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What is "The Best Keyboard Ever Made"?

Vlad

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I really like my Model M and all but anymore it kinda gets on my nerves. Lately I've been using my Sun keyboard which isn't as loud and just as easy to type with. Whats kinda interesting about it is it has the Super button and right click button whatever thats called but they're blank. Yay for OS independent keyboards.
 
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Half-Saint

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Interesting that I noticed this thread only now.. as it happens, I started a multi-part article about keyboards yesterday (see signature). Might provide for some interesting reading when it's finished!

Mr.Amiga, you get used to having to push the keys harder very fast. I love my Model M and I now own three of them :) There are also other great keyboards for example Northgate OmniKey Ultra or OmniKey Plus. Another excellent keyboard is the Apple Extended Keyboard II. You can use one on a PC with the help of a ADB to USB converter.

There's also a number of newly made keyboards that use micro switches, just to name a few: Unicomp, Deck, Scorpius M10, Majestouch, CVT Avant Prime, Das Keyboard II/III etc. The problem with most of those is that they cost $100+.

Cheers
SainT
 

per

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Have anybody here used "Key-Tronic" keyboards (popular at least in Norway before 1995)? I think it uses rubber membrane thecnology. Each key is mounted on a plastic cylinder with a rubber underlayer. Each time a key is pressed, a pole pushes down the rubber layer. The keys have to be pushed down as far as on the PC/XT keyboards. I've not opened it completely up, so I haven't examined completely. They're not "Clicky" at all.
 

linemanduke

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Have anybody here used "Key-Tronic" keyboards (popular at least in Norway before 1995)? I think it uses rubber membrane technology. Each key is mounted on a plastic cylinder with a rubber underlayer. Each time a key is pressed, a pole pushes down the rubber layer. The keys have to be pushed down as far as on the PC/XT keyboards. I've not opened it completely up, so I haven't examined completely. They're not "Clicky" at all.

I had one for my pc jr it was weird look like a remote on the inside. Little piece of metal tape on a piece of foam (which had deteriorated).

I love my model m, it's a later model from when they replaced the computer at my school in 96. I like the keyboard on my toshiba 400cdt the most though. Its not that it make noise or any thing like that it's just the right size for my big hands and fingers unlike this little keyboard on this think pad I'm using now
 

carlsson

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Have heard of? Key Tronic keyboards are the only ones I use, both at work and home. However, some models are more squishy than others. I like those with a distinct touch.
 

per

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I realized that KeyTronic was using the rubber dome meckanism, the only difference is that the rubber used is not as soft as on most recent keyboards.

Too bad I broke my DIN > PS2 adaptor, one of the pins broke, so I have to replace the PS2 plug.
 

vwestlife

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I really like my Model M and all but anymore it kinda gets on my nerves. Lately I've been using my Sun keyboard which isn't as loud and just as easy to type with. Whats kinda interesting about it is it has the Super button and right click button whatever thats called but they're blank. Yay for OS independent keyboards.
You might like a Tandy Enhanced Keyboard. It uses the same buckling spring mechanism as IBM, but the touch is noticeably lighter and the clicking is much quieter. It is basically equivalent to IBM/Lexmark's "library quiet" version of the Model M which they offered but did not market widely. It was Tandy's standard-issue 101-key keyboard (with PS/2 plug) from the late '80s through mid '90s.
 

modem7

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Have heard of? Key Tronic keyboards are the only ones I use, both at work and home. However, some models are more squishy than others. I like those with a distinct touch.
The Key Tronic keyboards are my favourites, and I too use them both at work and at home.
Quite a few keyboards were made for various companies by Key Tronic. My preferred Key Tronic keyboard is the Honeywell SpaceMate (has soft touch).
 

vwestlife

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Quite a few keyboards were made for various companies by Key Tronic. My preferred Key Tronic keyboard is the Honeywell SpaceMate (has soft touch).
Honeywell also had a strange mouse in the late '90s which was neither roller-ball nor optical. It had a unique way of sensing motion which I have never seen used since then.
 

Half-Saint

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Funny thing is, KeyTronic are about the only rubber dome keyboards that I ever liked. I used one at my last job. I'm currently using a Logitech Internet 350 keyboard at work and it sucks big time. It's so mushy you wouldn't believe it! Disgusting.

