Unicomp SSK delayed, new Model M design coming

Findecanor

01 Jun 2020, 14:10

Each of those dimples correspond to the location of a rivet. When I saw that I opened one of my old IBM Model M's to check: and they too have dimples corresponding to rivet locations, only smaller.

Those scratches though ...

reavy

17 Jun 2020, 05:56

I can’t deal with the right windows key being next to the space bar instead of the alt key. Yes you can swap blah blah blah. I have a beige Ultra Classic from 2006 that has the correct layout with alt keys adjacent to the space bar on both sides, and this is the one true bottom row layout.

If they can clean up the quality issues with the New Model M and add the detachable cable in the middle like the SSK... and either fix that bottom row or offer a 103-key layout... and offer it in Pearl/Pebble, then maybe I’ll order one.

pheddx

18 Jun 2020, 22:25

reavy wrote:
17 Jun 2020, 05:56
I can’t deal with the right windows key being next to the space bar instead of the alt key. Yes you can swap blah blah blah. I have a beige Ultra Classic from 2006 that has the correct layout with alt keys adjacent to the space bar on both sides, and this is the one true bottom row layout.

If they can clean up the quality issues with the New Model M and add the detachable cable in the middle like the SSK... and either fix that bottom row or offer a 103-key layout... and offer it in Pearl/Pebble, then maybe I’ll order one.
And none of the explanations makes sense.. They just have to print the caps differently.
Sure, a 1,75U (?) Win key would be weird but... less weird than having Alt in the wrong location.

They should just skip the right Win entirely. I think.

reavy

18 Jun 2020, 22:45

Yeah, and you can choose to skip the right-side Win key entirely by paying the $10 103-key customization fee, but I agree that should just be the default, and it shouldn't cost any more.

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

18 Jun 2020, 22:47

I don't care about the customization fee, if they have a route to a 103-key board, they have a route to my business!

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daedalus
Buckler Of Springs

02 Jul 2020, 22:10

Delayed again:
Just a quick update on the Mini M development progress. I had forecast we would be shipping by the end of June but unfortunately, we are not going to make it. The good news is I'm typing this update on the first functional model. The firmware is buggy still and not full function, i.e. no embedded numpad among other things, but we're making reasonable progress. There are lots of "distractions" which tend to syphon time away Mini M development, like paying customers that want a New Model M in a European language or Mac version. Or dealing with the latest COVID-19 driven change to the assembly floor and assembly process among all the normal production related challenges. Given the progress made over the last two months, I think we are at least two months away from first production. I hope you can hang in there with us. We appreciate your patience.

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Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

02 Jul 2020, 22:51

Maybe we could get it in 2025

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Elrick

03 Jul 2020, 06:51

XMIT wrote:
18 Jun 2020, 22:47
I don't care about the customization fee, if they have a route to a 103-key board, they have a route to my business!
Agreed.

Time for a REAL Keyboard here with all the goodies supplied. Then it's a bought item without haste.

Although now in the US everything is kind of weird and strange, so hanging onto the moolah would be wise at this point in time in regards to this long awaited keyboard....
Redmaus wrote:
02 Jul 2020, 22:51
Maybe we could get it in 2025
Even 2030, would still be alright...... Shall still be here on Planet Earth.

andrewjoy

03 Jul 2020, 09:47

Whats with unicomp making terrible bottom rows ? How hard is it to take the original M row and put 1x1 mod keys between the Ctrl and Alt ?

They have done it before !

As much as i want one , i am not buying a model M with that bottom row. Sort your shit out unicomp.

User avatar
XMIT
[ XMIT ]

04 Jul 2020, 03:56

Elrick wrote:
03 Jul 2020, 06:51
XMIT wrote:
18 Jun 2020, 22:47
I don't care about the customization fee, if they have a route to a 103-key board, they have a route to my business!
Agreed.

Time for a REAL Keyboard here with all the goodies supplied. Then it's a bought item without haste.

Although now in the US everything is kind of weird and strange, so hanging onto the moolah would be wise at this point in time in regards to this long awaited keyboard....
I contacted Unicomp support. They are happy to modify the bottom row for a modest fee. This clears the way to me picking up a new SSK once they are offered.

stormcrash

09 Jul 2020, 01:25

andrewjoy wrote:
03 Jul 2020, 09:47
Whats with unicomp making terrible bottom rows ? How hard is it to take the original M row and put 1x1 mod keys between the Ctrl and Alt ?

