Longterm Daily Drivers

User avatar
Muirium
µ

04 May 2021, 12:20

Obin wrote:
04 May 2021, 12:11
Then again that wouldn't have made the HHKB people (that surely exist) happy. And three layouts probably wouldn't have been feasible.
We exist. :D

I think I was the one who led the split Shift crusade when Ellipse was seeking suggestions in the first place. I get your point about a different split. A few years earlier, it could have been a runner. The thought of 1.25 + 1.5u just honestly did not occur to me.

User avatar
an_achronism

04 May 2021, 12:41

Muirium wrote:
04 May 2021, 12:20
I think I was the one who led the split Shift crusade when Ellipse was seeking suggestions in the first place. I get your point about a different split. A few years earlier, it could have been a runner. The thought of 1.25 + 1.5u just honestly did not occur to me.
Were it possible to flip back and forth between the classic and "HHKB" right Shift freely with a simple barrel and switch swap, I'd be in heaven. But of course it isn't because of the barrel locations, so I ummed and awed about it for about a week before finally deciding that I'd rather sacrifice that key in the interests of possibly making it easier to source keycaps for years down the line (since I could just pull them off any old Model M or whatever instead of having to find specific ones).

But aye, I really do like having the key there, although in my case my preference would be to make it the XT-like Prt Scr instead of Fn (I'm sticking Fn on both of the 1U keys on the bottom row, much like Ctrl and Alt being on both left and right hands).

User avatar
Muirium
µ

04 May 2021, 13:00

Thing is, you have indeed got that wealth of mods just one row below with these keyboards. The HHKB *really* needs that Fn key because there's bugger all underneath! But the 4704s all share other options. I make do with the bottom right corner key as my Fn just nicely on my Kishy.
Spoiler:
Image
HHKB arrows only really work for me with your pinkie finger right over on the far edge. So that's the right Fn' key for me!

User avatar
Tritian

04 May 2021, 13:35

Muirium wrote:
04 May 2021, 09:55
But I prioritised buying a nice full weighted Roland keyboard
I love my A-88. I need weighted keys, they're a lot of fun. Sometimes i will use both keyboards at once. Like have a key bass on one and a vox continental on the other and jam to some doorsy sounding shit. Most of the time I just load up a piano vst and fuck around on the roland though. I wouldn't say i'm particularly great or anything, but i have fun :)
Muirium wrote:
04 May 2021, 09:55
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:
At the time I was using the model m normally, the niz plum when my gf would complain about the noise of the model m, and that 60% in the corner for gaming.

User avatar
Muirium
µ

04 May 2021, 19:06

Ah, the Roland A-88. Knew I recognised it from somewhere. It was on my radar when I was buying my piano in 2016. I was hovering over getting its smaller brother an RD-64 until the local store (Red Dog Music, RIP) cut me a deal on the fancier FP-30 which I’ve been banging away at ever since! The key feel is a bit nicer on this one, though definitely on the heavy side. I’ve twiddled a few real pianos and none of them are quite as much of a finger workout!

(For those following at home: you’re right, those product names make not a lick of sense.)

I’m more or less 50/50 between using it as a MIDI controller and just an integrated digital piano, so it’s worked out to be a good instrument for me. Bare bones when it comes to twiddling settings back on the DAW, however. You’ve got the pedals and that’s it. Many smaller boards are all lit up with displays and dials. Not mine.

User avatar
Tritian

04 May 2021, 19:44

yeah - i've got the Novation SL49mkIII for when I wanna twiddle dials and such, but the A-88 is extremely barebones.

The key feel is quite heavy. Almost every real piano I try is lighter. However, I think the heavyness helps with my speed.

User avatar
Bjerrk

04 May 2021, 19:49

Tritian wrote:
04 May 2021, 13:35

I love my A-88. I need weighted keys, they're a lot of fun. Sometimes i will use both keyboards at once. Like have a key bass on one and a vox continental on the other and jam to some doorsy sounding shit.
For a moment I thought you were saying Lee Dorsey. And then I realized ...
Last edited by Bjerrk on 04 May 2021, 20:43, edited 1 time in total.

Obin

04 May 2021, 20:25

an_achronism wrote:
04 May 2021, 12:19
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 love the XT layout (at least that part, let's not talk about the weird numpad) for that fact too. And I love that shift is not 1.75U but a stepped 1.5U which eliminates binding. It needs some time to get used to it and to hit it properly in the middle, but it's a lot smother than the right shift on the modern layout. I hope that a 1.75U shift gets at least gets close to that smoothness.
an_achronism wrote:
04 May 2021, 12:19
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.
Yes, I'm planning to do that as well since like shift I tend to hit backspace at the rightmost edge anyway. I plan on moving the delete key there to give it a nice symmetry. Also, again less binding.

