ISO Clicky keyboard

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by Nil, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. Nil

    Nil Guest

    I would like to find a good modern replica of the old IBM Model M
    clicky-key keyboard that has a Windows key and USB interface. Can
    anyone recommend one?

    I find a few that look similar but I read some some reviews that imply
    that they don't use the same technology and the click is faked, and
    they they don't have the same durability and reliability.

    I actually have 3 of the real thing, and they still work as well as
    ever. I got them by dumpster diving when the company I was working for
    back then threw dozens of them away! I should have grabbed more. I
    still love the feel of the keyboard, but that one extra key sure comes
    in handy sometimes.
    Nil, Dec 5, 2014
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  2. Nil

    Flasherly Guest

    All the "good" keyboards now are oriented mostly for gaming. Cherry
    keys with the colors graduating upwards from mushy, opposite that,
    you're chances for quality in proximity to an IBM replica might
    improve. Costly, depending -- though they go as low as $50 on
    occasional sales if the color and brandname using them works out.
    Flasherly, Dec 5, 2014
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  3. Nil

    Lynn McGuire Guest

    Cannot help you. I use a 1990 Northgate Omnikey/102 (gold) myself that I love. The function keys are on the left side where God
    intended them to be.

    Lynn McGuire, Dec 5, 2014
  4. Nil

    VanguardLH Guest

    You mean like the gaming keyboards that use mechanical switches (Cherry
    and Alps)?

    The only manufacturer that I've heard of that still makes the old
    buckling switch keyboards is Unicomp (they bought the technology from
    IBM). See
    VanguardLH, Dec 5, 2014
  5. Nil

    Nil Guest

    I've been reading up on the subject since I posted. I didn't realize
    what the various technologies were. My current keyboards are of the
    "buckling switch" type, so I'll consider the Unicomp. I really do like
    the feel of this type, and their durability is a historical fact.

    I didn't know about the Cherry switch types until today. Sounds like
    something I might like, and being more modern technology they come with
    more nice options like programmability and backlighting (I would
    appreciate that feature very much, I think.) I wish I could try them
    out. I'm not a gamer, but I am a touch typist, and apparently the
    various Cherry's sound and touch are more or less appropriate for one
    or the other.)
    Nil, Dec 5, 2014
  6. Nil

    VanguardLH Guest

    The Cherry switches come in a variety of colors indicating different
    tactile and response behaviors. There's red, brown, black, blue, etc.
    (Ignore/close their annual donation campaign frame.)

    Since you want a clicky response, your choice would be keyboards using
    the blue, white, or green Cherry MX switches. I don't recall seeing
    keyboards with the white and green switches (but then I wasn't looking
    for those) but have seen keyboards listing use of the blue switches.

    I take it that you're home alone with your noisy keyboards. Used to be
    20-30 years ago that the workplace was very noisy with all the clicky
    clacky of keyboards. Nowadays they provide quieter keyboards, cloth
    covered and taller cubicle walls, felty blinds, acoustical ceiling
    tiles, and even pipe in whitenoise to quiet the workplace. Coming in
    with your old IBM M or Northgate keyboards would make you the noisiest
    employee. If home alone, you don't care (unless you're in an apartment
    and don't want your neighbors to know when you're on your computer).
    When I used to type on my old Northgate, my family would comment that
    they could tell when I was on my computer from a different floor of the
    house. With less resistance, I actually found I could type faster on
    the quieter keyboards (but not the mushy ones). When you type really
    fast, you don't rely on hearing a click from the keypress to verify you
    pressed the key.
    VanguardLH, Dec 5, 2014
  7. Nil

    Flasherly Guest

    I use a 1990 Northgate Omnikey/102 (gold) myself that I love. The
    function keys are on the left side where God
    I wore one of those out. The switches wore out. Don't believe when I
    got mine, an earlier Northgate, they were making a "gold" model.
    Simply their top of the line and highest-priced Northgate keyboard.

    For awhile, then, there was a stint of a few years when
    Northgate/Omnikey went out of business. An outfit called FOCUS came
    along and picked up their resources. It's an Omnikey that's labeled
    Focus, IOW. Focus also incorporated a mouse in the spacebar, for about
    the only difference in their "best" model. A tiny little mouseball
    that's effectively useless (drivers make a huge world of difference,
    especially when their aren't any - except Microsoft's basic hardware

    Haven't managed to wear out my Focus, even though it's probably about
    10 years old. Suspect I've treated it better than the Omnikey, too.
    Has that feeling about it that it'll last another 100 years, at least.

    People tell me a Cherry will go up against it and be the better
    performer, but I remain unconvinced. (Rosewill is the only
    "cherry-switched" brand I've seen go for $50 on a sale, and I just
    never got around to pulling the trigger for trying one out.)
    Flasherly, Dec 6, 2014
  8. Nil

    DK Guest

    Google "machanical keyboard". The good quality one will be >$100.
    I use an old SGI keyboard and you can get those on eBay but they won't
    have USB or Windows key.

    DK, Dec 7, 2014
  9. I think what happened is we didn't pay attention. I know I tossed some
    that I'd accumulated, without giving it any thought. I thought they were
    for the IBM PC (the codes changed with the arrival of the AT), but now I'm
    not so sure. There was also a period where at least some keyboards could
    produce either code, there'd be a switch at the bottom usually but I saw
    one where the switch was inside, so if you didn't look, you'd think it was
    time to scrap that keyboard.

    The early "IBM PC" keyboards were expensive, even the clones keyboards
    were fairy expensive. And then slowly there was a transition to the kinds
    of keyboards we have now, and it was gradual enough that we didn't notice
    until it was too late.

    There was a period when it wasn't uncommon to find the old keyboards at
    garage sales, but that time is now in the past. I didn't use an "IBM PC"
    until 2001, so I wasn't paying attention. I didnt' even give it thought,
    until more recent years, and then I was no longer seeing old keyboards at
    garage sales.

    Michael Black, Dec 8, 2014
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