Keyboards are not fun for me anymore.

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green-squid

21 Sep 2018, 23:55

I remember when everything in this scene was new to me. It was all exciting and always exotic, things I may never get to own or touch.
I remember being so excited about everything, cool old boards, every time I went to the flea market to just look for keyboards and even when I turned up with no keyboards every time, still being optinistic for next Sunday.
I remember drooling over all those 'cool small boards' on reddit amd asking the posters on the parts and wishing I had one just like that.
I remember being curious about all those colorful switches and old school awitches, and wondering how that 'Model M' switch that's so loved felt like.


Now all those reddit keyboards look like the ones I saw the month before with just different kinds of metal for the cases, and different colors of limited run keycaps.They all might as well be the same but with the different keycap set that is trendy at that moment.

The old boards are still what is more my thing, But it seems like I've seen all of them so many times, they are not as fascinating. You cant show me almost anything that new to me..
Switches are sort of done for me, I know what I want and I already own 2 (and ones parts are soon arriving) amazing keyboards that will set me for life, and click wise, it wont get better than my F (which I still cant convert due to flashing always failing). I'm still a bit curious about some switches, but not that much.

I gave up on finding keyboards at the flea market a while ago, so I just go to every flea market not really expecting to find them.
_____

Some people who know me say that I feel this way because I cant afford these boards and when I have a job to buy keyboards with, I'm going to be just as enthusiastic about this as I used to. You do have a point. And you may even be kinda right.
But I doubt it. If I had that kind of money, I'd just build a single kickass board and be done with it. Since how much would an identical looking board would really differ?
And like I said, there's nothing that new to discover. I know what I want from a keyboard.

I don't even know what I'm really being sad about. It's just not fun anymore, the magic is lost for me.

:cry:

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snacksthecat
✶✶✶✶

22 Sep 2018, 00:00

That’s okay squidman! At your age you should be having as much IRL fun as you can. No need to be obsessed with keyboards to have a healthy appreciation of them. Anyways, hope you at least stick around a bit and chat. You’re a good dude!

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fohat
Elder Messenger

22 Sep 2018, 00:07

green-squid wrote:
(which I still cant convert due to flashing always failing)
I have always used name brand Teensies and they have always worked first time, every time.

Apparently Paul builds in hardware/firmware and it is foolproof.

User avatar
green-squid

22 Sep 2018, 00:08

Thank you for the kind words snack. I will not go away from DT completely, but.. i remember when I would constantly check in and post, and now all I see is low activity and people selling off their leftover stuff. But I regularly still visit out of obligation.

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mike52787
Alps Aficionado

22 Sep 2018, 01:10

I feel the same way for a somewhat different reason... I now have everything I want in this hobby. I do love the community though, definitely worth it to stick around for just the fellowship.

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matt3o
-[°_°]-

22 Sep 2018, 13:13

I believe most of us feel the same at some point green-squid.

I stopped buying vintage or checking junk yards long ago and I find myself happy with the hobby only when I'm soldering a new keyboard I designed. Fortunately I still like to build stuff, so I guess it will last longer for me.

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Laser
emacs -nw

22 Sep 2018, 14:35

I guess it's a phase. Now you can focus on the keyboard(s) you know you like, and, in time, try to learn to improve its still negative aspects (there's no perfect keyboard), or watch how others try to do it (the workshop threads), or monitor the forum posts, waiting for a new, improved version of the keyboard(s) you like to appear. No need for drama IMO :P

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vometia
irritant

22 Sep 2018, 18:01

You could always go into a sort of related hobby and get into retrocomputing, since they were often pretty much "keyboards with the computer in them". I still remember the excitement I felt at the possibilities offered by the VIC-20, for example, the thing that looked a bit like a beamspring keyboard but had advanced technology like a 1 MHz 6502 and 5K of memory! I don't remember much about its keyboard other than feeling quite damped; but using a Sinclair Spectrum for more than a few seconds would reinvigorate your appreciation of keyboards, surely. :D

Findecanor

22 Sep 2018, 18:29

You have been here a year. I got most of my vintage collection in 2010/2011, and have hardly bought anything in the last five years. I found my favourite switch: Cherry MX Clear way back and have been using mostly the same keyboards since then.

I think it's great that keyboarding is evolving, that things are happening. New switches and DIY keyboards every year. That can still excite me. I also like looking deeper into why things are the way they are. ("What is the purpose of this layout, or this design decision?") And there are still things I have not tried that I wish I got my hands on.

