Hi! I’m Forrest. othiym23 is my handle pretty much everywhere, so googling will show you what else I’m into, more or less. I’m a software engineer who spends a lot of time on the internet, which is another way of saying that I’m a touch-typist who might as well have a US QWERTY layout hardwired into my genetic code by this point. I’ve been lurking here, /r/mech, and geekhack for a while and decided I should introduce myself.
When I was a kid, my mom had a Selectric that I loved. I got a hand-me-down Kaypro II from my grandfather with its clanky milspec keyboard. Later, when I got my first Mac, it came with an Apple Extended Keyboard, which I think more or less defined how keys should feel to me (I did a lot of writing with that keyboard). I think I was doomed to being very particular about keyboards from the get-go.
My first ergo / mechanical keyboard was a Kinesis Advantage that I must have gotten nearly 20 year ago. Sometime back around 2004 I picked up a Matias Ergo Pro (the original) to have a version of my AEK that spoke USB. My first “modern mech” was a WASD CODE (the original tenkeyless design) I got about five years ago.
I go through minor collector manias (previous iterations: 1st edition D&D stuff, HP calculators, various portable gaming consoles), and recently I got way more obsessive about keyboards. My current stable includes the above as well as:
- an Ergodox EZ with Zilent 67gs and cheap (but cute) rainbow Tai Hao pastel caps
- a Cooler Master Master Keys S PBT with stock caps Cherry MX browns
- a Uniqey C70 with GMK ABS caps and QMX-clip silenced MX Clears
- a gray-on-gray Leopold FC660C
The number of group buys and Kickstarters I’ve funded for keyboards over the last few months is kind of embarrassing, so I won’t enumerate them here, but the one I’m most looking forward to is the Kumo 40% kit.
I can solder but I don’t enjoy it, so I’m biased in favor of PCBs with hot-swap sockets. I think I’m getting to the point where I’m ready to start mixing and matching stems, springs, and enclosures to create the switches I really like, and am probably going to suck it up and lube my Zilents to get rid of the grittiness that is the only thing I don’t like about them. I’ll probably get over myself and start doing some kit builds just because I love so many of the custom boards I see y’all sharing here and want to do something like that for myself (I could even see myself designing a PCB at some point, now that things like QMK exist).
I find the “original” Cherry MX versions of switches to be thoroughly mediocre, love Kailh switches (recent controversy around the BOXes notwithstanding), enjoy but am not fanatic about Topre boards (altho I love my FC660C), and don’t like Outemus, Gaterons or Greetechs. Zealios are my favorite tactiles, and Kailh BOX Jades are my favorite clickies. I’m not a fan of linears, even when gaming. I don’t really get the hype around the HH layout. I’m still trying to decide how I feel about 40% and ortholinear layouts (as someone who spends a lot more time typing than looking at my keyboards).
Mostly I just like keyboards. I also like this community and enjoy lurking. Hi!