...but the machine that punched those had a keyboard! The first Fortran class I took (1980) was on punch cards. Turn in the stack, they ran the deck for you (IBM 360 in the basement, unseen) and you came back the next day for a printout to see if your program worked. So you had five chances (one program a week for that class) to make it work. The second class I took was on terminals, connected to that same 360, wow, instant gratification!Slom wrote: ↑ He did not start with keyboards
First keyboard I actually owned was on a Televideo 925 terminal connected to a Micropro CP/M computer. Micropro was the company that wrote Wordstar, the word processor of choice back in the CP/M days, and they were planning to sell a computer called a PBM-1000. 80K of memory (64k base plus 16k page swapped) and a 5MB Seagate hard drive. Mine was serial number 7, one of their in-house machines that they used to write the user's manual for Wordstar 3.0. That manual (written in Wordstar) was still in User Area 5 of the hard drive (CP/M didn't support subdirectories). Pretty cool, the company used their own computer to write the manual for the program they were selling, using that same program!
Second one was on a Televideo TPC-II portable PC, my first DOS machine. Still have that one, but it stopped working at some point, probably old, dried-out caps. Futaba switches, very tactile.
Built myself an XT clone after that, and found a Model F (PC/XT) keyboard, nice, but I was seeing reviews of Northgate Omnikey 102 keyboards in the magazines, the first one they sold separately, so I saved up some cash. A local computer store had them on sale for $79 ($99 list) so my buddy and I went down, cash in hand, to pick up a couple. No such luck, the washed-up used car salesman couldn't get the cash register terminal to work, so he wouldn't sell us the Northgates. I was pretty disappointed, but I started asking around at work, and a few days later a guy walked in and handed me a Leading Edge 2014, and explained to me that it used the same Alps switches as the Northgates. I consider that Leading Edge to be my first real keyboard, because it was the first one I actively sought after. It's still here someplace, along with a second one, new-in-the-box.