Tell me your first keyboard!

Polecat

02 Dec 2017, 21:03

Slom wrote: He did not start with keyboards ;)
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...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!

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.

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AdrianMan

02 Dec 2017, 21:48

1. Played with typewriters at my mother's job when I was @ 4 years :)

2. Ice Felix HC 2000 in '94, my first computer :)
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I still got this back home, tiredly looking and with missing keycaps, but my small nephews and nieces play with it :lol:

After that, dome all the way -> 2017 until I discovered mechanical keyboards :)

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Halvar

02 Dec 2017, 21:57

Do mechanical typewriters count? My father's mechanical travel typewriter was definitely the first keyboard I used. And I mean mechanical, no power cord needed. You had to dive deep on these with your fingers...

For computers, like Seebart, the first one I used was the Commodore 64, when I was maybe 15 years old. That keyboard was less impressive. But at school, we got IBM PCs and XTs a little bit later (around 1986ish) that were donated to our school by a parent after they were phased out at his office. That, of course, is the basis for my excitement with old IBM keyboards.

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vometia
irritant

02 Dec 2017, 23:19

Daniel Beardsmore wrote: Futaba MR-6C is the only switch where I've noticed that characteristic, and indeed it's weird. It makes typing feel lagged for me, as though my fingers are engaging in a delayed response relative to my brain. I spent hours programming on a BBC Master with ML switches—the same as in the Electron—and they seemed fine (I don't recall if they had the same sound lag) but they had poor longevity, and I've since learned that ML only has a lifetime of 3 million keystrokes! Cheap rubbish, very hard to disassemble without damage.

I didn't know that Hi-Tek High Profile/Dovetail was criticised in the press. Per [wiki]Keyboard prices[/wiki], those switch grids in the Dragon were only £10 each (the price Dragon Data paid), which was cheap for a keyboard assembly back then!
I think all the BBCs I've encountered had the Futaba switches as they all had the same characteristic: I'd just assumed they were all like that and was surprised that there were a number of different switches. Again, the press' unrelenting praise for the BBC's keyboard tended to reinforce that assumption. At the time I just assumed that they were correct about the Dragon's keyboard being somehow rubbish even if I didn't see it myself but in hindsight it's a strange thing to say. The worst thing about it is that I wasn't a fan of the profile but that's totally personal preference. There were reasons to criticise the Dragon (the graphics and sound were fairly sub-par compared to the competition for what was always going to be at least in part a games machine) but I don't think the keyboard was one of them.

And that would explain why the ML switches have a poor reputation! I didn't really use my Electron enough for reliability problems to become apparent and just liked the way it felt, though the Electron also had its own "issues" (like the 4-bit memory bus).

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Daniel Beardsmore

02 Dec 2017, 23:40

I ended up with a BBC B with a really nice keyboard, but the spacebar stabiliser wasn't working right. I set that machine aside to repair later, and then gave it away by mistake. I don't know what keyboard it had, but it sounded and felt better than the Futaba keyboards I was used to.

Futaba MR-6C is claimed to have a lifetime of 30 million, which is very strange as Futaba MD and GRI KBM only cite 10 million. MR-6C does seem to be a winning design, but 30 million seems excessive considering that it's a cheap design and MD is over-engineered. Sadly all attempts to obtain the actual Futaba specifications have failed, but yet, the copypasta specs I found for ML and MD (all on the same site as where I got the MR-6C spec) both tie in perfectly with the official GRI KBM and KBM-LP specs (silly metric-to-US unit conversion errors aside). Is 30 million a typo? I don't know.

snarfbot

02 Dec 2017, 23:55

a foam and foil of unknown make, it was a long time ago and when it died i threw it out.

i have fond memories of it though, it had a very nice key feel.

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ramnes
ПБТ НАВСЕГДА

03 Dec 2017, 00:26

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__red__

03 Dec 2017, 14:54

Ignoring manual typewriters that I can't identify, my first was at about age 8:

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For PCs, I've been exclusively IBM Model Ms for ~20 years, followed by various Model Fs and a Beamspring.