Can someone tell me why IBM designed the stabilized keys to have the insert on the left rather than right, even when most people (I assume) tend to hit the key on that edge?

User avatar
Bjerrk

04 May 2021, 22:37

an_achronism wrote:
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.
So ... How old are you? :D

(I'm one to talk. The serial number on my Model F77 is my wedding day ... )

User avatar
an_achronism

04 May 2021, 23:26

Bjerrk wrote:
04 May 2021, 22:37
So ... How old are you? :D
Image
Bjerrk wrote:
04 May 2021, 22:37
(I'm one to talk. The serial number on my Model F77 is my wedding day ... )
Aaaaaaaaawwwwwwww...

User avatar
kbdfr
The Tiproman

05 May 2021, 07:10

Given this conversation, time to remind of...
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=13274&start=150

User avatar
Bjerrk

05 May 2021, 08:18

an_achronism wrote:
04 May 2021, 23:26
Bjerrk wrote:
04 May 2021, 22:37
So ... How old are you? :D
Image
Speaking of, I just saw this UK Model M from mid-August 1990 on eBay:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/363370520677

User avatar
an_achronism

05 May 2021, 20:07

Bjerrk wrote:
05 May 2021, 08:18
Speaking of, I just saw this UK Model M from mid-August 1990 on eBay:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/363370520677
Yup, that's the slightly ratty one I meant.

"This keyboard is the same age as me!"
"... But it's missing bits and looks like crap"
"Same!"

Nobody bid, awright? Let me have this! :lol:

User avatar
Bjerrk

05 May 2021, 22:37

an_achronism wrote:
05 May 2021, 20:07
Bjerrk wrote:
05 May 2021, 08:18
Speaking of, I just saw this UK Model M from mid-August 1990 on eBay:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/363370520677
Yup, that's the slightly ratty one I meant.

"This keyboard is the same age as me!"
"... But it's missing bits and looks like crap"
"Same!"

Nobody bid, awright? Let me have this! :lol:
With 10 minutes to go, deskthority is breathless!

Edit: 89£! Not cheap for a "for parts" keyboard

User avatar
an_achronism

05 May 2021, 23:36

Bjerrk wrote:
05 May 2021, 22:37
89£! Not cheap for a "for parts" keyboard
Image

User avatar
an_achronism

07 May 2021, 18:22

an_achronism wrote:
05 May 2021, 20:07
"This keyboard is the same age as me!"
"... But it's missing bits and looks like crap"
"Same!"

Nobody bid, awright? Let me have this! :lol:

So, um... anybody got some spare IBM keycaps lying about?

Image
I have some bits and bobs but not a UK backtick, Ctrl, up arrow, or F12 for a board with 2-part keycaps (stem and top). In other words, I don't have any of the keys I'd need to fill the gaps.

I was planning on grabbing a 1996 one and stealing keys from it but somebody else bought it (for more than I reckon it was actually worth tbh). Frankly some of the prices people are listing Model M boards for just now are ridiculous. I can only assume they don't know what they are and see Model Fs and the like going for multiple hundreds and think "mine must be worth that too". Late, Lexmark-era / IMB Greenock Ms with questionable moulding/sublimation listed for £300, £450, etc. Bonkers.

This 1990 one was a bloody state but it's cleaned up quite nicely, even only missing 4 rivets and they're all in places that don't really matter much in terms of affecting function (edges, not under keys). But I need to find some keycaps...

EDIT: Stuck a post in WTB since that's probably a more suitable place for it to live. Leaving this one here in context of the thread, still.
Last edited by an_achronism on 07 May 2021, 18:39, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Bjerrk

07 May 2021, 18:34

an_achronism wrote:
07 May 2021, 18:22
I was planning on grabbing a 1996 one and stealing keys from it but somebody else bought it (for more than I reckon it was actually worth tbh). Frankly some of the prices people are listing Model M boards for just now are ridiculous. I can only assume they don't know what they are and see Model Fs and the like going for multiple hundreds and think "mine must be worth that too". Late, Lexmark-era / IMB Greenock Ms with questionable moulding/sublimation listed for £300, £450, etc. Bonkers.
Does this mean now is not the time to bring up this post?

User avatar
an_achronism

07 May 2021, 18:36

Bjerrk wrote:
07 May 2021, 18:34
Does this mean now is not the time to bring up this post?
Hahah! You lucky bugger.

