What bothers me about IBM Model M

ccl

04 Jun 2018, 13:49

It's a real pity they (G81/MY Switches) never fail, because NOBODY would miss them...

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Chyros

04 Jun 2018, 14:06

ccl wrote: It's a real pity they (G81/MY Switches) never fail, because NOBODY would miss them...
They are fucking horrible. It's debatable whether they work to begin with :p .

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Wodan
ISO Advocate

04 Jun 2018, 14:11

Cherry MY is probably the Lada of mechanical keyboards

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mike52787
Alps Aficionado

04 Jun 2018, 14:14

I dunno... black MY isnt so bad. very smooth. I would never choose to use it, but if I HAD to use it I wouldn't complain that much.

white my on the other hand... I agree fully. fuck those.

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kbdfr
The Tiproman

04 Jun 2018, 17:03

Chyros wrote:
ccl wrote: It's a real pity they (G81/MY Switches) never fail, because NOBODY would miss them...
They are fucking horrible. It's debatable whether they work to begin with :p .
Circle-jerking seems to be a popular exercise :lol:

The (white) Cherry MY switches are horrible, but they are in general use nearly everywhere, and nobody complains except for those who know better. Most people are so used to them that they just wouldn’t know what this fuss is all about.

As an analogy:
Back in the (distant) days, my brother bought a record player with a built-in loudspeaker - I mean, one loudspeaker, so mono of course. He told me he did not bother buying one of those (then) new stereo devices because mono or stereo, he simply did hear no difference.
But he would have been pissed off if his new device had had a built-in bug - for example rivets doomed to break :lol:

davkol

04 Jun 2018, 22:19

robin13867 wrote: Horses for courses - they're not designed for touch typists really, just for 'one finger plodders', and although we've made the G81-3000 for many, many years and it continues to sell quite well, it doesn't have the best of feels to it. Personally, I can't use it as it makes my fingers ache, but I'm a touch typist and it's not surprising.

However, for certain applications - mainly in POS - it's perfect. When the keyboard isn't in use all the time and the user is just jabbing at the keys (we've sold these to builders merchants) and the user can be heavy handed, then they're a really good choice. In applications like this, MX boards with their simple PCB can be a little too 'flimsy', whereas the large metal plate inside gives the MY products an advantage. Bear in mind that one of our largest UK projects over 10 years ago was for Alliance & Leicester Buiding Society who ordered around 3500 of these and still use them today. The returns rate for mechanical/electronic failure has been practically zero - they're only affected by fluid damage....

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Menuhin

04 Jun 2018, 22:32

mike52787 wrote: I dunno... black MY isnt so bad. very smooth. I would never choose to use it, but if I HAD to use it I wouldn't complain that much.

white my on the other hand... I agree fully. fuck those.
How can one know it's black MY instead of white MY with the model number?
I have to try one.

Model Ms, though handsome (especially those special models) and have some followings, were never my cup of tea. Model Fs are generally out of range of keyboard-dedication. If something like "Unsaver Model-F" industrial edition exists, it may make my head turn.

This is anyway a thread with great in-depth debates about the history of various manufacturers and their models.

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kbdfr
The Tiproman

05 Jun 2018, 09:49

davkol wrote:
robin13867 wrote: […] 10 years ago [they] ordered around 3500 of these and still use them today. The returns rate for mechanical/electronic failure has been practically zero - they're only affected by fluid damage....
That's what a Cherry staff member reports about Cherry MY switches.
I'd be curious to hear how many Model M still have all rivets intact after 10 years of use :lol:

(thanks to davkol for digging out this statement - which itself is almost 6 years old :mrgreen: )

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FXT
XT

05 Jun 2018, 16:29

kbdfr wrote:
davkol wrote:
robin13867 wrote: […] 10 years ago [they] ordered around 3500 of these and still use them today. The returns rate for mechanical/electronic failure has been practically zero - they're only affected by fluid damage....
That's what a Cherry staff member reports about Cherry MY switches.
I'd be curious to hear how many Model M still have all rivets intact after 10 years of use :lol:

(thanks to davkol for digging out this statement - which itself is almost 6 years old :mrgreen: )
Missing a couple rivets doesn't prevent the board from functioning in most cases nor does it change key feel.

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mike52787
Alps Aficionado

05 Jun 2018, 17:25

Menuhin wrote:
mike52787 wrote: I dunno... black MY isnt so bad. very smooth. I would never choose to use it, but if I HAD to use it I wouldn't complain that much.

white my on the other hand... I agree fully. fuck those.
How can one know it's black MY instead of white MY with the model number?
I have to try one.
The date code is the only real way to tell. a g81 with an A or B date code should be black MY.

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Ander

13 Sep 2018, 11:30

Wodan wrote: Every time I am expressing my dislike for IBM Model M keyboards, people ask me whether I am kidding. But I am not and it's not just an attempt to be edgy. Instead of having a discussion about what bothers me about IBM Model Ms every time it comes up I would like to start a thread and share my thoughts and collect some input...
Here's my input: I don't care what you think about Model M's. I mean, you're just some person off in, what, Denmark? Looking down your nose at one of the most significant contributions to keyboard history?

