I really didn't NEED a new hobby, but when has that stopped me before?

My name is Brionne, my user id Ildonoa is an old character name which has been recycled through various rpg’s. I learned how to type on an electric typewriter a long time ago, and I have continued to beat the heck out of keyboards ever since. I routinely have to replace membrane keyboards due to wear and tear. For reference, my co-workers used to complain about how loud I type…on a membrane keyboard. I started looking at mechanical keyboards because my nephew, brother-in-law and brother were looking into them. Now, I want to try EVERYTHING. I have a switch tester on the way, and my first set of key caps. I’m an old bird, but a fledgling software engineer (graduation in 04/23). I understand I’m in good company from reading the comments. I also knit, crochet, collect yarn (separate hobby), journal, read, use fountain pens. If there is a fiddly, time-consuming way to do something…that’s the road I’m going to take. Nice to meet everybody.


Hey, welcome to the site! Sounds like you’ll fit right in here. I can relate with wanting to try everything as quick as possible, since that’s how I was when I started the hobby myself years ago. Although I will say pace yourself & try to determine your favorite type of switches & what you think your prefered form factor will be (60%, 65%, TKL, etc.) fairly quick. Then focus your purchases on those at first. The hobby has grown so much in the past few years there is just way too many choices about every aspect of a keyboard out there now to try everything while not going overboard on spending.

Anyways look forward to seeing you around here & always feel free to ask if you need advice on anything keeb related! On another note, what keycap set did you grab & what type of keyboard are you looking to get into? We can definitely help you find one that would serve well as your entry board & be of good quality if you want any suggestions.

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Welcome Ildonoa!

whatcha got incoming? and what layout (if any) is standing out to you at the moment?

excellent. im happy with my rainbow sherbet twsbis (and corresponding inks haha). welcome welcome. post pen pics too.

I just got a feeling that Topre might be the thing for you. :thinking:


Hello and welcome! I think you’ve come to the right place - there’s a wealth of information here, and lots of friendly people around happy to answer questions.


I have been pouring over layouts actually. I think my ideal would be an ergonomic 75%, but I have not been able to find anything like that except pre-builts (Xbows, Matias, etc). All of the ergo layouts are 60%/65% that I’ve seen. I would like to start with something I can tinker with, without having to de-solder/solder. So, I’m thinking I’m going to look for a straight 75% board, budget-friendly. The switch sampler I have incoming is from HippoKeys, and it is their One of Everything Set. The keycap set is Pixel Game Keycap Set. Is there a thread where we can get kick around ideas on our first build?


That looks like a great switch sample! Wish something like that existed two years ago when I started entering in this hobby but stoked that it exists now.
Currently my favorite switches are the Boba U4T switches, but I also really enjoy the silent Boba U4.

Welcome to the keeb community!


I linked the switch sampler and keycap set in my reply to Rob27shred above. I’m going to start with 75%, I use my navigation keys and function keys, but the number pad use is very infrequent. I have a feeling I’ll end up with multiple keyboards I use depending on what I’m doing (writing, gaming, working), and the 60% and 65% layouts (maybe ergo? since I’m used to that?) would be great for writing.

Since I’m in school, I use my fountain pens to take notes on Kokuyo Campus paper. Every section of the textbook, I get to change to a new pen, new ink color. It helps keep me motivated. Here is my collection, in my makeshift painter’s tape and cardboard tray.

The Conklin Endura Abalone is my most expensive pen, and the one that told me I don’t really like heavy pens :). My favorites so far are the Pilot (Kakuno and Prera) and the Sailor Compass. Yes, they are arranged in quasi-rainbow fashion (based on ink color) from left to right.


twsbi go + transparent green twins :smiley:

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I can so relate to that. Same here, I never thought i could live without numpad cause I need to punch numbers once or twice a day at work. But the num row is ok if you want to get used to it.

But the RK84 was doing just fine. Numpad gone.

Since I work together with a development team in software I thought I could never work without the f-row which a lot of editors make use of for a lot of work related aspects.

But then again bought the QK65.

It took about two days getting used to simulate the f-row with the function key plus the num row.

The point is as soon as you get intonother form factirs you start to like them or don’t and appreciate this fancy new thing of yours.

On to the journey of a gazillion possibilties! :sun_behind_small_cloud:


Yeah an above 65% ergo board is gonna take a little looking to find, definitely not a common layout found in any of the ergonomic boards. Although there is options out there in the high end. For now I think your plan of nice budget 75% like the Keychron Q1/2 or GMMK Pro is probably the best move. Cause you’ll be swapping switches left & right, trying out all kinds of different mods on it, trying different plate materials, etc. So you will put some good wear & tear on it figuring out your preferences. Best to save your first true high end custom for when you got your preferences mostly figured out IME.

Also that is a pretty sweet keyset! I’m not a huge fan of uniform profiles but I really dig the design of it. Has a big time Nintendo vibe! Then that switch sampler is a really good one too, lots of newer more relevant switches. A lot of switch testers tend to be just Cherry & Gateron’s main line up of switches. Off the top of my head I can’t think of one particular thread for kicking around ideas for your first build, but if you search “first build” on this site a ton of threads where people were asking the same question pop up. I’m sure you can get a bunch of good info for your first build from them. Although starting your own first build thread might be the best bet there as it will get more visibility.

Thank you! I looked long and hard for that switch set precisely because the more common samplers are limited to basic Cherry, Gateron and Kailh switches, often not even including the more recent additions to those catalogs. I’ll take your advice on finding (or starting) the right conversation for my first build.

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May I introduce you to the wonderful world of Topre?

I feel like an HHKB would be the perfect keyboard for you.

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Welcome, fellow bistitual! I’m new to the community, but not new to keebs. I’ve really loved the warmth and eagerness to help and share here thus far, and I’m sure you’ll experience the same.

I also have a strong affinity for good pens. My husband bought me a Cross Townsend Rollerball for my birthday this year, and my daily driver is a Lamy Safari with a cursive nib.

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Oh look! Another rabbit hole! And here I go…