Cherry Replica wasn’t a blockbuster per se....
June 22, 2016 7:07 PM   Subscribe

The (menacing) pumkpin is only one of the many novelty keys available on Keypuller a community effort to catalog every computer keyboard key cap ever produced. Please consider contributing and enjoy the small selection of keyboard mods they have. Shopping options, including many other novelty keys available at PimpMyKeyboard. Love this stuff and wondering where your people are? Head over to Geekhack, a very busy forum of keyboard enthusiasts. [previously, via]
posted by jessamyn (24 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, I had no idea this existed. Thanks! I wanna trick my keyboard now!
posted by agregoli at 8:12 PM on June 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

I will never tire of posting pictures of the Space Cadet keyboard, built for a prototype LISP Machine from Symbolics.

I've been deep-diving into teaching myself to code with LISP-alikes and APL when time allows, and I basically want this keyboard and an Odroid running DR Racket and GNU APL on a beautiful ratpoison desktop. Linux, prolly a hacked-to-pieces Ubuntu home-rolled, as Racket does not yet port to any flavor of BSD running on ARM.

If anyone double-shots that set of keycaps, I am totally rolling my own mech keyboard.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:12 PM on June 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

Oh my god I have a backlit CODE and I need at least one of those translucent Hellboy keycaps SO BADLY where is a seller
posted by middleclasstool at 8:24 PM on June 22, 2016

Also I would go all-in on this one If it had clear letters.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:29 PM on June 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

posted by middleclasstool at 8:39 PM on June 22, 2016

Oh Jesus, I didn't need to know about this.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 8:50 PM on June 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

What would happen if I pressed this key? Shouldn't I go into some sort of paralytic shock?
posted by not_on_display at 8:53 PM on June 22, 2016

A lot of these would also make good dental crowns, too.
posted by boo_radley at 9:02 PM on June 22, 2016 [4 favorites]

So I started reading geekhack a few years ago.

Went around the office testing all the fancy keyboards.

Bought a tenkeyless Poker II with cherry clears (non clicky with tactile feedback, stiffer than browns, I so heavy typing). Had to set up ITTT alerts in the mechanical keyboard exchange subreddit since clears are rare, and used ones sold in minutes.

Bought nice contoured keycaps in retro orange, brown, and beige.

Got sick of accidentally pressing caps lock, so replaced the switch with a clicky blue with aftermarket spring to bring the click threshold up to about 180 grams force.

Started gaming on the keyboard, replaced ASWD with reds, super light linears.

Still not satisfied.

Designed and build a laser cut stainless steel plate, populated with switches, dead-bug soldered the matrix to a teensy, and built my own firmware.

Still need an enclosure, but it is looking awesome.

Most keys are browns with light springs, very little force needed, nice tactile feedback. I rafely bottom them out. J and F are clears, the stiffer switches let me confirm with a 1/4 press that my fingers are in the right place.

Caps lock has a super stiff switch, and can de quickly enabled/disabled with an extra clear switch on the side of the keyboard, easy to find with the right pinky.

The best part are the modifiers on the front of the keyboard under the space-bar. One for each thumb. Fully programmable, but right now they put brackets used for programming on and around J and F.

F for ( and J for ), with {,},[,], and " just next to them make programming in Javalike languages so much more comfortable.

With full ownership of the firmware, I have a couple of nice tricks. Typing a dummy password inputs the real one, so no worries about shoulder surfers. I have leftover IO lines available. I hooked it up to a particle core and an arduino, but could not come up with fun applications.

What I am trying to say is that you could get hooked on the aesthetics of custom KB and spend hundreds of hours and dollars getting keycaps sets with historically correct profiles and just the right color combinations. Or you could get hooked on vintage KB and spend hundreds of hours and dollars in the market forums and eBay. Or you could get hooked on the ergonomics and spend hundreds of dollars and hours building the perfect keyboard.

You better have hundreds of dollars and hours if you going to click any links.

