General keyboard musings

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snufflecat

15 Jun 2018, 13:57

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Hi there :) I find it unnecessary to create a single thread for every single question I might have, and for all I know there's more people like me. What if you only want to share a thought you had the other day? What if you only have a general question about keyboards, switches, collecting or any other thing? Then I hope this thread might be the place to pop by.

And to start things off, here's what's been picking my brain recently:

An acquaintance of mine knows some people who are working on creating a "live museum" for old computers and electronics, where you're allowed to touch, try and feel whatever they have on display.
He told me that if there was anything in particular I was looking for for my collection, it wouldn't be a problem for him to ask them if they had anything excess they could sell me.

My problem is that I'm not that deep into the whole keyboard collecting yet, so I don't really know what boards/systems are actually really sought after. Like, what do I ask him to ask them to look for? A few things I have in mind are naturally IBM Beamspring-boards, but there has to be other, similar things out there, right? I'm looking for brands and specific models. :)

codemonkeymike

15 Jun 2018, 14:00

You can get working displaywriters (with model f keyboards) for pretty cheap. It would be fun to play around with.

User avatar
snufflecat

16 Jun 2018, 17:30

codemonkeymike wrote: You can get working displaywriters (with model f keyboards) for pretty cheap. It would be fun to play around with.
Nice, thanks for the tip.

I was also eagerly waiting for a seller to send me a Toshiba T1200 laptop with some nice Alps compatible keycaps, but don't you think his wife ended up selling the machine cheaper to another buyer? Not sure if I should cry or laugh..

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snufflecat

23 Jun 2018, 09:46

I have a vague feeling that this thread should or could be moved to "Keyboards" instead of being in Off topic. I mean, the topic is keyboards, right? Not the same as the "What are you currently listening to?"-thread or similar. :)

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fohat
Elder Messenger

23 Jun 2018, 16:06

Somewhat off-topic in the off-topic section, but when I was in high school in the mid-late 1960s I needed an elective class. I told my father that I was thinking about signing up for "shop" but he said "no" and insisted that I take typing instead. He told me that I already knew how to use general tools and that I would be adding to my woodworking skills throughout my lifetime. Instead, he suggested that since I was obviously going to college and would be required to type papers, that would be a skill of immediate value to me.

In typing class, although electric typewriters were well-established by the 1960s, for the first few weeks we were required to use ancient, heavy, manual typewriters in order to get the proper technique ingrained in muscle memory - hands hovering a couple of inches above the keys and fingertips thrusting down like spear points to depress the keys. It took a solid strike with both speed and force to generate the required inertia. We learned to use all the joints and muscles starting in the wrist to catapult the fingertips downwards, focusing the force so that it reached a maximum at the "actuation point" which was well below the resting position. (Just like in martial arts where the focus of a strike is the interior of the body rather than the skin surface.)

Only when we were sufficiently skilled at this method were we allowed to move up to IBM Selectrics, the pinnacle of technology for the time.

User avatar
kbdfr
The Tiproman

24 Jun 2018, 13:51

fohat wrote: […] In typing class, although electric typewriters were well-established by the 1960s, for the first few weeks we were required to use ancient, heavy, manual typewriters in order to get the proper technique ingrained in muscle memory - hands hovering a couple of inches above the keys and fingertips thrusting down like spear points to depress the keys. It took a solid strike with both speed and force to generate the required inertia. We learned to use all the joints and muscles starting in the wrist to catapult the fingertips downwards, focusing the force so that it reached a maximum at the "actuation point" which was well below the resting position. […]
Not only the force needed, but also the noise generated was huge. Electric typewriters were effective in reducing the effort, but still the noise was significant as there always was an element (be it typebar, typeball or daisy) hitting the paper.
And then computers came and with them keyboards where typing was disconnected from actual printing. As typing noise had always been present in office environments, IBM simply did not care to reduce it when deisgning a new keyboard technology, resorting to a contemporarily uninspired, rustic way of establishing an electrical contact where one had to push a heavy spring to make it collapse.

Of course storytellers explain us now the intent was to not alienate users by offering them a "touch and hear" similar to what they were used to.
And all those ecstatic jerks believe that :mrgreen:
Spoiler:
Not sure this is the best way of making friends here :lol:

User avatar
Blaise170
ALPS キーボード

26 Jun 2018, 15:26

Anyone have a quick and easy to follow guide for screw modding a Model M? I have a Unicomp to restore but I'm not sure what parts I need and I'm too lazy to look through a bunch of guides. :mrgreen:

codemonkeymike

26 Jun 2018, 16:13

Blaise170 wrote: Anyone have a quick and easy to follow guide for screw modding a Model M? I have a Unicomp to restore but I'm not sure what parts I need and I'm too lazy to look through a bunch of guides. :mrgreen:
Razor blade, dremel with drill bit, 2mm nut and bolt. Cut off broken/loose rivet, drill a hole through it, put bolt in hole.

User avatar
snufflecat

27 Jun 2018, 09:40

fohat wrote:
Spoiler:
Somewhat off-topic in the off-topic section, but when I was in high school in the mid-late 1960s I needed an elective class. I told my father that I was thinking about signing up for "shop" but he said "no" and insisted that I take typing instead. He told me that I already knew how to use general tools and that I would be adding to my woodworking skills throughout my lifetime. Instead, he suggested that since I was obviously going to college and would be required to type papers, that would be a skill of immediate value to me.

In typing class, although electric typewriters were well-established by the 1960s, for the first few weeks we were required to use ancient, heavy, manual typewriters in order to get the proper technique ingrained in muscle memory - hands hovering a couple of inches above the keys and fingertips thrusting down like spear points to depress the keys. It took a solid strike with both speed and force to generate the required inertia. We learned to use all the joints and muscles starting in the wrist to catapult the fingertips downwards, focusing the force so that it reached a maximum at the "actuation point" which was well below the resting position. (Just like in martial arts where the focus of a strike is the interior of the body rather than the skin surface.)

Only when we were sufficiently skilled at this method were we allowed to move up to IBM Selectrics, the pinnacle of technology for the time.
Reminds me of the first time I saw my father type away at his typewriter. I was in awe! I tried the same typewriter earlier this year and man is it heavy and clunky to use! My fingers tired after a few sentences. Makes me glad I was born in the 90s and even had access to modern computers early on that I learned to type on.

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