Saturday, April 24, 2010

Clicky! lame is it to do a sort of review of the new keyboard if the main reason for doing such a review is to have an excuse to use the thing? I really like this thing. The one downside, in a way, is that the end text is in no way distinguishable from any other typed text. It's like typing on a typewriter (well...not quite the same feel, but as pleasurable), but without any way of proving that fact. I'm enjoying wonderful solid and certain clickiness, but you wouldn't know it to look at this post. It's funny...once upon a time, typewritten text was seen as incredibly impersonal and cold. Now...well, it's still not the same as handwriting, but it isn't something that can be reproduced without the human element. There is still the unseen human being behind the created text--you know each and every character was typed by a person.

But I digress. Except that my point, I guess, is that no matter how dandy the keyboard, the text is identical. It's good and bad, that.

There didn't seem to be much point in taking a picture. I's a keyboard. It looks exactly like the image in the post below: a sort of charcoal black with grey keys, very slightly silvery in the right light. I think it's pretty attractive, but it isn't a work of art or anything. It just feels...very nice.

Another downside: I really miss it when I'm off at work. The last few evenings I've spent quite a bit of time using it, and the first few minutes back with my work keyboard in the morning are a depressing experience. If I was rich (and less worried about aggravating co-workers), I'd be tempted to get a second for work. Or (if, again, I wasn't so worried about annoying co-workers with emphatic typing), I could drag it back and forth. At least until my back went out. It's not exactly light weight. It could double as the infamous blunt instrument. Got a good heft to it.

I didn't go with the smaller space-saver model, though I don't think there's any reason not to. From what I understand, the main difference isn't in the layout of the actual keyboard, though there may be a bit more space between the alphanumeric keys and the function keys on the Customizer. The main difference is just that the space-saver just has a smaller frame to it, without the big honkin' border. But the big honkin' border makes this look like my old favorite keyboards, so I rather like it, even if it does take up more desk real estate. It does mean that the mouse ends up a little farther out to the side. And it adds heft. Have I mentioned this thing is pretty hefty? It does *not* slide around much on the desk. It can't.

Aaaaand I just spent a bunch of time surfing around YouTube checking out videos of clicky keyboards. Obviously, I need to get a life.


Unknown said...

You know, I still have my ancient old clicky keyboard from my first "real" (ie: non-Commodore) computer. I wonder if it would work on my modern computer with a PS/2 to USB adapter. The mushy keyboards you get today drive me nuts, especially Apple's (sorry, Apple--love your 'puters, hate your input devices).

Strikethru said...

So cool that you have one of these. I have an old model M keyboard I use at work, where mostly I have my own office, although one moves offices at a frantic pace in that company and here and there I am forced to have officemates, when I have to put it away due to the noise. Going back to the old keyboard is always a letdown.

James Watterson said...

I'm glad you love it! I ended up getting the Space Saver model and your right, there is no difference besides the edges. I love how I can just type for ever and never have to look down at the keys. I am always aware of when the key is pressed and it doesn't ever have to bottom out.

It's sad that people get annoyed so easily with the sound of typing. People need to relax and stop crying all the time when there is a sound they are not themselves making.

LFP, you will also find that after a while the clicky keyboard will not seem so loud. At least that's what I find. I also don't use any other computers besides my own so the clicky is the only keyboard I use.

Duffy Moon said...

Pssst. Hey Elizabeth.
Somewhere in the PNW there's an IBM Selectric that wants you for a mommy.

Elizabeth H. said... know, it isn't the same thing. Some friends of mine just bought a house, and there are a few things they're storing in the garage for the elderly couple who they purchased it from, just for a few weeks. Among the items is a Selectric II, all carefully wrapped up in its dustcover. While I was helping them move in the weekend, I couldn't resist pressing the keys just through the cover, and they have no mechanical, buckling spring clickiness--whatever whomp they have must not function until they're switched on. I'd still like to experience it someday, fer sure...but it may need to wait for larger living quarters. Maybe someday I'll acquire a rambling old farm house where I can dedicate whole rooms to typing and writing stuff. "And this--this is the Olivetti room. Here we have...."

@James--I have a feeling going with the Space Saver would have been the more intelligent choice, especially to give more mousing space. There's just no practical reason for all that excess bezel. But I do like how it looks.

Winston said...

I've wanted one of these for a year now, since I heard about them on NPR. Hard to justify using one though, when I have three (admittedly) old computers and they're all laptops. I've been saving to pick up a decent used desktop machine, but to buy that, and a monitor just for the satisfaction of dropping another $80 on a keyboard -- it's just hard to justify.

I've got an IBM Selectric I, though, and it has a very satisfying feel when it's turned on. About three times the noise of that keyboard, plus the whirring type-ball, which moves just as fast as you can type. You get the whack of the typeball instead of the click of the key. It's exhilarating, actually, to type on a mechanical device at the same speed as a computer. If only the ribbons didn't run out so quick and cost so much to replace!

Elizabeth H. said...

@Winston--they've come down a whole $10 in there's that.

Heh...I actually have mine hooked up to a slightly older PC I picked up *free* when an office upgraded. It's the only boughten part of the whole thing. Probably further proof that I ain't quite right.

I justify it by telling myself the keyboard is what matters most for writing. And that because I got the rest of it free, this splurge is OK. Kinda.

Duffy Moon said...

Yeah, you have to have it turned on. The Selectrics have a design that allows only one key to be actuated at a time - so even when it's turned off, if someone has pressed any key, that key is actuated until the machine is turned on and another key can then be pressed. It certainly feels "dead" when it's in that state.

Turned on, though, it's a real turn-on.

James Watterson said...

One last thing to add. If you plan to buy a Selectric it's best to buy the latest model (Selectric III) only because if something goes wrong it will be cheaper to fix. It talks about it on MrT's website. Also the Selectric III ribbons last longer but their harder to find. But that's why we have the internet ;)