Author Topic: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK  (Read 6378 times)

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Offline brainandforce

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Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« on: Mon, 16 September 2019, 17:25:04 »
Recently, Unicomp posted a photo of their Lexington factory on their Facebook page. However, when you look closely at the center, you'll notice an interesting detail:

226396-0

It looks like they have manufactured a new SSK, which is a big development. This leaves me with 2 questions: first, are they using the original IBM molds for this keyboard, and second, when can I get one??

Offline E TwentyNine

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 16 September 2019, 19:16:03 »
Wow, and it's only about, what, 4 or 5 years after they promised they'd have one of these ready for Christmas?

That's not an IBM mold as there are extra keys.  And I think I see LED's over the right side function keys, which could make sense, in a way, if they're using a controller mounted above the navigation cluster, the could have a daughter LED with it.  And using the same controller as the fullsize would be a cost saving move.

I suspect they're targeting the holiday season for announcement.

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Offline Altis

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 16 September 2019, 21:55:37 »
I'm just happy to see they're still in operation.

I'd love for them to make an SSK version as TKL is very important to many of us.
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Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 16 September 2019, 23:07:37 »
Is the new SS competitively priced or Nostalgia priced ?

Offline pixelpusher

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 16 September 2019, 23:47:48 »
Is the new SS competitively priced or Nostalgia priced ?

asking the real questions here

Offline Hak Foo

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 17 September 2019, 00:07:04 »
I wish they'd make a 122 in a layout more resembling "ANSI 103 + more rows and columns".
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Offline woodruff

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 17 September 2019, 02:32:40 »
Plot twist. It's a membrane keyboard   :p :p :p :p :p or a model f?

Offline rxc92

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 17 September 2019, 04:27:29 »
Hopefully it's not just a prototype bait and they actually produce something!

Offline FoxWolf1

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 17 September 2019, 08:44:05 »
Now if only someone could persuade them to throw a better pointing stick module and one of those fancy NKRO membranes that a few of the gaming companies are using into the EnduraPro...then I wouldn't have to think about keyboards anymore.
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Offline ch_123

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 17 September 2019, 09:16:10 »
From the Facebook thread:

Quote
Third, we took the picture of the factory at the request of the writer of the CNBC article to add a little touch of humanity to a rather dry discussion of tariffs, but they choose not to use the photo. So, we choose to post it with a link to the article. We put the tenkeyless model in the picture to support a conversation about the status of that project. No, it’s not a stealth announcement. But, in the way of status, some of the parts in that model, particularly the top and bottom cover, are first shot parts from new tooling. We’re working on improving the fit and the texturing of those tools. We have other tools and parts that are being developed and require testing. So, we’re still not close to setting announce dates or accepting orders. But we’re making good progress.

Offline romevi

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 17 September 2019, 15:11:10 »
From the Facebook thread:

Quote
Third, we took the picture of the factory at the request of the writer of the CNBC article to add a little touch of humanity to a rather dry discussion of tariffs, but they choose not to use the photo. So, we choose to post it with a link to the article. We put the tenkeyless model in the picture to support a conversation about the status of that project. No, it’s not a stealth announcement. But, in the way of status, some of the parts in that model, particularly the top and bottom cover, are first shot parts from new tooling. We’re working on improving the fit and the texturing of those tools. We have other tools and parts that are being developed and require testing. So, we’re still not close to setting announce dates or accepting orders. But we’re making good progress.

Rats.

Offline csmertx

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #11 on: Tue, 17 September 2019, 19:07:57 »
Neat
More
 / another 3d keyboard model thread / BSD thread / github / falotalt
Quote
...Especially the Florida cousins, who obviously can't take a hint.

Offline Kavik

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #12 on: Tue, 17 September 2019, 19:17:37 »
I am curious if the new mold will help things. I was not impressed with the Unicomp keyboard I once owned, very flimsy case for one thing.
Maybe they're waiting for gasmasks and latex to get sexy again.

The world has become a weird place.

Offline Stupidface

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 17 September 2019, 19:22:09 »
Wow, and it's only about, what, 4 or 5 years after they promised they'd have one of these ready for Christmas?

I confess I have not paid particular attention to new keyboard offerings in some time, but I have been seeing talk of a Unicomp SSK off and on for years.

Is Unicomp a serious* going concern?  Or is it, instead, a hobby for a small group of people who are anxious to maintain a low-pressure atmosphere and dawdle their way toward product releases?  I am under the impression they meet the description of the latter rather than the former.  However, I cannot claim to know very much about Unicomp's ways of doing business.

