Longterm Daily Drivers

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Bass

13 Apr 2021, 21:47

Redmaus wrote:
10 Apr 2021, 19:07
Also gotta say I'm a little jealous of your unsaver, with the red sublegends(something I have always wanted lol) and distinct embedded numberpad. Isn't your from NOS as well?
Yep, I made a write-up about it a few years ago: viewtopic.php?f=62&t=19693

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doomsday_device

13 Apr 2021, 23:41

edit/note: as im maybe 3 years into this hobby i cant speak of long term goodness sadly. but so far very close for me (with not easy opponents):

currently i have only two boards i use atleast some days or even weeks in a row before i switch to another for a nice evening:

- clicky Oki HMB-35957 - unbelievably fun keyboard for me. it is like typing into tiny clicking hammocks and i love it to bits beside being quite "cheaply" made
- skcm black alps NeXT Non-ADB - the best sounding alps chassis i had so far. the 9+/10 skcm pine blacks in it are underrated and perfect for the job

these two couldnt be more different but both are outstanding keyboards for me.

there is one mastermind behind all this though, and that is a g80-3700 i have plugged in since i have it. very useful and beautiful numpad, the blacks in it arent that good though but i dont care too much.

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vometia
irritant

18 Apr 2021, 23:31

The thing I used for the longest is almost certainly my SSK. I eventually stopped because of the noise (didn't bother me, did bother my other half when it was the middle of the night...) but it still has the best sound/keyfeel/feedback/etc of anything I've used; in spite of that, those acres of beige don't really draw me back to it now. Still, it's pretty indestructible so if I go through another phase of spilling drinks into my keyboard it may come out of hibernation!

After several false starts including a Filco Majestouch (nice keyboard, couldn't make myself like the MX Blues mine has though; the gf has just adopted it after her Unicomp rubber-dome thingy started playing up and seems happy enough with it) I tried out something with MX Reds after someone (Mu?) suggested I might get on better with them. So I used a Vortex something-or-other for a good long while; and while it's a really lovely keyboard but after almost a year I still wasn't getting used to the not-even-that-unconventional layout so it wasn't to be. Shame, it has such a nice feel and solidity to it.

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Not finding anything else conventional with MX Reds from the usual makes in TKL form, I tried out a Durgod, not knowing anything about them. Glad I did, I seem to have settled into this one for the long run and I'm more than happy with it.

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Will I eventually be tempted away from it? Dunno, but I guess that's why I'm here. :D Maybe by a modern Model F or M that takes MX keycaps, or if something that feels and sounds like an MX Red but is lighter grabs my attention. But I don't feel that usual "this isn't quite working for me" irritation.

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Muirium
µ

19 Apr 2021, 10:50

Yeah, it was me who nudged you in the unglamorous direction of MX red. They certainly get the job done. With a nice solid plate, and of course the right caps, they're good and cloppy as I like. Indeed, when I use mine, I always get the feeling they're the true proletarian Topre. Maybe if I ever lubed them, and took all the rest of the coconut headphones airstrip of the gods ritual seriously enough to make them what they should. ;)

What caps are those? The yellow / white on grey colourway's got character.

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Tritian

19 Apr 2021, 11:03

The keyboard I use the most is my F77 with Unicomp APL and M13 caps
Image

When my gf complains, I normally switch over to the Niz Plum w/ 55g dome swap and mt3 caps
Image

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vometia
irritant

19 Apr 2021, 12:19

Muirium wrote:
19 Apr 2021, 10:50
Yeah, it was me who nudged you in the unglamorous direction of MX red. They certainly get the job done. With a nice solid plate, and of course the right caps, they're good and cloppy as I like. Indeed, when I use mine, I always get the feeling they're the true proletarian Topre. Maybe if I ever lubed them, and took all the rest of the coconut headphones airstrip of the gods ritual seriously enough to make them what they should. ;)
Prole probably sums me up! I still look at the Topre with a certain degree of suspicion: bit newfangled and fancy, that stuff. I've only just got used to the general concept of the MX!

The cargo headphones thing just confused me. It's easily done.
Muirium wrote:
19 Apr 2021, 10:50
What caps are those? The yellow / white on grey colourway's got character.
MT3 Serika. They're really nice! Tough choice between them and the PMK Lime set; slight preference for the look of the Lime but the feel of the Serika. Why can't I just have everything?
Tritian wrote:
19 Apr 2021, 11:03
The keyboard I use the most is my F77 with Unicomp APL and M13 caps
Ooh, red!

