it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken
matociquala

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Keybone Loff

netcurmudgeon on the glory and wonder that is the IBM keyboard. 

You may not know it by name, but you know what it is. That hulking beige beast of a 101-key keyboard at came with every IBM PC from the '80s to the mid '90s, the one with real mechanical keys that have real travel and give a satisfying click with every keystroke.
Mine is not a model M, but a 7953, though I just bought an M on eBay as a backup. Mine has a quieter click than the M (each key has an individual membrane rather than a buckling spring, so it's tippety tappety rather than KLAK KLAK KLAK) , and does have windows and menu keys--but still has the great tactile feel (it's not squishy--we hates us squishy keybones--we wants to know when the key engages) and it's still heavy enough to use for home defense. Which is a major issue for me, at least, when it comes to choosing keybones)

I have, in fact, taken the screws out of mine, opened it up, vacuumed it, pried all the keycaps, cleaned the undercarriage with q-tips and isopropyl alcohol, and soaked the keys in hot soapy water in a colander in the sink to get the grime off. (I hear a dishwasher works good too, as long as you use the Tupperware setting.) I've had this keyboard for over ten years. That's 14 novels, seven or ten partials, about fifty short stories, and untold quantities of words in media mining, email, nonfiction, proposals, and... livejournal entries. (I can kill a five dollar keybone in under nine months.) The "e" is just barely starting to wear off this one, and I don't use a keyboard condom, and I do eat at my desk.

That malfunctioning ctrl-key was fixed with a pry-off, a good vacuuming, and a dab of lubricant.

All hail the IBM keybone. I spend 12-14 hours a day on this sucker. You'd better believe I love it.

It is the one true keybone of which all others is merely shadows.
Tags: technology, tools of the trade
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