They have done it before !

As much as i want one , i am not buying a model M with that bottom row. Sort your shit out unicomp.
I mean that's what they did. Problem is you can only fit one 1u key between right ctrl and alt so they put the windows key on the other side. They do sell 103 key versions that omit right windows for most boards either directly or via the custom board option. You can also just buy the large spacebar and do it yourself. I honestly don't get the rage about the bottom row

andrewjoy

09 Jul 2020, 12:37

stormcrash wrote:
09 Jul 2020, 01:25
I honestly don't get the rage about the bottom row
It looks terrible.
Its a horrible layout
Its none standard

kmnov2017

09 Jul 2020, 13:36

andrewjoy wrote:
09 Jul 2020, 12:37
stormcrash wrote:
09 Jul 2020, 01:25
I honestly don't get the rage about the bottom row
It looks terrible.
Its a horrible layout
Its none standard
you can swap out the shorter spacebar and the windows key and replace with a longer spacebar.
Personally I couldn't care less about the layout. All my boards have a different layout anyway.

gianni

09 Jul 2020, 14:30

andrewjoy wrote:
09 Jul 2020, 12:37
stormcrash wrote:
09 Jul 2020, 01:25
I honestly don't get the rage about the bottom row
It looks terrible.
Its a horrible layout
Its none standard
Horrible isn't enough to express the horror
They shortened the 7u spacebar adding a 1u key, and the layout that we see has born.

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funkmon

10 Jul 2020, 19:09

XMIT wrote:
04 Jul 2020, 03:56

I contacted Unicomp support. They are happy to modify the bottom row for a modest fee. This clears the way to me picking up a new SSK once they are offered.
Hey XMIT. You don't even need to do that, which is awesome. As long as you have a long spacebar you can do it yourself in literally 10 seconds. I did it with my New Model M, look.

Here's the stock New Model M

Image

So what you do is simply take off that right Windows key and put a big spacebar on it. I even left the spring and flipper in there, I don't give a shit.

Image

Works perfectly, like it was stock.

gianni

23 Jul 2020, 12:00

Sorry for the newbie question, I've seen the 6u spacebar replaced by a 7u spacebar, just by swapping it. This means that the spacebar has no stabilizers, just a two stems with a spring?

And in the case of other stabilized keys, like the ansi enter, we have one flipper with a spring, and another stem which is some kind of stem without a spring?

thanks

kmnov2017

23 Jul 2020, 13:38

gianni wrote:
23 Jul 2020, 12:00
Sorry for the newbie question, I've seen the 6u spacebar replaced by a 7u spacebar, just by swapping it. This means that the spacebar has no stabilizers, just a two stems with a spring?
The spacebar is stablized by a wire.
spacebar.jpg
spacebar.jpg (155.2 KiB) Viewed 3474 times
gianni wrote:
23 Jul 2020, 12:00
And in the case of other stabilized keys, like the ansi enter, we have one flipper with a spring, and another stem which is some kind of stem without a spring?

thanks
Correct, refer to the same pic above. There are stabilizer inserts (The white plastic things you see in the pic) which prevent the large keycaps like Enter from rattling.

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

30 Jul 2020, 17:31

They really need to bring back the white-on-black printed caps. With a UV cured epoxy coating those legends will stay on there forever. Anyone up for a group buy! Probably need to order a few hundred sets...

kmnov2017

30 Jul 2020, 17:59

XMIT wrote:
30 Jul 2020, 17:31
They really need to bring back the white-on-black printed caps. With a UV cured epoxy coating those legends will stay on there forever. Anyone up for a group buy! Probably need to order a few hundred sets...
count me in...

User avatar
sharktastica

30 Jul 2020, 18:09

XMIT wrote:
30 Jul 2020, 17:31
They really need to bring back the white-on-black printed caps. With a UV cured epoxy coating those legends will stay on there forever. Anyone up for a group buy! Probably need to order a few hundred sets...
Sounds good.

