse, this will be the keyboard I use. If you've ever handled one then you know that it is literally bomb-proof.
posted by jpeacock at 12:30 AM on November 4, 2007


All your keyboards belong to us
posted by mattoxic at 12:38 AM on November 4, 2007


lumensimus, when I was a kid, I would wait for my father in his office after school for an hour or two most days, fucking around on his computer. He had an early IBM PC; at this late date I don't recall whether it was an XT or an AT. Nonetheless, the keyboards were similar, and that was the keyboard on which I grew up. I liked the bizarre layout; it took me a long, long time afterward to get used to using arrow and page navigation keys that weren't located on the numeric keypad. I loved having the function keys on the left and Ctrl in its rightful place, and the little finned knobs for the height adjustment.

I'm told the XT keyboards are difficult or impossible to use with modern PCs, but the AT keyboards work well. I recently passed up a chance to buy one of the latter; as much as I love my Models M, I'm regretting it.
posted by enn at 12:40 AM on November 4, 2007


I've been typing on keyboards for forever, and aside from when I once ripped my ibook keyboard apart for cleaning I've never broken or damaged a keyboard. Furthermore, somehow I always manage to know that I've hit a key without the clickety clack sound. I really genuinely don't understand why people obsess over this. I remember doing coursework in my high school lab that used these keyboards and the noise of 10-15 students all going at them at once drove me absolutely bonkers.
posted by Deathalicious at 12:50 AM on November 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


I like the idea of having a high-quality keyboard made out of mechanical switches and steel plates, but I'm not willing to give up the comfort of an wide ergonomic keyboard. I've used an original Microsoft Natural Keyboard for over seven years, but switched to a Microsoft Natural Elite with the numeric keypad sawed off so that I don't have to reach as far to get to the mouse.

I don't know why the Northgate programmable keyboard has such a large following; seems like it would be much better implemented in software or some kind of interrupter box solution.
posted by meowzilla at 12:50 AM on November 4, 2007


On the other hand...playing Civilization on a 386 when I was supposed to be writing for creative writing class? Oh man, good times...
posted by Deathalicious at 12:51 AM on November 4, 2007


Oh, Christ.

I wrote the first E2 entry for the Northgate Omnikey. That was before the removal of the 256-character, which was, in retrospect, useful. I'm certain that your average skilled author has many old pieces, written in school, that s/he would like to forget; let's hope they don't end up on a database, forever preserved in Google caches and web archives.

I knew someone at the time that had, when the manufacturer folded, stockpiled the Omnikey. I used one. It was entirely too stiff and the amount of force needed to generate a full keypress was insane. De gustibus etc. Give me a Microsoft Natural Keyboard and a place to rest my elbows.

(This was written on a Saitek, because I'm a sucker for the pretty backlight.)
posted by suckerpunch at 12:52 AM on November 4, 2007


The real question is, why on earth isn't there a delete/backspace key on the keypad?
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:55 AM on November 4, 2007


I remember coming across an APL keyboard back in the day, and realizing that I would most likely never need to have set operations on my keyboard. That was the day that I realized that I would never truly be hard core.
posted by phooky at 12:56 AM on November 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


The Model M kicks all the ass of everything. I recently got a Unicomp fakey Model M. It has the clickiness, but not the sturdiness. It's clearly not made of 500 lb of steel, and the feel isn't quite Model M (but it clicks). I couldn't kill someone with my current keyboard. That's disappointing. I guess I'll have to go with the Zulu Spear for home defense.
posted by dirigibleman at 1:07 AM on November 4, 2007


Cherry makes some mechanical keyboards, like this. I have been meaning to try them forever, has anyone here used one?

They also engage in a bit of linux fan-baiting, I wonder how it's working out for them
posted by the number 17 at 1:09 AM on November 4, 2007


I had no idea keyboards were this interesting -- I'm really curious to try that Northgate keyboard (again? it looks familiar, but I haven't used keyboards like that since I was, uh, 8?),
posted by spiderskull at 1:17 AM on November 4, 2007


melorama writes "I actually thought the layout of the XT, with it's function keys on the left side, was a brilliant design."

One of my quasi model M's was made for PCs running 3270 emulation. It not only has the function keys on the left but also a double row across the top. And of course both enter and return keys. I never could get all the keys to work on Win2K, I'll have to try again now that Vista is out.

Deathalicious writes "I've never broken or damaged a keyboard. Furthermore, somehow I always manage to know that I've hit a key without the clickety clack sound. I really genuinely don't understand why people obsess over this."

For me it's all about the key feel. I can type on a model M for 20 hours straight several days in a row without my fingers hurting. Even a few hours on lessor keyboards and my finger tips are killing me. And those short action keys on laptop keyboards are agony almost immediately if I'm doing any serious work.
posted by Mitheral at 1:18 AM on November 4, 2007


Furthermore, somehow I always manage to know that I've hit a key without the clickety clack sound.

It's not just knowing you've hit the key.
The clickety clackiness is an aesthetic thing too.
posted by juv3nal at 1:30 AM on November 4, 2007


Enn, mine was a hand-me-down from my father as well -- I remember that he transplanted a 386 machine into the case a few years after that. Can't imagine that upgrade was as exciting as when he installed a CGA card in it for me :)
posted by lumensimus at 1:56 AM on November 4, 2007


Old Clicky? Man I miss Old Clicky.
posted by sourwookie at 1:58 AM on November 4, 2007


I have a "Model M" - well, the PS/2 variant, all steel, buckle springs, etc - but I don't use it anymore. Too damn noisy and distracting. Though it lasted through about a dozen computers, off and on, and probably facilitated millions of keystrokes, all told. Hell, I literally used to use the thing for a pillow. Every night I'd pass out on it. More than a few times I drooled on it. Yes, you could beat someone or something to pieces with it if you had to.

My current keyboard of choice is actually an old beat up POS Dell membrane-switch jobby that I could probably replace for a couple of bucks. I generally prefer "laptop" style short-throw boards with plenty of non-laptop-like pitch between the keys, but they don't make many short throw boards that are also full size/pitch. 101 keys, minimum - full AT or PS/2 layout.

