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#1212 - 08/16/09 10:13 AM Need a new keyboard: specific requirements
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Ok this'll give you something to get your teeth into, I hope.

The keyboard on my old, beloved, G4, now has two keys not working. The power on/off I could live with (I just hit the button on the tower) but the other, the l/h shift key, is bugging me.

It's a Lindy, years old, with clicky-clacky keys. I have to have clicky-clacky keys. I HATE silent keyboards!

(For that reason, as soon as I'd installed this iMac, I had a go on the iMac thin aluminium flat silent keyboard then replaced it with a Macally.) (I have more than one Mac.)

Requirements:
Must be wired USB, not wireless for that Mac in that location.
Must be full size. I keyboard a LOT and cannot be cramped.
Must be clickyclacky not silent.
I don't need a mouse to go with it.

I've checked both the Lindy and Macally websites before posting this. I don't want a "slim" keyboard! I've also Googled "Mac keyboards".......

Are my requirements well out of date? I'm out of style now? I wouldn't be surprised. I don't care about Style and Fashion, all I want is a nice big new wired USB clickyclacky keyboard, preferably not shipped from outside the EU!

Thanks -





Edited by dianne (08/16/09 10:45 AM)
Edit Reason: Moved from "Mac Desktops & Notebooks."

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#1221 - 08/16/09 01:40 PM Re: Need a new keyboard: specific requirements [Re: Bensheim]
knoodles Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Aptos, CA
How about a good old Mac Keyboards
More Here
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#1222 - 08/16/09 02:05 PM Re: Need a new keyboard: specific requirements [Re: Bensheim]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Like you I loved the old keyboards with the "buckling" mechanical springs that had such a nice crisp touch and made that wonderful "click" when the character was typed. Many believe this type of keyboard reached its zenith in the famous IBM Model M keyboard. So much so that a used 122 key Model M keyboard can easily bring $90 to $120. Others give the edge to the classic Mac keyboard and you can't even find one of them on the used market.

You aren't going to find a new Apple computer that recognizes the keyboard power key, much less a new keyboard that has one, so it is a good thing you can live without it. smile

Matias used to sell Mac compatible buckling spring keyboards but apparently all those models have been discontinued in favor of keyboards with the ubiquitous and less expensive dome switches. Das Keyboard has the buckling spring switches, is available with Mac keycaps and with the Mac keycaps runs $144 USD. I could not tell from the pictures on their website, but I suspect since they are more Windows centric the shift key issue would still be present. Unicomp keyboards cost around half that amount but make no pretension of Mac compatibility which would leave the shift key issue to deal with. I embarked on a similar search a few years ago and seriously considered the Das Keyboard models. However, since I have a tendency toward Carpal Tunnel I ended up choosing the Goldtouch adjustable keyboard for Mac at $129. It does not have the buckling spring keys but the dome switches they use have a very similar sound and touch although not quite as crisp. It took some getting used to the split keyboard design, but I have become a lot faster and better typist than I ever was on a straight keyboard. NOTE: the Goldtouch keypad is an extra device at extra cost.

Good keyboards are not cheap.
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#1224 - 08/16/09 02:30 PM Re: Need a new keyboard: specific requirements [Re: Bensheim]
Kevin M. Dean Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Florida
As a side-thought, have you taken apart your current keyboard and cleaned it. It may bring the problem keys back to life.
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#1254 - 08/17/09 05:40 AM Re: Need a new keyboard: specific requirements [Re: Bensheim]
Gregg Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Milwaukee, WI (USA)
Originally Posted By: Bensheim

Requirements:
Must be wired USB, not wireless for that Mac in that location.
...
I've also Googled "Mac keyboards".


As far as I know, if it's USB, it will work with a Mac or a Dell or Acer or whatever. I have a Matias USB 2.0 which is compatible with both platforms, as its keys are labeled for both ...to some extent.

