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#1 R. Mansfield

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 03:48 PM

I’ve been frustrated with keyboards for a very long time. I’ll blame Apple because after they went through their mushy keyboard phase when all the original iMacs came out in the late 90s, they eventually moved more and more to the kind of low-travel chiclet keys found everywhere (and because Windows PC makers followed Apple’s lead in using the current chicklet keyboards, most Windows keyboards are not of the quality they once were either).

 

I’m posting this in “Mainly Macintosh” because most of my work is done on a Mac, but Windows users are affected by ineffective, low-travel keyboards, too. In fact, because I needed a new Windows laptop for travel, my quest for a good laptop keyboard made me hunt down and purchase one of the limited-run 25th Anniversary ThinkPads from 2017.

 

Back when Apple’s keyboards were mushy, I discovered and purchased the Matias Tactile Pro, with Alps mechanical key switches, which used to be in keyboards everywhere back in the 80s and 90s. 

 

Most mechanical keyboards are a bit (or a lot) noisier than modern keyboards, so they might not be the best choice for an office with lots of people. But mechanical keyboards have a great advantage in that they have greater travel, tactile feel, and auditory response. For most, this translates into faster and more accurate typing. If you find yourself making a lot more typos on modern keyboards, it’s probably not your fault. Low-travel chiclet keyboards cause more errors for most people. 

 

At some point over a decade ago, I spilled coffee or a soft drink on my Matias Tactile Pro, and I set it aside thinking I’d one day see if I could get it working again. I’m not actually sure what happened to it. Perhaps it got thrown out at some point. I went back to Apple’s keyboards, which at least were not mushy anymore. 

 

But in Apple’s obsession with thinness, they have continued to try to create thinner and thinner keyboards with very low travel. Their most controversial keyboard design began in 2015 with what they call “butterfly” switches, their term for a scissor-mechanism key switch. They introduced these on the MacBook in 2015 and now butterfly switches are in all of Apple’s keyboards--both their laptop lines and the external Magic keyboards. They have improved them in the last four years, but they are still very polarizing with users. In my opinion the current external (“Magic”) keyboards are the best implementation of the butterfly switches because they don’t have to be quite as thin as the keyboards on the MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro. I’ve used them for a while, but I’ve never been crazy about them. 

 

Looking for something better, I spent the last few months researching mechanical keyboards. Just search for them on the internet, and you’ll find a ton of information. Third-party mechanical keyboards were few and far between when I bought my Matias Tactile Pro around 2004 or so. Now there is a lot of selection, including a much wider diversity in key switch options

 

Most of my day is spent in an office in my home. Since I don’t have to worry about disturbing anyone with the noise, I bought a Das Keyboard 4 Professional for Mac with “cherry blue" key switches. I initially ordered two keyboards--both variants of blue and brown key switches (this is not in reference to the color of the keys on the keyboard, but rather the mechanism style underneath the keys). I wasn’t sure whether I’d want a blue or brown, so I ordered both on Amazon with the intention to send one back. It took me only a few seconds of comparison to determine I wanted the blue key switches. I had read that writers prefer these, but since keyboard use can be very subjective, I wanted to experience both for myself.

 

If you do a lot of writing, coding, gaming, or if you just find yourself making a lot more errors than you used to on modern keyboards, I’d encourage you to look into the myriad of options for mechanical keyboards out there today.

 

A couple of good sites where I learned a lot: mechanicalkeyboards.com and massdrop.com.

 

Here’s an overhead shot of my new keyboard--

 

Screen%20Shot%202019-02-15%20at%202.56.1


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#2 lesterchua

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 04:58 PM

I use a Ducky no-frills model that cost around 1/3 of the price of Das Keyboard myself. I consider the Das Keyboard, but they can cost more than a Commentary Set!

 

It's a real value for money and I got 1 for the home and 1 for office.

 

For portability, I have a Annie Pro 2. Great value for money.

 

If you type for any amount of time, mechanical is the way to go. And the variety of switches available almost ensures that you'll find a feel suitable for your fingers.


Edited by lesterchua, 15 February 2019 - 05:00 PM.


#3 R. Mansfield

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 05:31 PM

I really liked the Ducky keyboards I looked at online. I wish there was a store where a person could go to try out all the different kinds of mechanical keyboards. There may be somewhere, but not around where I live. That's why I had to order two from Amazon and send one back.

 

Yes, the Das Keyboards are expensive, but unless input methods drastically change, I expect I'll be using this keyboard for a long time. The thing feels so incredibly solid. And it's 3 .lbs! It's got real heft to it :-)


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#4 Mark Allison

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 06:00 PM

I think I'll take a chance on this:
 

https://mechanicalke...t_detail&p=3917



#5 דָנִיאֶל

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 06:13 PM

What I've wanted for a while is a keyboard which changes the glyphs on the keys as you switch keyboard mappings.

 

Thx

D


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#6 lesterchua

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 06:27 PM

I think I'll take a chance on this:
 

https://mechanicalke...t_detail&p=3917

 

Is there a reason to go for the 10-keyless versions? The full-sized mechanicals makes for a lot better typing experience I feel.



#7 lesterchua

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 06:29 PM

I really liked the Ducky keyboards I looked at online. I wish there was a store where a person could go to try out all the different kinds of mechanical keyboards. There may be somewhere, but not around where I live. That's why I had to order two from Amazon and send one back.