These days, though, I just think the Model M and buckle-spring takes way too much force, and time. I can't type anywhere near as fast on a Model M as I can on a quick, light and cheap keyboard. The M is great for instant feedback for things like coding or other "accuracy sensitive" issues, but not so great for writing actual human language and text.

However, all told - I know which keyboard I'd want to use as a bullet proof vest or a blunt instrument of bludgeoning.
posted by loquacious at 1:59 AM on November 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


And I'm posting on the new iMac super slim--embarrassing I admit.
posted by sourwookie at 2:00 AM on November 4, 2007


hey, wonderfully-timed post. i've been looking for a new keyboard. i'd really like to get one of these buckling-spring kind, but don't like the clunky kevin mitnick look (it just would look weird attached to my little mac.)

the tactile pro looks nice, but $150 sounds kinda steep. if i'm gonna spend that much, i would like to get one that has bluetooth and enjoy my built-in wirelessness.

so, anyone know of a keyboard that has a) clickety mechanical keys, b) built-in bluetooth, and c) won't make me feel like i oughta be logging into WOPR?

i know this is a long shot, hence asking metafilter without using up my precious weekly question!
posted by sergeant sandwich at 2:16 AM on November 4, 2007


I am typing this on a clacky Unicomp clone right now. Like mullacc, I dursen't take it into work for fear of my workmates rebelling.

It is pretty damned solid, and the keys feel great.

The thing I love about the clicky clacky is that you know that the keystroke really happened - important when you are typing blind, eg at a Unix password prompt, or when fixing a computer where things are Not Right. And when you're working, it sounds as though you're really working.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 2:26 AM on November 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


And when you're working, it sounds as though you're really working.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner.
posted by the number 17 at 2:47 AM on November 4, 2007


so, anyone know of a keyboard that has a) clickety mechanical keys, b) built-in bluetooth, and c) won't make me feel like i oughta be logging into WOPR?

Have you tried, I dunno, logging in with just your mind?

Just a thought.

Otherwise you're pretty much screwed.
posted by loquacious at 2:53 AM on November 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh, and by the way, betch?

THIS IS A FUCKING GREAT FIRST POST.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:54 AM on November 4, 2007 [6 favorites]


Count me in as another who hates the old clickity-clack style keyboards. I don't need 1000 feet of travel to hit a key, nor do I want to risk waking my roommates because I'm writing a paper at 4 AM. I do get the appeal of the sound itself, but as a practical matter, I'm opposed to it. Now a keyboard with Greek letters on it, that I could use. I hate all this going through menus (or in TeX, typing 6 letters to get an α).

As for me, my keyboarding needs are fulfilled by a Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000. I had almost constant wrist pain caused by the twisting necessitated by a standard keyboard before I got this thing, but since then, that pain has all but ceased.
posted by !Jim at 3:04 AM on November 4, 2007


Also, this post rocks. Good job.
posted by !Jim at 3:05 AM on November 4, 2007


The thing about the clicky is that it's close to a typewriter. The IBM Selectric makes a particular kind of sound. A typewriter makes a certain type of sound - yes, percussive - and the clicky IBM type M keyboard (I only ever had the XT, so I'll have to extrapolate) is as close as one can come to the correct transistion between the two.

Typeing can be soothingly physical, not as much as writing long-hand, but it has it's own not-to-be denigrated charms. The clicky was the logical extension of that tactile, visceral sensation, into the realm of the ephemeral.

Sweet post.
posted by From Bklyn at 3:12 AM on November 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


i_am_joe's_spleen writes "And when you're working, it sounds as though you're really working."

Also handy when you are doing phone support, the client knows you are still there and working.

From Bklyn writes "The IBM Selectric makes a particular kind of sound. A typewriter makes a certain type of sound - yes, percussive - and the clicky IBM type M keyboard (I only ever had the XT, so I'll have to extrapolate) is as close as one can come to the correct transistion between the two. "

The Model M is basically a selectric keyboard stripped of all that messy dead tree handling stuff. One of the reasons it's so great.
posted by Mitheral at 3:20 AM on November 4, 2007


I haven't heard those keys referred to as "Open/Closed Apple" keys since way back in the Apple II days.

I always call it Open Apple, which becomes a problem at work when I'm writing up instructions for others.
posted by sbutler at 3:40 AM on November 4, 2007


Work? Bah! It was all about gaming at my house.

I still remember the keyboard I pilfered from a 386 to use with my newly acquired pentium, only because it had a higher keyboard buffer so I could have 1 or even 2 friends huddled around the same monitor playing multiplayer shareware games. Modern keyboards only allow you to press 3 or so buttons simultaneously. Weak.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:43 AM on November 4, 2007


UK stockists please.

I'm a long term Mac user and I really miss the Extended's quality. Now though, I use a PC and I go through a cheapo Microshit keyboard at about one a year, what with the coffee spills, the cigarette burns and the whackety-whack typing. I need me some of that Model M drain out the coffee, hard-core steel goodness.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:46 AM on November 4, 2007


Anyone desiring some SERIOUS clickiness (but not quite as much clickiness as the model M, which is like being shot in the face over and over and over (not that there's a single thing wrong with that)), should definitely look into keyboards with mechanical switches other than buckling-spring. As far as I can tell, the Cherry blue switches are used in Das Keyboard, for example. Meanwhile, for people who like their keys labeled, the delightful Scorpius M10 by Ione is my current weapon of choice, having switched to it from my *second* failed Logitech diNovo. I absolutely love my M10. It feels incredible, and it's sensible looking -- not like all those vaguely Klingon-looking specialty keyboards. Because of how it's made, it should last a long time, and retain it's aggressively tactile but not planet-shattering feel.

