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After accidentally demolishing my HP keyboard with Jack Daniels and Coke last week my brother found an old IBM Model M keyboard in his basement and gave it to me. This thing is fantastic! It must weigh at least ten pounds if not more, and is solid as a rock. I'd forgotten how much I miss the clicky sounds of the old style keyboards, and how sturdy everything was built back then.
I wore out three IBM Model M keyboards between 1984 and about 1999. When the last one died, I switched to a newer style lighter weight keyboard. The one I'm using now is a ten year old Chicony KB-2961, my second one, and the next best thing to a Model M that I've ever used. It's a good deal heavier, louder, and more tactile than most modern keyboards.
I didn't realize that you could still get a Model M from Unicomp. I'm going to have to put that on my wish list.
As for now, I have an HP keyboard with a manufacture date of 1994 on my custom built 2012 computer. The keys click nice and loud, though I have the amenity of a volume control on the keyboard. I think I got it in one of those "sure, I'll set up your new computer, let me cannibalize your old one for parts" deals.
For me it's retro (I'm 28) and it's also a quality keyboard that won't have the q key break like on my last keyboard (after only 2 years!)
My oldest son once used an old IBM AT keyboard and liked it so much he bought one off of eBay. Loves it and won't use anything else.
When my old AST keyboard died I was going through the then "new" plastic keyboards at a rate of about one every 6 months.
Bought a Northgate and while it was, indeed, a well made keyboard, I never liked using it.
Finally, I bought an ALPS with a built-in touchpad. Best keyboard I've ever owned. Used it for just about 15 years before a few keys started malfunctioning. If I could find another one just like it, "new old stock," I would buy it in a flash.
On the other hand, these new wireless keyboards are nice and while all plastic, do seem to be well made. I've knocked this one off the desk many times, picked it up, put the batteries back in and it comes back to life. Speaking of batteries, I've never had to replace the batteries in this keyboard and it is about two years old, but the wireless mouse that came with it eats batteries as if they were cheese.
Last edited by cwizardone; 06-04-2013 at 09:52 PM.
I used a 1984 Model M for years, up until about 3 years ago when I bought a Filco mechanical tenkeyless keyboard from Elite Keyboards (www.elitekeyboards.com). They stock several models of updated mechanical keyboards with very nice switches -- e.g. Cherry MX, red, blue, brown, and black. Mine has Cherry MX blue and it is great.
My keyboards have Cherry switches in, however I never understood, what's the difference for their colors? I know one is silent, one is clicky (although not sure of what's what), what are the other colors?
It looks like Elite Keyboards is not stocking the Filcos anymore but now have some other brands. This is basically the comparable model that I have: http://www.elitekeyboards.com/produc...old,tenkeyless but it looks like it's out of stock of the Cherry MX blue model right now.
Edit: Filco's are really well made and excellent keyboards but they are hard to find. You might find one on ebay. I don't know much about the Leopolds, which appear to be the Filco replacement at Elite Keyboards.