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kekstee

03 Dec 2017, 21:08

My first mech was the Filco Majestouch-2 with MX-Browns. Kind of a safe bet back then. I was already used to fullsize and the Browns seemed reasonably quiet and nice. I don't know if that's what truly got me into the hobby... I would credit the PokerX with that.

I had never before seen a usable keyboard this small and the price tag wasn't so outrageous that I couldn't try. I remember hunting for an MX-Red variant for a while before settling with the more available MX-Brown again :lol:

Some details about the layout really didn't work for me so I got back to Cherry linears for building a custom 60%. Around that time some nice cases came up and GMK got into the keyset game, so quality really did a big leap forward from that first Poker :D

AuthenticDanger

03 Dec 2017, 22:54

My first mech that I purchased with my own money was a Das Keyboard 5+ years ago. However I was raised with all sorts of vintage boards ranging from AEK/AEKIIs to IBM buckling springs.

Ibleic

04 Dec 2017, 04:18

My first is a handwired sandwich style board that is nearing completion!

siobhan

06 Dec 2017, 14:57

I just built my first mech :) I purchased the XD60/XD64 kit with Cherry MX brown switches from Massdrop. I have to say using a mechanical keyboard is 100 times better than anything else I've been using over the years. I can't wait to build another one or maybe try to fix up an older board in the future.

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mecano

06 Dec 2017, 17:24

ramnes wrote:
Spoiler:
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Touch typing training?

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Halvar

06 Dec 2017, 19:11

I appreciate the formal dress and bow tie in front of the computer.

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Markmak

10 Dec 2017, 02:31

This was my very first keyboard:
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Even the spanish layout in the pic is correct (I'm from Spain).
Next one was a commodore 64 (my first computer lessons, 1990).
My first mechanical keyboard was a IBM Model M.

rich1051414

10 Dec 2017, 03:01

My first 'keyboard' was from an educational console my parents bought me on my 6th or 7th birthday, called the Socrates.
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My first real PC keyboard was the one on the family computer, which was a packard bell 486.
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My first mechanical keyboard was a Quick Fire Rapid. It had cherry mx blue switches. This was before the patent expired and there were no legal cloned cherry mx switches.
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I still own my quickfire rapid, but the case has been painted, and the caps are changed. The keyboard is actually a filco tkl that has been rebranded to cooler master.

davkol

10 Dec 2017, 12:39

rich1051414 wrote: I still own my quickfire rapid, but the case has been painted, and the caps are changed. The keyboard is actually a filco tkl that has been rebranded to cooler master.
AKTSHUALLY…

Both Filco Majestouch 2 and CM Storm QuickFire Rapid/XT were made by Costar and based on the same prototype, but they weren't rebrands; the prototypes were customized quite differently.

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Brot

10 Dec 2017, 15:48

The first keyboard I typed on was a MaxData Cherry keyboard. It was a standard rubberdome keyboard. My first mechanical keyboard was a cherry g80 :)

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Moufinure

01 Jan 2018, 19:18

Markmak wrote: This was my very first keyboard:
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Even the spanish layout in the pic is correct (I'm from Spain).
Next one was a commodore 64 (my first computer lessons, 1990).
My first mechanical keyboard was a IBM Model M.
Oh my god!!! That brings back memories!!! I had that exact same computer back in the early 90s, except it was the french version.
Besides, my parents had this typewriter, my first "mech" keyboard... Damn! I typed countless pages with it :roll:

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Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

01 Jan 2018, 22:55

My first keyboard was some garbage lenovo rubber dome. My first mechanical keyboard was an F122 I bought off ebay for about 100 or $80.
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I ANSI and floss modded it, still a wonderful board with a plethora of keys I don't even need. The funny thing is I was going to originally buy a corsair K90, but while I was researching different switch types I came upon the model F and realized that it was far superior to Cherry. The thing that made me decide to buy an F122 off ebay was Fohats ANSI conversion guide, which was a very pleasant read. Its very likely that without his guide I wouldn't haven't even gotten into this hobby.

