Author Topic: '05 Unicomp Classic 101 w/IBM-quality legends, $49.99 shipped  (Read 1519 times)

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Offline ander

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'05 Unicomp Classic 101 w/IBM-quality legends, $49.99 shipped
« on: Sat, 16 December 2017, 05:17:19 »
2005 Unicomp White Buckling Spring 104 PS/2 Model M Keyboard 42H1292U








Unicomp Classic 101, BIN $49.99 + free U.S.

This is a great deal on such a nice clean board. (Considering the shipping's nearly $20, you'd be getting the board itself for around $30.)

But what I find particularly interesting about this board is how much better its text legends looked than Unicomp's usual ones. These are IBM/Lexmark's original rounded, well aligned, Helvetica legends, not Unicomp's typically (and inexplicably) puny, cramped, carelessly aligned ones. Compare:


184471-0


Did Unicomp get a special request to make a Model M as close to a Lexmark one as they could? (The back label's even laminated.) If they could do that, why didn't they just keep doing that?

I hate to say it, I'd much rather look at one of these than what they normally crank out.
« Last Edit: Wed, 03 January 2018, 22:04:03 by ander »
Imagine that everything you are typing is being read by the person you are applying to for your first job. Imagine that it's all going to be seen by your parents and your grandparents and your grandchildren as well. – Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web

Offline E TwentyNine

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Re: '05 Unicomp Classic 101 w/IBM-quality legends, $49.99 shipped
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 16 December 2017, 06:25:34 »
They didn't "get a request to make close to Lexmark", they literally bought the licensing and tooling from Lexmark twenty years ago.

Legend alignment is worse today, but that's just a question of the machinery wearing down or their quality control declining.

The font on the second one is a little weird though.  The single quote is usually straight, even on recent boards, but they do have ones curved on some boards.   Wonder if they're running different lines with some font variations.  It's all sloppier either way today, it's very apparent with their APL offering.
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Offline Glod

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Re: '05 Unicomp Classic 101 w/IBM-quality legends, $49.99 shipped
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 16 December 2017, 13:20:15 »
Legend alignment is worse today

Understatement
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Offline fohat.digs

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Re: '05 Unicomp Classic 101 w/IBM-quality legends, $49.99 shipped
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 16 December 2017, 17:42:44 »
Great deal!

Anybody who wants to get started on buckling springs should buy this.

A full set of Model M keycaps alone is $36 shipped domestic US from Unicomp, and these caps by themselves are arguably better quality.

That said, I think that Unicomp cap quality tanked about 2-3 years ago (I have an early pearl/pebble "Green Alert" set that is abominable) but has improved since.
When a society is healthy, it is saved from all this by robust communication. Individual people still embrace or reject evidence too hastily, still apportion blame tribally, but civil contact with people of different perspectives can keep the resulting distortions within bounds. There is enough constructive cross-tribal communication—and enough agreement on what the credible sources of information are—to preserve some overlap of, and some fruitful interaction between, world views.
Now, of course, we’re in a technological environment that makes it easy for tribes to not talk to each other and seems to incentivize the ridiculing of one another. Maybe there will be long-term fixes for this. Maybe, for example, we’ll judiciously amend our social media algorithms, or promulgate practices that can help tame cognitive biases.
Meanwhile, the closest thing to a cure may be for all of us to try to remember that natural selection has saddled us with these biases—and also to remember that, however hard we try, we’re probably not entirely escaping them. In this view, the biggest threat to America and to the world may be a simple lack of intellectual humility. Robert Wright - Wired 2018

Offline ander

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Re: '05 Unicomp Classic 101 w/IBM-quality legends, $49.99 shipped
« Reply #4 on: Sat, 16 December 2017, 22:20:01 »
They didn't "get a request to make close to Lexmark", they literally bought the licensing and tooling from Lexmark twenty years ago... Legend alignment is worse today, but that's just a question of the machinery wearing down or their quality control declining...

So all their boards up to at least 2005 (like this one) still looked as good as Lexmark's? That's a surprise. I guess I haven't seen as many earlier ones as I thought I had.

Great deal!... A full set of Model M keycaps alone is $36 shipped domestic US from Unicomp, and these caps by themselves are arguably better quality.

That said, I think that Unicomp cap quality tanked about 2-3 years ago (I have an early pearl/pebble "Green Alert" set that is abominable) but has improved since.

Indeed. My first BS board was a Unicomp I ordered new in late 2014, after admiring a friend's. His must've been considerably older, though; when mine arrived, the typography was so poor that I couldn't bear to look at it, and sent it back.