I found that as keyboards had got softer and softer, I was compensating for the loss of tactile feedback by typing REALLY hard, ramming the keys into the keybed so I could know I hit the bottom. Years passed and I could feel the damage to my arms -- I had thrown all that vibration into my wrists and elbows. Not good.
posted by SteelyDuran at 3:49 AM on November 4, 2007


I love my Kinesis.

But I used to love my Model M. A friend picked up five for $5 each a few years ago—I don't think they realized what they had.

Steve Jobs was utterly wrong about the Apple extended keyboard. It was by far Apple's best keyboard, and he knows shit about input devices. The initial iMac keyboard sucked and the mouse sucked worse.
posted by grouse at 3:52 AM on November 4, 2007


(And by the way, for pure fingertip heaven, the IBM USB Travel Keyboard is EXACTLY like the awesome double-scissors job they are stocking in latter-day ThinkPads. If you don't need the click and you need some desktop space back, it's distilled greatness. You can even get one with the ultranav stuff, which is a synaptics touchpad AND a trackpoint -- just like, for example, the T42. In retrospect, I wish you had a choice for a clicky KB when outfitting a laptop.)
posted by SteelyDuran at 3:55 AM on November 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh, what a wonderful post - thanks enn. welcome datacomp
posted by sidereal at 3:59 AM on November 4, 2007


Personally, I always lothed the model M simply because its too damn loud. Its durable, yes, and it had good keys, but honestly I can pick up a cheapass USB keyboard for $9 these days, so durability is less important to me than not blowing out my eardrums.

I don't *like* the consume and toss culture, and if they could build a reasonably silent, but durable, keyboard I'd be quite happy.

However, my current keyboard is a bit more than 5 years old, a no-frills 101 key made by Belkin, its not got that gawdawful *KLIK* after each keypress, and its still working just fine. I may need to replace it in another year, or two, but I think that, especially given the mechanical stress involved in all those keypresses, a new keyboard every six or seven years is hardly consume and toss.
posted by sotonohito at 4:22 AM on November 4, 2007


5 years old? Expecting to replace it in a year or two?

Pah! I'm typing this on a *late model* Model M, one of the Lexmark ones from when they were still an IBM brand. "25-May-94" it says on the label. The first half of its life was spent being pounded on, every minute of every day, by heavy-fisted guys in an ops monitoring centre. The day after the place closed down in 2001 I rescued it from the skip, and it's done duty here ever since.

It's filthy - it's full of cat hair, my hair, carpet fluff, and cigarette ash. I used to come home from work and pound on it for an hour or two, programming or writing HTML to relax, before having a shower - so the keys are brown with dirt and grease. Just this afternoon I looked at it, thought vaguely about vacuuming it out, then changed my mind. It's missing the label caps for the "T" and "J" keys - I had planned to pinch caps from a broken one, but I've never seen one. Apart from the missing caps, it still works perfectly.

As long as I've got a machine with a PS2 port, I'll keep using my Model M.
posted by Pinback at 5:16 AM on November 4, 2007


I use a Unisys Model M. It's nice, but my wife hates it - "can't you shut that thing up???"

Unisys' customer service suck though. I ordered a black one, and they sent me beige. I complained, and their response was basically "just use the beige one, whiner". Unbelievable.
posted by mr. strange at 5:28 AM on November 4, 2007


Thank you for this thread! I've been hoarding this IBM keyboard of mine for over 12 years now, and my friends and family have thought I was crazy whenever I lament that I can't find any keyboards like it whenever I buy new computers. It occasionally gets *very* grimy, but I love it so much that I don't mind cleaning it. I love that it's heavy, and solid, and clacky, and to feel its heft under my hands, I trust it. Unlike those cheap plastic new-fangled ones.

God, I'm just so relieved to find that I'm not the only one who feels this way about a keyboard!
posted by Lush at 5:43 AM on November 4, 2007


Pinback Yup, I'm not disputing that the model M is the champion when it comes to durability. I'm just saying that I won't use it because its too loud, and that for the benefit of a quieter keyboard I'm perfectly willing to go with less durability. Also pointing out that "less durability" != "no durability".

They ever make a keyboard as durable as the model M but sans the horrible, too loud for me, pinging clicks I'll buy it in a heartbeat. Durability is good, but IMO less of a selling point than a quiet keyboard, that's all.
posted by sotonohito at 5:52 AM on November 4, 2007


Yeah, well, that's all fine but... ooooooo... ahhhh.
posted by The Deej at 6:06 AM on November 4, 2007


I always call it Open Apple, which becomes a problem at work when I'm writing up instructions for others.

It's the command key, I suppose. I've always called it the "puppy foot." Even if they take the open apple away, that still works.

So I went looking, and it appears to be a Saint John's Arms or Saint Hannes Cross.
posted by Ella Fynoe at 6:18 AM on November 4, 2007


Or, according to an Apple employee involved, it's a symbol for swedish campgrounds...
posted by Ella Fynoe at 6:21 AM on November 4, 2007


Had a Model M. Spilled most of a can of Irn Bru (if not actually the most corrosive soft drink in the world, certainly the most staining) into it. Dumped keyboard in the bath for an hour or so. Let it dry for three days. Working Model M again.
posted by scruss at 6:36 AM on November 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


As well as the piece of mine that was mentioned in the post, I've written two other articles about some unusual IBM models.

This piece is about the ones with integrated pointing devices, and this piece covers some real collectors' items.
posted by dansdata at 6:40 AM on November 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


I bought one of the new Apple keyboards recently. I have to say, it's one of the worst keyboards I've ever used. Not only does it hurt your fingers, it doesn't even work properly -- the keys keep jamming!

It's a keyboard for posers.
posted by popcassady at 6:40 AM on November 4, 2007


1984 model-m keyboard, manufactured 1987, RIP 2003, 16 years continuous daily use.

That was one hardcore keyboard, and what it took to break it was a liter of coke. I had to respect its manufacture to be able to stand the test of time like that, but honestly, it gave me RSI and I was kinda glad to see it finally die so I could move on.

I now like two keyboards - Mitsubishi Diamond Digital KM-303, which is a $10 fullsized keyboard with laptop style keys (short travel and very quiet).

