I agree that having a "hacker keyboard" probably won't make you a better programmer, but then people pay thousands of dollars for top-end laptops when they could probably do just as well with lower-end ones.
Yes. I find rubber dome keybaords much more tiring. It's not really clear when the key activates; I wind up essentially mashing the keys. I pretty much refuse to use them.
Scissor key (laptop style) keyboards are a great compromise for me: cheap and precise. Almost as good as mechanical keys for me.
Mechanical keyboards are best for me, but not always practical due to noise and expense. (Note: mech keyboards with Cherry keys can easily be made much quieter with O-ring dampeners; this is what I do)
The people who dislike them seem to really enjoy slamming their keys down all the way; they say O-rings makes the keyboard "mushy."
I'm not going to say anybody's using their keyboard incorrectly; it's all personal preference. But imho they're missing the entire intended purpose of mech keyboards; they offer tactile/aural feedback when the key activates so you don't have to slam the damn key all the way down.
Again, if anybody disagrees, you're not wrong... type however you like. :)
> How come no keyboards seem to ship with them by default?
Good question. I know some manufacturers like WASD let you order them preinstalled as an option.
Answer is probably because it wouldn't be profitable. They're pretty time-consuming to put on, honestly. I've done it to two keyboards and it took me a half hour or so. No big deal really, I just did it while I was watching TV or something.
That's not to say you're wrong or anything. Everybody's hands and preferences are different of course!
Just out of curiosity, which o-rings are you using? Here are the ones I'm using: http://www.amazon.com/Cherry-Rubber-Ring-Switch-Dampeners/dp...
Das was primarly marketing to programers, but recently they are marketing to gamers. (disclaimer: opinion only.)
I mentioned that old article recently in my new keyboard blog. I think that's how the rant resurfaced.
Making money from affiliate links? Trolling the internet at large? Based on previous interactions with Xah Lee on usenet, I'd say both are quite possible.
This article got submitted i believe because this morning i tweeted my new keyboard blog on twitter, and my keyboard blog mentioned this 6 years old rant. And somebody submitted that here.
For over a decade 1997 to 2007, when my website is most popular, linked all over from universities and schools at, I did not have any ads nor ask any donation.
I despise those so-called "hackers", because people like you. I don't know who you are, but there are handful who will badmouth me whever my name appears. In the past I have simply ignored them. But, i'm getting old, and feel like responding, for what's worth.
I like the HappyHacking keyboard. Nice size, good keys and layout, perfect for my needs. I have used it for ~3 years, no complaints, but at its current price you're also paying for warm, fuzzy feelings that come with the product.
Das Keyboard feels a lot cheaper in every regard and makes a ton of noise. I gave it away as a present to a co-worker. He loved it, and it improved his typing skills, but I can think of better ways to improve your typing.
I have a feeling that my HHK won't break anytime soon, but if I were to need a replacement, I would probably buy it again, or look for something similar. Perhaps one of the alternatives suggested by OP.
I am very happy with my ThinkPad keyboard as well. Even for gaming it works fine for me. Probably even better than a traditional keyboard, and definitely much better than the keyboards of previously owned Apple products (MacBook Pro & Air, early generation).
There are two sounds with the typical Cherry MX blue keyswitch: the pleasant and satisfying "click" as the key activates and the annoying "clack" of it bottoming out.
The dampeners only affect the clack; not the click.
Of course, being considerate to one's coworkers is always #1. No substitute for that.
When I have coworkers sharing my office, I show them that I have a non-clicky keyboard right here in my desk drawer, and make them swear to let me know if the clicky keyboard ever becomes even slightly annoying. I show them where the other keyboard sits and tell them they can literally just swap it out themselves if they like. I like my (modified to be quieter) clicky keyboard but I like my coworkers 100x more. :)
In contrast, you can't do that for the noise of a car on the road because here the whole car vibrates and you couldn't, even if you wanted to emit sounds that cancel whatever rumbles quickly enough. Therefore they employ some spectral analysis of the noise and cancel persistent noise. This, of course, wouldn't cancel the sound of hitting a wall.
Again, I'm not 100% sure about this because it's outside of my field of expertise. Corrections are welcome.
I love my Model M and use it at home, but I don't use it at work out of respect for my coworkers because it is very loud. But if a coworker replaced my keyboard without talking to me, I would not be happy.
> PS it annoys me to no end when one cannot easily find the name of the author on blogs, when the blog author clearly didn't meant to be anonymous. Is there a reason you didn't want it spelled it out?
This turns into a small rant against handles, which, if you set aside the jargon, are essentially nicknames.
> (i despise hacker culture, where these “hackers” idiotic-namesake prefer to go by “handles” or abbrevs (e.g. “RMS”, “ESR”, “JWZ”) or whatnot insider-fashion fuck. But that's just me.)
One person seemed a bit annoyed by them, so they then responded with a larger rant  that proposes that “hackers” are a strict subset of the people who like to tinker with computers, without ever clearly describing what it is about “hackers” that they “despise” — concluding:
> It is this group of people, i despise. More accurately: i despise their general style and outlook. I despite them. Fuck them. FUCK hackers. FUCK their hacking. Fuck their mothers. Scumbags.
At this point, I’d have dismissed them as a troll, but they went to the effort of buying a domain name and everything!
Must be profitable, if he's still at it.
I didn't buy a domain to put a rant. I had a website since 1995, had domain since 2000, and my website had several thousand links from math department of universities, educational institutions, printed books, math journals.
$200 for a keyboard that you use for hours everyday for 5-10 years is not unreasonable.
I own a Unicomp (at home, where I can't bother coworkers), and love the tactile feel of the thing. Plus, I'm a weirdo who types dvorak, and I was pleased to be able to buy the keyboard with a hardware dvorak layout. And, the thing wasn't crazy expensive compared to most keyboards. I think I paid < $100 for it.
Anyone here know if their clicking is less obnoxious, or if they click at all?
I do want the tactile feedback, when you feel the key giving away and can release it immediately, but I don't want to annoy other people (myself I don't get bothered by the noise...)
The benchmark for keyboard loudness in my experience is the standard apple laptop keyboard noise or the standard apple USB keyboard noise. It seems like all mechanical keyboard switches tend to be louder than those, and will be noticed. It's possible though that depending on how you type, people won't care.
I spend a lot of time writing text and type quickly and with force, so people could really hear it when I got going on my keyboard.
Also, it's not like you'll be using keyboards for half a decade, so yeah... learning something like that would be a total waste of time.
^ typed on my favorite keyboard - the $12* Logitech K120
* Canadian... includes a mouse.
Why not? It's not like we have a revolution in keyboard designs every year. If the keyboard is durable, there's no reason for it not to be used decades hence. The Model M I use at home was made in the same year I was born, and still works just as well as it did new.
Completely agree that chorded keyboards are uncomfortable though. I tried one and can't imagine using it.
There's no need to bottom out with mechanical switches, but most people do out of habit with cheaper rubber dome switches.
Or they could just put a tea-towel over their hands.
An existing proficient typer claims he was able to double his speed without keys being labeled.