Jul 18, 2016

Clack to the Future - A discussion on origins, the now, and what lies ahead for us all.

Within 24 hours of receiving the first Mechanical Keyboard of his life, a gentlemen made the mistake of placing a tall glass of milk right next to his brand new keyboard. When he returned to his desk, a clumsy swing of his elbow emptied the tall glass's contents all over his brand new keyboard. It was an Addesso, with Cherry MX Blues, and he spent about a week drying it out and cleaning it from top to bottom, inside and out. The keyboard never functioned as fully expected, and his 'day one' experience was quite miserable. Despite his misfortune, he valued his first experience very much, and has had only mechanical keyboards sporting his desk for the past four years since.
This gentlemen was my roommate, this was his very first experience with a Mechanical Keyboard, and I was there when it happened.
Time and time again, I've have the pleasure to introduce mechanical keyboards to my colleagues, and walk many of them through the process of acquisition. Many of these friends have let me be apart of their first experiences, and I want to know yours too. Regardless of tenure and experience, you have a lot to share, and you all have something to share about your experience with keyboards that make them unique. If you don't even have one yet, you still are here, and probably have a reason why you're waiting for what lies ahead. What was your first experience finding this community? Do you have a keyboard? How has it made it's place in your life?
There's dozens of stories you can all share. There's also the chance that you're very new to them. The community contributors arouse creativity in us, and in doing so, creations emerge that weren't considered a reality until someone else shared their own flavor and ideas. This community benefits from fresh eyes being welcomed with open arms. The working example is that we have some amazing polls. Users generate plenty of ideas, and fresh eyes contribute to some very unique pieces that we've seen. Enough of you making enough noise can create access to products that aren't available from the resources of one everyman type of person, and can drive the momentum away from repetition to something fresh.

Here's some questions for you:
  • What was/is your first Mechanical Keyboard?
Does it have a story behind it, or how you got it?
  • What are you using now?
If you have done some customization on it, I'd love to see.
  • What are you eagerly looking forward to?
I know there are some folks here mutually waiting for the 1976 set.
In all it's glory
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moon38, Gabriela Gonzalez, and 19 others
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So here's a temporary 75% keyboard I'm using currently with some of the random DSA caps I got from the recent SP grab bags. Really loving that profile.

Still waiting for all the parts to reach my doorsteps, getting pretty sick of the waiting game honestly. Rofl
My journey in the world of keyboards is still in its infancy. I suspect my reasons for even wanting a keyboard are not the usual ones.

It started with [of all things] a Nexus 7. Nice enough machine, but Android LCD touchscreens don't make the best experience. The "mini" keyboards require their own battery - which seems just silly. Throw in a few recent articles about custom builds [Ben Heck: Raspberry Pi Zero Personal Computer; Hackaday: "RasPSION"] and it's time to look at a custom built machine, with it's own keyboard.

At this stage, in my efforts to keep the design "low profile" the choices seem to be: Cherry ML, or surface mounted tactile switches. Also trying to keep overall width under 200mm [8 inches], by reducing key spacing from 19mm to 15mm - meaning standard keycaps are out of the question.
I have a few keyboards https://deskthority.net/photos-f62/lsb-s-collection-t13590.html

First one was an IBM BS.

Lotssssss of builds and modifications.

Definitely stoked to see what the other community creators come up with next.
livingspeedbump
There aren't enough words in the English language that I could share with you in excitement for how many keyboards you've gotten in that list. You have a museum worthy collection, sir, and I'm in awe.
When that 76 comes out, will it just be the key caps; keycaps and switches; or caps, switches, and wood case as well?
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NooooOOOooooo it looks amaaaaaaziiiiiiiing.
Temporarilyidle
It's german, but the pictures speak for themselves, use it as inspiration: http://extreme.pcgameshardware.de/eingabegeraete-und-peripherie/274197-handballenauflage-marke-eigenbau-finale.html
My first mechanical keyboard was a corsair k70 in mx blues. I got it after playing around with a cherry tester a guy at work had and fell in love with the sound from blues. And the k70 offered everything I wanted at the time a full-sized board featuring a red and black color scheme, media keys and all that jazz.

Now I'm using a cooler master masterkeys pro s with mx browns. I chose this option because the tkl format when using my mouse for long gaming sessions was far more comfortable with my limited wing span at only 5'6. I chose browns because at the time blues weren't available and since then I've grown to appreciate them as well.

What I'd like to see next for my boards is the troubled minds key cap set drop again. I would put them on my cooler master quickfire rapid-i, giving me a sleek set that sports my favorite fictional character on the keyboard I carry around for my laptop.
It was 1995, and my dad picked up a 386 16MHz from a buddy who worked for IBM. The keyboard was massive, ugly, and has haunted my dreams since. A couple years ago, I found out that mech keyboards were very much a thing again (partly due to /u/mechanicalkeyboards) and a while after, the drop for the purpleheart headphones lead me to Massdrop, and I saw the Varmilo VB87M. A bluetooth mech! Dreams answered! I got it with the front-printed keys and Gateron Clears. They're nice, but I want something else.

