Testing out my mechanical keyboard—for the nth time

Adel Gabot

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7:59AM

Indulge me for a moment.

I’m just using this blog writing thing as an excuse to test out my 32-year old IBM Model M Mechanical Keyboard.

Again.

Unbeknowst to most of you, I’ve been vacillating on my use of this keyboard, replacing it with the supplied Bluetooth wireless keyboard provided by Apple every few months or so, then going back to it again.

I love the old IBM, but the lack of some of the default hardware-based software keys on it bothers me some. That, and the fact that it’s too big for my computer keyboard shelf; it juts out a half inch on either side (while the Apple keyboard is too tiny for the shelf, with three inches to spare on both sides) and I’ve had to make a few adjustments.

This morning, I decided it was time to go back to the IBM. So I dug it out, cleaned it up, put it back on, then tested it again to see if it works properly by writing this blog entry.

So far so good.

Immediately, I noticed a few things:

  1. I type a hell of a lot faster on the IBM, with less mistakes and typos, and it’s seldom that I look down on it while I’m typing. I’m a hunt-and-pecker, have been my entire life, and I notice, because of its smaller size and the lack of tactile feedback, that I tend to always look at the Apple keyboard to see where my fingers are at. With the IBM, I’m practically a touch typist.
  2. In retrospect, I don’t really miss the default software/hardware keys of the Apple. Sure, it’s sometimes a bother having to use the trackpad to access some of the functions absent on this jury-rigged keyboard, but I can live with it.
  3. I feel a lot more comfortable using this big behemoth of a noisy, klack-klack-klackety keyboard. Waaay more comfortable. I could never pin down why I was always so antsy using the Apple keyboard (which is a perfectly usable and wonderful keyboard, all things considered) but I realized that it just isn’t for me. Maybe because it’s too quiet, and the shallow key travel doesn’t sit well with my fingers.
  4. The IBM just feels… right.

The reason I’m testing it again is I’m anxious that it might go belly-up on me at any time; some of the keys might stop working, or the inexpensive USB connector-adaptor I bought in Virra Mall for P60 might suddenly fuck up and give up the ghost. But I don’t really need to worry: the thing is built like a tank, and I don’t think it’ll screw up anytime soon. If it’s been working fine for 32 years, it’ll work another for 32 years easy.

So, writing this short blog post takes care of testing the keyboard out and putting it through its paces.

It’s working just fine, and I’m happy.

 


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