User avatar
funkmon

30 Jul 2020, 23:34

XMIT wrote:
30 Jul 2020, 17:31
They really need to bring back the white-on-black printed caps. With a UV cured epoxy coating those legends will stay on there forever. Anyone up for a group buy! Probably need to order a few hundred sets...
IIRC, they told me something like a few hundred would be pretty small from their suppliers. I bet they'd have to order a thousand. If we approached them after the new Mini M comes out, I bet we could convince them to pony up the dough for it if we have enough signatures or monies or something.

gianni

01 Sep 2020, 01:01

From unicomp's facebook:

So, here is an end-of-the-month update on the Mini-M development. We are pretty much where we were a month ago. The indirect impact of COVID-19 continues to limit our final assembly workforce for normal production. No one has shone up sick with COVID. However, daycare and school limitations or closings have forced some of our people to stay home to take care of their family. Those gaps in the production staff are being filled with the folks who would be performing Mini M testing and resolving software issues, timing issues and system level testing like FCC Part 15 testing. We have had a significant backorder on current production keyboards which we think we have worked our way out of. Here in Kentucky, virtual schooling in the public schools is just starting up, so we are waiting to understand the impact of that venture on our workforce.
As for outlooks on progress, my track record over the last 5 months for predicting first shipments has been miserable. So be it. Welcome to 2020. We are a minimum of 6 weeks from shipping the Mini M assuming we don’t find any significant problems when we restart the test effort. But I don’t know when we will have the development personnel freed up to focus on the Mini M. I’ll try to update the status of the test effort or lack thereof over the coming weeks.
I would ask for your continued patience, but I suspect I have exhausted that sentiment. So be it. We are where we are. We are frustratingly close but, under duress, marking time right now. I can assure you no one wants to ship this product more than us!

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Elrick

01 Sep 2020, 05:36

gianni wrote:
01 Sep 2020, 01:01
From unicomp's facebook:
We are frustratingly close but, under duress, marking time right now. I can assure you no one wants to ship this product more than us!
Maybe keep it, until 2021.

Hoping next year will be better, going by my own 'delusions' here ;) .

gianni

01 Sep 2020, 09:42

Why they're using a proprietary firmware is beyond me. Just use a tmk/qmk firmware and prevent it from being overwritten...

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Elrick

18 Oct 2020, 04:15

gianni wrote:
01 Sep 2020, 09:42
Why they're using a proprietary firmware is beyond me.
Because they have already used it before hence no money to spend on anything else. This is a company that likes to spend little on everything so it can remain in business.

Totally understand their dilemma.
gianni wrote:
01 Sep 2020, 09:42
Just use a tmk/qmk firmware and prevent it from being overwritten...
Probably no experience in dealing with it, hence their original position still stands. Use what they have already and concentrate on rounding out the numbers for distribution.

They need to make some profit on this SSK venture, otherwise they might be filing Chapter 11 or 12 in the near future.

gianni

18 Oct 2020, 09:38

It's not about experience, it's about doing the same things in the same way. The same way that makes them build keyboards that pop open the rivets like not even the worst Chinese clone do.
Elrick wrote:
18 Oct 2020, 04:15
gianni wrote:
01 Sep 2020, 09:42
Why they're using a proprietary firmware is beyond me.
Because they have already used it before hence no money to spend on anything else. This is a company that likes to spend little on everything so it can remain in business.

Totally understand their dilemma.
gianni wrote:
01 Sep 2020, 09:42
Just use a tmk/qmk firmware and prevent it from being overwritten...
Probably no experience in dealing with it, hence their original position still stands. Use what they have already and concentrate on rounding out the numbers for distribution.

They need to make some profit on this SSK venture, otherwise they might be filing Chapter 11 or 12 in the near future.

User avatar
daedalus
Buckler Of Springs

19 Oct 2020, 00:23

Remember that most keyboards made by commercial entities and not hobbyists use "proprietary firmware". They probably have a lot of experience with the Cypress microcontrollers in their keyboards, and have people with many years of experience of writing code for it. Switching to an entirely new design adds a lot of risk, and relatively little benefit - especially if they don't plan on allowing the keyboard to be reporgrammable by customers.

User avatar
zrrion

19 Oct 2020, 02:22

the fact that they can program the keyboard to the customer's specification is a selling point, it wouldn't make sense to make something that your customer can reprogram themselves

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