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Muirium
µ

19 Apr 2021, 12:54

Yeah, that red, white and black theme reminds me something else real nice…

Image

As for cargo culting: I was taking the piss out of the whole switch modding thing MX fandom forever becomes. This endless fixing, and fixing your fixes. What, you're not even stickered those muthas? Korean gold plated springs and hipster moustache lube dat shit, brah. Or whatever it is in the local dialect. :roll:

I exposed my prejudice shared my top two boards in the opening post. Both are very different. Neither are MX. But there's no arguing with MT3s…

kelvinhall05

19 Apr 2021, 13:10

I realized I never posted a pic of my board.
Spoiler:
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ironicmoustache

19 Apr 2021, 17:08

Muirium wrote:
19 Apr 2021, 12:54
As for cargo culting: I was taking the piss out of the whole switch modding thing MX fandom forever becomes. This endless fixing, and fixing your fixes. What, you're not even stickered those muthas? Korean gold plated springs and hipster moustache lube dat shit, brah. Or whatever it is in the local dialect. :roll:
I stopped paying attention to MX after I got my HHKB four years ago. I started paying attention to keyboards again maybe a year ago and found myself quite bemused by the amount of work people are putting into their MX-style switches...

No prizes for guessing my long-term daily driver over the past four years, haha. But I just got a hold of a 55g R1 Realforce a couple of weeks ago, and it might replace my HHKB as my #1. I don't foresee needing to work out of the house anytime soon, which means I don't need the portability of the HHKB. I do miss the cheerful snappiness of the HHKB, though.

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Go-Kart

19 Apr 2021, 21:11

vometia wrote:
18 Apr 2021, 23:31
Image
Great set of caps. That a K320? Great board out of the box; all the whistles and bells. Just gotta find one with the switches you're after. But yeh, those caps take it to another level.
Tritian wrote:
19 Apr 2021, 11:03
When my gf complains, I normally switch over to the Niz Plum w/ 55g dome swap and mt3 caps
Image
That looks great. Is that a stock chassis? The only Niz TKLs I've seen have a more angular, Alu affair.

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Tritian

19 Apr 2021, 21:49

Go-Kart wrote:
19 Apr 2021, 21:11
That looks great. Is that a stock chassis? The only Niz TKLs I've seen have a more angular, Alu affair.
Thanks. Yeah, it's the normal Niz Plum 87key TKL with bluetooth.

The caps are a mixture of susuwatari for the mods and /dev/tty for the alphas.

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Tritian

19 Apr 2021, 21:55

Muirium wrote:
19 Apr 2021, 12:54
Yeah, that red, white and black theme reminds me something else real nice…

Image
I've always loved the look of those Nord keyboards, but I've never gotten one.

Here's my "other" keyboard setup:
Image

This photo was taken before I got the F77 :)

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an_achronism

04 May 2021, 04:43

lhutton wrote:
08 Apr 2021, 19:44
I usually wind up on some Model M long term on my PCs and an AEKII on the Mac.
The TL;DR version of what I'm about to say is basically: "same".

I'm only really getting into this stuff recently because my previous daily driver – a cheap-ish Corsair with MX Blues that I got in a flash sale a while back and hoped would be "good enough" (it wasn't) – started playing up. I've since fixed it by rewiring the USB pinout that was heading out to the built-in cable to the otherwise unused and more or less pointless passthrough USB port on the back instead, meaning I just plug in any old USB-A cable and it works now, but it was a good excuse to replace it with something better anyway so I've bought a number of vintage boards and a Unicomp New Model M nonetheless. That being the case, I can't really say that I have a daily driver that is currently long-term, only one that I would consider to be my long-term choice if it isn't replaced by something superior. Frankly, I think it's going to be, but I am keeping an open mind.

Between the boards that I have on hand thus far, the Unicomp New Model M is the clear winner. It's a pretty heavy switch, especially coming off the back of a horrid rattly MX Blue board, but it's a breath of fresh air for somebody who loves tactility and wants their switches to sound about as cataclysmic as they feel when actuated. If I was more often after a lighter switch, I would instead opt to get the most use out of my second preference, which is one of those Data General boards with the weird Alps-like Acer switches (I bought more than one because I was so pleasantly surprised with the key feel and sound as soon as I opened the first one). They're pretty nice, although it takes a bit of adjustment to use one after using the Model M for a while because the actuation force is significantly lower and I end up hammering the life out of the thing. I suspect the New Model M will probably be comfortably dethroned as my go-to once I build a wee collection of vintage IBM boards and/or once my "F77" Model F reproduction arrives at some point (my credit card is screaming for help right now). Two things I would very dearly love are a 1990 Model M for somewhat arbitrary reasons, and one of these...
ddrfraser1 wrote:
08 Apr 2021, 18:55
The first is this 0th generation model M
... which is one of my "holy grails", personally. I'd also like to try a RealForce board to see what the fuss is about, but frankly, I really hate ANSI and they're bloody expensive.
lhutton wrote:
08 Apr 2021, 19:44
Honestly I kind of like the springy bounce of the dampened Alps over the straight linear ones.
I agree that the dampened Alps on the AEK II are rather nice, although they wouldn't be my first choice.