Admittedly, I am likely to be biased because of a brief but memorable acquaintanceship with jet-propelled Chinese manufacturers, who, if nothing else, are excellent at getting things under way. 

(It is only later in the relationship that they introduce their hapless Western partners to the concept of "quality fade.")







*By "serious," I mean their profits are used to fund school fees, mortgages, etc.


Offline rxc92

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #14 on: Wed, 18 September 2019, 07:32:13 »
I confess I have not paid particular attention to new keyboard offerings in some time, but I have been seeing talk of a Unicomp SSK off and on for years.

Is Unicomp a serious* going concern?  Or is it, instead, a hobby for a small group of people who are anxious to maintain a low-pressure atmosphere and dawdle their way toward product releases?  I am under the impression they meet the description of the latter rather than the former.  However, I cannot claim to know very much about Unicomp's ways of doing business.

Admittedly, I am likely to be biased because of a brief but memorable acquaintanceship with jet-propelled Chinese manufacturers, who, if nothing else, are excellent at getting things under way. 

(It is only later in the relationship that they introduce their hapless Western partners to the concept of "quality fade.")
 
 
An interesting choice of thread to offload your strange worldviews in.

Offline Averagekody

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #15 on: Wed, 18 September 2019, 07:38:35 »
So, is this finally my chance to play with buckling springs without having to waste all my desk space?


Offline Techno Trousers

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #16 on: Fri, 20 September 2019, 07:21:06 »
So, is this finally my chance to play with buckling springs without having to waste all my desk space?
Maybe. But it'll likely take a few more years before it's released.


Offline chyros

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #17 on: Fri, 20 September 2019, 07:58:54 »
So, is this finally my chance to play with buckling springs without having to waste all my desk space?
Note that a normal SSK is almost as big as a modern fullsize xD .
Check my keyboard video reviews:


Offline Stupidface

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #18 on: Sun, 22 September 2019, 04:22:34 »
So, is this finally my chance to play with buckling springs without having to waste all my desk space?

You may have tried this already, but just in case you have not: have you considered a keyboard tray?

I mention this because E TwentyNine was not having a laugh when he said Unicomp had raised everyone's hopes about this keyboard a half-decade ago:

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=56668.msg1280920#msg1280920

With Unicomp claiming, "we’re making good progress," after 5 years with nothing to offer, I suspect they will have their SSK ready just in time for GHers to blow their first pension cheque on it.





Offline Snowdog993

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #19 on: Sun, 22 September 2019, 14:13:59 »
So, is this finally my chance to play with buckling springs without having to waste all my desk space?

You may have tried this already, but just in case you have not: have you considered a keyboard tray?

I mention this because E TwentyNine was not having a laugh when he said Unicomp had raised everyone's hopes about this keyboard a half-decade ago:

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=56668.msg1280920#msg1280920

With Unicomp claiming, "we’re making good progress," after 5 years with nothing to offer, I suspect they will have their SSK ready just in time for GHers to blow their first pension cheque on it.

I doubt it. Most everyone already got the original ones by now. It took too long.



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Offline _rubik

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #20 on: Sun, 22 September 2019, 14:21:51 »
Is the new SS competitively priced or Nostalgia priced ?

Chances are -- competitively priced. But by competitive priced, I mean reasonably priced for lower quality materials and deteriorating tooling. That said, for the mid 100's price point, I'd happily buy one if it means I don't wear out my original SSK.

Offline Snowdog993

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #21 on: Sun, 22 September 2019, 14:23:45 »
So, is this finally my chance to play with buckling springs without having to waste all my desk space?
Note that a normal SSK is almost as big as a modern fullsize xD .

LOL! So comparing the SSK to a full size is inconceivable!

If you want to see pictures you can go here: http://snowdog993.imgur.com

Offline nickheller

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Offline switchnollie

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #23 on: Fri, 20 December 2019, 15:29:42 »

Offline Techno Trousers

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #24 on: Fri, 20 December 2019, 15:33:16 »
Those crazy sons of *****es have finally done it!? And thank the IBM gods that they went with a (mostly) standard SSK TKL layout instead of that weird alternate one they floated a long time ago. If I didn't already have two SSKs I'd definitely be buying a gift certificate right now.

Offline fanpeople

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #25 on: Fri, 20 December 2019, 15:59:22 »
$105 UNITED STATES FREEDOM UNITS, not too bad. I wouldnt mind picking one up but already have the Ellipse board coming in. Still I want I miss my ssk

Offline Kavik

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #26 on: Fri, 20 December 2019, 17:36:23 »
Pretty cool. I guess I need to sell my SSK before it goes down in value.
Maybe they're waiting for gasmasks and latex to get sexy again.