I'm sure that many keyboard innovations have emerged from Denmark, but for some reason I'm having trouble thinking of any right now. Maybe you can help me out. :?D

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Muirium
µ

13 Sep 2018, 11:48

Ooh, sick Danish burn!

Being from Scotland, home of many Model Ms, made in Greenock, I too don’t much like Model M either. It’s such a shallow imitation of Model F. Why celebrate a cynical corporate cost cutting exercise?

M’s legend is undeserved. It’s just a shadow of its unsung father.

davkol

13 Sep 2018, 12:05

Rasmus Malling-Hansen (5 September 1835 – 27 September 1890) was a Danish inventor, minister and principal at the Royal Institute for the Deaf.

Malling-Hansen developed his Hansen Writing Ball further throughout the 1870s and '80s, and in 1874 he patented a new model jointly in which the cylinder was replaced by a flat carriage on which the paper was fastened. In 1875, the writing ball found its well-known tall shape. With this model, he found a mechanical solution for the movement of the paper, dispensing with the battery.

That year [1878] Malling-Hansen developed a fast speed writing machine to be used for stenography, called the Takygraf. Malling-Hansen was also the first person to discover the unique possibilities of blue carbon paper, and developed a copying technique he called the Xerografi. It could, in a relatively short time, produce up to one hundred copies of letters and drawings.

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Wodan
ISO Advocate

13 Sep 2018, 12:42

Ander wrote: Here's my input: I don't care what you think about Model M's. I mean, you're just some person off in, what, Denmark? Looking down your nose at one of the most significant contributions to keyboard history?

I'm sure that many keyboard innovations have emerged from Denmark, but for some reason I'm having trouble thinking of any right now. Maybe you can help me out. :?D
Oh wow I had no idea Canadians could get so salty and offended, eh?

Of course I am being very ignorant of all the "significant contributions" the Model M has made when it comes to cost cutting and built-in obsolescence (these shitty "rivets" in the barrel plate). Their ability to sell a shit product that is being sold for 85$ TODAYS dollar for 250$ 1980s dollars (585$ in today dollars) is also something that even gets Apple jealous.

And you are missing a lot of central danish contributions to the keyboard history. There's the Ø key that was developed by a team of scandinavian scientists under danish lead in 1998 featuring a then-revolutionary 90nm pad printing process. Only decades later, the Canadians were able to reproduce the same effect when developing a 1u "Extra Sirup" keycap for local POS keyboard market!

Another important development is the invention of all-blank keycaps on a keyboard. This was a development in cooperation with the swiss and is an expression of our deep commmitment to neutrality. A neutrality so neutral, we don't even have legends on our keycaps!

LOL I can't believe you pulled the nationality card as a Canadian ... cracks me up!

Shihatsu

13 Sep 2018, 13:22

What the fuck did I just read?_?

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fohat
Elder Messenger

13 Sep 2018, 13:50

Shihatsu wrote:
What the fuck did I just read?
US Republican attitudes rubbing off on Ander from across the border.

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kbdfr
The Tiproman

13 Sep 2018, 14:13

Ander wrote:
Wodan wrote: Every time I am expressing my dislike for IBM Model M keyboards, people ask me whether I am kidding. But I am not and it's not just an attempt to be edgy. Instead of having a discussion about what bothers me about IBM Model Ms every time it comes up I would like to start a thread and share my thoughts and collect some input...
Here's my input: I don't care what you think about Model M's. I mean, you're just some person off in, what, Denmark? Looking down your nose at one of the most significant contributions to keyboard history?

I'm sure that many keyboard innovations have emerged from Denmark, but for some reason I'm having trouble thinking of any right now. Maybe you can help me out. :?D
And as a Frenchie I thought it's Canada which is rather "off", but well… :lol:

Perhaps I may add that while I am not aware (quoting you) "that many keyboard innovations have emerged from" Canada, I don't really see how this would disqualify any Canadian from joining a very civil discussion to express a well-founded, fact-based opinion.
So how about giving it a second try? :mrgreen:

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scottc

13 Sep 2018, 15:25

2/10 trolling Anders, try harder next time my dude

samuelcable

13 Sep 2018, 15:33

Ander wrote:
Wodan wrote: Every time I am expressing my dislike for IBM Model M keyboards, people ask me whether I am kidding. But I am not and it's not just an attempt to be edgy. Instead of having a discussion about what bothers me about IBM Model Ms every time it comes up I would like to start a thread and share my thoughts and collect some input...
Here's my input: I don't care what you think about Model M's. I mean, you're just some person off in, what, Denmark? Looking down your nose at one of the most significant contributions to keyboard history?

I'm sure that many keyboard innovations have emerged from Denmark, but for some reason I'm having trouble thinking of any right now. Maybe you can help me out. :?D
"the country you were born in did not make any keyboard contributions therefore you can not criticise other developments from other countries"

You do realize how dumb that sounds right?

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Muirium
µ

13 Sep 2018, 16:02

Hey, no evaluative judgements on a Thursday. You know the drill! Yes, even in Kentucky…

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darkcruix

13 Sep 2018, 16:50

Back to the original intention of the thread...