And the Fingerworks TouchStream LP. The touchstream is another keyboard that Steve Jobs has killed - Apple bought Fingerworks in order to get at their multitouch interface patents. Killing their product was a necessery side effect :(.
posted by Jerub at 6:41 AM on November 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


What I like most about the Model M is that you can stun large woodland creatures with it if necessary. Not that I've ever had the reason to, mind you, but if I were walking in the woods with my trusty Model M and a large woodland creature approached me menacingly, whap! goes the keyboard and down goes the creature.

I'm currently using an old DEC keyboard as the Model M that I loved dearly was lost a while back in an episode I care not to relate. The DEC keyboard has enough tactile response to make me happy -- "It makes you feel as if you're accomplishing something," a friend remarked while typing on it -- and I'll keep it until it decides to fry. Then I'll just have to go rummaging around the MIT Swap or something.
posted by Spatch at 6:43 AM on November 4, 2007


The Model M was a pretty damn good keyboard.

What do you mean "was?" I'm typing on one right now. Date of Manufacture is "09JUL1986."

I don't honest remember how many computers it has been the console keyboard on. Right now, it's actually "home" -- plugged into an IBM IntelliStation Z Pro.

The only problem with owning keyboards this long is that you have to clean them.

The keyboard at work, some dell POS, can't take it. I'm wearing through the plastic of the keys.

The OmniKey is probably a better keyboard, give it's reconfigurability, but for sheer typing pleasure, there the Model M -- with the specification of "Make the keystroke feel like a Selectric II."
posted by eriko at 7:02 AM on November 4, 2007


Best keyboard ever. If you've ever typed on one, you know. Each key was a cool and substantial object formed to fit a finger, with a solid switch and a silent tactile click.

Of course, you had to hit a special key for the screen to redisplay in a flash of green. Perfect for command line editing, type, type, type, boom!
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:03 AM on November 4, 2007


Apparently there was even a ergonomic version of the clicky keyboard. I use a Model M at work, and a jealous co-worker says he wishes he could have the clicking noise but can't live without his "split" ergonomic keyboard. Too bad these things are apparently real collectors items and expensive or unobtainable.

I sure enjoy the buckling spring when I'm using it (I'm certain that it reinforces the impression my cow-orkers have that I'm the fastest typer in the world), but on the other hand I transition just fine to mushy modern keyboards or laptop keyboards.
posted by jepler at 7:08 AM on November 4, 2007


The kinesis is my favorite, too.
posted by Coventry at 7:09 AM on November 4, 2007


BTW, kids. Don't put the case for the Model M in a dishwasher. It's ABS, it'll warp badly. I was surprised, I thought that IBM made everything out of BayBlend (ABS+Lexan) which can handle 175F without distortion.

Surprise.

(When you own keyboards this long, you learn how to clean them.)
posted by eriko at 7:09 AM on November 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


I always call it Open Apple, which becomes a problem at work when I'm writing up instructions for others.

This happens to me a lot. I can't shake the habit - nor can I understand why so many people (avid computer users) my age (mid-late twenties) are totally baffled as to what an "open-apple" is. Didn't they grow up at the same time as me?

I suppose no one else remembers the TRS-80 either. Sigh.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 7:46 AM on November 4, 2007


I had to leave my Model M when I moved (Since I just did it via plane and a couple of suitcases, meh), but I grabbed one of the Unicomp keyboards. Love that thing. Unfortunately it's MIA right now because I spilled something on it and shorted out about 5 keys, right around the damn Backspace. I need that!!

So I'm using a glowy Saitek and the CAPSLOCK LED is always illuminated. Gah, can't win.

I'll throw this out there: Das Keyboard. I really want this thing eventually. Or maybe the Optimus Maximus when it's < $1000. Yeesh.
posted by Talanvor at 7:49 AM on November 4, 2007


I'm clicking away on Model Ms both here at the house and at the office. The one here at home is substantially newer: manufactured on 05-JAN 1994, but I bought it new in the box back in 2003 or so. The one at the office? Manufacture date was sometime in 1988 (can't check at the moment). I like to say that my keyboard is old enough to vote. It doesn't really drive my co-workers nuts, but there's never any question as to whether I'm in the office that day or not. Mrs. Deadmessenger, on the other hand, has told me to take my laptop and get the hell out of our shared office on occasion.

I've also got 2 more Model Ms in the closet (one still new in the box!), just in case.

BTW - the Windows key can be simulated by hitting Control-Escape. I use that all the time, and have never needed a Windows key.
posted by deadmessenger at 8:09 AM on November 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


"I suppose no one else remembers the TRS-80 either. Sigh."

Oh no my dear, those memories linger like all sepia toned images of days past. TRS-80 models I-IV for me are like the first kiss of the Other; sweet, innocent and a prelude to more lingering ones.

Lovely post, I am a fan of the clicky clacky key though I type on a macbook keyboard as we speak. The Model M and its loud tank like descendants are sweet.
posted by jadepearl at 8:10 AM on November 4, 2007


That's it, from now on I'm saying "Swedish Campground-C" to copy things.
posted by djfiander at 8:12 AM on November 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


My partner is a Model M purist. Every once in a while we have to go to Salvation Army/Goodwill to search the electronics shelves for another one, since he likes having spares around. Or tag sales. Estate sales. Makes me check when the local university throws stuff out.

Me? I'm okay with it, unless I'm sick, in which case the damn clicky clicky click drives me mad.

