Also, Ars Technica updated the URL date in this story. The original URL is http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/11/why-i-use-a-20-year-o... and it redirects to the 2018 link here.
> I bought one over a decade ago (build date 4/20/2007).
Awhile ago I remember hearing that they were having some financial problems because essentially they never had repeat customers: buy one keyboard and you'll never need another.
Yeah. I'm in the market for a new keyboard and am thinking about a TKL. Just spent some time on the Unicomp site looking for a TLK version to no avail.
On the downside, no idea when it will actually ship, and significantly more expensive than Unicomp.
And if they don't want to rejigger to do backlit keys, they could add a USB hub with three ports: one for a mouse, one for a USB stick or such, and one for a USB-powered LED lamp.
I'd buy that.
But that clears the "twenty years", five years ago that would have been accurate.
- Pleasant to use
The real reason is because the author is a hipster programmer and wants to elevate his status. It is well known that "real" coders who set up ISP's in the 90's and accomplished other badass feats of superhuman programming use clicky keyboards (https://workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/40897/how-do-i...).
This goes back to the bullshit nature of most technology jobs. It is such an empty life to work on abstract intellectual problems with no discernible results in the real world, as noted by David Graeber:
"Crucially, the realization brings a delight, the pleasure at being the cause, that is the very foundation of our being." - https://harpers.org/archive/2018/06/punching-the-clock/
The key (pun intended) component here is the theatre of a loud keyboard. It FEELS like you're getting work done! The author readily admits it, "This thing is loud, which really makes me feel like I'm getting serious work done when typing."
So the noise and being pleasant are really one in the same. The feedback make him feel better about being able to make something that produces change in his environment. Even if he is his own audience and only fooling himself, that is enough.
Finally, I question the accuracy piece. I grew up typing on mechanical keyboards, and therefore can appreciate the haptic sensation and noise aspect, but I'm happier with my keyboards' accuracy today. Most of my typing errors are not an issue of incompletely depressing a key, but typing the incorrect key. Mechanical keyboards do nothing for improving this kind of accuracy.
Theatrics for an audience of one. That is the reason. Plain and simple.
(edited for formatting)
Now the big Epson impact printer in the eggcrate-foam lined coffin (meant to contain the BZZZZZZZZZT! BZZZZZZZZZT! noise) was never something I adjusted to. We eventually moved it to a storage closet. God bless the silent laser printer!
But then I do recall buying a Walkman so that I could listen to music (casette tapes and the radio) while working, consuming batteries rather quickly. Perhaps nostalgia is making my memory of keyboard sounds seem less annoying that it really was.
I was doing a long print run on one and put ear defenders on
Sadly, they do not have the 103-key layout.
I'm using a steel backed unit with Cherry Browns and damper rings (it's a Ducky — WASD/Code were always OOS when I was ready to buy) and it's okay, but it honestly doesn't feel that much nicer than a fresh, cheapo rubber dome unit.
I've been curious about the Topre keyed boards which reputedly have a solid, but damped, "thwumph" response — that sounds right up my alley, but they are a lot of cash for a blind buy, since I've never seen or touched one.
Anyone here have experience with the Topre boards?
Someone should immediately start building super noisy pens, pencils, erasers and markers. But, like, really loud.
And loud brushes of course! Loud post-its!
Perhaps I'm looking for something like https://i.redd.it/z5knt99vpbsy.jpg but...
A trend I noticed is however that substantially all new keyboards tend to have less and less keys than ever, while ancient keyboards tend to offer more keys in various fashion, like SUN type  keyboars or $I_do_not_remember with a full function key row + another S-function key on top etc. And that's IMO it's a bad sign: keyboards means production, mouses means consumption. Having big keyboard IMO means produce many thing, having mouse-centric UI means being a consumer of someone else service.