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#1257 - 08/17/09 06:30 AM Re: Need a new keyboard: specific requirements [Re: Bensheim]
donikatz Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Gotham
JMB's post was so thorough I don't have anything better to add. Only that I was a clicky kb lover like you and eventually gave up several years ago and settled on the least of other evils, ironically a Microsoft keyboard. Since then, I've lost my clicky snobiness and am more willing to deal with various types, even the frankly too-tiny one on my Dell Mini 9. The only keyboard I refuse to use is the one on my wife's Macbook. It's the worst I've ever used. I'm still convinced there's something physically wrong with it, so will eventually bring it in before the 3-yr AppleCare expires. Actually, the worst keyboard ever is one I was given at the office a couple of years ago. I think it was a Kensington and it had these weird diamond-shaped keys, probably trying to be more "natural" angled or something. It was so bad, I went out and bought my own, which is what I'm typing on right now: another MS keyboard. Despite any other qualms with MS, I stand by their input devices as some of the best around. Where I remain a snob is with my MS Trackball Explorer, which like the old IBM keyboards has become a fetish item on eBay, with good-conditioned ones often going for 2-3x original price. (Despite that, I have a spare that I refuse to sell, just in case one of mine breaks.) Why MS discontinued them -- or rather why they didn't bring them back after the groundswell of aftermarket buzz -- we'll never know.
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#1263 - 08/17/09 10:04 AM Re: Need a new keyboard: specific requirements [Re: knoodles]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
knoodles, terrific leads, THANKS!

Unfortunately they look to be USA sites so therefore will need to be shipped to the UK, but nonetheless, good leads and thanks.

<aside> I was hoping to reply to everyone all in one post, but now that I've clicked on knoodles, that's the only post I can see. <end of aside>

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#1264 - 08/17/09 10:19 AM Re: Need a new keyboard: specific requirements [Re: joemikeb]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Joe, terrific response and thank you too. It's good to meet someone else who understands that superfast trained touch typists like me (and you?) get a better response, and continue to type superfast, with keys which go Up and Down and preferably make a noise too. I've tried silent keyboards and just plain Hate.Them. Other peoples' laptops, for instance, have me shouting out loud "I CAN TYPE, DAMMIT!!!"

Keyboard power key, not an issue, yep.

The rest of your recommendations, I'm not prepared to spend that much (even when dollars are translated into pounds). I checked out the Goldtouch k/b (twice) though, and it's too much extra don't need......the split keyboard, I mean.

All I want is a solidly built, full size, desktop size, plug-in, proper keyboard which isn't designed to death. Ergonomic, that's the word.

Today as an experiment I swapped the Macally k/b from the iMac to connect it to the G4 (with the recalictrant Lindy k/b) and tried half a day of work on this iMac with the superslim aluminium designed iKeyboard which came with it. I was appalled. This thing, this slim thin thing is the worst bit of UNergonomic engineering I've ever used in my life. You only have to look at it to start getting RSI (repetitive stress injury - much like your Carpal Tunnel). They're FLAT on the desk, not raised up. Your wrists are also FLAT on the desk when they should be raised up for repetitive typing! Why didn't old-style typists get RSI? Because their wrists were raised up, their fingers pushed down (and they had to return the carriage), that's why!

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#1265 - 08/17/09 10:21 AM Re: Need a new keyboard: specific requirements [Re: Kevin M. Dean]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Kevin M. Dean
As a side-thought, have you taken apart your current keyboard and cleaned it. It may bring the problem keys back to life.


Kevin, thanks for replying too.

<aside> gee it's hard work replying to everyone one by one. Isn't there a way to see the whole thread? And then reply to everyone all in one post? ??? <end of aside>

I don't know how to take the old Lindy k/b apart...... but you may be right. If I did, I could unstick the left hand shift key.

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#1266 - 08/17/09 10:24 AM Re: Need a new keyboard: specific requirements [Re: Gregg]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Gregg
Originally Posted By: Bensheim

Requirements:
Must be wired USB, not wireless for that Mac in that location.
...
I've also Googled "Mac keyboards".


As far as I know, if it's USB, it will work with a Mac or a Dell or Acer or whatever. I have a Matias USB 2.0 which is compatible with both platforms, as its keys are labeled for both ...to some extent.


Gregg, I agree. I think the Mac don't care what brand of keyboard is presented to it. There's no such thing, I think, as Mac-compatible, excepting the key engravings. Where it says Apple on a Mac k/b, it'll say something else on a PC k/b but the key is in the same place. If you don't look at the keys while typing anyway, it makes no difference. I could be wrong but I don't think so, somehow.