The rest of this is perhaps a bit rambly and off-topic, so I'll throw it in a spoiler and that way you can read it only if you're especially bored:
Spoiler:
I only got an AEK II as a potential candidate "late night board" (I have some pretty bad insomnia, it's currently 03:40 in the morning for instance) and I think it's probably quite good for that purpose, although I kinda hate most of the curious Apple-ness that the board exhibits. Mine is a UK one with the dampened "cream" switches, and it took me a sec to notice that the keycap legends on it indicate that the Apple version of the standard UK layout is, as with most other things Apple, needlessly contrarian and daft (shots fired); it also has the home row indicators on the "wrong" keys and the legends are italicised on the lower left instead of being plain Jane weighted and on the upper left, because of course it does. Unfortunately, the first one I grabbed also arrived seriously warped (which the seller completely failed to disclose), so I had to put some effort into un-bending the plate and I have no idea if the warping caused any damage to the PCB yet. One of the many items on my To Do list is sticking a controller onto a Teensy and wiring it up to USB so I can test the thing. I admittedly don't have a huge amount of experience with keyboard modding/repair in particular, but I do have plenty of experience working on old computers and consoles, so I'm keen to dive in (and have already begun to do so).

I'm also going to replace all the switches in the aforementioned old Corsair, mostly because I'd ideally prefer a hotswappable ISO full-size PCB and chassis but that seems to be something of a unicorn in the modern keyboard market so I'm going to cheap out and do it this way instead, making the Corsair more valuable to me than it currently is (I never want to use MX Blues again for as long as I live, if I can help it). I haven't figured out what switches I want to use yet, though I think I've possibly narrowed it down to either Kaihua Box Noble Yellow, Box Pink, or potentially Box Navy, although those might be a little *too* heavy.

Rayndalf

04 May 2021, 05:41

Realforce does ISO as well JIS layouts.
https://www.keyboardco.com/keyboard/uk- ... yboard.asp

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an_achronism

04 May 2021, 07:26

Rayndalf wrote:
04 May 2021, 05:41
Realforce does ISO as well JIS layouts.
https://www.keyboardco.com/keyboard/uk- ... yboard.asp
I know, but I already found the Keyboard Co. product pages for them and they list them all as "discontinued", sadly.

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Bjerrk

04 May 2021, 08:23

an_achronism wrote:
04 May 2021, 04:43
lhutton wrote:
08 Apr 2021, 19:44
I usually wind up on some Model M long term on my PCs and an AEKII on the Mac.
I agree that the dampened Alps on the AEK II are rather nice, although they wouldn't be my first choice.

I only got an AEK II as a potential candidate "late night board" (I have some pretty bad insomnia, it's currently 03:40 in the morning for instance) and I think it's probably quite good for that purpose, although I kinda hate most of the curious Apple-ness that the board exhibits.
I use an AEK II in my office at the university (when not working from home due to some things going on). In some ways I like it, but I also sort of hate it a bit. For one particular reason: The ADB protocol. It is such an absolute relic of shite.
It is said that the Woz designed it in just a few days and, man, it shows!
For one thing, it has horrible limitations on the data transfer rate.
I have wired the AEK II up to a Pro Micro with the QMK firmware on it, and I am one of those weirdos who actually like using Mouse Keys. This works great on all my XT/AT keyboards (for instance I am writing this on a 1987 Model M on a computer with no mouse attached). But on the AEK, using mouse keys is like trying to swim in custard while having a seizure.

