Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 18th Jul 2017 17:29 UTC
IBM

You may not know the Model F by name, but you know it by sound - the musical thwacking of flippers slapping away. The sound of the '80s office. The IBM Model F greeting the world in 1981 with a good ten pounds of die-cast zinc and keys that crash down on buckling metal springs as they descend. It's a sensation today's clickiest keyboards chase, but will never catch. And now it's coming back.

I used several of these growing up, and I've come to understand I'm the only one who didn't - and doesn't - like mechanical keyboards one bit - I find them tiring and way too loud. I want the thinnest possible keyboard with the shortest possible travel while still having a decent, satisfying, but very quiet click. I find Apple's Magic Keyboard is the exact right keyboard for me, but I also know I'll be one of the very few, especially on a site like OSNews.

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RE: ThinkPads
by StephenBeDoper on Thu 20th Jul 2017 14:46 UTC in reply to "ThinkPads"
StephenBeDoper
Member since:
2005-07-06

ThinkPads (at least T420/T520/X220/... and older) have a pretty good tactile keyboard (for a laptop at least) with a nice layout - full Home/End/PgUp/PgDn cluster, F keys, ...
But ABS keycaps can get shiny pretty quick ;)


They did also make standalone versions of those keyboards, under the "UltraNav" label - that were literally just the same keyboard as contemporary ThinkPad models, but in a separate enclosure & with an adapter to convert the ribbon cable to USB.

The T410/T420-era "SK-8855" Ultranav keyboards seem to be going for fairly insane prices (at least for a non-mech keyboard), probably they were the last ones with the "proper" classic keys & layout - there's only 1 on eBay right now, and the seller is asking $180 USD. However, it uses the same keyboard part as the T410/T420 ThinkPads, so when that part dies you can just replace it & carry on (the keyboard piece is only about $20-30 on eBay).

I have a dream that one day I'll create full programmable mechanical keyboard with ThinkPad layout, something like this:
http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/#/gists/aefc971edabdf3307f748...


That's pretty neat. Split that in two pieces with a hinge mechanism similar to the Model M-15, and give it a good switch (AKA not Cherry MX or its clones), and that's pretty much my ideal keyboard.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: ThinkPads
by JohnnyO on Sat 22nd Jul 2017 08:56 in reply to "RE: ThinkPads"
JohnnyO Member since:
2009-10-15

They did also make standalone versions of those keyboards, under the "UltraNav" label - that were literally just the same keyboard as contemporary ThinkPad models, but in a separate enclosure & with an adapter to convert the ribbon cable to USB.


There are also tutorials on the net how to make your own adapter. Original connector (the one which is on the ThinkPad motherboard) are hard to get, but there is an replacement which might work. I made a PCB adapter, but did not test it yes because in the meantime I got converted to the mechanical kbd size.
Also, it would be nice to have internal USB adapter between keyboard and ThinkPad motherboard -> full programmable keyboard in any OS ;)

That's pretty neat. Split that in two pieces with a hinge mechanism similar to the Model M-15, and give it a good switch (AKA not Cherry MX or its clones), and that's pretty much my ideal keyboard.


Interesting idea.
What is a good keyboard switch in your opinion?

I have also played with aligned keys but in (more or less) standard layout:

http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/#/gists/fc1ee7a3ceb8db2313843...
http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/#/gists/a22b7e65a038c19b44716...

That are older revisions without F11 and F12 keys, but
that idea was abandoned (for now) because it would hard (or at least even more expensive) to find keycaps of the proper size for aligned keyboard.

If you want a split keyboard, maybe this will be interesting project to you:
https://ultimatehackingkeyboard.com

Reply Parent Score: 1