Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The IBM Model M

I've had an old IBM Model M sitting in my closet for quite some time. Years I must say. I never really liked it because the thing was so loud. I'd rather hear the music I'm playing that the keyboard I'm typing on, call me crazy. Also, many geeks tend to have an unhealthy love for the model M. They have an elitist attitude that it is the only true keyboard due to it's lack of a Windows key, and the tactile feel. I've never really liked that attitude. I personally have always thought the real reason was because they aren't made anymore so they felt somewhat special to have one. So I went years without using mine out of spite.

Then recently on Slashdot I came across an article about how it is possible to put your keyboard in the dishwasher to clean it. Mine had about 8 years of accumulated sludge on it so I went for it. The process required about 5 days dry time afterwards so I needed to use a different keyboard while I waited for mine to dry.

So out came the IBM Model M. I was surprised to find out much I enjoy using it. My fingers seem to dance on it. I don't understand it myself, but I actually enjoy pressing the keys, I get some kind of sick pleasure out of the level of the slight resistance when I push down and the springy popping upward motion after the key has been pressed. It is hard to explain. All I know that at least for the next little while, I won't be going back to my more traditionally modern styled keyboard.

If you haven't tried one of these bad boys out, I highly recommend you do. They are very easy to get your hands on, tons are up on eBay. It will probably set you back about $20 after shipping. Give yourself a couple days with it before you make an judgments. If you miss your Windows Key (as I did), you can remap another key, such as one of your Alt's or Ctrl's, to act as your windows key. You can make the registry entry yourself or get a free tool to do it for you such as Sharp Keys.

Anyway, that is my hidden treasure find of the week.