Thursday, June 08, 2017

Keyboard Sadness, Keyboard Opportunity

     Well, darn.  My nice big Unicomp mechanical keyboard has started to forget the "V" key and the left-hand "SHIFT" has become touchy -- press it with your pinkie too far to the right, and though it feels right, the switch hasn't swootch.  Coming up on four years of middling-heavy use and I have had it apart once, so I shouldn't be surprised; there's probably debris I missed getting in the way.  I still like them better than any other keyboard.

     I've had an Azio 104-key MK Retro* with old-fashioned round keys since I found out such things could be had.  The keys are okay but not quite the nice clickative Cherry or buckling-spring keyswitches (though they may be Cherry or a competent clone -- just not as clicky as I'd like).  The layout is conventional and not appreciably larger or smaller than the Unicomp -- and, seeing as the latter is an IBM Model M in all but name, which was closely scaled to the IBM Selectric and Model B typewriters that preceded it, it is my standard of comparison.

     If I can't fix my old keyboard, I'll likely save up and replace it.  In the meantime, this Azio is well worth trying.
* Whoosh!  Prices seem to have gone up since I bought mine.  Look around, if you like the style -- versions without the number pad begin to approach affordability.  Some the the Far Eastern manufacturers are producing interesting variations, too. Like the look but not the prices?  If you have Bluetooth, the under-$30 Logitech K380, with a nearly full-size keyboard and a clickless but very definite keyboard feel, is my choice for portable use.


waepnedmann said...

Eeeh gads.
The smartest kid in school and I used to rhapsodize about the laser-like qualities of a #4 Ticonderoga.
Geeks will geek.

wheelgun said...

I have been wanting a new mechanical keyboard for a while. The Cherry MX Red or Brown switches seem to be what I like. Need to go look at some in person again.

Jerry said...

Love the Cherry keyboards but cannot afford keyboard AND ammunition. ;-)

Jon said...

Personally, I have a blank DASKeyboard at home (they come in standard and 'silent' models. I will note silent is still *very clicky*. I'd invest in one for work except I'd drive my cube mates absolutely nuts inside of a week.

They do have a bit of a gamer feel to them so they might not be up your alley. But Cherry switches (or their like) are pretty easy to find these days. The trick is getting to try typing on one without investing in it.

Seerak said...

Those buckling-spring things are nearly indestructible. I'm using a refurb Model M from clickykeyboards right now. I'm a bit surprised and disappointed to hear that your Unicomp is getting a bit squirrelly after only four years.

I was thinking of picking one of those up, in part because my model M starts dropping random kystrokes evr onc n a whil (argh). Unplug/replug fixes it, so it's electronics. I figure it's the relatively high current draw of the old circuitry and my too-many-points-of-failure cable setup (PS/2 to USB to four-way electronic KVM switch). I was hoping the Unicomp with its more efficient modern guts and native USB could fix that.