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#1267 - 08/17/09 10:34 AM Re: Need a new keyboard: specific requirements [Re: donikatz]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: donikatz
JMB's post was so thorough I don't have anything better to add. Only that I was a clicky kb lover like you and eventually gave up several years ago and settled on the least of other evils, ironically a Microsoft keyboard. Since then, I've lost my clicky snobiness and am more willing to deal with various types, even the frankly too-tiny one on my Dell Mini 9. The only keyboard I refuse to use is the one on my wife's Macbook. It's the worst I've ever used. I'm still convinced there's something physically wrong with it, so will eventually bring it in before the 3-yr AppleCare expires. Actually, the worst keyboard ever is one I was given at the office a couple of years ago. I think it was a Kensington and it had these weird diamond-shaped keys, probably trying to be more "natural" angled or something. It was so bad, I went out and bought my own, which is what I'm typing on right now: another MS keyboard. Despite any other qualms with MS, I stand by their input devices as some of the best around. Where I remain a snob is with my MS Trackball Explorer, which like the old IBM keyboards has become a fetish item on eBay, with good-conditioned ones often going for 2-3x original price. (Despite that, I have a spare that I refuse to sell, just in case one of mine breaks.) Why MS discontinued them -- or rather why they didn't bring them back after the groundswell of aftermarket buzz -- we'll never know.


Don, thanks for replying. There is no "snobbishness" as you put it. It's all to do with being a touch-typist and ergonomics.

As well as working today I put in another solid hour on this k/b research and some of the results were fascinating. Irrelevant to me, but fascinating. For instance, one manufacturer does a keyboard which you can strap around your forearm so that typing can be done while hanging off a mountain, ice-pick in the same arm, I suppose. I read a review of this product, which was: "Yeah it does look like a piece of military equipment". smile

The same firm makes keyboards which are TOUGH and RUGGED and built for HARD conditions. Like underwater? Or on top of Everest? Or outdoors in Antarctica? Amazing.

Other k/bs on the market are floppy, roll up, can be washed, and can therefore be sloshed with red wine or presumably vomit, and will still work! Amazing.

Not what I'm in the market for though, regrettably.

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#1271 - 08/17/09 10:59 AM Re: Need a new keyboard: specific requirements [Re: Bensheim]
dkmarsh Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

Quote:
<aside> I was hoping to reply to everyone all in one post, but now that I've clicked on knoodles, that's the only post I can see. <end of aside>

If you open your reply in a new tab or window by command-clicking the Reply button (most browsers), or by right-clicking or control-clicking it and choosing the appropriate command from the contextual menu, then you can refer to the entire thread while composing your reply, by hopping back and forth between the two tabs or windows.
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#1280 - 08/17/09 12:07 PM Re: Need a new keyboard: specific requirements [Re: dkmarsh]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: dkmarsh

Quote:
<aside> I was hoping to reply to everyone all in one post, but now that I've clicked on knoodles, that's the only post I can see. <end of aside>

If you open your reply in a new tab or window by command-clicking the Reply button (most browsers), or by right-clicking or control-clicking it and choosing the appropriate command from the contextual menu, then you can refer to the entire thread while composing your reply, by hopping back and forth between the two tabs or windows.


Hi DK

Yeah, it's the same on some other forums I've used in the past. ProBoards, however, let you see the entire thread while in reply mode, all in the same browser window/tab. It's not a big deal, I'm not getting riled up about it, just forum-software-comparisoning, I guess. No worries, I'll just fill up my own threads with lots of replies, one by one.

ps. Can't help smiling at my own polite response. On another forum I've seen angry people post "Who the Heck wants to keep flicking from window to window just to multi-reply?"

Best wishes,
Bensheim

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#1333 - 08/17/09 07:27 PM Re: Need a new keyboard: specific requirements [Re: Bensheim]
knoodles Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Aptos, CA
Sorry didn't know you were in the U.K. Must be similar resellers on your side of the pond.
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Think Easy!

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#1395 - 08/18/09 10:35 AM Re: Need a new keyboard: specific requirements [Re: knoodles]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
I've just put in another solid hour's research, and what I want, apparently, is a "Mechanical keyboard". There are pages and pages of stuff on the net about Mechanical versus Membrane keyboards. There's even an Official Mechanical Keyboard user club!

This one looks the bizzo: http://www.techspot.com/review/122-das-keyboard/

http://www.daskeyboard.com/

Das Keyboard. Solid black, solid engineering, awesomely put together, so solidly black that the keys have no legend engraved on the key-caps, and only <ha ha ha> 99 Euros plus shipping. One reviewer said he was going to "use this keyboard for the rest of his life."

I can touch-type, but admit to looking down now and then, especially when typing in complicated passwords, so on the whole I'd prefer an engraved-key version. What does US layout mean? Any ideas, anyone?

