It would be more precise to say that Retro Refrigerator is glossy again. After some detours to matte finishes on intervening projects, I’ve returned to the same finishe used on the Mark I now that I’ve got powder coating quality control in hand. (Glossy solid colors are by far the hardest to apply and get good cosmetic results.)
Enigma Gray and Enigma Black are actually entirely identical finishes except for the color. Same vendor. Same texturing chemical. Did you order a gray one, are you just going from the photos? The reason I ask is that I’ve never liked my Enigma Gray photos on the Heavy-6 and keep meaning to re-shoot/re-edit them.
In any case, the new K2 is similar to both Enigma finishes but white.
I do plan on selling complete MX keyboards soon, but I still have some things to work out on that, including finalizing PCB production. Regarding your second question, I know Rama is working on something like that. I wouldn’t want to interfere with his effort by offering a competing service with one that he is just now trying to get off the ground. I do think it’s a good idea, and highly encourage it.
I asked around when investigating this subject and was told by multiple enthusiasts, including PCB designers, from the MX world that almost all C support currently out there wasn’t full C support with the excetion of Input Club boards and a few others, but I could be wrong since I’m working from secondhand information. But, this is still not material point, for reasons I’ll reiterate below.
You’re operating on a wrong assumption and therefore mischaracterizing the situation. I don’t shy from expensive or complicated technical challenges that have a point to them (hence my HHKB project); I just saw no actual need for USB-C and therefore didn’t deem it worth the slightest effort, thought, or expense. When the USB-C connector caused a confusion for one or two people on the last round and adding C-to-C support was going to cost more than zero cents, that was enough for me eagerly to switch back to mini.
More ranting on this subject here:
I’m actually going to go with the Lindy Effect here and predict that we’ll have USB Type A sockets on computers longer than we’ll have C sockets. Keyboards are exceedingly low-power, low-bandwidth devices, so I can’t think of any rational for requiring C on a keyboard except that it might prevent someone having to buy an extra cable. I’ll remind everyone that this is a $400 housing for a $200-300 keyboard.
Let us also bear in mind that the original Realforces themselves don’t support USB-C (a detachable cable of any kind for that matter). And that the core premise of my love of the Realforce and of my interest in keyboard production in the first place is a love of and embrace of the wonky, weird, and retro–hence my preservation of the “forehead” design even for the R2 keyboards that don’t require it. If one is looking for a keyboard that is naively hyper-rationalized or caters to bleeding edge techno-signalling, they’re emphatically barking up the wrong tree by being interested in my work. After all, the core group of greatest enthusiasm on my last round was among those who chose WKL option, which purely makes the keyboard less useful and functional, purely for purposes of aesthetic whim and fancy. I’m all about that.
Yes, I’m unwilling to ship products with anything I deem significant cosmetic defects, so I’d rather cancel an order than shipping something I don’t think is awesome. Nevertheless, I hate doing this and disappointing people who are trying to support a project of mind, so all of my work over the past year or so and this re-orientation in my supply chain is largely about reducing the likelihood of such issues. The alodine coating seems to have entirely stopped one particular technical issue that kept recurring on the Retro color in the past, across multiple powder coating vendors. So I was willing to give it another go on this round because, as you can see on the photos, when it comes out well it really is a thing of beauty.