SainT
 

Vlad

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Just came across my black KeyTronic the other day and used it for a bit on the work bench. I'd use it full time but I can't get over that backspace key. Its one of the ones thats only the size of a letter key.
 

carlsson

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By the way, has anyone seen those Microsoft branded keyboards lacking the INSERT key? The layout is basically the standard one, but the DELETE key (not backspace) is twice as high as usually, and INSERT is missing completely. I wrote about it on this forum before, perhaps in the Off Topic area because it clearly isn't a vintage keyboard. I'm still curious who came up with that design, in particular as the keyboard is sprinkled with tons of extra buttons for e.g. Windows use (open web browser, play music, go to control panel etc).
 

Mr.Amiga500

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Mr.Amiga, you get used to having to push the keys harder very fast. I love my Model M and I now own three of them :)

I think you're right! I am starting to get used to it. Maybe my fingers were tired that day or something, but today it feels fine. I think I like the AT keyboard best.

Another excellent keyboard is the Apple Extended Keyboard II. You can use one on a PC with the help of a ADB to USB converter.

Yes, that's what I've heard. I just got the "Apple Keyboard" (M0116) and it feels nice - similar to the Amiga 1000 (unlike the "Apple Keyboard II" (M0487), which is utter crap). I assume the "Apple Extended Keyboard II" must be similar to the M0116 - except with extra keys.


Does anybody know when (and why) the key text moved from the centre of keys into one corner of the key? On computer keyboards - mostly before 1984, the letters and numbers on the key are large and centred. Later keyboards usually have much smaller text in the upper left of the key (or on Apple, lower left). I assume it's so people can move their fingers slightly to see what key they're pressing, but I think it's pretty stupid.

I like the old style - thick shiny black plastic keys with large centred white text. You can get modern keyboards with large centred text (on cheap dull plastic), but it's for the visually impared so arrows and controls (and all fine detail) are replaced with stupid short form text.
 

per

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I just repaired my Adaptor today, the broken pin was the GND pin. Now I can use my old AT keyboards on my modern PC!
 

vwestlife

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By the way, has anyone seen those Microsoft branded keyboards lacking the INSERT key? The layout is basically the standard one, but the DELETE key (not backspace) is twice as high as usually, and INSERT is missing completely. I wrote about it on this forum before, perhaps in the Off Topic area because it clearly isn't a vintage keyboard. I'm still curious who came up with that design, in particular as the keyboard is sprinkled with tons of extra buttons for e.g. Windows use (open web browser, play music, go to control panel etc).
That's the "new" Microsoft layout. They moved Insert to Fn+Print Screen and Scroll Lock to Fn+Pause. (Yes, an "Fn" key on a desktop keyboard -- shades of the PCjr! :eek: ) That makes Print Screen triple-duty since IBM already moved SysRq to Alt+Print Screen back when they first created the 101-key layout!

82t000x.png


And Apple has killed the Insert key, too.

Apple+Keyboard+Fn.jpg


Apparently there has already been some backlash because many keyboards with the new layout now give you a real dedicated Insert key at the top, to the left of Print Screen.

And Microsoft's vendetta against Insert began over a decade ago. I believe in every version of Word after 6.0, you have to select a well-hidden option to enable insert/overtype switching via the Insert key. Otherwise you're permanently locked into insert mode.
 

vwestlife

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I like the old style - thick shiny black plastic keys with large centred white text. You can get modern keyboards with large centred text (on cheap dull plastic), but it's for the visually impared so arrows and controls (and all fine detail) are replaced with stupid short form text.
One thing I miss are "deep dish" keytops, which had a nice way of fitting your fingers. Now, most keys are completely flat.

IBM%205100%20display,%20CPU%20register%20display%20mode.jpg
 

carlsson

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Gah! What's wrong with an Insert key? I mean, it is not like modern keyboards contain fewer keys than they used to, quite the opposite.
 

im_an_alien

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You know what I hate? Standby buttons. Not only is it really annowing to hit standby isntead of Esc (on this beyboard, standby it _right_ above esc), but if I accidentally bump it while I'm in linux, it won't come out of standby, or at least I can't figure out how to make it. The media buttons aren't as bad because in my experience typically they don't even do anything.
 

Vlad

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On a cordless set I don't use the Suspend/Standby button is actually recessed down into the keyboard to the point its hard to press even if you really want to. I wish that was more prevalent. I was using a Sun keyboard but the one I have is hard, nay impossible to find anymore and I don't want it to get icky because I'm paranoid like that so I'm sticking to the HP keyboard I bought. It has the suspend above ESC thing, but its far enough up you miss it. It does have a small row of multimedia buttons that I like. The only media player one it has is Play/Pause combo, which is the only one I really use. Occasionally I'll launch the email client if my hand isn't on the mouse.
 
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