darkcruix wrote: ↑
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.
I think the LK201 doesn't get enough credit for the modern layout! Though admittedly its take on it was not entirely sane.
I guess the topic is one of those things where there's a lot of technically accurate stuff mixed in with subjectivity, though. My feelings are I agree with the former, as it's quite hard not to: I would prefer an F (well, I have one, but don't like the layout especially and it doesn't work with my already flaky KVM even with a Soarer doing the honours) but there are reasons why the M happened. As previously mentioned, the F was just way too expensive: I've commented before that I remember a review of the IBM PC in an early '80s computing mag praising the keyboard as "even better than the BBC Micro's": and there was so much
snobbery about the BBC's actually not-that-special keyboard that it was a high accolade indeed. But it did go on to point out that the price of the PC's keyboard alone was half that of an entire BBC. If accurate, that's £200 in 1982 money, so... a lot.
But for me personally, I don't really see enough of a difference as an end user between my SSK and my XT keyboard to think, "yeah, the M sucks in comparison": my subjective opinion is that they're variations on a theme from a user's perspective and actually the M is the first keyboard I used that I actually genuinely liked. I mean about 15 years after using my first computer keyboards that those early '80s magazines were referring to. I don't think I'd ever encountered PC as made by IBM at that point, they were all clones; and indeed this was a Dell Optiplex, but in their Model M phase.
I suppose ultimately does it really matter? Personally I think the M is a fine keyboard. Yes, there are better, but I would position it pretty close to the top end of a scale that may be measured more objectively. Whether that could be subjected to the argument that it's only because there's so much crap out there now... well, I guess that's an argument for another time. And similarly, I personally don't like Cherry MXs: any of them. But lots of people do, so I guess other than occasionally posting "meh" or advising people to try-before-you-buy if they've no experience with mechanical keyboards I figure I shouldn't be too enthusiastic with that opinion.