I still pick the M when there's a lot of typing needed. It's about as loud as blues, but a little less annoying (for me anyway) from the slightly less plasticky sound, but has a distinctly nicer typing feel. Partially because it has a back board that's heavy steel meaning there's no flex at all - every modern mechanical has some degree of flex, sometimes lots and partially it feels a little different to Cherry blues. Something hard to describe but probably when and where on the keypress the click and release happen.
Having the extra Windows/Cmd key on the base row would be nicer sometimes. I wish I had gone for the one with combined trackpoint though.
I fully expect it to outlast my need for any keyboard and still be in as-new condition. :)
> Something hard to describe but probably when and where on the keypress the click and release happen.
Exactly this, there are some mods that can fix this icky release, never tried those. If I remember correctly it shortens the key travel as well so it might not be to everyone's liking.
If it's an original, they have PS/2 connector instead of the more modern USB, so you'll likely need a dongle.
There are no hyper keys at all - no logo keys, no menu key. Of course, no volume control, no media keys.
Buckling spring (and beam spring) switches have a tactile drop, where the tactile feedback is that the force required to press the key drops off at the actuation point. See what that looks like here: https://input.club/the-comparative-guide-to-mechanical-switc... (that's actually the Model F; the M was essentially a cheap flimsy version of the F, if you can believe that: https://input.club/the-comparative-guide-to-mechanical-switc... ).
Compare that to most modern mechanical switches, which have a tactile bump, where the tactile feedback is that the force required to press the key spikes up right before the actuation point, then returns to previous levels. The "standard" mechanical switch of today is the Cherry MX Blue, which shows this very clearly: https://input.club/the-comparative-guide-to-mechanical-switc...
These are 2 very different feels.
The "hip" new switches these days are NovelKeys' Box switches, some of which have tactile feedback more like IBM's, though the drop is less sharp: https://input.club/the-comparative-guide-to-mechanical-switc...
I haven't tried the Box switches yet, but of any of the switches I've tried, based on typing experience: I'd take IBM over anything else. That said, I switched to Matias Quiet Click a while ago, because I'm pretty sure my office mate would have killed me if I brought my Model M in to work.
My keyboard at work was built from an Apple Extended Keyboard II (I harvested the switches/keycaps and built it up from a custom PCB - https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/comments/4xr1wv...). A lot quieter than a Model M, but IMHO it feels better than most of the modern switches.
But the amazing thing is how reliable it's been. It's probably 23 years old and works absolutely perfectly. I have a second one just in case, but I've never needed it.
We’re all a bunch a little code monkeys. We can’t imagine programming without a keyboard, that’s why we’re still programming with keyboards.
Eventually, someone will invent the future, and we will all be happy and wonder why it didn’t happen sooner.
You’re doing that thing where you ask what exists that’s better.
With AR and VR, for example, we’ll need something other than a keyboard to interact with our computers. Hopefully, that’s the necessity that will be the mother of invention.
This should be doable and fun to bring to oldies, corsair uses this TI chip family: «TLC5958 64x64 Led driver matrix». http://www.ti.com/tool/TIDA-00161
It was a heartbreaking moment for me, and I'm happy to read here in the comments suggestions for equivalent. Thanks.
My pals all think I'm nuts for "spending so much on a keyboard" but I'm hammering on the damn thing all day, and using a chiclet keyboard or some other inferior keyboard would make me crazy.
Only feature I'd like to have is the ability to split it somehow.
>Mmmm.... manufactured in 1985, just like Ars Features Editor Nathan Mattise.
was manufactured (on 28th August) 1992, and only copyrighted 1985.
Neither 1992 nor 1985 are "twenty years", for the record that is respectively 26 or 33, or more like around 30 years.
This said, you'll have to take my Model-M (and my HP28C pocket calculator) out of my cold, dead hands, it is good to see that some of the younger folks still appreciate the reliability and sturdiness just like some of us old dinosaurs still do.
Long life Model M!
Yet another date, the Wayback Machine Cache has it Nov 17, 2013.