I, on the other hand, have a generic black keyboard that is slowly turning into a featureless one. The E, A, S, D, left Ctrl, right Shift, and most of the bottom row of letters are now blank.
posted by cobaltnine at 8:19 AM on November 4, 2007


i am pretty much crazy and only use sun type-4+ "unix" keyboards with all my computers. if sun finally bites the dust/stops making computers and keyboards i am going to be screwed.

the control key *must* be next to "a" if you are an emacs user. this was more important in the past when key remapping (on osx anyway) was not easily done.

on some apple keyboards the caps lock key does not generate a key-up event so to make it into a functional control key requires jumping through some hoops.
posted by joeblough at 8:37 AM on November 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm currently really liking the Dell SK-8135. Normally I'm not one who likes all the fancy Windows bells-and-windows-keys, but this one just feels good. The volume control knob is a great thing, and it's got two USB ports on the back to handle mouse and my flash drive. Everything within reach and easy.
posted by Kickstart70 at 8:39 AM on November 4, 2007


There was a guy on eBay last month with new-in-box Model M's (made in 1993 by Lexmark). I snagged one for ~$20, so now I have three of the beasts. I wish they weren't quite so noisy, but as a hunt-and-peek typist, I find that they make me type faster and far more accurately than the membrane kind.

Confession: I actually have a fourth on order from the eBay guy, which I plan to leave sealed in the box for after the collapse of civilization, when I will use it as a weapon.
posted by words1 at 8:39 AM on November 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


I shelled out the absurd money for a Matias Tactile Pro 2 for work, as I type for a living. Worth every penny, though another USB 2.0 pass thru would be nice -- it only has one.
posted by The Bellman at 8:43 AM on November 4, 2007


By the way, if the lack of a "Windows" key on the original Model M's bothers anyone, there are several free little programs for Windows that let you remap any other key to play that function. Back when I used Windows (Linux rules!), I mapped it to the right Alt key.
posted by words1 at 8:46 AM on November 4, 2007


the control key *must* be next to "a" if you are an emacs user.

Crazy talk. I spend most of my working day in Emacs and have always gotten along fine with the Caps Lock next to A.
posted by grouse at 8:50 AM on November 4, 2007


I like my flat black slim compaq generic keyboard just fine....
posted by tehloki at 9:04 AM on November 4, 2007


I remember the Model M. Second computer I used, IIRC (the first being a PET).

The keyboard... 'salright. But as I got older and my wrists hurt more, I went to the Natural Elite. This year, I dumped that for the Natural Ergonomic 4000. Have to say, it way better than the Natural Elite, especially the forward pitch of the board.

I always hated Mac keyboards. Too small, usually, like they were repurposing a glut of server rack drawer-style keyboards Jobs won in some bar bet with Michael Dell.

As for the Selectric keyboard, what I always loved about it was the "give" the keys had. Soft plastic, and then just a little bit of pressure and BANG went the type ball. Selectrics were built to last.
posted by dw at 9:07 AM on November 4, 2007


If this keyboard is the one I'm thinking of, I had a fantastic experience with it during a typing test for a temp agency in the late 1990s.

I wasn't a good typist (am not bad now), but on this test i got into a zone and just rocked it out. I got like, 35 WPM! Yes, that was impressive at the time. The clicky-clack was what did it. It soothed me, that percussive rhythm. I accomplished flow because of that keyboard, damn it.

Thanks.
posted by Stewriffic at 9:31 AM on November 4, 2007


grouse, your left pinkie probably looks like one of the governator's biceps! hitting the control key way down there is so uncomfortable.
posted by joeblough at 9:47 AM on November 4, 2007


BTW, kids. Don't put the case for the Model M in a dishwasher. It's ABS, it'll warp badly. I was surprised, I thought that IBM made everything out of BayBlend (ABS+Lexan) which can handle 175F without distortion.

Nah, the dishwasher works great for those old monsters. Just got to remember to pull it out before the "dry/anti-spot" cycle, or shut that off if your dishwasher is so equipped. Somehow or another IBM forgot to sew a "drip dry only" tag onto the thing...

I'm currently using a Logitech DiNovo (sans numeric pad) which I love for the size, but I hate the short-throw keys, the whole battery life and RF thing, and the lifespan that will be tragically cut short the first time I dump a cup of coffee into it.

If I could have this form factor and layout in a bulletproof buckling-spring USB keyboard, I'd be in clackety-key heaven.
posted by nonliteral at 9:50 AM on November 4, 2007


14OCT91

<3
posted by 31d1 at 9:54 AM on November 4, 2007


My favorite keyboard is the Gateway Anykey. I picked up three of them about a decade ago and for a few years they made my typing experience heavenly. They're comparable to the dreamy Model M in weight and feel, but they're programmable and lack that extreme clickiness. Unfortunately the ps/2 cables on them were not made for the amount of wear I put keyboards through as a lap typist and they went to keyboard heaven one by one.

Now I'm using a Microsoft wireless comfort keyboard and while it has fifteen buttons that seem to exist for no purpose other than to launch Outlook Express while I'm in the middle of a game that crashes when tasks are switched and weighs less than any given cliff note has proved to be remarkably durable and easy on the hands. When I'm done typing I routinely fling it halfway across the room and it's never hiccuped.
posted by bunnytricks at 10:01 AM on November 4, 2007


joeblough: No worse than hitting it on the right side. Of course, now I use a keyboard with a control key on each thumb! Perfect for Emacs.
posted by grouse at 10:05 AM on November 4, 2007


Ah, this is a post I've been meaning to write, but enn did it better.

I've always loved the buckling-spring feel. Many years back when I started to develop RSI symptoms from mousing, I tried alternative input devices.

I experimented with trackballs, touchpads, nothing worked. And then I got a M13 Trackpoint II Keyboard. I've been hooked ever since. I've bought one for work, I'm typing this on my one at home, and I have two spares in the closet.

I've tried Unicomp's model. While far better than any modern membrane keyboard, it still doesn't have quite the same feel. Keyboards are the only thing in the computing world that haven't improved with time and 'progress'.
posted by bitmage at 9:06 AM on November 4, 2007


deadmessenger writes "I like to say that my keyboard is old enough to vote. "

My main M is old enough to have voted for Gore.

SmileyChewtrain writes "I suppose no one else remembers the TRS-80 either."

