[vcf-midatlantic] OT: Modern keyboard question

Jason Perkins perkins.jason at gmail.com
Sun Nov 25 21:07:05 EST 2018

I have a MX brown, and MX red board I could bring along with me. Are there
microcenters in NJ? They have a nice selection of boards available.

I personally find Alps switches much more enjoyable to type on. If you
want, I could bring a blue, creme damped, and I think orange.

Or if you want a real keyboard, Alex can bring along the Model F I just
sold him :)


On Wed, Nov 21, 2018 at 9:07 PM Chris Fala via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:

> I have one of the key “samplers” that Dave mentions. It only has 9 keys
> but gives you a good idea. I agree about Cherry Blue, great stuff. Too loud
> for me though but that gives it a nostalgic feel. Tried Red because it was
> on sale. Very soft touch with no tactile feel at all. Nice keyboard but too
> soft for me. Got Cherry Brown which is almost as soft as Red but has a
> slight tactile “bump” that helps my brain know I actually struck a key.
> Just a little detail from my experience that I hope is helpful. SOooo many
> more options. Good luck!
> On Nov 21, 2018, at 3:11 AM, Dave McGuire via vcf-midatlantic <
> vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:
>  I would add to this the suggestion of getting a key switch "tester".
> This is essentially a collection of different types of key switches, not
> connected to anything, on some sort of a mounting board. (usually not a
> PCB)  This will allow you to evaluate each one, as they're very
> different, to see which one you like best.  Then you can go find a
> keyboard built with that type of key mechanism.  This is a pretty common
> thing, they're all over Amazon.
>  I live on my keyboard, and I'm a big fan of Cherry MX Blue key
> switches.  These are loud as hell, but I work in a private lab so
> there's nobody to disturb with noise.  I can *fly* on this keyboard,
> with much less hand fatigue than I'd gotten from my previous keyboards.
>  I have never been a PC person; I grew up on workstation-class
> hardware.  When you're using a VAXstation, you used a DEC LK201 or LK401
> keyboard.  Nothing else would work on those systems.  Likewise when I
> moved to Sun systems, starting with the Sun "Type 2" keyboard on a Sun2
> (not SPARC-2) system.  Again, nothing else was compatible.  It's a good
> thing that these were, with very rare exceptions, very good keyboards.
> But the point is, all my life I never really had the notion of
> "choosing" a keyboard, like PC users have.  I got what the vendor
> provided, because nothing else would work with those systems.
>  Now with an i7 on my desk (now that these crappy PeeCee processors are
> almost as fast as a decade-old SPARC!) it suddenly occurred to me that I
> do in fact have a wide range of options, when for the past couple of
> years I had just bounced back and forth between a Sun Type7 keyboard and
> an Apple aluminum keyboard, both USB, and both excellent.  I went with
> the Cherry MX Blue, TKL (ten-key-less, just a main keyboard and a cursor
> pad), with nice thick heavy key caps.  Unlabeled key caps, because I
> know damn well where the keys are after 40+ years at a keyboard.
>  The specific keyboard I chose (but with different keycaps) is a HyperX
> Alloy FPS Pro, purchased via Amazon.  It's built like a tank; the
> keycaps are seated in a thick, heavy metal plate.  This is marketed
> toward the game crowd, but that's essentially irrelevant.  I do not play
> games.  Heavy software/hardware development is a very similar use
> case...albeit with less shouting, grunting, and unemployment.
>  Choice of keyboard is very personal and very important.  It can truly
> make the difference between hating sitting at a machine and loving it.
> Do yourself a favor, take the time to evaluate what's out there and pick
> the one that works best for your usage patterns.  You won't get out of
> it for less than $100, but that keyboard will likely last most of the
> rest of your life.
>  Sorry for the long-windedness; this is a big subject.
>               -Dave
> > On 11/21/18 1:08 AM, Mark Whittington via vcf-midatlantic wrote:
> > Generally a decent quality mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches
> will
> > cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $100.  You can go a lot higher, and
> > occasionally you'll find something a bit lower.  There are a number of
> > variants of the Cherry MX switches with different characteristics
> (tactile
> > response, audible click, etc).  Here's a primer on the various types:
> >
> https://www.keyboardco.com/blog/index.php/2012/12/an-introduction-to-cherry-mx-mechanical-switches/
> >
> > Since you're looking at silicone keycaps, you probably want a non-click
> > switch like the Cherry MX Brown.  Something like this perhaps:
> > https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823126445
> >
> > You're not likely to find a keyboard with those keycaps preinstalled, so
> > figure out what type of key switch you'd like and then find a keyboard
> with
> > those keys.  Any of the Cherry MX "colors" should work with those
> keycaps.
> >
> > Massdrop doesn't seem to be running that drop right now, but as usual
> > there's a seller on aliexpress that can sell you some.
> >
> https://www.aliexpress.com/item/New-Arrival-104-Silicone-Keycaps-Blank-Keycaps-OEM-Height-For-Wired-USB-Cherry-MX-Switches-Mechanical/32794525459.html
> >
> > Let me know if you have other questions.
> >
> >
> > On Tue, Nov 20, 2018 at 11:50 PM Evan Koblentz via vcf-midatlantic <
> > vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:
> >
> >>
> >>>> I'm thinking about getting a new keyboard for my modern PC.
> >>>>
> >>>> I want to use squishy keycaps such as these:
> >>>>
> >>>> https://www.massdrop.com/buy/silica-gel-keycap-set
> >>>>
> >>>> It says they're Cherry MX compatible.
> >>>>
> >>>> Does that mean they only work with official Cherry-branded keyboards?
> Or
> >>>> is there some other search term to use (etc.) for keyboards that are
> >>>> Cherry-compatible?
> >>> It suggests that those keycaps will fit on Cherry MX key switches.
> >>
> >>
> >> But how do I know what keyboards have such switches?
> >>
> >>
> --
> Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
> New Kensington, PA
Jason Perkins 313 355 0085 Sent from my iPhone

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