User avatar
Bjerrk

08 May 2021, 10:53

an_achronism wrote:
07 May 2021, 18:22
Frankly some of the prices people are listing Model M boards for just now are ridiculous. I can only assume they don't know what they are and see Model Fs and the like going for multiple hundreds and think "mine must be worth that too". Late, Lexmark-era / IMB Greenock Ms with questionable moulding/sublimation listed for £300, £450, etc. Bonkers.
Indeed - I'm not sure if I am just "confirmation biasing" here, but it seems to me that Model M prices have gone up quite sharply ...

Image

This is not even really out of the ordinary.

Perhaps I'll see if I can gather some statistics on it later.

User avatar
Muirium
µ

08 May 2021, 11:23

Bjerrk wrote:
08 May 2021, 10:53
Perhaps I'll see if I can gather some statistics on it later.
If you do, could you track SSK prices in the wild, too? I want to see what effect (if any at all) Unicomp's new production has had on their prices.

I know we (rightly) prize SSKs here, but does the market at large? And to what extent when regular M prices are soaring?

User avatar
an_achronism

08 May 2021, 12:55

To be honest, I've seen plenty of Ms going for somewhat more manageable prices, there are just a handful of loony listings on eBay at the moment that have been there and will hopefully remain there for some time. They seem to be mostly hoovering roughly either side of £100 or so (my £89 "for parts" 1990 M is still more than it was worth imo but is close enough to what they seem to be shifting for that I decided to bite the bullet rather than hope for another one that may not appear or may sell for even more), but there are some over £300, some over £400, somebody trying to sell a 122 for $900, and so on. But I am taking those more as an indication of cluelessness because they're just sitting there unsold.

I messaged one of them basically saying "I'm sorry but this is probably never going to sell at this price" in the least dickish way I could muster and made an offer. They proposed knocking about 20% off their asking price but I've seen spotless model F XTs go for the same kind of money so I dug my heels in and they're now ignoring me. Hahah.

Annoyingly, somebody had an IBM Greenock one from 1996 listed for an auction with 0 bids or BIN for £120ish which is still a bit too much imo so I was thinking about bidding later... but right after another M auction ended, somebody bit for the BIN price. I take it somebody was disgruntled about losing the other auction and got a bit impulsive...

Sorry, I feel I've dragged us way off-topic here. Ahem.

kelvinhall05

11 May 2021, 15:03

So I finally got around to swapping in Matias quiet linears which are really quite nice and underrated imo. I also threw in a solenoid for good measure but I have to do a third revision driver board that actually uses new parts instead of 40 y/o ones from some shit microswitch ITT courier with a zinc case that I will do a build with modern internals in at some point.
And Focuscalc software is going good I just need to put a few finishing touches on it to have all the features I want and then I can start adding memes and other dumb shit and also finish porting Doom. Final board revision is basically done I just need to get off my ass and finish routing the last few traces.

EDIT: The solenoid is a lot louder in person it's just hard to accurately record with the shit equipment I have

User avatar
Go-Kart

11 May 2021, 22:07

That sounds pretty mental.

jbtb077

12 May 2021, 07:50

My AEK with orange alps. I rotate through my boards, but I just keep coming back to this one.
Spoiler:
Image
I love the feel of these oranges, and being an Apple user, the layout doesn't get much better than this IMO :mrgreen:

User avatar
Bjerrk

12 May 2021, 08:06

jbtb077 wrote:
12 May 2021, 07:50
I love the feel of these oranges, and being an Apple user, the layout doesn't get much better than this IMO :mrgreen:
I use one of those at work (Linux workstation) and the layout is driving me a bit mental, to be honest :D
What's worse, though, are the limitations of ADB. I usually use mouse keys, but with ADB it's simply not smooth enough to be usable. The data rate is just too low, it seems.
But even though I complain, I continue using it, so there must be something about it I like :D

Eragaurd

13 May 2021, 00:10

robo wrote:
08 Apr 2021, 15:30
I don't have nearly the number of boards that some people have, nor are mine particularly exotic, but I've always come back to my Model M boards. I got my first full size 1988 Model M 16 years ago, and picked up a mint 1993 SSK about a year ago - the big Model M was basically my daily driver until I got the SSK, which replaced it. I have an F77 on order so we'll see how that fits in when it finally arrives. But I've used the Model M's for most of the last 16 years, with only brief dalliances with other boards:

I also have a mint looking Apple Extended Keyboard II, which I just couldn't love - maybe the switches have suffered with age, but they bind in a way that made them unenjoyable to use. I used it for about 6 months and gave up.

