Update: I have got many requests for the keyboard design files. You can download them from my blog: http://www.clingmarks.com/custom-mac-mechanical-keyboard-lets-have-some-fun/893
. The files are at the bottom of the page.
Since I started playing with mechanical keyboards, I always tried to find a Mac compatible one. Sure, most of the keyboards do work on Mac, but I think what I am looking for is more a "mac feeling" keyboard. I tried Matias Tactile Pro 3, but just didn't like the feeling of alps and its ping. So eventually I comprised and bought a DAS keyboard w/ blue switch. I thought if I liked it, I could buy their mac keycap set and turn it to to semi-mac-keyboard -- because their mac key caps only have opt and cmd keys.
Until I found this post from iindigo: http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?23203-Finishing-Touches-for-a-Layout
iindigo is genius.
He designed this wonderful mac keyboard layout to match exactly the look of the original mac keyboard. All the font, position of each character, are carefully designed so that they look just like the Apple mac keyboard. And he's general enough to share his work.
(iindigo's design: http://geekhack.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=29448&d=1319258366
So I asked him to send me the layout, and added a little extras based on the layout of current Apple keyboard (http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB110LL/B
). The changes to iindigo's edition are:
- Multimedia symbols on F1-F15
- Change the original "menu" key to a apple logo key
- Right-align the right "control" key
- And just for fun, I added a "pig king" from Angry Bird to the space bar! :)
I submitted an order on http://www.wasdkeyboards.com
on Wednesday night. On Thursday, Weyman, the owner of wasd keyboards, told me I could pick it up on Friday (yes, I am luck enough to be close to them, ;-) ). He's also kind enough to offer me to change all the keys in his office so that I can use his wire key cap puller -- just to make things easier.
Yesterday, I went to wasd keyboards. And yeah, my key caps are already there, nicely laid out on a table, just like on a keyboard:
At first look, I was a little worried that the letters seemed a bit too thin, and not dark enough on the keys. But overall, they are very crisp, high quality print. Weyman is a really nice guy. Not only he let me do the key switching in his office, he also showed me how to lubricate the stabilizers of the bigger keys (this is my first time changing all the keys of a mechanical keyboard). The whole thing turned out longer than I thought. But once I finished, I was really amazed by the overall look of this "new" keyboard. The font is perfect, not thin at all. As to the key caps from WASD, I would say it's the same quality as das keyboard's original ones. Now I have used it for about a day, and everything is good.
My next step is to use KeyRemap4Macbook to generate a custom configuration file, to remap all the F keys to its multimedia keys. I designed the Apple Logo key (Fn key) as a black key, to give the keyboard a kick. However, it turned out not completely as I expected. The apple logo is dark brown, instead light gray I expected. But Weyman already made me an extra one with white background, which is pretty good.
OK, enough talk. Let's look at the pictures. I also attached the design layout at the end.DAS keyboard w/o keys:Finished keyboardRight side of the keyboard:Multimedia keys:Arrow Keys:Option and Command keys:The black Apple Logo key:The pig king on the space bar:Keyboard layout:Compare with DAS key (you can see the result of different printing technologies):
Finally, all credit goes to the original layout designer iindigo. And I highly recommend http://www.wasdkeyboards.com
, it's very good company with high quality product and service.
Let me know if you have any question.