You may also find new keyboard-related things that excite you, besides those that have done so in the past. You just don't know what they are yet.
matt3o wrote: I believe most of us feel the same at some point green-squid.
Indeed. I see threads like this on other hobbyist forums ... and then after five years, the same posters are still there, active on some new project. ;)
MOAHAHAHA! Once hooked you can never leave. :-þ

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chuckdee

22 Sep 2018, 18:52

matt3o wrote: I believe most of us feel the same at some point green-squid.
I wanted to quote this, because I have indeed found it to be true. The only advice I'd give, is not to take that not fun to the extreme, and get rid of the things that you have spent time on. When I thought I was done, I got rid of a lot- and highly regret it now. It goes in cycles, at least for me. A lot is based on external factors, or burning myself out, or just anything. So I've learned not to make it something that has to last forever- just put it away for now, so that it's there when you come back to it.

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Hypersphere

22 Sep 2018, 19:41

@green-squid: Your post struck a nerve in several of us, I suspect. Part of your ennui arises from human nature -- we enjoy novelty. Indeed, the pursuit of novelty can lead to all sorts of problems!

There are also stages of interest in an activity. We tend to reach plateaus as our interest matures. Oftentimes after taking a long break, it is possible to return with newfound interest.

Many people enjoy new challenges. Any activity can get stale if we are thinking, "been there, done that". Checking out the forums, you might discover something that you have not tried before. Trying out the new thing could enliven your interest again.

Then again, there are many other ways to spend time and money! If computer keyboards are no longer your thing, switch to something completely different. Learn to play the mandolin, take up rock climbing, learn a new language, ....

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Compgeke

22 Sep 2018, 19:46

vometia wrote: You could always go into a sort of related hobby and get into retrocomputing, since they were often pretty much "keyboards with the computer in them".
This here's how I actually found keyboard communities in the first place. The one nice thing about old computers is there's so much variety you can run through a lot of platforms before running out of things to do. I started with plain x86 stuff, moved onto old macs, moved onto older x86 stuff and anymore I'm playing with old non-consumer stuff. Think AIX, IBM i, VMS, etc.

I burnt out on keyboards myself a while ago and anymore just use my laptop 90% of the time and the other 10% my desktop just has a Kinesis split board. It's more fun to dig through the moderation logs here with the 2 posts a week that get reported.

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

23 Sep 2018, 14:42

Looks like this post really hit a nerve with some forum old timers, myself included!

This state of things seems to be due to both personal issues, and the state of the hobby as I observe it.

For me, there is not too much that is new anymore. The local warehouses are raided and (in part due to China's push back against import of recycled goods) supply has dried up. Once upon a time I could look forward to semi-regular day trips and big hauls. That hasn't happened in a while.

After a good 3-4 years in the hobby I've built a solid collection of boards, including some dream boards (F107, 3278, Micro Switch Hall effect) and some incredible daily drivers (Realforce XF01TS, Plum board with "55g" domes - nearly as good). Some of the best group buys have materialized (Round 5, Round 6, /dev/tty).

Part of the fun of the hobby is the hunt. I'm not really hunting for much anymore. There are a handful of people who have interesting things and I've met many of them in real life at this point. I guess I can still look forward to the DeskThority Euro Tour, a.k.a. I bum around in Europe for two weeks crashing on couches and looking at keyboards, Paul Erdős style.

I also have three kids now, and they're all under the age of 5. I can't play the games with my schedule that I could when I only had one or two. I don't even have a keyboard in the house any more: kid #3 meant I lost my office in the house. I work from my garage now (which is fine, it's climate controlled).

Looking a bit externally, I've seen the hobby really grow from about 2012. Reddit, love it or hate it, is the bread and butter of the hobby. The knowledge base we've built here on DT is incredible.

As Hypersphere said, hobbies go in phases. Some time away can be a good chance to reflect and come back with a new perspective.

At the moment I'm taking a diversion back to one of my very oldest hobbies, scientific and graphing calculators. In the past couple of weeks I've made some purchases. My favorite one is the HP 48GX. Even though it's slow (4MHz CPU), expansion is a pain (serial line required, memory card highly recommended), and the screen isn't great (dark blue on light green), it's a classic. I daresay it's the Model M of calculators. It is built like a tank and has an incredible keyboard. The older versions - like mine - have double shot ABS key caps! The keyboard uses stainless steel domes over a membrane, so, it is NOT a rubber dome.

The HP 50g is my "daily driver".

I'm also a long time TI 89 user. It's interesting to see the state of things there. The community has resolved most of the differences between HW1 and HW2 calculators which makes the (far more common) HW2 a viable option! https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~pad/faq/ti89.html

Calculators are much smaller than keyboards (lower shipping!) and less expensive (for now).

The most exciting direction for me is manufacturing. I've dabbled with this some with my collaboration with Ace Pad Tech and Massdrop. I still have plenty of ideas for future product.

I'm just glad Muirium is back.

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Laser
emacs -nw

23 Sep 2018, 18:52

XMIT wrote:
I'm just glad Muirium is back.
Ditto!

