As with some others here, also my introduction comes a bit belated as I already joined this community a few months ago.
I’m originally from Germany, but live now in Switzerland for more than a decade.
I own one mechanical keyboard since the mid-'90s, a Cherry G80-2100 “Battleship Clone” (vintage Cherry MX Black and 3× MX Super Black) which I found in a electronics dumpster after having served only very few years in a smoker’s office. Cleaned it (keycaps went into the dishwasher ) and used it for quite a while.
At some point I switched from DE-ISO to US-ANSI and also had more or more issue to keep the keyboard working as more and more devices only had USB and no more DIN or PS/2 sockets. The DIN to PS/2 adapters worked, but if I chained a PS/2 to USB adapter behind it, the keyboard stopped working within seconds.
So for like 10 years or so, I didn’t use a mechanical keyboard.
For quite some years my preferred keyboard was the Lenovo Thinkpad USB Keyboards (aka SK-8855) which is basically a Thinkpad X220/X230 keyboard in a USB case. I actually own three of them: Had one at work, one at home and one for Raspberry Pis and similar devices.
I seem to have been known for being a keyboard geek already at that time, because I received a used HHKB 2 Lite as a gift from someone who didn’t need it anymore. (Bought an HHKB 2 Pro in the meanwhile, too.)
Came in contact with the mechanical keyboard scene mostly because of the local mechanical keyboard meetup took place in the hackerspace of the Zurich chapter of Chaos Computer Club of which I’m a member of.
A few months later a friend of mine, who’s also in both scenes, lend me one of his keyboards, IIRC a KBT ONI with Cherry MX Browns, and after a few weeks I was hooked up. I ditched all three of my Lenovo Thinkpad USB Keyboards and ordered a Tex Yoda II with Cherry MX Browns as my first (modern) mechanical keyboard. Still using that one (now with QMX clips) in the office. Shortly after that, I ordered a Ducky One TKL with Cherry MX Clears. Used it as daily driver at home for quite a while and still like it a lot despite it isn’t fancy at all. Gets occassionally replaced with my current switch bitch, a GMMK TKL — which probably will be replaced by the Rama U-80A once it arrives.
Nowadays I’m into 40% keyboards (e.g. MiniVan —RIP—, Zlant, Daisy, UT47.2, and Vortex Core), 50% keyboards (e.g. Nightmare), TKLs (e.g. Rama Works U80-A and Kira80), keyboards with trackpoint (Tex Yoda II, Tex Shinobi, etc.) and probably anything in between, too. Still missing a Tex Kodachi in the collection, though.
I own a few vintage boards with ISO layout (e.g. the above mentioned Cherry G80-2100 and a Toshiba-branded Bigfoot with red(!) Alps switches), too, but I mostly own and use modern keyboards with ANSI layout.
Overall I probably have more than 20 mechanical keyboards by now. I though managed to decide that I want to sell some of them already again, because I know I won’t use them anymore — as I found (and of course already bought ) better replacements…
I have a slight preference for pronounced tactile and silent switches, but I also like linears and clickies — as long as the spring weight is heavy enough (medium to heavy), i.e. I dig Zealios v2, Zilents v2, Kailh Thick Clicks, Kailh Box Heavies, Cherry MX Clears, Cherry MX Silent Blacks and similar switches — as well as QMX clips.
I also like thumb-operated trackballs.
Besides HID hardware, I’m interested in
- Unix/Linux/BSD and Free Software in general and Debian in particular.
- Vintage computers, especially anything which can run Debian.
- Netbooks (e.g. EeePC, GPD Pocket, Pinebook, Toshiba AC100) and compact Thinkpads (e.g. X series and 700 series).
- Non-standard bicycles in general and Brompton folding bicycles as well as recumbent bicycles and trikes in particular
- Old cars in general and old Citroëns (2CV, CX, HY, etc.) as well as air-cooled Volkswagens in particular.
- Travelling with a camper van.
Further IT-related keywords: Perl, Emacs, Zsh, i3, SailfishOS, Single Board Computers like the Raspberry Pi