Well I do. Specifically I have fond memories of typing in a line of noise and playing fairly complex games. Byte magazine had a one line program contest for the Model III and it seems like the only thing you can program in a single line is a game. I had several memorized and within a minute of sitting at a terminal I could be happily wasting time.
posted by Mitheral at 9:26 AM on November 4, 2007


I have been using a 15 dollar microsoft wired 500 keyboard for about 2 years now, and it has continued to serve me well. the feel of the keys is good (not too gummy while not being too stiff), it doesn't have too many bells and wistles, but still has some extras that I really like (the calculator button is indispensable), and most of all (and the original reason I bought it), it doesn't have shitty features tied to its function keys, and it has an insert key in the "classic" location (which is good for use with linux).

I do have a model-m clone (original date of manufacture: JAN1986), but the thing is too damn big for my smallish desk at college, and beyond that, the key action doesn't feel quite "right" to me.
posted by grandsham at 9:43 AM on November 4, 2007


Bah: there is one and only one permanently kick-ass typing mechanism: the self-correcting IBM Selectric II, introduced in 1973. I used to have three of them, but have since settled on a beautifully-preserved black one. Truly: there is nothing like the chuggity-chuggity-chuggity-thwunk! to get a writer's heart beating. Plus, there's that electric hum and burning grease smell that really let you know that you're working.
posted by minnesotaj at 9:46 AM on November 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


I loved my Model M, and it's the one thing I miss from using a PC since I switched to the Mac. If someone would just make a Model M (five pounds of steel and clicky) for the Mac, I'd pay almost any price.
posted by SansPoint at 9:49 AM on November 4, 2007


Homebrew microswitch keyboard. Awkward, but awe-inspiring.

Barbara Blackburn — World's Fastest Typist. Top speed: 212 wpm.

Monkeys and Typewriters — Monkey Theory Proven Wrong:
Researchers at Plymouth University in England reported this week that primates left alone with a computer attacked the machine and failed to produce a single word.

A group of faculty and students in the university's media program left a computer in the monkey enclosure at Paignton Zoo in southwest England, home to six Sulawesi crested macaques. Then, they waited.

At first, said researcher Mike Phillips, “the lead male got a stone and started bashing the hell out of it.

“Another thing they were interested in was in defecating and urinating all over the keyboard,” added Phillips, who runs the university's Institute of Digital Arts and Technologies.
MeFite boorishness aside, in the end — when all Word Wars are over, and the clickity-clack of qwertyguns fall silent — everyone knows that Real.Fighting.Keyboarders type with hot lead on a Linotype keyboard (more images, how-to, and Wikipedia).

ETAOIN SHRDLU!
posted by cenoxo at 9:58 AM on November 4, 2007 [4 favorites]


I have used Northgates (currently using a Northgate OmniKey Ultra) since I used to buy them directly from the factory. I used them for a big word processing network for Wordperfect use and the users fought the new keyboard layout, but eventually came to love them so much many bought personal units for their home computers.

I initially started using them for custom Autocad installations, because the left positioned function keys gave 48 easily accessible left-hand key macros for repetitive operations and LISP programs. You can really fly with a mouse in one hand and a customized Northgate for input.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 9:58 AM on November 4, 2007


Another "Glowy Saitek" user here (on the Windows machine, anyway.)

I tend to burn through at least one keyboard every year, and -- looking to choose my next at the computer store one day -- was tap-tap-tapping on all the models on display. Imagine my surprise to find the key action on the glowy thing was the best of the lot... and at about a third the price of many of the uber-feature type boards.
posted by deCadmus at 10:39 AM on November 4, 2007


I actually use the previous-gen Mac keyboard -- the white keys in a clear plastic bowl one -- and a cheap two-button Logitech trackball exclusively, no matter what operating system I'm using (primarily Debian) and whether it's work or home.

I think which keyboard you love the most depends on what you're used to using, and so I made the decision to standardize on that setup and so it's now the "best" one for me.

Plus people don't ask to borrow my computer for a few minutes because of the trackball.
posted by davejay at 10:41 AM on November 4, 2007


Using a model M here, '86 vintage, and loving it :) They don't make them like they used to.
posted by reptile at 10:45 AM on November 4, 2007


I use a 13H6705 (black model M with trackpoint) in conjunction with my docked thinkpad, and while it's pretty awesome, there's a bit of latency with the trackpoint. I wish I knew how to fix that.

The best part is the music one can make while rocking the numerical keypad.
posted by Kwantsar at 11:07 AM on November 4, 2007


So this thread inspired me to clean my '95 Lexmark Model M. Now I'm eyeing the '88 on my file server and the '90 in my closet. I may need to give them some attention too. *sigh* There goes another Sunday.

Thanks for the suggestions for keyboards that are like the Model M but less severe, though. I've been kind of itching for something different lately and the Scorpius M10 might just fit the bill.
posted by Kyol at 11:20 AM on November 4, 2007


I learned how to type on one of those huge clicky monsters when I was little. I really had to bang into the thing to get it to register.

These days my typing still sounds like a screwed-up machine gun. Whack bang stab bang whack stab smack pow pow pow. My hands expect resistance!

davejay, my two-button trackball is set backwards so that I doubleclick with my pinky. Nobody ever wants to use my computer. It's great.
posted by cmyk at 11:40 AM on November 4, 2007


I'm typing this on a Dell-branded Model M, circa 1992. I'd use one everywhere, but the last time I brought one into work, I was quickly chased out of the office for bothering people with the noise.

The great thing is, they get better with age. The springs soften slightly and get easier to press, but the buckling spring gives you such intuitive feedback that you never end up pressing a key by accident.
posted by CaseyB at 11:42 AM on November 4, 2007


10OCT88

Every time someone sits at my workstation and uses my Type M, the comment on how awesome it is.

Every time.
posted by Fupped Duck at 12:19 PM on November 4, 2007


I missed the steampunk keyboard (from the "unrecognizable" link) the first time around. That's pretty damn cool looking.
posted by dismas at 12:27 PM on November 4, 2007


I swapped my Model M for an Apple Wireless (aluminum) ... it's like going from piloting a Star Destroyer to a Tie-Fighter.