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stratokaster

23 Sep 2018, 19:40

I guess this is the same for all hobbies.

For example, I’m heavily into vinyl and analog audio which is unfortunate because turntables cost more and take way more space than keyboards.

A year ago, I bought a very beat-up ex-BBC Technics SP-10 Mk2 which is considered by many to be one of the “Holy Grail” turntables. I immediately sent it to a guy who specializes in restoring broadcast electronics and waited almost 11 months to get it back.

It finally arrived 2 weeks ago. I briefly unpacked it to verify that it was not damaged in transit, but it’s still sitting untouched in its box. If you told me 2 years ago that I would have a Technics SP-10 just sitting in my apartment and gathering dust, I would laugh in your face.

But I’m pretty confident that in a couple of months my enthusiasm will be back and I will thoroughly enjoy setting this turntable up and listening to my records on it.

And just like vinyl, keyboards are an on-and-off thing for me.

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Hypersphere

23 Sep 2018, 23:18

One of the great things about the mechanical keyboard obsession hobby is the people you meet (virtually and sometimes in person) and their agreeable eccentricities. DT is the kind of place where you find people who enjoy a variety of interesting things in addition to computer keyboards, such as vinyl records and handheld calculators from yesteryear.

@stratokaster: Despite my wife's urging to divest myself of my turntable and vinyl LP collection, I persist in hanging onto these treasures. In addition to enjoying the music, you can prop up the spacious album sleeves and enjoy the cover art from across the room.

@XMIT: Glad to see that you enjoy HP calculators. When I was a grad student, we persuaded the prof to purchase the first "shirt pocket" HP for the lab -- I think this was the HP-35. It was frightfully expensive but quite a marvel after using an electromechanical Frieden desktop (although dividing by zero was such fun on those things!).

Shortly after coming to Michigan, I acquired an HP-97S -- a small programmable desktop with magnetic cards and a thermal printer. I still have an HP-11C that I bought for my daughter ages ago. She wasn't as enthusiastic as I am about calculators and so she returned it to me. I took it to Italy in 1991 when I was on sabbatical in the University of Padua, and I continue to use it. An amazing thing is that I have never changed the batteries. This must be some kind of record.

The old HPs were special in many ways, not the least of which was their use of RPN. From the first HP-35, I quickly took to this method of data entry. I very much dislike using a calculator with an "=" key!

Another enjoyable characteristic of the classic HP calculators was the distinctive tactility of the keys. A few years ago, I bought a remake of the famed HP-15C -- it looks almost the same as the original and has additional functionality, but the keys have a rougher texture and stiffer tactility than the original.

Back to fun with keyboards, I decided to pack up my HHKB for a while. It's on a closet shelf behind other boxed-up keyboards to discourage me from hauling it out again too quickly -- a way of forcing me to rotate through some other great keyboards in my collection. I am typing this on a Leading Edge 3014 with Blue Alps and dye-sub PBT alpha caps. I painted the case burgundy red, accented the white alphas with black mods, and installed a Soarer's converter (yes, there's a HHKB layout hiding inside!). It's a great typing experience all around -- sight, sound, and feel, and it's satisfying to have made the various modifications myself.

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

24 Sep 2018, 00:54

Oh neat, the HP 15C remake is one I missed. The originals are still commanding high prices in good condition. The "HP Nut" processor these calculators use feature transistors etched into silicon deposited on a synthetic sapphire crystal. It's an early form of SOI fabrication and the reason they get such excellent battery life!

My father in law has an original HP 15C that I play with whenever I visit.

Engicoder

24 Sep 2018, 01:03

XMIT wrote: Oh neat, the HP 15C remake is one I missed. The originals are still commanding high prices in good condition. The "HP Nut" processor these calculators use feature transistors etched into silicon deposited on a synthetic sapphire crystal. It's an early form of SOI fabrication and the reason they get such excellent battery life!

My father in law has an original HP 15C that I play with whenever I visit.
The 15C has always been my baby. I bought it new when I was a freshmen in engineering school and have kept it. I love the unique form factor.

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Hypersphere

24 Sep 2018, 01:27

Engicoder wrote:
XMIT wrote: Oh neat, the HP 15C remake is one I missed. The originals are still commanding high prices in good condition. The "HP Nut" processor these calculators use feature transistors etched into silicon deposited on a synthetic sapphire crystal. It's an early form of SOI fabrication and the reason they get such excellent battery life!

My father in law has an original HP 15C that I play with whenever I visit.
The 15C has always been my baby. I bought it new when I was a freshmen in engineering school and have kept it. I love the unique form factor.
Widescreen! ;-)

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Muirium
µ

24 Sep 2018, 13:10

Laser wrote:
XMIT wrote:
I'm just glad Muirium is back.
Ditto!
Aw! Thanks guys.