This, and their notorious logo (LOL) leads me to believe that the saviors of Lexmark's MK plant were primarily engineers and others who appreciated BS as a typing experience, and had little interest in visual esthetics. And of course the new operation wouldn't have nearly the volume to permit the kind of in-house (or even hired-out) graphics talent IBM and Lexmark had at their disposal.
Imagine that everything you are typing is being read by the person you are applying to for your first job. Imagine that it's all going to be seen by your parents and your grandparents and your grandchildren as well. – Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web

Offline SamirD

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Re: '05 Unicomp Classic 101 w/IBM-quality legends, $49.99 shipped
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 22 December 2017, 23:45:35 »
I actually got a board that was a twin of this one locally that was missing the spacebar stab for $35.  And what's interesting is that the key feel is deliciously crisper than the Model Ms I'm normally using.  :eek:  I don't know if its because it's been barely used or because it feels crisper because of the lighter materials, but I plan to swap M for the Unicomp and let my hands run on it for a few months.  :thumb:

Offline ander

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Re: '05 Unicomp Classic 101 w/IBM-quality legends, $49.99 shipped
« Reply #6 on: Sat, 23 December 2017, 02:55:48 »
I actually got a board that was a twin of this one locally that was missing the spacebar stab for $35.  And what's interesting is that the key feel is deliciously crisper than the Model Ms I'm normally using.  :eek:  I don't know if its because it's been barely used or because it feels crisper because of the lighter materials, but I plan to swap M for the Unicomp and let my hands run on it for a few months.  :thumb:

Unicomps can seem "crisper" than IBM/Lexmark M's. Part of it may be the sound... Because the cases are lighter, the key sounds resonate more. Anyway, I like 'em.
Imagine that everything you are typing is being read by the person you are applying to for your first job. Imagine that it's all going to be seen by your parents and your grandparents and your grandchildren as well. – Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: '05 Unicomp Classic 101 w/IBM-quality legends, $49.99 shipped
« Reply #7 on: Sat, 23 December 2017, 08:43:21 »

Unicomps can seem "crisper" than IBM/Lexmark M's.


At some point Unicomp switched to a very thin, white latex mat ("blanket" in their parlance) that is markedly different from the heavy thick black rubber originals. They sell them for $10 and you might consider it if you ever take one apart for a bolt mod.
When a society is healthy, it is saved from all this by robust communication. Individual people still embrace or reject evidence too hastily, still apportion blame tribally, but civil contact with people of different perspectives can keep the resulting distortions within bounds. There is enough constructive cross-tribal communication—and enough agreement on what the credible sources of information are—to preserve some overlap of, and some fruitful interaction between, world views.
Now, of course, we’re in a technological environment that makes it easy for tribes to not talk to each other and seems to incentivize the ridiculing of one another. Maybe there will be long-term fixes for this. Maybe, for example, we’ll judiciously amend our social media algorithms, or promulgate practices that can help tame cognitive biases.
Meanwhile, the closest thing to a cure may be for all of us to try to remember that natural selection has saddled us with these biases—and also to remember that, however hard we try, we’re probably not entirely escaping them. In this view, the biggest threat to America and to the world may be a simple lack of intellectual humility. Robert Wright - Wired 2018

Offline daskeybo

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Re: '05 Unicomp Classic 101 w/IBM-quality legends, $49.99 shipped
« Reply #8 on: Sat, 23 December 2017, 08:56:58 »
Out of stock

Offline ander

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Re: '05 Unicomp Classic 101 w/IBM-quality legends, $49.99 shipped
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 27 December 2017, 22:02:02 »
Out of stock

Yeah, funny... How many 2009 white Unicomp 42H1292Us do you think they had "in stock"?
Imagine that everything you are typing is being read by the person you are applying to for your first job. Imagine that it's all going to be seen by your parents and your grandparents and your grandchildren as well. – Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web

Offline SamirD

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Re: [ENDED] '05 Unicomp Classic 101 w/IBM-quality legends, $49.99 shipped
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 03 January 2018, 14:43:06 »
Out of stock

Yeah, funny... How many 2009 white Unicomp 42H1292Us do you think they had "in stock"?
I think he was talking about the mat that fohat was referring to.  ;D :-[


Offline ander

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Re: [ENDED] '05 Unicomp Classic 101 w/IBM-quality legends, $49.99 shipped
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 03 January 2018, 22:00:51 »
Out of stock

Yeah, funny... How many 2009 white Unicomp 42H1292Us do you think they had "in stock"?
I think he was talking about the mat that fohat was referring to.  ;D :-[

Maybe, but how could we know?


185749-0
Imagine that everything you are typing is being read by the person you are applying to for your first job. Imagine that it's all going to be seen by your parents and your grandparents and your grandchildren as well. – Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web

Offline ander

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Re: '05 Unicomp Classic 101 w/IBM-quality legends, $49.99 shipped
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 03 January 2018, 22:06:10 »
I've removed my "ENDED" label from this, as the seller's returning tomorrow (04 Jan) and will presumably restore the BIN button. Apparently they didn't want someone to buy it while they were away and unable to ship it.
Imagine that everything you are typing is being read by the person you are applying to for your first job. Imagine that it's all going to be seen by your parents and your grandparents and your grandchildren as well. – Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web