Re: keyboards

On 10/12/2009 8:25 AM, notbob wrote:
On 2009-10-12, Chris Cox <chrisncoxn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Good question. Perhaps keyboards have become disposables now? Maybe
the idea is to purchase a $15 keyboard very year or so?

Looking forward to the replies on this one.

There is no "perhaps" to it. It's an indisputable fact. Most
keyboards are designed to be tossed.

I've taken apart logitech keyboards due to loss of key contact. The
only way they will not eventually wear out and become non-functional
is if you don't ever press the keys. The contact points between the
keys and the electronics is a piece of mylar with electrically
conductive carbon based paint-on traces leading to the IC board. When
the paint wears off ...and by design, there's no avoiding it... that's
it. Dead keys. Dead keyboard. I had 3 of them. They all died the
same inevitable death.

Right. As I wrote earlier, I'd go through 6-8 Dell QuietKey KBs
a year -- simply wear them out. Junk contacts, Junk switches, Junk.

And the suggestion (above) to purchase a $15 keyboard every year or so
is really false economy; said keyboard probably has other problems
such as the inability to keep up with a fast typist (one of my biggest
gripes about the Dell keyboards). The Unicomp keyboard I mentioned
earlier in this thread does NOT have that problem -- it's probably one
of the finest keyboards available today -- at least I haven't found any
better ones (yet) though I'm always keeping an eye open.

Now this is just me, but I really cannot get excited about the so-called
ergonomic keyboards. I've been typing since the early 1950s (IBM electric
typewriter) and even today I use a keyboard 12-16 hours day and have no
problems doing so probably because my chair and arms are all at the
correct positions with respect to the keyboard. And don't even mention a
Dvorak keyboard; one of my best friends uses one (KVM'd to his Linux and
MacOS X boxes) and it drives me crazy when I sit down and try to use it
(and he's 82 years old :-)

Reflecting back over the decades, the best keyboards I've used all had
relatively large keyswitches. The biggest I recall were used in the
Datapoint 3300 terminal; the switches were mercury-based and about 2"
long. The best keyboard I ever used was on the Datamedia DT80 (a VT100
clone); that lasted me over 20 years ('til the CRT died) and I could
never out-type its KB; the KB was thick, though, about 2". The keyboards
on my AT&T UNIXpc (aka 3B1 aka PC7300) also were pretty good and they
(the 3B1s) still work fine after 25 years now (all three of them).

And right now I'm really happy and pleased with the Unicomp SpaceSaver.


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