The world has become a weird place.

Offline rxc92

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #27 on: Fri, 20 December 2019, 18:20:47 »
Pretty cool. I guess I need to sell my SSK before it goes down in value.
 
Don't tell him guys...

Offline E TwentyNine

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #28 on: Fri, 20 December 2019, 23:57:13 »
Over five years since the announcement, and it'll be six by the time it ships.

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=56668

But good for them.  At that price point is aggressive for what it is, hopefully it'll get some of these youngsters into the game.

I like the classic form factor, would like a classic bottom row even better.   If they want to trim the perimeter of the keyboard, can see that version selling as well.

I do notice no embedded numpad side printing and no numlock key (but it has the light) so I'm guessing that stuff is planned but just isn't in the mockups or early pics.
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Offline Hak Foo

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #29 on: Tue, 24 December 2019, 20:00:28 »
What frustrates me is the $10 surcharge for a 103 layout.  I gave away my Customizer 104 a couple years ago but I loathe the new 104 layout.
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Offline nickheller

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #30 on: Tue, 24 December 2019, 20:15:47 »
What frustrates me is the $10 surcharge for a 103 layout.  I gave away my Customizer 104 a couple years ago but I loathe the new 104 layout.

if it's anything like the current full size keyboards with the same bottom row layout you should be able to swap to 103 yourself.

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=67076.0
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Offline ch_123

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #31 on: Wed, 25 December 2019, 20:10:55 »
In theory, you could just buy a 7u spacebar from them and do the mod yourself. I haven't tried this personally, but I can't think of any reason why it wouldn't work.

It does disappoint me that they don't just make the 103-key layout the default - the 104-key layout looks hideous, and the extra key doesn't really give you much useful functionality.

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #32 on: Fri, 27 December 2019, 15:57:59 »
Since SSK barely saves any space vs standard full size (thin bezel) cherry boards.

PERHAPS, they should splice further, and get down to 75/ 80% ??

People will buy it for nostalgia/ retroness, but it does still alienate the pragmatic users.


Offline invariance

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #33 on: Fri, 27 December 2019, 16:39:20 »
The gift certificate method is an interesting way to raise funds for the tooling without crowd sourcing.
Has the added advantage that if the ssk cannot be delivered in the proposed timeframe, it can be used on another of Unicomp's products if the certificate holder were to become disenchanted with the wait (as has happened elsewhere).
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Offline jacethesaltsculptor

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #34 on: Mon, 30 December 2019, 08:59:00 »
I want to believe, but it's hard to keep up hope after all this time. I'm a fairly big fan of what Unicomp does. (Not necessarily how they do it.) I want this to be successful.

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Offline bbqkimchi

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #35 on: Sun, 05 January 2020, 11:09:01 »
Check the Unicomp website, announcement was made. March 2020.

Offline Snowdog993

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #36 on: Sun, 05 January 2020, 22:17:38 »
Check the Unicomp website, announcement was made. March 2020.

...and what has that got to do with anything? Promises promises.
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Offline rknize

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #37 on: Tue, 28 January 2020, 19:58:33 »
Just pulled out the ol' EnduraPro for a change of pace and was checking their website.  I feel like an out-of-touch grey beard at this point (and I have a few SSKs) but I will still buy one.  This is good news, especially at that price.  I am still amazed that they are somehow still in business.  My hats off to them. I wonder if they will have more than one layout so that we can have new barrel frames.
Russ

Offline Snowdog993

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #38 on: Thu, 30 January 2020, 00:06:33 »
Check the Unicomp website, announcement was made. March 2020.

Just to rub it in a bit more: December 10th, 2014.....

Date:    2014-12-10 16:03:01
Name:    Jeanne Deters
   Printer friendly version

Message:

We are working on a tenkeyless keyboard, however, it is taking longer than anticipated. Look for more news on it in the next several months. Thanks for your interest.

You can follow us on FaceBook: FaceBook.com/pckeyboard

Regards,

Customer Service

Edit: One thing I can say is Unicomp customer service is the very best experience I have ever had.  And Jeanne has helped me on several occasions and I have no complaints whatsoever.  Good people!

I just had to let you know that they have been promising the keyboard for a very very very long time.
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Offline treeleaf64

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #39 on: Thu, 30 January 2020, 11:19:29 »
They probably do not have enough money to make it, and are running into various blocks. There is a questionable demand for it, there are very few people who buy Unicomp anyway, and they must have postponed it in order to save money.