I have seriously considered throwing away the PCB and hand-wiring a new matrix to completely get rid of ADB.
an_achronism wrote:
04 May 2021, 04:43
One of the many items on my To Do list is sticking a controller onto a Teensy and wiring it up to USB so I can test the thing. I admittedly don't have a huge amount of experience with keyboard modding/repair in particular, but I do have plenty of experience working on old computers and consoles, so I'm keen to dive in (and have already begun to do so).
I can definitely recommend that. A Pro Micro or similar will do fine, by the way (and they're very cheap). One word of advice, though: do use a pull-up resistor. When wiring up e.g. a PS/2 to USB converter, you can usually get away with not using a pull-up resistor, but in my experience they are needed when working with the abomination that is ADB. Fun fact: It is commonly believed that ADB stands for "Apple Desktop Bus", when in reality it is the Abominable Dung Bus.
an_achronism wrote:
04 May 2021, 04:43
I'm also going to replace all the switches in the aforementioned old Corsair, mostly because I'd ideally prefer a hotswappable ISO full-size PCB and chassis but that seems to be something of a unicorn in the modern keyboard market so I'm going to cheap out and do it this way instead
Word to the wise: You can fairly easily make your keyboard hotswappable. Just solder in some Mill-Max sockets
like these, and you have yourself a hotswappable keyboard.
I did this on my TEX Shinobi, for instance.

That being said, full size ISO hotswappable keyboards do exist. One example is the GMMK. I have one of those somewhere in a closet, but never use it. But it works for testing switches.

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an_achronism

04 May 2021, 08:46

Bjerrk wrote:
04 May 2021, 08:23
A Pro Micro or similar will do fine, by the way (and they're very cheap). One word of advice, though: do use a pull-up resistor. When wiring up e.g. a PS/2 to USB converter, you can usually get away with not using a pull-up resistor, but in my experience they are needed when working with the abomination that is ADB. Fun fact: It is commonly believed that ADB stands for "Apple Desktop Bus", when in reality it is the Abominable Dung Bus.
Hahaha, yeah, I've not heard good things about ADB. Quite a lot about the AEK and AEK II, the ISO layout in particular, struck me as an afterthought / rush job.

I saw the note about a pullup resistor noted in hasu's geekhack post. Thank you for confirming it, though. Off the top of my head I think I recall there being mention of a 1K resistor being about right?

Bjerrk wrote:
04 May 2021, 08:23
Word to the wise: You can fairly easily make your keyboard hotswappable. Just solder in some Mill-Max sockets
like these, and you have yourself a hotswappable keyboard.
I did this on my TEX Shinobi, for instance.

That being said, full size ISO hotswappable keyboards do exist. One example is the GMMK. I have one of those somewhere in a closet, but never use it. But it works for testing switches.
Sure, it's something I'm considering but I dunno if I necessarily want to do that for this board. I was looking at Kaihua's own hot swap sockets, but hadn't looked at any others yet, so ta for the recommendation. I assume that a certain amount of additional wobble might be introduced by making a board hot-swappable due to gradual wear over time (particularly if you switch switches in and out like they're going out of fashion) although maybe I'm overestimating that.

And yes, I had already considered the full size GMMK board but...

1. It doesn't have holes to accommodate PCB-mount side legs on switches, so you'd have to clip them off any switches that have them

2. Frankly, I don't want to give money to a company that markets themselves the way that they do... it makes me feel a bit ill

I don't think I found any others that were actually full size, however. Most DIY kits seem to either be 60%, maybe 75%, and rarely 96 or 1800 or whatever the heck we're calling "not quite full size but trying its hardest, bless".

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Bjerrk

04 May 2021, 09:54

an_achronism wrote:
04 May 2021, 08:46
Hahaha, yeah, I've not heard good things about ADB. Quite a lot about the AEK and AEK II, the ISO layout in particular, struck me as an afterthought / rush job.

I saw the note about a pullup resistor noted in hasu's geekhack post. Thank you for confirming it, though. Off the top of my head I think I recall there being mention of a 1K resistor being about right?
Yeah, anything in that ballpark will do. If I recall correctly, I used a 2kOhm one I had lying around.
an_achronism wrote:
04 May 2021, 08:46
Sure, it's something I'm considering but I dunno if I necessarily want to do that for this board. I was looking at Kaihua's own hot swap sockets, but hadn't looked at any others yet, so ta for the recommendation.
It's almost as easy as soldering in new switches.
an_achronism wrote:
04 May 2021, 08:46
I assume that a certain amount of additional wobble might be introduced by making a board hot-swappable due to gradual wear over time (particularly if you switch switches in and out like they're going out of fashion) although maybe I'm overestimating that.
If the plate is doing its job, it shouldn't be too much of a problem. But YMMV, I'm sure.
Think of handwired keyboards, where you skip the PCB entirely. (Although in that case, you sometimes apply a bit of hot glue - again, depending on how well the switches sit in the plate).
an_achronism wrote:
04 May 2021, 08:46
And yes, I had already considered the full size GMMK board but...

