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those good old clunky keyboards


Scott Rosenberg recently posted an entry about the old IBM PC keyboards:
If you used an IBM PC in the 1980s -- if you used one a lot -- you came to know, and perhaps love, the feel of the old IBM keyboards. They were solid. The keys moved. They clicked. Over time, as every aspect of PC manufacturing faced the grim reaper of cost-cutting, keyboards became flimsy and disposable pieces of plastic. The touch and feel of the old IBMs became a lost artifact of the early PC era.

So I was thrilled to read (on MSNBC, via Gizmodo) that somebody is still making a contemporary equivalent of those old keyboards. They cost about $50, or five to ten times the price of today's junky keyboards, but boy, I think it's probably worth it.

I must admit I am a complete sucker for old-style "solid" IBM keyboards. IBM in general builds (IMO) some of the best keyboards in the industry, particularly for laptops: the Thinkpad line is just amazing for example. I still own a modified "original-style" IBM keyboard with a trackpoint in the center; sometimes I use it, although my working "everyday" keyboard is a microsoft natural keyboard pro, with a microsoft explorer optical mouse (before that I was a big fan of the microsoft "teardrop" mouse. MS in general makes excellent input devices. Back to the IBM keyboards though: IBM is still manufacturing keyboards and some of them are quite good, although they don't give the same "feel" as the older versions. Sometimes I wish we had a consistent way of maintaining and keeping old technology in a working state, just for historical purposes. By losing these things we are losing part of the history of how we got to where we are. A weird side effect of the digital age. Categories: technology
Posted by diego on May 13 2003 at 6:10 PM

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