Well the other day I fullfilled a long hope of mine. I got a IBM Model M keyboard in the post. I’ve been searching on and off for a nice keyboard and generally failing to find one that I like. My most recent Apple keyboard is pretty crap and doesn’t really feel nice. This board is a step in the right direction, but probably a step too far.
IBM keyboard use a two-stage mechanical keyswitch. A buckling spring switch. This is a totally mechanical switch, unlike the low quality membrane switches used in most cheapo keyboards. If you can take the very strong feedback you get with a Model M, they are great. Well built, reasonably priced, one can be had off ebay quite cheaply. Or a store like clickykeyboards has a good range in stock. They will last an awfully long time and are quite repairable.
The Happy Hacking Keyboard comes in two main versions, the standard and the professional. The HHK is a compact keyboard designed to minimise the amount of stretching around a keyboard that the typist has to do. It is aimed mainly at programmers and geeks, hence the name. But it would be a great keyboard for anyone with limited space on their desk, who has smaller hand or just wants a minimalist but high quality keyboard. I’m going to be focusing more on the professional model, mainly because I like it more. But in a vague kind of order I’m going to discuss the standard model first.
The standard model has been through two incarnations to the best of my knowledge. The original HHK and the HHK Lite II. The HHK is aimed squarely at *nix users and includes cables for various models of unix workstation. The HHK Lite 2 is more for PC and Mac users. It has a few keys that are found on a Mac keyboard and sports a few USB ports. It is the cheapest model in the range.
I’m going to post this up and then put up a post in a while about the pro model. I’ll then merge the two posts probably.
Well this blog is turning into a blog about keyboards isn’t it.
Unicomp are the people who now hold the licence for the buckling spring style keyboard. as Lexmark and IBm did before them. see the previous post for stuff about the IBM Model M keyboard. Also they can make the original IBM Model M board if they want to, which is kinda cool.
They have a few really nice boards, several which are totally out of my range really. There is one that is sepicfically arranged for linux users, one with 122 keys (extras for terminal emulation. I especially like:
The Mighty Mouse (a PDF file) which is a compact (ie no num pad) keyboard with a small mouse nodule in the keyboard. I personally quite like them and it is less movement of the hands. It also come in black, which is always good. You can also buy a separate numpad if needed. The prices aren’t insane either. Kinda like the Happy Hacking board, but a bit cheaper.