1. It doesn't have holes to accommodate PCB-mount side legs on switches, so you'd have to clip them off any switches that have them
2. Frankly, I don't want to give money to a company that markets themselves the way that they do... it makes me feel a bit ill
Fair points! I feel ya. I wasn't particularly aware of that when I bought it - the large "gamer oriented brands" seemed somewhat equivalent to me. For instance, HP is running an advert here saying "The world desperately needs the superior DNA of gamers to create a better future for humanity". Apparently, it's how the gaming industry rolls. One step away from claiming that the rest of us are subhumans to their Übermensch :roll:

(Edit: And then there was of course the whole deal with Glorious pretending to have created Holy Panda switches. And more incidents I am not aware of, I'm sure)

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Muirium
µ

04 May 2021, 09:55

Tritian wrote:
19 Apr 2021, 21:55
I've always loved the look of those Nord keyboards, but I've never gotten one.
Same. They're pricey. All the twiddly stuff on board is very nicely implemented, though. But I prioritised buying a nice full weighted Roland keyboard *and* Logic over spending more for an entry level Nord with way less keyfeel. Someday, though. When I've got space to do it justice, too!

Speaking of which: racked piano keyboards I do get. Different instruments on each, play them as required. But racked computer keyboards? You KVMing or something? You need different instruments apps on each hand? :lol:

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Muirium
µ

04 May 2021, 10:12

an_achronism wrote:
04 May 2021, 07:26
Rayndalf wrote:
04 May 2021, 05:41
Realforce does ISO as well JIS layouts.
https://www.keyboardco.com/keyboard/uk- ... yboard.asp
I know, but I already found the Keyboard Co. product pages for them and they list them all as "discontinued", sadly.
Well spotted. Topre has "recently" (by their standards) redesigned the Realforce: it's now the Realforce R2. A pretty solid improvement on most fronts, here's XMIT's obsessively detailed review! Keyboardco was selling the original for years, and now they've finally run out of stock. Wonder when they'll get R2 in ISO.
an_achronism wrote:
04 May 2021, 08:46
…and rarely 96 or 1800 or whatever the heck we're calling "not quite full size but trying its hardest, bless".
1800 refers to Cherry. It's a layout some people like quite a lot, especially if they've a classy set of caps from an original. Me? Nah. I'm 60% like all the nippy kids!

As for pullups: yes, 1k or half to twice that works well. External pull-ups are necessary on ADB. The Teensy / Pro Micro's internal pullups are generally enough for AT/PS2 work, though some extra coily vintage cables can really use a true pull-up.

Oh, I've a Teensy or two available if you want them locally. And an OG Kishsaver I can ruin your expectations with for a lifetime… :lol:

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darkcruix

04 May 2021, 10:19

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Over the years I changed keyboards quite a bit ... Cherry MX based, NeXT black Alps, Model M variants, Model F ... and of course my Beamsprings. I love the feel of the 3278 - crisp as hell and just the right sound. Yes, I bring it back into the mix frequently.
The work horse since a year is my trusted Ellipse Model F77. I highly customized it to my needs and it is so perfect for me, it is insane. I like me F122 and F107 with all the extra keys, but the F77 with its layers is just right.
I also have a secondary keyboard (or cable) attached - a Model M SSK, which is usable during a call, when I have to type with an open mic.
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Muirium
µ

04 May 2021, 10:21

Dang, Cruix, you know how to put on a show! :D

The very thought that your "quiet, I'm on a call" keyboard is a Bucking Spring is a true laugh out loud! :lol:
Bjerrk wrote:
04 May 2021, 08:23
I am one of those weirdos who actually like using Mouse Keys. This works great on all my XT/AT keyboards (for instance I am writing this on a 1987 Model M on a computer with no mouse attached). But on the AEK, using mouse keys is like trying to swim in custard while having a seizure.
I'm playing around with mouse keys myself. Just out of interest: what tactic are you using to engage them? Chording? A mode lock? I tried tap and hold, with predictabel resutsl.

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Bjerrk

04 May 2021, 10:46

Muirium wrote:
04 May 2021, 10:21
Bjerrk wrote:
04 May 2021, 08:23
I am one of those weirdos who actually like using Mouse Keys. This works great on all my XT/AT keyboards (for instance I am writing this on a 1987 Model M on a computer with no mouse attached). But on the AEK, using mouse keys is like trying to swim in custard while having a seizure.
I'm playing around with mouse keys myself. Just out of interest: what tactic are you using to engage them? Chording? A mode lock? I tried tap and hold, with predictabel resutsl.
I'm fairly conservative with these things, so I just use Caps Lock as a momentary layer switch (since it is easy to reach and not used for its original purpose by me) and Scroll Lock to toggle the mouse layer if I need to mouse around for a while.

