Been lurking around the various mechanical keyboards sites (i.e. r/MechanicalKeyboards) for a couple of months now and found Keebtalk. I thought I would say hello here and share my keyboard story…
My first computer was an IBM PC XT in the '80s and the keyboard on those things were tanks! Solid with a great feel. It was very much in line with IBM’s mainframe System 370 keyboards I used at work. Solid as a tank. Pure bliss to type on. I loved me my XT keyboard! As these machines age, get slow and fill up, we all move on to bigger and better computers. I continued using my XT keyboard. But, eventually it failed and, me not knowing anything about electronics (I’m a software guy, after all), I put it aside because its just a damn classic. Sad, I know, but such is life.
In the '90’s, I had a newborn daughter, who was turning into a precocious little munchkin. Always getting into things, opening and emptying boxes. She was 18 months old when she found “The Keyboard”. She absolutely loved the clicky-clacky feel of the keys. So, as new fathers are meant to do, I baby-safed the keyboard by removing the old PS2 cable/connector (I know, it didn’t occur to me that the keys might be issue, I didn’t even know they can be removed! Again, it’s hardware, I’m software). She hammered at the keyboard just like her dad, crawled all over it as I worked on my PC (by then it was some 386 intel-based clone). Life continues…
That precocious girl, grows up to be a great kid. Graduates high school, gets into college on a music scholarship and decides (through no fault of my own. Honestly!) to major in CompSci. Following in her dads foot steps. I never really thought that would happen.
So now she’s graduated college and been a software developer for a few years. One day, she comes home to visit and says “Hey, Pops! Check out the new keyboard I just got me!” It turns out she’s got a CODE Mechanical Keyboard. And boy does that feel familiar. Clicky and definitely clacky. Solid and all hell. Just like the one I used to use back when the Earth was cooling. I’m bewildered. She’s talking about key switches, layers, and key combos. I never knew a whole industry and community existed around mechanical keyboards!
Now, I’m hooked. I talk key switches, key caps, layers, Ergo’s and TRSS cables. Now, I’m obsessed, constantly plotting to build my first keyboard, a Redox. Cray-cray as they say. And, ironically, my daughter is the one that turned me back onto mechs! It only just occurred to me that my IBM PC XT keyboard really did have an affect on her. That it really truly was a great keyboard and that mechanical keyboards really are LIFE!
Man has keyboard. Man has kid. Kid grows up. Kid has keyboard.
<rinse and repeat >