 

Yes, the Das Keyboards are expensive, but unless input methods drastically change, I expect I'll be using this keyboard for a long time. The thing feels so incredibly solid. And it's 3 .lbs! It's got real heft to it :-)

 

The Das are the very best in the class I think. 

You are right, it is necessary to get HEFT AND WEIGHT to our keyboards. They need to be anchored firmly to the desk when we type.

 

When we get the mechanicals, get one with a heavy metal baseplate. The light ones offer a less than satisfactory experience.



#8 lesterchua

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 06:32 PM

I think I'll take a chance on this:
 

https://mechanicalke...t_detail&p=3917

 

I got this one: http://www.duckychan...ducky-new-zero/

 

A full sized, heavy and sturdy. Love it for the price and no-frills.



#9 Stefan Green

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 05:22 AM

Unfortunately, DasKeyboard for Mac has no North European keyboard layout (Swedish). There is, however, such layout for Win but it is of no help for me. Sweden is a small market, I guess.


Sincerely

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#10 Mark Allison

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 07:07 AM

Is there a reason to go for the 10-keyless versions? The full-sized mechanicals makes for a lot better typing experience I feel.

 

I use a trackpad, not a mouse, and I like having the trackpad as close to the keyboard as possible. The number pad on the larger keyboard places the trackpad too far to the right for me.


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#11 R. Mansfield

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 11:12 AM

I think I'll take a chance on this:
 

https://mechanicalke...t_detail&p=3917

 

Is that one of the ones that Jason Snell recommends?


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#12 Mark Allison

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 01:39 PM

Is that one of the ones that Jason Snell recommends?

 

Yes: https://sixcolors.co...-vortex-race-3/



#13 Alistair

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 02:30 PM

Really really useful posting and thread. Thanks everyone


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#14 R. Mansfield

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 02:33 PM

 

I like that one because it essentially has all the keys of a “75%” keyboard (function keys, page up/down, home, end, etc.) but in a much more compact space than most other 75% keyboards. Plus, it has the actual macOS keys (command/⌘, option) keys you can switch out for it. 

 

For those who want to see what Mark is talking about, here are some photos.

 

large_VTG83MSLV_main.jpg?dl=1

 

large_2446_Race3_2.jpg?dl=1

 

large_2446_Race3_5.jpg?dl=1


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#15 R. Mansfield

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 03:00 PM

For those of you who prefer a full-size keyboard-- I don’t have this, but I saw this drop for the Nixeus Moda Pro Mechanical keyboard today. I’m pointing it out because it’s only $49, which is really low compared to some of the keyboards mentioned above. And it has both Windows and Mac keycaps. I believe this drop is for the “blue” key switches, which is what I prefer. 

 

Screen%20Shot%202019-02-27%20at%202.10.5


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#16 Jesse D

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 03:21 PM

I'm partial to Red Switches personally. I have two keyboards with Red Switches. The one I am using currently is the Logitech G710+. It's a "gaming" Keyboard which is the reason I bought it originally, but I don't really do any video games anymore so now it just functions as a really great keyboard for personal use. My favorite feature on this keyboard beyond the switches themselves is that there is a scroller to control the output volume of the PC built right in. Very handy as I tend to change volume enough for this feature to be very valuable. It also comes with skip functions, pause and stop, and a mute button. Red Switches don't make that annoying clicking noise of the Blue Switches and when you get used to the keyboard with Red Switches typing for long periods of time is an absolute breeze. 

 

https://www.amazon.c...d/dp/B009C98NPY

 

https://www.newegg.c...S0040-_-Product


Edited by Jesse D, 27 February 2019 - 03:26 PM.

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New music I am interested in:

https://youtu.be/Y-ZiJmDOk2c - Matisyahu, Produces Reggae and Pop music as a practicing Jew. His song "One Day" talks about peace between the world at large

https://youtu.be/44S6vBveKZQ - Demon Hunter, Traditional Christian Metal/Rock band who just came out with 2 very successful albums, separately, titled 'War' & 'Peace'

https://youtu.be/R7REkjcwM_8- POD (Payable On Death), Positive Nu-Metal/Rock/Reggae band that gained popularity when they came out with "Alive" and "Youth of the Nation" off the album 'Satellite' which released 9/11/2001

https://youtu.be/Bz-g2tucn24- Project 86, Post-Hardcore Christian band. Andrew Schwab, the front man of the band runs a podcast (which I support through Patreon) dedicated to helping other creatives find their voice.

 

See my YouTube channel, and it's purpose! I am pretty underground now, but I think I am going to make it!

https://www.youtube....og8xbPfEWXFUiQ?

 

As I see John 6:29:

Joshua replied to all of them, "In me is the Work of God, in order that you [all] trust that I will send you."

 

Jesus started His ministry as a commandment of God through His mother, whom he obeyed, to urged Him to begin His ministry. What transpires from that is Him as the greatest light of the world that ever was and ever will be. As a representation of this, he did a miracle and from six pots of water He made into wine that represents humanity at large. He made the wine into the best tasting wine as a representation of what He does for those of us who believe He was God and did the Work of God so that He might send out His Spirit upon the whole world.





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