The more "interesting" aspect of how I use the mouse keys is probably the mouse keys themselves. I try to emulate the good old ThinkPad Trackpoint experience as much as possible. So. I map the up/down/left/right keys to an inverted T-shape part of the alphabetic keys and then map the three mouse buttons in the order BTN1, BTN3, BTN2 to three alphabetic keys below the ones I used for mouse movement. The BTN3 then also doubles as a scroll button (meaning that the mouse movement keys can be used for scrolling while BTN3 is held down).
And lastly I also map BTN1 onto the spacebar, just because that is the mouse button I will use the most, and then I can comfortably use it with my thumb.

In my experience, having the right "settings" helps a bunch as well. We've perhaps all tried the "mouse keys" feature which is built into Windows or Xorg in UNIX, and know how terrible it is.
I believe these are the QMK/TMK settings I use at the moment (I'm bad at keeping track of my files :P )

Code: Select all

#define MOUSEKEY_DELAY 30 // Delay between pressing a movement key and cursor movement
#define MOUSEKEY_INTERVAL 20 // Time between cursor movements in milliseconds
#define MOUSEKEY_MOVE_DELTA 4 // Step size
#define MOUSEKEY_MAX_SPEED 10 // Maximum cursor speed at which acceleration stops
#define MOUSEKEY_TIME_TO_MAX 20 // Time until maximum cursor speed is reached
/* Scroll: */
#define MOUSEKEY_WHEEL_DELAY 300 // Delay between pressing a wheel key and wheel movement
#define MOUSEKEY_WHEEL_INTERVAL 100 // Time between wheel movements
#define MOUSEKEY_WHEEL_MAX_SPEED 8 // Maximum number of scroll steps per scroll action
#define MOUSEKEY_WHEEL_TIME_TO_MAX 40 // Time until maximum scroll speed is reached

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Muirium
µ

04 May 2021, 10:58

Right: a bit of both. I getcha!

What I'm trying to achieve is a host side modification (in Karabiner) which gives all my keyboards the same functions with the same keys. So I can't rely on Scroll Lock existing, and I'm heavily into using Caps Lock as Control (the only choice on my HHKB) so can't spare those.

That's why I'm (trying to be) sneaky. So I'm trying stuff like double tap right Shift to toggle mouse mode. Which I can currently engage but not disengage. :roll: Still, I'm learning! :lol:

As with all layers, this stuff seems fruity and arbitrary until you leave it be for a while and just get used to it. I'm using the HHKB cursor diamond for that reason, to borrow my existing muscle memory: with the HHKB's arrow keys moving the mouse pointer, page up/down the scroll wheel, and a couple of additions for left click and right click, either side of the up key.

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darkcruix

04 May 2021, 11:29

Muirium wrote:
04 May 2021, 10:21
...
The very thought that your "quiet, I'm on a call" keyboard is a Bucking Spring is a true laugh out loud! :lol:
...
I have people asking me about my keyboard during calls regularly (out of annoyance when typing or real interest ;)). The Model M SSK I am using isn't silent, but it is "acceptable" during calls and I still think it sounds far more pleasant than the average mechanical keyboard, even with dampened switches etc. <-- arguably a very subjective view.
Btw: I always try to put my Ctrl key at the spot where the Caps normally sits and then move the "Command / GUI" key close to the Space Bar and the Alt key to the outer positions. When possible, I have the Fn-key between the Alt and GUI - if that isn't possible, I make the left Shift 1U shorter and add the Fn there. Last option is always re-using Scroll-Lock as Fn.
I also use Karabiner, but because I have to switch between OS variants quite frequently in my day-2-day job, I try to program my keyboards or converter to my needs.

Here's how it looks at this very moment:
IMG_1426 2.jpeg
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an_achronism

04 May 2021, 11:29

Muirium wrote:
04 May 2021, 10:12
Well spotted. Topre has "recently" (by their standards) redesigned the Realforce: it's now the Realforce R2. A pretty solid improvement on most fronts, here's XMIT's obsessively detailed review! Keyboardco was selling the original for years, and now they've finally run out of stock. Wonder when they'll get R2 in ISO.
Aye, I suppose I'm perhaps expecting that they just aren't bringing ISO to market for R2 at all, when it might be that they are, but are being slow as hell about it. It was the R2 I was ideally after (and I think I saw it on sale on Amazon UK of all places) but it's just ANSI I'm seeing. Unfortunately, this fixation on having everything in ISO really ties my hands behind my back. I was in a band for nearly 10 years from teens onwards and the whole time I had to spend more money and more effort on finding guitars that suited my awkward way of playing, which was quite objectively the wrong way around. Not left-handed, just flipped round, so the low string is actually on the bottom instead of the top. So I'd have to buy lefties, but then only ones that could have their bridge and nut flipped around without damaging the instrument or causing inaccurate intonation. Being an ISO fan in a world filled with fancy ANSI (fANSI?) keycaps and custom boards is, similarly, a pain.
Muirium wrote:
04 May 2021, 10:12
1800 refers to Cherry. It's a layout some people like quite a lot, especially if they've a classy set of caps from an original.
Oh thaaaaat's where that came from. I see. Ta.