There, I said it.
posted by furtive at 12:33 PM on November 4, 2007


I remember coming across an APL keyboard back in the day, and realizing that I would most likely never need to have set operations on my keyboard.

I was amazed to find that the aforementioned Unicomp sells a brand-new buckling-spring APL keyboard. Amazed, and a little scared.

I am inexpressibly envious of those of you who own a trackpoint Model M — all that IBM input-device greatness in one package has got to be almost too much to bear.

Ambrosia Voyeur, honesty compels me to confess that this is not in fact my first post; there were a few under an old username.
posted by enn at 12:41 PM on November 4, 2007


I was only saying the other day how much I miss my old IBM Selectric typewriter. I think my next visit to the US will involve sourcing one of these.
posted by essexjan at 12:51 PM on November 4, 2007


Model M - 05apr91.

If your keyboard's too loud, you're too old. Or maybe not old enough.
posted by landis at 12:53 PM on November 4, 2007


enn: I just noticed that. You altered your profile to reflect it? Appreciated. Well, it's still a great fifth post.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:11 PM on November 4, 2007


I scored a trackball M and a touchpoint (pencil eraser/nipple) M a while ago. The touchpoint one has a wonky "t" spring that I've been too lazy to replace. I need to start stocking up on 'em from eBay though, you can never have too many.

I should grab a regular M and make it wireless. A few LiPoly battery packs and a bluetooth stack.
posted by Skorgu at 1:12 PM on November 4, 2007


Maybe partially because I learned to type on a Selectric, I think the Model M is the best typing keyboard ever made.

I bought one at a thrift store years ago, and loved it so much that I figured I'd better pick up another, in case the first one... I don't know, was stolen or something. And, since then, almost every time I've seen one at a thrift store, I've bought it.

I've got a trackball M (I don't like it much, though--it's a crummy trackball compared to modern ones), a compact M (no numeric keypad) and at least a half-dozen regular ones. And a couple M-alikes, and a Dell-branded one, and, yeah, I could go on. I'm typing this on a Model M right now (through AT-to-PS/2 and PS/2-to-USB adapters).

Sometimes I daydream about finding a black, compact, Touchpoint-equipped one, but I'm not even sure that such an animal exists. (But if you've got one and you'd even consider getting rid of it, my email's in my profile.)
posted by box at 1:36 PM on November 4, 2007


The Unicomp keyboards are the closest thing you can get to the "real thing" nowdays - they bought all the production rights/tooling from Lexmark, who had been spun off from IBM.

I have their 104-key models (with the Windows key, which remaps nicely to the Apple Command key) on both of my desktop Mac systems. They're native USB, and are The Perfect Keyboard.

I was able to swap keycaps (except for the bottom row, where the key widths are different due to the Windows key) between a "real" made-by-IBM Model M from the early 90s, and a current-production Unicomp keyboard, without any problem at all.

The other good thing about Unicomp - if you call them for customer service, you get someone in the US (they seem like a relatively small operation).
posted by mrbill at 1:46 PM on November 4, 2007


I loved my Model M, and it's the one thing I miss from using a PC since I switched to the Mac. If someone would just make a Model M (five pounds of steel and clicky) for the Mac, I'd pay almost any price.

SansPoint, check out the Unicomp native-USB 104-key models (as I mentioned above). They're around $60-70, but worth it.

On the Mac side, just physically swap the "ALT" and "WINDOWS" keycaps (if you care about that), and then remap Command->Option and Option->Command in System Preferences (Keyboard and Mouse / Keyboard / Modifier Keys).

This makes it match a normal Mac keyboard layout.
posted by mrbill at 1:54 PM on November 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


I had a Matias Tactile Pro. It had an awesome feel and boosted my rate by at least 25%. But it is also the loudest keyboard in the world, and people 5 offices down the hall from me could hear when I was answering email. It sounded like a Gatling gun. I finally had to get rid of it, because it was driving my office neighbors crazy.

Now i am using one of the awful new Mac chicklet keyboards... Hrm, maybe the Tactile 2 is quieter?
posted by drmarcj at 3:35 PM on November 4, 2007


I bought one of the new Apple keyboards recently. I have to say, it's one of the worst keyboards I've ever used. Not only does it hurt your fingers, it doesn't even work properly -- the keys keep jamming!

It's a keyboard for posers.


W at th e fck re you talkin abot/ Its on of th bes t keyboRDS OUT THERE.
posted by The Deej at 3:39 PM on November 4, 2007 [3 favorites]


What really sucks are the heathens that don't know the value of a Model M.

As for me, thanks to this thread I ended up cruising around ebay and snapped up one of the trackball Lexmark jawns for a not bad sum. Woot!
posted by 31d1 at 5:06 PM on November 4, 2007


I once had a student upchuck into a clear iMac keyboard. I took it out and poured water through it with a water hose. Once it dried out, and if you didn't turn it over and see the strange chunky things dried up inside, it worked just fine. I never liked typing on the things, but you can't beat that for sturdy, baby.
posted by tamitang at 5:19 PM on November 4, 2007


Oh god. Just the photo of the Model M keyboard gives me horrifying flashbacks of working in a cube farm. I'll be sending enn my psych bills for dealing with PTSD.
posted by deborah at 6:22 PM on November 4, 2007


I use the original IIGS keyboard that I had when I was a kid. I have an ADB to USB adapter that I use with it. The power button even works on my Powerbook running OS X!

This think is loud, and has a clickety-clack feel but with a slightly lighter touch and less travel than the model M typewriter board.

Plus it's very small, and has the control key in the correct place BY DEFAULT.

The only thing that's dodgy is the placement of the arrow keys, but the numpad is always an option. Still a nice, small keyboard.

When I want to use a big keyboard I use an Apple Extended Keyboard. When I want to write Japanese I use the Apple Keyboard II with Hiragana and Katakana.