Also have a tenkeyless CoolerMaster board with MX browns and thick PBT keycaps, that I actually quite like. I filled the case with silicone to dampen the sound and make it heavier, and it's pleasant to use. But somehow I always go back to the buckling springs.

In the past I've used a granite SGI bigfoot, which was not bad, but which got dumpstered during an overzealous office cleanup at work (my boss threw out all the 'obsolete' equipment while I was on vacation). Also briefly owned a Topre board (RealForce TKL) which I did not like at all.
If you haven't already, I strongly recomend that you clean (if possible just with a soft brush) all the switches internally in your AEK II. If they're scratchy still, you could try to lube the switches, (I know, blasphemy) preferably with a dry lube, (wet ones can attract dust, alps are famous for getting dirty) such as Tungsten disulfide, since it sticks quite well to the plastic. If you want to go with a wet lubricant I've heard that both nyogel and tribosys works well. Silicone grease has also been found to basically eliminate binding, altho it makes the switches feel a bit heavier than stock. If it's dampened cream alps you could also try to remove the dampeners, the little rubber things, they are just held in with friction, as that can make the key feel less mushy.

User avatar
hellothere

13 May 2021, 04:03

[joke] Oh, great. Another Alps lube thread. [/joke]
I essentially agree with Eragaurd. The AEK II would have white damped, cream damped, or salmon Alps. Or Mitsumi mechanical (not minature mechanical). I've had very good luck with Nyogel 760G. Even Super Lube, which is like $1.50 for a 55 gallon drum, can improve them. I've not used Tribosys, but RO-59tmKT has worked well on Alps whites for me, but that's pretty expensive for a very small container. I'm also trying ... something else ... that's worked well in two of my keyboards. I need a larger sample size before I recommend it.

I really like cream damped Alps, so I try to recommend them when I have the opportunity :D.

User avatar
Muirium
µ

13 May 2021, 09:59

Oy! No lube fights on my thread! You hear me? :lol:
Bjerrk wrote:
12 May 2021, 08:06
What's worse, though, are the limitations of ADB. I usually use mouse keys, but with ADB it's simply not smooth enough to be usable. The data rate is just too low, it seems.
But even though I complain, I continue using it, so there must be something about it I like :D
Hey man, Woz just like wanted to play joystick games and type on the Apple IIgs over a single cable…

I'm sure I once heard he cooked ADB up, real Woz-style, from scratch over a single weekend. Can't seem to find anything to back that up now, though. Woz's particular genius was doing things in such hacky, convoluted ways on a single chip that no one else could subsequently understand it, let alone improve it. One thing's for sure: he was never going to!

User avatar
depletedvespene

15 May 2021, 16:20

Muirium wrote:
08 Apr 2021, 10:58
So, what about the rest of you? What's your 100,000++ mile keyboard of authentic choice?
I started, long ago, on Model M keyboards and never strayed too far from the Brilliantly Superb good path. I've tested other stuff, but ultimately I always come back to buckling springs. And, as time, passes, it becomes ever more improbable that either of these two guys:

Desk. F122 and XXK.
Desk. F122 and XXK.
them.jpg (129.47 KiB) Viewed 77 times

get to be rotated away, even temporarily. So, for me, F122 and SSK are it. At this point, the only threats would be an Unsaver (if somehow I ever manage to get one, at whatever price), an FSSK (if somehow I ever manage to build one and not botch everything up), or one of Ellipse's new F keyboards (if somehow I convince him to make models with six rows). Endgame, as they say, is never achieved, but in my case, it's clearly within sight. If I ever had to get rid of all my keyboards, the F122 and the SSK would be the last to go (probably robbed from my dead body, too).


As per the office, where "noisy" buckling springs aren't welcome? I have that modded-to-be-silent WASD TKL with MX clears, which ain't perfect, but's good enough. I haven't tried Topre yet (the one glaring hole in my "tested stuff" list), but I wonder if Topre should be better, and even quieter than the current office-grade keyboard (if so, a Realforce ISO TKL would be a candidate for replacing it).

keyboard Kultist

15 May 2021, 17:09

I have two computers at the office, one the laptop/docking station the University supplied me with; that one is so locked down I can't do much with so I brought in a godzilla class tower to actually get things done.

For the laptop I use a black Unicomp Model M 122, and the tower a square badge IBM Model M. I've used them for several years.

I also often bring in a personal laptop but I use a variety of keyboards with that.

Post Reply

Return to “Keyboards”