I guess we all can agree that the Model M is simply the father of the "modern" keyboard layout. The layout is so deeply buried in our cultures that parts are even showing up on the iPad screen today.
Personally (and this is very subjective), it is a nice feeling switch (especially when compared to most modern switches).

Overall, I am in agreement with Wodan here and also agree that maintaining a Model M is a different story. Remember, back then, the owners only thought about using the board and enjoying the key-feel and sound (if at all). I can't believe that many thought about using this model 25 years later.

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Wodan
ISO Advocate

13 Sep 2018, 19:13

Very nice to get some support from fellow Danes

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darkcruix

13 Sep 2018, 19:36

Wodan wrote: Very nice to get some support from fellow Danes
Fist-Bump :D

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PlacaFromHell

14 Sep 2018, 09:33

I remember the time when I believed that DT was a pacific place, what a fool I was. If this is going to get spicy, let's leave this thread fucking burn. :twisted:
Sure, f we compare the quality decay of the two companies, IBM was the worst, turning a divine piece of hardware into a plastic mush. But, you know what? At least my membrane plastic mush with 2KRO lived 10 years lying in a backyard and it's still working fine. Not IBM quality, but still with the beat.
From here on I will get a bit offtopic from the principal idea of this, but I want to get insulted even more. It's not fair compare by itself MY switches to any IBM switch just because they are linear. And in the case of BS vs MX you can only compare them with clicky switches, which are the very worst of Cherry. Anyway, comparing BS switches with ergo clears would only be fair if we talk of bolt modded keyboards too.
I have a 3101 beamspring, an F XT, some kind of weird new oldstock hybrid between F and M and an M122. Actually for me typing on an M it's dreadfull, but I preffer it before any Cherry tactile or clicky switch.
There isn't much more to say, opinions are opinions. I consider Alps switches to be a crap, so BRING EM ON!

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Wodan
ISO Advocate

14 Sep 2018, 10:01

I wasn't even talking about stuff like personal preference and subjective key feeling and stuff

What IBM has technically done to the brilliant Model F design in their reckless exercise in cost saving is just offensive. No matter what switch you personally prefer, the Model M was a nasty, thick spit into our faces by IBM.

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darkcruix

14 Sep 2018, 10:54

Wodan wrote: I wasn't even talking about stuff like personal preference and subjective key feeling and stuff

What IBM has technically done to the brilliant Model F design in their reckless exercise in cost saving is just offensive. No matter what switch you personally prefer, the Model M was a nasty, thick spit into our faces by IBM.
Well, I can agree with the result, but IBM had to reduce the cost as nearly all other PC manufacturers did go the path of cheap. In the late 80ies and early 90ies, you often paid about twice as much as for the competitor. Obviously they still wanted to make a similar revenue. The only way to get to this is actually reducing the cost of products like peripherals.
In all fairness, in the early-90ies I heard nobody asking for a great keyboard. Higher clock speeds, more pixels, larger hard disks were in the mind of enthusiasts. At least this is how I remember it :)

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FXT
XT

14 Sep 2018, 11:37

Exactly, the M was a product of its time, much like Model Fs and beamsprings.

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Muirium
µ

14 Sep 2018, 11:39

I’ll third Cruix on that. Keyboards were about as peripheral as it got. Bear in mind how painfully slow and clunky the computer was itself back then. Screens were all so small and flickery, floppy drives chunked and sputtered, hard drives whined like industrial air conditioners, delivering all the performance and reliability of a rickshaw. And the processor? Boy, those made everything else look sophisticated. Wind Moore’s law backwards enough years and it’s no surprise all of us were on the constant hunt for more performance. Sitting in front of your screen waiting for something, anything!, to happen—like looking into the empty distance at a bus stop somewhere remote—certainly focussed the mind. As often as not, what you did type was trapped in a buffer before it would finally spooge across the shimmery screen. A strange context these classic boards inhabited in reality.

But today? Wind time and progress forwards again, and tactile feedback matches the display precisely. Keyboard clicks punctuate an eerie silence where fans and platters used to whine. And frankly, we’re used to better in every aspect of the computing experience. Spongy, flappy, instantly worn chiclet keys—today’s default—wouldn’t have been such a glaring cheap spot “back in the day.”

The past was mostly shit.

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darkcruix

14 Sep 2018, 12:06

I went into my attic to check a few old magazines (sorry German ones) from that era and I have not found any articles around keyboards. The only thing I saw were some rare ads for them. Let me share some of them (yeah, off-topic, but I couldn't resist):
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kbdfr
The Tiproman

14 Sep 2018, 12:10

darkcruix wrote: […] In all fairness, in the early-90ies I heard nobody asking for a great keyboard. […]
I for one did ask for a great keyboard, and as a result bought a Cherry G80-2100 (it had MX blacks, for those who don't know).
It was expensive, but worth every cent.
And when it was stolen at the end of the 90ies, I immediately bought a new one.
Which still works perfectly and has no broken rivets :mrgreen:

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