Not all vanity. I never learned proper touch typing. I touch type, but with not always with the same finger on the same key. Using different switches in strategic positions lets me type as fast as proper typists.
posted by Doroteo Arango II at 9:22 PM on June 22, 2016 [15 favorites]

I really wish I could get custom keycaps for my matias mini tactile pro, but ALPS-compatible keycaps are almost impossible to find.
posted by namewithoutwords at 9:34 PM on June 22, 2016 [3 favorites]

You better have hundreds of dollars and hours if you going to click any links.

I have two RS/6000 IBM Model M's that I was told to throw out but didn't. Free. I am going to spend cash for the Unicomp APL keyset for one of them, tho.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:40 PM on June 22, 2016

missing the potato key
posted by zippy at 10:59 PM on June 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

A bunch of guys I work with have expensive third party keyboards.

Maybe I'm a savage but I don't get it.
posted by JPD at 4:10 AM on June 23, 2016

This is wonderful to see on Metafilter! As a fairly serious keyboard enthusiast, I think that Matteo's work cataloging the keycaps is a fantastic community resource. Also of note are Deskthority, the community keyboard wiki, and HaaTa's effort to catalog all the different keyboard switches.

And for once, I get to enjoy a Mugatu moment as the inventor of the potato keycap.
posted by Content Production at 6:22 AM on June 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

I get to enjoy a Mugatu moment as the inventor of the potato keycap.

Submit it!
posted by jessamyn at 7:34 AM on June 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Why not? Here is the link to the potato product page.

It's just a potato mixed with a keycap model and then 3D printed by Sculpteo. This was made in response to countless people demanding better prices for Xbox 360's and Playstation 3's, and instead they were presented a glorious potato.
posted by Content Production at 8:14 AM on June 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

On my work PC, I have a keyboard scrounged from a Wang terminal. Inside it there is a steel plate to which the components are attached; it has its own 2" tweeter, it's like three feet wide, and may as well have tailfins like a '59 Caddy. When I type, it sounds like someone dumping out their sack of dice at the start of a weekend-long D&D session. I love it.

(Next to that PC, my work MacBook has a Happy Hacking Lite2 plugged into it which -- other than its great sound -- is the pretty much the opposite of the Wang keyboard. *shrug* I contain multitudes.)
posted by wenestvedt at 9:22 AM on June 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

pfft, just get yourself some spraypaint and you're good to go
posted by cortex at 9:25 AM on June 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

Last time we talked clackies on MeFi, I was rocking a Matias Mini. I've made the jump to the Happy Hacking Keyboard Pro 2, even if it did cost $200. It's glorious. I'm on my fourth mechanical kb. I think this means I have a problem. Sometimes I dream that Apple will turn full-circle and put out a MBP as fat as a 2010 model, only with a tiny logic board making room for topre switches. A boy can dream.
posted by dis_integration at 10:54 AM on June 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

You don't have a problem until you are backing up a rented U-Haul to an electronics store in the middle of Times Square to have a pallet of over 100 keyboards from the 1970's loaded in by a shady unnamed individual who only accepts cash.
posted by Content Production at 2:37 PM on June 23, 2016 [6 favorites]

Go on...
posted by wenestvedt at 5:20 PM on June 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

I love my chicklet Apple keyboard, but would love a subtle "any" to replace "esc" at the top left.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:40 PM on June 23, 2016

Apple's scissor-switch keyboard, especially the built-in ones on MacBooks are exemplary... I know, I have to use physical laptops to access customer systems, and the keyboards on the Dell and HP ones really, really suck. My everyday deck is a MacBook Pro 15, and my personal unit is a MBP 13, and they are both a dream to type on.

My primordial IBM Model M from an RS/6000 Unix workstation, and my ancient Dell 101 with Alps switches aaaand a windows key I can re-purpose into an "option" key, these are full bore fever-fantasy daydreams to type upon. I sound like a WWI machine-gun nest at full chat arguing politics here on Metafilter using either of them...
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:54 PM on June 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

MetaFilter: a WWI machine-gun nest at full chat.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:46 AM on June 24, 2016

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