Muirium wrote:
04 May 2021, 10:12
Me? Nah. I'm 60% like all the nippy kids!
I could not exist in the world without having immediate access to a numpad every time I sit at a computer.
Image
Muirium wrote:
04 May 2021, 10:12
an OG Kishsaver
How
dare
u

darkcruix wrote:
04 May 2021, 10:19
I love the feel of the 3278 - crisp as hell and just the right sound. Yes, I bring it back into the mix frequently.
The work horse since a year is my trusted Ellipse Model F77. I highly customized it to my needs and it is so perfect for me, it is insane. I like me F122 and F107 with all the extra keys, but the F77 with its layers is just right.
I also have a secondary keyboard (or cable) attached - a Model M SSK, which is usable during a call, when I have to type with an open mic.
This decadence is unparalleled.

Listen, if you don't really need that F107, you could send it to me. I'll even pay for the shipping to Scotland. I'm not unreasonable.

darkcruix wrote:
04 May 2021, 11:29
I have people asking me about my keyboard during calls regularly (out of annoyance when typing or real interest ;)). The Model M SSK I am using isn't silent, but it is "acceptable" during calls and I still think it sounds far more pleasant than the average mechanical keyboard, even with dampened switches etc. <-- arguably a very subjective view.
Yeah, I actually like that my typing sounds are loud as all hell because it makes it clear that I'm actually doing something if there are any brief pauses in a conversation. But... I've yet to use an F while on the phone, so you might be onto something.

darkcruix wrote:
04 May 2021, 11:29
Btw: I always try to put my Ctrl key at the spot where the Caps normally sits and then move the "Command / GUI" key close to the Space Bar and the Alt key to the outer positions. When possible, I have the Fn-key between the Alt and GUI - if that isn't possible, I make the left Shift 1U shorter and add the Fn there. Last option is always re-using Scroll-Lock as Fn.
I also use Karabiner, but because I have to switch between OS variants quite frequently in my day-2-day job, I try to program my keyboards or converter to my needs.
My F77 is going to be ISO with split Enter; splitting the Enter key will be the first thing I do when it arrives. In other words... the original layout, at least in terms of key sizes and locations, if not mappings. I map Caps Lock as the Super key because I use it often but nowhere near as often as Ctrl and I actually find Ctrl easier to hit in the bottom left corner than if it's on home row, I suppose because it feels a little more natural to just slightly bend my left pinky down to hit that rather than reaching to the left instead, which would either feel more like a stretch or require me to move my hand. I think I'm leaving both of the 1U keys on bottom row as Fn keys so I can use either pinky to go to layer 2, much as I can use either Ctrl or either Alt. But once I start using the thing I might change that, I suppose.

I know it's going to be a bit of a pain in the butt not having a full numpad with operators so I think I might do something like + key on the top centre and - on the bottom centre of the RHS grid, then Fn to switch them to * and / respectively. Not much point in an Enter since the lack of nav cluster puts Enter right to the left of the grid anyway, so that's OK; the main key I'm going to be missing with my currently intended layout (which isn't a huge deal) is Print Screen, which I ideally would have put in the "HHKB" Fn key spot, except that I felt it was wiser to go with the classic layout for the sake of sourcing keycaps in the long term. I don't want any dumb looking Caps Lock stepped keys on my right Shift, ever.
Last edited by an_achronism on 04 May 2021, 11:38, edited 1 time in total.

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Muirium
µ

04 May 2021, 11:38

ISO is indeed playing on hard mode.

Something tells me you'd like this clicky ISO UK fullsize beastie. I must say black space invaders are still among my very favourites, even with all my IBMs.

User avatar
an_achronism

04 May 2021, 11:56

Muirium wrote:
04 May 2021, 11:38
Something tells me you'd like this clicky ISO UK fullsize beastie. I must say black space invaders are still among my very favourites, even with all my IBMs.
Indeed, that one is on my list already!