I've also come across Cherry keyboards which look solidly built and only cost half that. Cherry seem to cater for Point of Sale operations and hence most of their keyboards contain card-swipers, not what I want. The non-swipe ones descriptions are not enough to get me to commit to buying, unseen. I wish they'd provide dimensions!

Anyone out there with experience of Cherry keyboards?

Oh, and I briefly got excited in my researches earlier, stumbling across fantastic reviews for a Mac k/b which looked exactly what I want......and then I found it had been discontinued years ago. (The Tactile Pro, it was called).

Onwards! Good job it's not urgent.

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#1396 - 08/18/09 11:00 AM Re: Need a new keyboard: specific requirements [Re: Bensheim]
donikatz Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Gotham
Don't know anything about Cherry keyboards, but you'll notice joemikeb listed the Das Keyboard in his earlier post. If not, I would have suggested it myself. Very solid. Almost bought one myself once.
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#1397 - 08/18/09 11:05 AM Re: Need a new keyboard: specific requirements [Re: donikatz]
Sturner Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Cyber Space
You might also look for keyboards that use sissor springs, while not a true mechanical, it may be the best compromise availble.

Look into Adesso, and Kensington.
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#1398 - 08/18/09 11:25 AM Re: Need a new keyboard: specific requirements [Re: Sturner]
donikatz Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Gotham
Scissor-switch keyboards are the typical PC keyboard design that's been around for years. The Microsoft ones I described use this technology, as did previous gen Apple Pro keyboards. However, it's really not close to the same thing as the old mechanical keyboards. I'd imagine it's pretty much what Ben's trying to avoid. wink

PS: Again, the worst keyboard I've ever used is a Kensington. Here it is: http://us.kensington.com/html/17167.html
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Keeper of the Magic Nickel

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#1399 - 08/18/09 11:34 AM Re: Need a new keyboard: specific requirements [Re: donikatz]
Sturner Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Cyber Space
The sissors is the most typical now, other than rubber dome.

Try the ABS keyboard.
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There are 3 kinds of people, those who can count, and those who can't.

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#1401 - 08/18/09 11:45 AM Re: Need a new keyboard: specific requirements [Re: Sturner]
donikatz Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Gotham
Good suggestion! A true mechanical keyboard @ a reasonable price. Great reviews @ Newegg.
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Keeper of the Magic Nickel

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#1408 - 08/18/09 12:27 PM Re: Need a new keyboard: specific requirements [Re: donikatz]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: donikatz
Don't know anything about Cherry keyboards, but you'll notice joemikeb listed the Das Keyboard in his earlier post. If not, I would have suggested it myself. Very solid. Almost bought one myself once.


Hi Don

You're right, I missed that in Joe's earlier post. Clicking on it again I just go round and round in circles. They ship within the USA. For EU retailers there's a link but that retailer does not specify whether the keycaps are engraved or not, all excepting the US standard layout. Hence my earlier question, what's the difference between USA and UK k/b layouts?

[joke]Ye Gods this is fun![/joke]

Not joking though, I'm really pleased about the responses. THANK YOU!

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#1410 - 08/18/09 12:36 PM Re: Need a new keyboard: specific requirements [Re: Bensheim]
donikatz Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Gotham
Quote:
what's the difference between USA and UK k/b layouts?


According to Wikipedia, the differences are pretty minor. In fact, our London office uses US keyboards and we've never had any complaints.
_________________________
Keeper of the Magic Nickel

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#1444 - 08/18/09 09:56 PM Re: Need a new keyboard: specific requirements [Re: Bensheim]
David Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Matt Neuberg did a great article recently on TidBITS entitled The Greatest Computer Keyboard of All Time?

Matt agrees with the mechanical type, explains his lengthy search, and describes the keyboard he ultimately bought for himself.

If you haven't already made a purchase, it would certainly be worth the read.

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#1497 - 08/19/09 11:22 AM Re: Need a new keyboard: specific requirements [Re: David]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
David, thanks for that link, it's fascinating.

Just to say, I am reading every response, but fortunately the new keyboard purchase decision is not urgent. It'll have to be made sometime soon-ish but it can wait a bit longer.

Thanks to everyone who has replied in this thread so far.

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#1537 - 08/19/09 05:55 PM Re: Need a new keyboard: specific requirements [Re: Bensheim]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
I wish you hadn't started this thread. It has gotten me to thinking about the buckling spring keyboards again. You may have cost me $130 for a Das Keyboard. mad tongue laugh
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