Doug Reilly's Weblog

Embedded Reporting of the Information Age...

My Clickety IBM Keyboard - RIP

I have been using an old clickety IBM keyboard for at least a dozen years.  I believe it has survived through perhaps 4 or 5 PCs.  Suddenly, the other day, it just stopped working.  When I powered off the machine, reset the connector, and powered it back on, I got nothing but beeping.  I had to admit that this was the end of the road.

I had no idea how much I had enjoyed using that keyboard, writing 3 or 4 books on it, in addition to using it for programming and writing articles day in and day out.  I had to use one of the new Dell black keyboards for a week or so, and I hated it.  It was clear early on I needed to do something other than just run down to Best Buy or similar to pick up any old keyboard.  I got the CVT Avante Prime.  It costs about $150.00, and was recommended by a number of people on their blogs and in reviews.  It is said to be very close to the Northgate Omnipro keyboard, which had a feel similar to the old IBM keyboards.

It is nice to have the Windows keys on the keyboard, but I would still be much happier to have my old IBM keyboard.  Perhaps I will go to some computer fair (is the Trenton State Computer Fair still around?) and see if I can pick up a working, old IBM keyboard.

Comments

Chris Hart said:

I have many happy memories of chatting away with numerous friends around the world on telnet talker programs, using Birmingham Uni (UK) machines with the good old IBM keyboards. I was really pleased to inherit one of those same keyboards a couple of years ago and I have no intention of getting rid of it! I've never found another keyboard quite like it, so I can sympathise with your loss :)
# May 4, 2005 9:11 AM

Douglas Reilly said:

Yep, there is nothing like it. The first article I wrote not using the IBM keyboard was riddled with typos, something I normally do not even worry about as I am a pretty good typist. The editors at the Web site I submitted to normally have no questions about the article, and certainly the changes they make are generally simple cosmetic things to make my writing more pleasant. This time, there were sentances that did not even make sense because I misspelled words. Who knew that "cline" appears to be a word as far as the Office spell checker is concerned (I meant "client").
# May 4, 2005 9:15 AM

Douglas Reilly said:

That is cool! I have placed an order, and will return the other keyboard if the Unicomp keyboard is everything you say it is...
# May 4, 2005 10:58 AM

Brian Engler said:

I went with the Unicomp too to replace a Northgate 101 that I killed while trying to clean it.

I like the feel of the Northgate/CVT keyboards just a little bit better, but not enough to justify the price difference.
# May 4, 2005 3:01 PM

reubs said:

check out the fujitsu 4726. its heavy, and has no special internet keys. Its the only keyboard I can code on. I bought mine for 100 cdn.
# May 4, 2005 3:39 PM

Douglas Reilly said:

I got the new keyboard today (from www.pckeyboard.com), however I am traveling this week, and so will not get to try it until Friday.
# May 9, 2005 7:46 PM

Douglas Reilly said:

I just got my Unicomp, Almost IBM keyboard. In general, I like it. The little clips that place it at the angle I like don't seem to stay put meaning that the keyboard angle is a little different than my old IBM, and the space bar seems to not quite work like the old IBM keyboard, but otherwise the feel is very similar.

I am much happier with this one than the other replacement keyboard I got (the CVT Avante Prime). That said, I do miss the IBM.
# May 14, 2005 10:17 AM

Douglas Reilly said:

Note that I eventually called Unicomp to report the space bar problem, and after trying a suggested fix here, I returned the keyboard and got a replacement which, thus far, is working perfectly, space bar and all.

I just signed a contract for a new book, so the new keyboard arrived just in time...
# June 2, 2005 8:49 PM

alex said:

Hi. I just got a brand new IBM Model M in the mail. They still sell them out there you know. Yes this keyboard rocks. Yes i am typing this on this keyboard right now. Man this is a rock solid keyboard. Now i actually want to type for fun. I have heard great things about the newer ones, but i decided to go for the classic IBM Model M from 1980's. This one is a 1988 model. Viva Model M!
# October 20, 2006 3:21 PM