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[GB] F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards

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--- Quote from: goofy9x on Fri, 25 June 2021, 05:30:43 ---
--- Quote from: Pete on Fri, 25 June 2021, 04:56:40 ---Any suggestions on where to get some yellow keycaps?

--- End quote ---
Easily from Unicomp:

--- End quote ---

Tried. $179 USD shipping from that site for some keycaps to my country! I guess they calculate shipping per key for international orders? Maybe a drop shipper is the solution.

You can try writing in to see if there are alternative shipping methods. Sometimes it's also an overestimation in the cost per unit as well. Doesn't hurt to try.

I wanted to share two interesting YouTube comments on the Chyrosran22 video from someone who dealt with the original IBM 4700 systems back in the day:

"Thanks for another excellent keyboard review, Thomas.
Keys sound authentic, as the banking keyboards always seemed to me to have a deader sound than the IBM PC and 3270 model F keyboards. I used to program the 4704 banking systems many years ago, and there was never that high pitched spring noise you get in your reconditioned keyboard. Managed to get my hands on a "Pingmaster" a couple of years ago, but it obviously never matched the Model Fs I have missed for decades. Been checking in on this project for a long time and am so happy this has finally shipped."

"The 4700s were usually menu based programs designed for smaller screens but similar to what might be seen on 3278 terminals linked to a mainframe. The distributed processing of the 4700 meant that transactions could be partially processed locally and then sent in batches for mainframe processing. The hardware was very reliable, with the most common points of failure being the 4701 5 1/2" floppy drives due to dust and dirt (during a reboot after a power outage), or the display unit. Keyboards were reliable and robust and in my experience front line staff only ever used the 50 key model 100. Usage and key functions tended to be similar to bespoke POS keyboards. The 4704 model 100 keyboard layout was related to the previous generation banking terminal 3604 model 1 keyboard with an extra column of keys on the RHS block, which goes some way towards explaining the unusual format. If there ever were any keyboard issues, a robust upside down tap on the desk sorted things out. I only saw the model 300 and 400 keyboards a few times. The 4700s were programmed in assembler. All these banking systems were eventually replaced by PC's. I did not work in the US, but over half of all New Zealand bank branches used 4700s at one stage. Lloyds bank in the UK used these in the late 1980s. Tellers used these terminals to process almost all front of house banking transactions. I still remember my sorrow at having to bin my trusty old AT format model F keyboard and having to use a crappy plastic model M."

I also wanted to share with permission another great customer image.  This one shows the pearl keys and Industrial SSK Blue keys:

Spot sold, thanks.

I wanted to briefly tell everyone who might be on the fence that this is a great keyboard. If you want a traditional / non-ergo keyboard, you should buy this. It will be the nicest keyboard you ever own and it will last forever.

I learned to type on the original model F back in the day and used them for years at a data entry job. Nothing I've used has ever come close. Cherry switches just don't feel as smoother when you are moving between key presses. It's hard to describe if you've never felt it, but it's very memorable and it will be the best typing experience you'll ever have.

Joe nailed it with these keyboards. They feel and sound the same as the originals did back in the day. And the quality and precision of the parts is actually a bit better. The two I bought are very consistent. And the keycaps are gorgeous and clearly printed. The build quality is as amazing as the originals and I have no doubt that these would survive a direct hit from a tornado like the ones I used at that data entry job did. One thing that particularly stands out is the space bar. It has the right feel and that very memorable sound. It brings back fond memories just using it.

I haven't tried reprogramming it because I don't really need to, but it seems straight-forward enough. I was going to try doing it for the sake of the review, and I was going to also unscrew it to take some pictures to show how easy these things are to service, but I'll leave that up to others who care about that stuff and can post more helpful information. With the service part in particular, I'm not the best person to ask since I used the originals and am already familiar with them.

There are only three downsides that I can think of, but these are inherent in the design itself:

* These are very heavy. Even the smallest keyboard in the smallest case is far too heavy to travel with. Even taking it to and from work would be a chore.
* He was a bit too true to the originals. The function key cluster / numpad on the F77 would have been substantially improved by having an additional column for + and enter. That limits the usability of this keyboard for spreadsheet work since he didn't offer a model that does have a full numpad.
* The layout isn't ergonomic and I'm not sure how easy it would be for someone else here to make a version with an ergo layout. I'll be using the Model F for normal text typing, but I'm spoiled by my Kinesis when it comes to computer programming. Still, ergo layouts are a niche and I'm not really a fan of many of the more popular ones. So it'd be hard to even coordinate everyone to get one made. But if someone wants to try...


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