So far, the only customization I've done is a set of translucent caps, but they've been lost in the mail, so it remains stock. I want to experiment with the different CherryMX options before the next purchase. Something light with a tactile bump, probably. (The Gateron clears are linear.) I'm not a gamer, but I'm on computers all day.
The Tai-Hao Miami keys and the 1976 collection (my birth year) both appeal, but I haven't talked myself into the expense yet.
edit: I knew I should've looked up the spelling of Tai-Hao first. And I just joined the Miami drop. Hah.
•What was/is your first Mechanical Keyboard?
Not counting the worn out Model M I've had sitting around forever, My first purchased mech KB was the KBTalking Pure 60% with Cherry MX Whites and blue backlighting. I was looking around for a more portable keyboard for my frequent LAN parties and came across geekhack. Two weeks later, I was unboxing my most favorite form-factor.
•What are you using now?
The same one! It's worn many different keysets and a couple housings, but it's still going strong and I love it!
•What are you eagerly looking forward to?

Getting my hands on my Sentraq TK78 from the geekhack GB, soon! SOON!
1) My first mechanical keyboard was a Das Keyboard 3 Ultimate with Cherry MX Brown. I loved the blank keycaps and its understated attitude. I think the Das Keyboard brand took turn after turn for the worse.

2) I currently use all sorts of Topre keyboards, my favorites being: HHKB Type-S, 108UG Hi-Pro, 55g Realforce 87u

3) I'm looking forward to not spending any more money on keyboards, because my topre board collection gives me complete satisfaction.
I learned to touch type in a high school typing course on an IBM Selectric Model III, which of course had buckler springs. My dad and the school had IBM PS/2s for their computer science equipment, so by the time I graduated high school, I had a great deal of love and familiarity for the clacky things. I bought my first computer right after my first year of college, a Zenith Data Systems laptop and shortly after found a store selling used corporate Model M keyboards. I still have it, and other than a few flaws it functions. After that I had a Dell 104 mechanical keyboard that came with a computer that was gifted to me by a former employer after a couple of more years of my schooling. I guess the rest is history. Fast forward a couple of decades and at home I use cherry whites, though this changes with some frequency, and at work I have cherry blacks on a CM TKL. I've convinced my new hire of the love of mechanical keyboards, but this was on the complete other side of the scale. Right now she is using Gateron Clears on a compact TKL at work. I tend to prefer really heavy keys due to what I learned on and I still bottom them out when I'm typing at full speed.

There's the story.
Wow
First was a DAS ultimate with cherry MX blues. Then I shrunk to a Filco tenkeyless. I now have a poker 3 with cherry clears and SA retro caps. I'm looking forward to the white fox layout becoming more popular (aka cheaper). I would join in the current buy, but the price is a bit too high to justify, since I've been really enjoying the poker 3.
I got pulled into this world 4.5 years agon when I switched to the Kinesis Advantage to relieve pinky pain. When I learned that it had Cherry MX browns, I started to do some research and ordered my first batch of o-rings. Next thing I know I'm ordering a Kinesis Advantage LF, then modding my first one to use blues, then building an Ergodox (http://adereth.github.io/blog/2014/02/12/building-an-ergodox/), then 3D modeling my own hybrid Kinesis/Ergodox (https://github.com/adereth/dactyl-keyboard), then giving talks about making keyboard (

).

Massdrop has definitely contributed my addiction. I've attached a pic of the latest build that I'm using now. It's got 62g Zealios.

I'm most looking forward to the keyboard.io... hopefully this year!

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Don't be afraid, your time will come and who knows what you'll happen to experience.

Being 14 it might be about time to explore other fun of typing.

I'm just kidding you, but honestly, i just couldn't resist!
Adereth
Damn, those are some sexy curves you're showing off.....
My first mech keyboard came last year after getting increasingly frustrated with cheap, nasty keyboards that come with kit by default.

I'm a coder and spend many hours typing so being comfortable is of the utmost importance to me.

I decided on a tenkeyless Code keyboard from WASD with Cherry clear switches and haven't regretted a single penny I spent on it.

After a couple of months I decided I wanted to give the keyboard a bit of 'bling' to make it as nice to look at as it is to use and bought the Carbon keycaps from here. With the extra cost of ISO keys the keycaps cost me nearly as much as the keyboard, but they do look great. My only complaint is the '/# key which is upside down (bloody annoying given the cost of the keycaps!).
I started with an IBM Model M, around $35 with shipping on ebay. The LEDs dont.work but whatever. I then got a lolita spyder, a poker 3, and a planck, in that order. I have since given the Lolita away and my planck is giving me firmware troubles, so trusty trusty poker 3 is my main board.

I also moved from Kaihl brows to MX clear to MX tactile gray, but nothung can quite capture the best feel of buckling springs. A short bit ago somebody tried to launch a kuckstarter for bucking spring MX-like switches. Same pins,same stem,just a little taller. It never got.far off the ground, buti hope to see it here someday.

For the record I am also waiting on the 1976. What I would really want is Symbiosis or another Symbolics like SA keyset, but doubt it will ever happen.
My first mechanical keyboard was a Ducky DK9008G2 Overclock.net edition with black switches. I won it from Overclock.net.

Right now my roommate uses it because I wanted a tenkeyless keyboard to use at home and he wanted one with a number pad, so I bought a CMStorm Quickfire Stealth with brown switches which I currently use with Jukebox keycaps. At work I use the Ducky Shine 4 "Silent Feeler" keyboard from Massdrop with the blue and gray PBT etched keycaps.

The thing I'm waiting for the most is a Penumbra set to put on my Shine 4 to use at work. I actually type much faster on SA keycaps.