[RndTbl] IBM "clicky" keyboards

Hartmut W Sager hwsager at marityme.net
Sat Sep 14 22:49:35 CDT 2013

Extremely interesting!  This posting really clicked with me.

When I'm not on a laptop, my desktop keyboard is still the famous
Maxiswitch 101 / Tucson 101 with the rubber dome keyswitches, which I've
been using since 2006-2007 (yes, even the same unit - it lasts forever -
and I got two spares back then which I still have NIB).  It is totally
silent (which I prefer), but has a clear-cut rollover effect that's not too
far off the IBM clicky keyboard.  This model did become the standard in
many typing rooms in industry over the years of its availability.

An honourable mention also goes to Keytronic, and I have two NIB units of
their superb KB2000 model, which has characteristics very similar to the
Maxiswitch 101.

Frankly, I have no idea how secretaries and receptionists can be productive
using today's crappy keyboards.

Hartmut Sager

On 14 September 2013 21:56, Adam Thompson <athompso at athompso.net> wrote:

> Enough people have wondered/asked/complained to me about this that I'm
> posting this now as a public service.
> IBM Model "M" keyboards are still available, *NEW*, today.  They are
> expensive, but they are the original design that you can use as a melee
> weapon.  The catch is that they don't say "IBM" or even "Lexmark" on
> them.  They are available for purchase from the manufacturer, Unicomp,
> who can be found online at http://www.pckeyboard.com/.
> You can also find some vintage NIB units from time to time at
> http://www.clickykeyboards.com/.
> There are also a number of other manufacturers now making similar, but
> not quite as good, keyboards.
> - CVT Inc., the maker of the Avant Stellar (I own two of them), which
> is the direct descendant of the Northgate Omnikey, seems to have
> restructured and no trace of their keyboard manufacturing operation can
> be found online.  However, Northgate keyboards are still available
> new-in-box from (this is a horrible site, beware)
> http://www.northgate-keyboard-repair.com/.
> - The Happy Hacking keyboard (now owned by Fujitsu, apparently) is
> equally comforting to some people despite having a totally different
> feel.  They, and many others, can be had from
> http://www.elitekeyboards.com/
> - Das Keyboard
> - Anything using Cherry MX Green, Blue, or White keyswitches.  The
> "green" switches apparently are the closest anyone's come yet to
> emulating the IBM/Lexmark/Unicomp switches... and they can be had in
> MUCH cheaper keyboards, like the Rosewill RK-9000
> (http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823201040 and
> http://techreport.com/review/23405/rosewill-rk-9000-series-mechanical-ke
> yboards-reviewed).
> - And there are an increasing number (yes, again, after the big die-off
> ca. 2009) of speciality manufacturers of "ergonomic" keyboards that are
> making clicky keyswitches available as an option.  One of the better
> ones is a tiny shop in Ontario, but I can't find the name right now.
> References:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model_M_keyboard
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unicomp
> http://deskthority.net/wiki/Cherry_MX
> -Adam Thompson
>  athompso at athompso.net
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