Online Maledicted

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #40 on: Thu, 30 January 2020, 12:52:18 »
They probably do not have enough money to make it, and are running into various blocks. There is a questionable demand for it, there are very few people who buy Unicomp anyway, and they must have postponed it in order to save money.

There seems to be an interesting, even uncomfortable, dichotomy there. Nobody seems to particularly want to buy anything from Unicomp. At the same time they don't want to see them fail either, because buckling spring production must continue at all costs.

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #41 on: Thu, 30 January 2020, 13:08:00 »
They probably do not have enough money to make it, and are running into various blocks. There is a questionable demand for it, there are very few people who buy Unicomp anyway, and they must have postponed it in order to save money.

There seems to be an interesting, even uncomfortable, dichotomy there. Nobody seems to particularly want to buy anything from Unicomp. At the same time they don't want to see them fail either, because buckling spring production must continue at all costs.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: takeover.

Online Maledicted

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #42 on: Thu, 30 January 2020, 13:18:35 »
I've said it before and I'll say it again: takeover.

Ellipse already gets caps from them, doesn't he? They would do well to form some sort of formal partnership with him, maybe move some of the Model F production to their facility, modernize/diversify the case and layout offerings, offer budget-oriented variants, etc.

I imagine that even if they had managed enough sales/production to economize that it would still cost quite a bit more than if the same were to happen with the current Chinese facility, but maybe people would be less reluctant to pay the current premium if "Made in the U.S.A." could be slapped onto the case.

Offline rxc92

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #43 on: Fri, 31 January 2020, 01:28:28 »
They probably do not have enough money to make it, and are running into various blocks. There is a questionable demand for it, there are very few people who buy Unicomp anyway, and they must have postponed it in order to save money.

There seems to be an interesting, even uncomfortable, dichotomy there. Nobody seems to particularly want to buy anything from Unicomp. At the same time they don't want to see them fail either, because buckling spring production must continue at all costs.
 
 
If by 'they' you mean people who buy their keyboards, I guess. It's unfortunate that the designs went to a company that refuses to innovate or have decent quality.

Offline jacethesaltsculptor

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #44 on: Wed, 25 March 2020, 21:03:24 »
I've been curious to see what's happened with this. Undoubtedly delayed due to Quarantine. I wonder how much this will slide the date. A few weeks? Or a few months? Or a few years?

We can't know with them.

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Offline jacethesaltsculptor

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #45 on: Wed, 25 March 2020, 21:04:18 »
They probably do not have enough money to make it, and are running into various blocks. There is a questionable demand for it, there are very few people who buy Unicomp anyway, and they must have postponed it in order to save money.

There seems to be an interesting, even uncomfortable, dichotomy there. Nobody seems to particularly want to buy anything from Unicomp. At the same time they don't want to see them fail either, because buckling spring production must continue at all costs.

I throw a few bucks their way from time to time, There is no better source of new custom keys for IBM boards.

I've largely enjoyed them. Though I don't consider them equal to what they once were.

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Offline Hak Foo

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #46 on: Wed, 25 March 2020, 23:16:19 »
I bought a new 103 from them recently.  There's nothing inherently wrong with it (aside from nuclear-level blue LEDs) but it's probably a hard sale to a lot of crowds.  The PCMR crowd wants RGB and NKRO.  The Geekhack crowd wants MX mount keycaps.  The /r/mk crowd wants a 25% because TKL isn't cool anymore.  I personally want about 25 macro keys without compromising the main layout like the 122 does.

Unless you've already felt buckling springs and liked them, you're going to be seduced by another shiny object on the way to Unicomp.
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Offline jacethesaltsculptor

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #47 on: Wed, 25 March 2020, 23:20:03 »
This is very very true.

I got me a Model M 5-2 from them, and then an M122, and loved them dearly. It was a major part of what got me into the hobby, and into buying and collecting old IBM boards as well.

And you are right in even my case. I got a ducky Shine 3 yellow before I bought them years ago because I loved the lights. But I always kept them in the back of my mind, eventually I bought from them and was quite happy. I do think their customer service is very good.

I just wish things had gone differently for them, but I feel like that's a pretty wide spread and held belief.

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Offline Kavik

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Re: Unicomp has manufactured a new SSK
« Reply #48 on: Tue, 31 March 2020, 00:38:26 »
Apparently, Unicomp is also releasing a new version of the full size M that will be heavier and made with new tooling: https://www.pckeyboard.com/mm5/graphics/00000001/Update%20and%20Announcement%20v_1.2.pdf
Maybe they're waiting for gasmasks and latex to get sexy again.

The world has become a weird place.