Thanks Fohat! :mrgreen:

samuelcable

28 Feb 2018, 17:57

my first keeb when i was a little kid was a model m, i sadly distinctly remember pulling a spring out of it because i was a dumb little kid who liked to break things. rest in peace spring

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Blaise170
ALPS キーボード

28 Feb 2018, 18:51

To be honest I don't remember, we had two computers in the house growing up, with what I believe was probably Windows 95 and Windows XP. I don't remember much about the XP machine, but I'm pretty sure it was an HP with some beige rubber dome. The 95 machine is the one that I was essentially given, as it didn't have a dialup connection. Unfortunately I'll probably never remember exactly what model it was but I do remember it having a keyboard similar to this one:

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twinrotor

28 Feb 2018, 19:05

First "keyboard", Commodore 64. First KEYBOARD, the F that came with my 5150. First home brew build, we bought a Focus FK-2001

I don't own any of them still, but I do own replacements, minus the Focus. I still have some receipts too, but the 5150 wasn't itemized and I can't remember how many I have for the 286 we bought the Focus for. Now I'm curious. I was lucky to find a 5150 and a decent shape 64 over the last decade or so for fairly cheap.. I'm not ready to shell out the kinda money people want for the Focus. Especially when they have a good key cover...

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Felion

09 Mar 2018, 12:44

My First owned Keyboard "ABC 77" (low-profile).
It also came in a "split version": ABC 55 ("60%"), with a seperate numpad ABC 22 (22-key):

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Made in Sweden (by Luxor) in the mid-80s
(for the ABC806 computer: 32 kB application RAM, 128 kB shared Grapics/Data-RAM ("High Def" graphics: 256x240, 8 colours or 512x240, 4c), Z80A@3MHz.)

This was a more powerful Office-version of the ABC 80 home-computer and the ABC 800 could be networked (ABC NET) and used 5,25" floppys (ABC 830: 2x160 kB).

Fun fact (well I think so):
In the manual there are several (sub-)chapters on the keyboard, how it works, what the keys do and how to use it (Manual, Sorry Swedish only)

__red__

09 Mar 2018, 14:46

Redmaus wrote: Thanks Fohat! :mrgreen:
Fohat is awesome!
(But you still need to rip out that flossmod) ;-)

rich1051414

09 Mar 2018, 21:04

Blaise170 wrote: To be honest I don't remember, we had two computers in the house growing up, with what I believe was probably Windows 95 and Windows XP. I don't remember much about the XP machine, but I'm pretty sure it was an HP with some beige rubber dome. The 95 machine is the one that I was essentially given, as it didn't have a dialup connection. Unfortunately I'll probably never remember exactly what model it was but I do remember it having a keyboard similar to this one:

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Pretty sure the computer that came with that keyboard(at least originally) was a 486 packard bell running windows 3.1, but maybe similar styled keyboards stayed on their PC's until 1995. It was a flat style case that was under the monitor.

I know this as it was my first family pc, and I remember staring at that keyboard endlessly learning how to type.

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Blaise170
ALPS キーボード

09 Mar 2018, 21:36

Well I'm not actually sure it was a Packard Bell, but I assumed so because I used to mess around with their Navigator and Ark Kidspace software (though I had no idea what I was doing). I think whatever it was had a Pentium II but can't confirm that. It was obviously beige and sat under the monitor too. For awhile I thought it was a Compaq because I think I remember the desktop wallpaper being red and saying Compaq on the top but it doesn't make sense since it had Ark installed. I also vaguely remember the power button being somewhat recessed.

However after some searching I think I found it. I think it was a Compaq Deskpro EP/SB with P2 processor. My parents have a good friend who was the only "geek" around during those times, so he must've installed it for me.

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If this is truly the case, then the keyboard would have been this, which does look familiar. Again though, I'm not 100% sure that I remember it correctly.

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rich1051414

09 Mar 2018, 23:31

This was the one we had(or a similar model, it looks identical to me)
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Edit: AH here it is. That's it, the specs check out, something I remember since the specs were left as a sticker on the top of the case, which gave me something read when waiting FOREVER on the slow 486 SX processor :P http://pbclub.pwcsite.com/wiki/index.ph ... egend_10CD

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Scarpia

10 Mar 2018, 07:30

Commodore 64 breadbox, then Olivetti something or other. Really nothing fancy until recently

emoo124u

11 Mar 2018, 01:55

Apple Keyboard II, with the one-of-a-kind SMK-spring-over-membrane switches.

wiki/Apple_Keyboard_II
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