My main priority right now though is building a wee IBM collection. Current mission is trying to find a Model M that's as close to the beginning of September 1990 as possible, for daft reasons. I've so far found one from early August that looks mocket and has a bunch of keycaps missing, and one from late August that's not a whole lot better and is French (and overpriced). Perhaps I can Frankenstein something together, but I'd rather find one that was already complete and not excessively damaged that I can clean up and bolt mod if needed.

I'd like to have some of the key checkpoints in IBM's "Enhanced" timeline, from the terminal stuff through to the F "XT" as it seems to generally be called (despite predating the XT afaik), the AT, the industrial M in ISO if I can find one somehow, and the aforementioned Sep 1990 board if I can locate one in reasonable shape. I'm basically the anti-60% type, so I really badly want an 122-key F (which I know is currently on the go but I've broken the bank this month on an F77 with a lot of extra bits and bobs) and the 107-key one, which I think is more or less my ideal keyboard. Having the F keys on the left is a lot more up my street, I think, and the full grid from the 77-key plus a full numpad grid in a chassis that could kill a horse is pretty much perfect imo.

One of the reasons I want to do this is that I like seeing how the layouts IBM used evolved over time. For example, I love that they were already using ISO-style layouts on their early terminal boards, which I personally wish they'd stuck to instead of moving to ANSI for the US because I really don't find it problematic to reach a teensy bit further to the left or right with my pinkies to grab left Shift or the Enter key on an ISO layout and having extra keys is always a good thing imo as long as it doesn't make everything really far apart. The 77-key layout with what would otherwise be ISO Enter having been split into a 1.5U top and 1.25U bottom is even better for me, 'cause I only ever hit the bottom half of ISO Enter anyway (right pinky, always... right ring finger for Backspace). I've actually been thinking that I'll probably do that to my New Model M if I ever bolt mod it one day, although frankly with that being a full size Enhanced layout in ISO already, I don't know what I'd use that spot for (maybe an Esc purely because it's handy for access in vi, but I can just Ctrl + [ anyway).

Obin

04 May 2021, 12:11

an_achronism wrote:
04 May 2021, 11:29
Print Screen, which I ideally would have put in the "HHKB" Fn key spot, except that I felt it was wiser to go with the classic layout for the sake of sourcing keycaps in the long term. I don't want any dumb looking Caps Lock stepped keys on my right Shift, ever.
I went with the HHKB style layout vs. the long shift. but I would have much much preferred the split to be 1.25U + 1.5U. That way it's just a regular (edit: as in ISO-regular) shift key and whatever modifier floats your boat (fn, super, hyper, what-have-you).

Then again that wouldn't have made the HHKB people (that surely exist) happy. And three layouts probably wouldn't have been feasible.

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an_achronism

04 May 2021, 12:19

Obin wrote:
04 May 2021, 12:11
I went with the HHKB style layout vs. the long shift. but I would have much much preferred the split to be 1.25U + 1.5U. That way it's just a regular (edit: as in ISO-regular) shift key and whatever modifier floats your boat (fn, super, hyper, what-have-you).

Then again that wouldn't have made the HHKB people (that surely exist) happy. And three layouts probably wouldn't have been feasible.
Aye, that would have been cool. Although the way I use right Shift has been shaped by the massive long Shift key shape on the Model M: given that I'm diehard Team ISO, I have that extra key for #/~ and I think I usually get to ~ by grabbing the right hand side of right Shift with my pinky and hitting the #/~ key with my ring finger of the same hand, which wouldn't be possible with a 1.25 + 1.5 arrangement (or even really with the 1.75 + 1 that's on the "HHKB" variant, without a minor bit of contortion). I could have justified it with the HHKB layout because it's rare enough and I would adjust quickly but my greater concern was being able to find replacement parts for as long as humanly possible. I want this thing to last longer than me, ideally. Had I gone with the 1.75 + 1, I'd have use the 1U for Print Screen because it'd be the same as the old F "XT" layout in that regard. I'm more or less mirrorring that layout on the top of my "numpad" as well, with Num Lock on the upper left corner and Scroll Lock on upper right, with the additional middle keys at top and bottom being + and - (shifted to * and / with Fn, assuming I can do that easily enough in QMK or whatever).

Aside from splitting my ISO Enter into 1.5U and 1.25U (bottom being my new Enter, top probably being Esc or something), I'm considering splitting Backspace into two 1Us with the left being Backspace (since that's where I hit that key anyway) and the right being something like Pause/Break or Print Screen. But I might not bother considering I can just map Print Screen to a shifted key combo and not really lose anything, and Pause and Break are on Ctrl + Num Lock and Ctrl + Scroll Lock respectively...
Last edited by an_achronism on 04 May 2021, 12:22, edited 1 time in total.

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