I got into computing in 1984 when I took a 6-month beginners' class. I was 7 years out of college, recently divorced, and living with my cousin and her husband in a new city. We worked on Apple IIs and I really enjoyed it.
Afterwards, I got a job in an Architectural firm and we were just starting to get into CAD. I bought my first computer in 1985, a PCs-Limited (I dealt with Michael Dell) 286 AT clone with a 5.25" floppy, 20MB Winchester, and a whopping 1MB of RAM (which I had to split off the last third into a virtual floppy drive D: (pretty bad-ass back then) because I could only address 640KB directly), a small amber monitor, and a no-name OEM keyboard with clicky keys (which I honestly never pulled and examined in the 12 years I owned it!). The whole setup cost me $2800 without a printer and was a bargain at the time.
About 1994 I got a hand-me-down 486 from my geek brother-in-law, and shelved the old system. A few years later I gave it away, and regretted it since, especially the Epson dot-matrix printer (I would love to have another one of those, fading or smearing ink? forget it). I resisted Windows until mid-1998, when I had to jump in because of my job.
With the new 1998 Dell system that I boss provided me, I got an AT-101 which was lovely and I still have it, going strong. When I left that job in 2003, I bought a Compaq system which came with an SK-2800C keyboard (an excellent rubber dome with media keys) which I used regularly for about 6 years. I liked it so well, I even bought a few spares at yard sales, etc, when I saw them especially cheap.
Then, a couple of years ago, I bought a couple of really old keyboards at a thrift store for a couple of dollars each. One was a Northgate Omnikey 102, which I remembered my brother-in-law having owned many years earlier and always raving about it. The Northgate felt great, and I was really getting excited about it, but it had a couple of bum keys. I eventually sold it on ebay (I faithfully disclosed the bad keys) and resurrected the Dell AT-101. It was better than I remembered.
Fast forward a bit. After only a couple of internet searches I realized that the IBM Model M was "The One True Keyboard" and in another couple of searches I was here.
My first ebay Model M was a beautiful 1991 black label in perfect condition for $45 delivered (that was late 2010 I think).
Then I started branching out, and who knows where. I am fortunate that I live in the suburbs where there are a lot of yard sales, and my job has me driving by numerous thrift stores, so I drag in something interesting at least once a month, and although most is junk, I do hit on a really nice board every once in a while. I am a natural-born tinkerer, so vintage stuff appeals to me.
I have bought a number of keyboards online, new and used, and re-sold most of them (the ones that were junk got junked). But although I have occasionally made modest profits, I have suffered an overall loss, to be sure. My worst "addiction" situation came last summer, when I really started lusting after an IBM Model F AT (thanks to all the Geekhack raves). From about May 2011 until about August, there were maybe 1 or 2 for auction on ebay, total, and they went for prices that I thought were absurd. Then, from about August-September, there was one listed about every week or 2, and I was bidding way high against another buyer (or 2 or 3). They all sold for way too much, and I was feeding the flames. I eventually bought about 4, over the course of about 2-3 months, and ended up selling 3 at a loss (because there was at least some modest supply available by then). But, after losing probably a couple of hundred dollars overall, I did end up with one very nice specimen (and a "fair" box). After all that effort, however, I realized that I could not live with the layout.
About then, Soarer came through with the Teensy mod and I got a couple of the big Model F-122s, so I had a wonderful project to keep me busy and a wonderful keyboard to really experience buckling springs on when I finished. Now, to me, Model Ms are second-class in comparison, although they do have the perfect "classic" ANSI layout.
Cherry switches are not in the same class with buckling springs for iron-clad indestructibility, but they have great qualities of their own. There is a lot to be said for small footprints, virgin newness, modern styling, non-beige colors, and native USB cables. And all the cool key caps are MX-only. (But WHY do the LEDs have to be so damn bright?)
I need some sort of tactile feedback, so blues and browns are what satisfy me. I am really looking forward to WASD's new PBT offerings later this year.
I could definitely see getting some reds (with o-rings) for the times when I needed to do "stealth" typing, for the benefit of people around me.
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PS - but the actual reason that I should win the key is because I have a wife going through menopause, and a daughter going through puberty, at the same time.