Life is strange. I got thrown quite a bit the last few years. I wrote about that experience here. It’s certainly nice to have somewhere familiar to come back to. Somewhere with a lasting community and a life of its own. [grumpy]Even if I did miss /dev/tty…[/grumpy]

It’s definitely true that your interests evolve over time, ebbing only to often flow again. That’s natural, and can be just as wise as it even feels the opposite. You’ve got to be true to yourself. Part of you knows why the thrill is gone, it’s just not as keen on telling why. You’ll find out in time.

Personally, I need to work on stabilising my day to day. My shortage of money and space doesn’t go away no matter how far back I try to shove it from my focus. I’ve bigger projects to see through than keyboards. I’ve bigger things to fix. Chasing the dragon is still as fun for me as it always was, but there’s other not-so-mythical beasts after me too…

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depletedvespene

24 Sep 2018, 13:18

green-squid wrote: I don't even know what I'm really being sad about. It's just not fun anymore, the magic is lost for me.
The magic of novelty is lost because you aren't a newbie anymore (we've all been there — old geezers like me have experienced this more than once). Afterwards, comes a second kind of magic: the one associated with deep knowledge of the particular subject, which can be even more satisfying than the first.

Also, you don't have to be "thinking of" keyboards all the time. Appreciate them for what they are, be glad you get to be using good models (knowing why they're so) and think of & do other stuff as well.

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Laser
emacs -nw

24 Sep 2018, 13:36

The green squid changing colors :D
Muirium wrote: I’ve bigger projects to see through than keyboards. I’ve bigger things to fix. Chasing the dragon is still as fun for me as it always was, but there’s other not-so-mythical beasts after me too…
I've two deadlines chasing after me :( Must resist, must conquer, must vanquish!

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chuckdee

24 Sep 2018, 17:59

Muirium wrote:
Laser wrote:
XMIT wrote:
I'm just glad Muirium is back.
Ditto!
Aw! Thanks guys.

Life is strange. I got thrown quite a bit the last few years. I wrote about that experience here. It’s certainly nice to have somewhere familiar to come back to. Somewhere with a lasting community and a life of its own. [grumpy]Even if I did miss /dev/tty…[/grumpy]
I'm hopeful that it comes back around again... need the 2U spacebars, and haven't been having a great result trying to find them.

And yes, great to have you around again! Not just to have you around, but it means that your troubles are at least a bit lessened, hopefully.

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vometia
irritant

24 Sep 2018, 21:27

Muirium wrote: It’s definitely true that your interests evolve over time, ebbing only to often flow again. That’s natural, and can be just as wise as it even feels the opposite. You’ve got to be true to yourself. Part of you knows why the thrill is gone, it’s just not as keen on telling why. You’ll find out in time.
I'd always put my "interests carousel" down to autism, but maybe it's just its own thing. I find I'll go through phases of being very interested in one particular subject, then another of the usual suspects will eventually come along to replace it, and so it goes on until they come round again, albeit in a bit of a random order.

Except for shoes. The obsession with shoes is always there. Some of them even fit. Fewer of them fit comfortably, and of those, I sometimes wonder how many even my great granny would've rejected for being too frumpy, a.k.a. "do I wear the crippling heels or the comfortable Birkenstocks?" Er anyway.

But other than that, the interest in keyboards comes and goes like most of the other stuff. Sometimes just because, other times because I actually need something new, in which case I've already come somewhat pre-prepared, which is useful.

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chuckdee

24 Sep 2018, 21:56

vometia wrote: "interests carousel"
I'm stealing that one! Describes me perfectly!

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stratokaster

24 Sep 2018, 22:23

vometia wrote: I'd always put my "interests carousel" down to autism, but maybe it's just its own thing. I find I'll go through phases of being very interested in one particular subject, then another of the usual suspects will eventually come along to replace it, and so it goes on until they come round again, albeit in a bit of a random order.
That describes my relationship with my numerous hobbies perfectly.

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webwit
Wild Duck

24 Sep 2018, 22:37

I'm currently into hiking a lot.

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

24 Sep 2018, 23:41

I thought cycling between hobbies was just an INTJ thing: deep interests, can't do them all at once.

After calculators, I might finish up my pilot's license. That would be a fun one, if I can find the money for it again...

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chuckdee

25 Sep 2018, 03:28

That was my major problem with my pilot's license. There's a lot of money needed beyond the basics that isn't evident when you first get into piloting.
Muirium wrote: [grumpy]Even if I did miss /dev/tty…[/grumpy]
As if by magic...

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/capatoa-keycap-explosion

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Darkshado

25 Sep 2018, 06:01

Okay, now the pilots are coming out of the wood work; I'll have to start a thread about it.

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