Apple should have come out with the Nixie prototype keyboard for the IIGS. Without the numpad it would have been the same size as a happy hacking keyboard but without the squishy action.
posted by Sukiari at 7:21 PM on November 4, 2007


As much as laptop keyboards suck in general, I have to say I love the soft, yielding "click" on my MacBook Pro, feels more tactile than my old PowerBook G4 - When I'm in full-on fanboy mode, I like to pretend they engineered the sound and feel based around some sessions of Steve Jobs tapping on babies' bottoms, each tremor in the soft flesh triggering audible sighs from the staff members present and a $10 rise in stock price.
posted by jalexei at 7:33 PM on November 4, 2007


What really sucks are the heathens that don't know the value of a Model M.

ARAAGH BAD PICTURE NO CLICK
AUUUUGHHHHH DAMN YOU 31D1
posted by loquacious at 7:49 PM on November 4, 2007


furtive: I have to say it too... I picked up one of the new slim Apple keyboards (wired, as I like having a 10-key) and I really, really like it. I've heard the same thing echoed by a few friends as well... It looks a bit odd, and is flat like a laptop keyboard, but the feel of it is just excellent. It's also near silent... I think Apple really hit it on the head with this one. Since getting this I'm no longer looking to find a decent, not too huge buckling spring keyboard for use on my Mac.
posted by c0nsumer at 7:56 PM on November 4, 2007


I used a Model M from around '96 to last month, when it died with a whimper. It just up and stopped working. Now I'm using a GE rubber-dome keyboard I picked up for $4. :(

I solved the Windows key "problem" by using a registry hack to remap WIN to the left control key, and LCTRL to the ne'er-used (at least by me) Caps Lock key. (I still do this, so now I just get an extra Windows key.)

I started going keyboard shopping online, but I don't know if ever I can stray from buckle-spring switches. Maybe I should hit up ebay.
posted by maus at 11:56 PM on November 4, 2007


My macbook keyboard sucks. I wonder if there's any way to hook up the model M my kids are currently using to it.
posted by craniac at 5:50 AM on November 5, 2007


Ah, there is.
posted by craniac at 5:55 AM on November 5, 2007


It makes me shake my head and smile to this day every time I look at that left-handed numeric pad over on the right side of my keyboard. History has some strange consequences -- in this case, engineers designing a tool for accountants to use without bothering to look at how they used it. And the irony of that happening in the company with one of the biggest ergonomics budgets in the computing industry....
posted by lodurr at 6:23 AM on November 5, 2007


I used to work with a guy who had accumulated half a dozen of the things and only used two. The others he kept in reserve on the odd chance one of them would break. He let me use one but didn't let me sneak off with it when I left that job. I found an M-2 in a thrift store and picked that up for $1.95 (I never erased the grease pencil marking) and use that when working on my Win/Linux boxen. I'm always on the prowl for an original M though. There definitely is something to knowing one could beat an intruder to death with one's keyboard that is oddly satisfying.

I've purchased two Apple Extended keyboards via eBay and stumbled across a third when we cleaned out the parts shelves at work. Thank FSM for the Griffin iMate! I only wish the Extended keyboards were a little more clicky. Still, I cannot stand the current crop of Apple keyboards and will always use one of the Extended+iMate if given the chance.
posted by Fezboy! at 6:59 AM on November 5, 2007


I don't know this Apple Extended Keyboard of which y'all speak, I think. Most of the Apple keyboards I've used have been nigh-unbearably clunky -- long key travel, inconsistent feel from key to key, stiff, and not a lot of auditory or tactile confidence that you've actually made a sure keystroke.

Funny thing is, almost all the aftermarket Mac keyboards I've used were the same way. I've even gone looking for ones manufactured by companies that I knew made "PC" keyboards I liked, and they're always the same. Only when I went to the trouble of getting one of those scissor-switch desktop models (not the ones Apple's hawking now -- MacAlly, I think) did I find something different. So it must be something about the Mac market, or at least the manufacturers' perception of it: They think Mac users like crappy, slow keyboards.

The default in cheap cheap PC keyboards, I've found, is super-light, short-travel keyboards that offer next to no feedback -- but at least give a consistent tactile feel over the whole range of keys and offer very little resistence (so affording really fast typing).

That said, my favorite keyboard ever was a Fujitsu that I used for many years. It was heavy, built on a steel plate like the old M, with a very similar layout but smaller, and real mechanical keyswitches. Thing got gummed up with cat hair, so I traded it to a friend who was willing to clean it.

I don't really like anything I type on right now. The scissor-switched desktop keyboard I use at home is most congenial, but the bottom on it is so hard that it hurts my hands after a couple hours of hard typing. It is very fast and sure, though.
posted by lodurr at 9:03 AM on November 5, 2007


What I really want is a Maltron single handed keyboard. Why should I have to take my hand off my mouse to type? At over $600 it's just not justifiable, though. I did see a right handed version on eBay once, but it's gotta be a lefty.
posted by betaray at 9:32 AM on November 5, 2007


Nice to know there's other obsessive model M lovers. I have one at home and I will add

The only reason why I stopped using my Model M is because of my growing dependence on the Windows key

control-escape, baby. I'm so used to having model ms on my machines that even when I have a windows key I use c-esc.

About five years ago I walked into Microcenter and they had a giant 5x5 bin filled with keyboards for $2 each. There were model Ms all through it and I got about six. They live in a box in my basement waiting to be called up when their brother falls in battle. At this pace I'll still have 4 left in the box when I die at the age of 90.
posted by phearlez at 12:39 PM on November 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ctrl+Esc is fine to get the Start Menu, but it's the WinKey+<some other key> combinations that are really convenient and not as easily replaceable. Even more so if you like defining your own global macros—I can usually count on not overriding some other application's accelerator keys by using WinKey in my macro trigger.
posted by grouse at 1:25 PM on November 5, 2007


I heard a Model M got it's ass whupped by one of these.
posted by 31d1 at 2:56 PM on November 6, 2007


It is ass whupped, yeah.
posted by 31d1 at 2:57 PM on November 6, 2007


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