A Minor Point To Make….

After much frustration with cheap membrane keyboards, I finally bought a mechanical keyboard with blue cherry switches.  Now I’m wondering why the bleep I never bought one before.

I love and miss Model M 101 keyboards.  I much prefer the five key home row (Control, Alt, Space, Alt Control) because the gap lets me know where my hands are without looking at the keyboard, thus I can type accurately.  Unfortunately I had to give mine up when I moved abroad, and no one here sells them.  I bought one from unicrap. . .I mean, Unicomp a few years ago, and it was broken out of the box.  They refused to replace or service it.  Don’t buy from them.

I bought cheap membrane keyboards for years because I could rip out the three unwanted, unused, and annoying keys: left menu, right menu, and function.  The Control and Alt keys were then smaller than I’d like, but at least there were the gaps I wanted.  But the problem with membranes is that they’re crap and don’t last very long.  I’m not a heavy gamer, and I can wear out one of them in 12-18 months.

So, after years of wasted plastics and money, I took the plunge(r) and bought a mechanical.  Cripes, it was expensive, five times what the cheap ones cost.  But, ooooooh, am I happy.

I’m a sloppy typist.  My fingers float closely and slide over the keyboard.  Overly sensitive membranes (or not sensitive enough) result in too many typos.  With a Model M or this one, you have to push down with effort to get a response.  I learnt to type on a manual typewriter (and still have one), so the harder keypresses and audible clicks are very satisfying and not hard to do.  Errors dropped to near zero immediately.

Now the only problem is that the thing glows like a blinking disco ball.  I changed the settings so it only glows slightly after I press a key (with a two second fade).  But if it’s not in use (i.e. I put the computer to sleep), it will start glowing on its own after a while if I don’t unplug it.  I’ll have to figure out all its functions.  Unfortunately, they’re all written in Mandarin.

This is not the one I bought, this is just for effect.  Mine is a Taiwanese brand (no product plug here), with Latin and BoPoMoFo characters on it.




  1. blf says

    I learned to (touch-)type on a manual typewriter, and hence have always favored mechanical-like keyboards. For years this wasn’t much of a problem, but my (previous) computer broke that (lucky?) sequence with an appalling keyboard. That keyboard then broke, and whilst I can still use that computer with a (mechanical) USB keyboard, I opted to upgrade (I pretty much max-ed the specs). My (new) laptop, which I am using now, has a acceptable but not “perfect” keyboard, albeit with the disco lights problem. Well, it had the disco lights problem until I located software to control it (I’m running Linux and so the solution is perhaps not applicable (and is also hardware-specific)). The lighting is now currently tuned-down to a sedate level and colouring suitable for use in a dim room; and putting the system to sleep (e.g.) turns off the lighting, waking it up restores the previous (acceptable) setting.

    • says

      Mine can be changed with the Function+ScrollLock, but there’s no list of what options or how many keypresses needed to get what I want. The current settings are good enough, so I’m not going to mess with it.

      I only use laptops because of space limitations, but hate laptop keyboards. I put laptops on a 10-12cm stand and put USB keyboards underneath, leaving much more room to work.

      I’ve been using Ubuntu (16/18/20) the last three years, but I’ve had enough with certain issues and going back to windoze…until that becomes an issue again.

  2. says

    I agree on the physical feedback. It’s much easier to type when you can clearly feel whether a button is pushed or not. I used to be really good at blind typing, but I can’t do that with modern keyboards.
    Just writing this comment I had to go back and correct six seven errors.

  3. dangerousbeans says

    I have two mechanical keyboards without LEDs, a Kinesis and a Das Keyboard. Both have their own quirks: this Kinesis is an ergonomic keyboard and the DAS has blank keys. The ergonomic layout does help with knowing where you hands are sitting.
    And mechanical keyboards do last longer, the kinesis one is my work keyboard: i’ve been typing maybe 1,000 words a day for a decade on it and it’s still working well. previously i was killing a membrane keyboard every six months

    at least the rainbow keyboards look very gay 😛

  4. says

    I have one of the Corsairs. It’s nice but I prefer my Das Keyboard that I keep on my work/writing computer. The device driver loading model for Windows is stupid – somewhere sometimes the keyboard settings load, and sometimes they don’t. You never know what you’re gonna get!