Some Mechanical Keyboardery

I blame Dan Rutter, damn him.

Specifically, I blame his post back in 1999 on – this one:, followed about six years later by his difficult second album,, and then his seminal
I don’t think I was cool enough to actually read the 1999 post in 1999, but I was well into buckling spring driven clickery by about 2000, with this baby:

Clicky awesomeness

Standard NATO IBM Model M keyboard














This one was in the discard heap at work. A quick clean and… I was hooked, forever to be known as the unapologetic bloke with the incredibly noisy keyboard. One keyboard seemed like a fine idea for a while.
But then…

Clicky buckling spring sweetness

IBM Model M with integrated trackpoint














Bought from the helpful chaps at (it’s possibly this one) on a work trip to the USA and thus avoiding ridiculous shipping costs, this was the next step down a noisy, slippery slope. Hey, one clicky keyboard for work, and one for home, it just makes sense.
Flatmates? They’ll just have to harden up. Workmates? Ditto. It’s the sound of work being done – do you hate productivity?!
This one even came with a track point, which I quite like as a pointing device, and in a fetching shade of olive-grey. Back then these were cheap, so who could resist?

For whatever reason I’ve not picked up the hatred for the Windows key, perhaps because I was never a hardcore twitch gamer and so being booted out of your game in the heady days of Windows XP didn’t really happen so much as to annoy me. Or perhaps I just don’t remember.
At about the same time as my brother had finally worn me down and convinced me to try the Apple side of life, I grabbed a Unicomp 104 key Spacesaver (misnomer) on another work trip to the States. Keyboard shortcuts on the new OS made easier with a full set of bottom row keys. Sweet.

Alternative use: killing zombies.

Just like the original, but USB and has a full set of bottom row keys… kinda handy for OS X.














Surely, surely I was done by now. Three clicky keyboards, more springs to buckle then any bloke should ever need, and it’s not like they wear out unless used for office cricket / bludgeoning the undead (I believe I may have just channeled one of Dan’s reviews then).

A passing fling with something faintly resembling ergonomics, the desire to keep my mouse nearer the middle of my workspace rather than waaaay over there, and a fateful click at my friends and I found myself with more IBM sourced luggage, this time in the form of an Model M 84-key.
Ah, ones first TKL…

Twenty five plus years of TKL clucky goodness.

The original (and supposedly now hardish to get) TenKeyLess Model M.














All was well for years, and Yoda like levels of control kept the household keyboard count down below the threshold of pathological diagnosis. Switching daily between OS X at home and various flavours of Windows at work with different jobs kept each of the keyboards in rotation at different times, however the Model M TKL was my daily driver at work up to Windows 7.

Cue volunteering to be a beta tester of Microsoft Surface 2’s prior to a wide rollout, and the lack of a Windows key drove a search for a Unicomp TKL. However, no such animal existed, and Reddit came to the rescue.

Specifically r/MechanicalKeyboards, and the friendly people in that subreddit. Friendly obsessives, all speaking a language that an old bugger like me hadn’t much sense of – TKL this and Reds and Browns and clouds of… anyway, the Dark Side beckoned, and I coveted a Code TKL keyboard with Cherry MX Greens.

New clickiness, first Cherry.

WASD / Code TKL with Cherry MX Green switches and O rings.














And lo, it arrived, and all was… odd. Kinda good, I like it, but they’re not buckling springs, and, well, a review and impressions of a Model M to Code Green transition is to follow.

Now, this post was typed on this:

Not so clicky, but mechanical and quite nice.

A Topre 45 gram uniform keyboard, in 60% format.














Further down the mechanical rabbit hole we go, with a Leopold FC660C in 60% format, with uniform 45g Topre switches.
Review and four-way comparison to follow.

Cheers for sticking with me this far!







Posted on May 23, 2014 at 22:29 by Baron von Codlington · Permalink
In: Cool Kit, General Nerdery, Hardware, Review

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