Author Topic: Lexmark M15, what would you replace it with?  (Read 8685 times)

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Offline khaytsus

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Lexmark M15, what would you replace it with?
« on: Sat, 11 September 2010, 21:12:27 »
Get a good grip on your chairs, but I was dumpster diving in the electronic recycling box at work and found this weird clacky key split keyboard made by Lexmark.  Sat under my desk for a few months and I _nearly threw it away_.

Okay, you done cursing me?  We'll continue.

My stupid crap MS 4000 keyboard space bar has gotten worse and worse so I'm looking to replace it but can't find anything, and the Kinesis Freestyle looks cool, but crap key switches (wtf?), and then suddenly I realize I have this weird keyboard at work, so I bring it home.  It looks BRAND NEW, no wear, no dirt, all the feet, springs, the knob and mechanism, all in perfect shape.  So I hook it up (PS2) and it's working perfectly, typing on it right now..

I started googling and was....  surprised to say the least.... how rare and desirable this keyboard is.  So now here's the dumb question;

What would you replace it with?  Honestly I'm not sure I want to keep it, but just because seeing how much it can go for on ebay I figure I can get a keyboard for a third (or less) of the selling price and the remaining money do whatever with.  Although the more I use it, the more I want to keep it...  but wanted to ask anyway, and say hi, since I've been browsing this forum since finding it on Google related to the M15.  :)

And since pics or it didn't happen....  Excuse the poor shots, just grabbed 'em from my phone, if I do sell it of course I'm going to take pictures with the real camera..

http://picasaweb.google.com/khaytsus/Keyboard

Offline Phaedrus2129

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Lexmark M15, what would you replace it with?
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 11 September 2010, 21:25:01 »
You are one lucky sum*****. :p

Welcome to Geekhack!

If you like the feel of the IBM M15 then you'd like other buckling spring keyboards, such as the IBM Model M, IBM Model M13, Unicomp Customizer/Space Saver/Endurapro. The Unicomp Space Saver is the same as the original IBM Model M, but slightly lighter feeling and has a much smaller case, less unnecessary bezel. The Endurapro is the same thing, but with a laptop-style trackpoint mouse.

Anyway, I'd recommend listing that M15 on ebay at $200 with a reserve of $350 and watch how things go from there. Could go for $500-$800 if you're lucky.
Daily Driver: Noppoo Choc Mini
Currently own: IBM Model M 1391401 1988,  XArmor U9 prototype
Previously owned: Ricercar SPOS, IBM M13 92G7461 1994, XArmor U9BL, XArmor U9W prototype, Cherry G80-8200LPDUS, Cherry G84-4100, Compaq MX-11800, Chicony KB-5181 (SMK Monterey), Reveal KB-7061, Cirque Wave Keyboard (ergonomic rubber domes), NMB RT101 (rubber dome), Dell AT101W

Offline khaytsus

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Lexmark M15, what would you replace it with?
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 11 September 2010, 21:43:03 »
I wasn't very clear, I DO want an ergo keyboard, but yes I do like the very nice keys of this one..  I've never liked M models very much because of the noise but you eventually get used to it I suppose.  I don't think I could use it in the office, share with someone else and these aren't really near-neighbor friendly ;)

I wish Unicomp sold something similar, I'd drop by and grab one ;)  But the only mechanical ergo I can find seems to be this one?  I'm getting closer and closer to just keeping it, but I'm half thinking I could use the money and the other half thinking that my 4 year old will spill orange juice in it if I'm not careful (even though she has her own computer, kids like using dad's computer...)  She's already asked me why my new keyboard is "broken".  :D

I am really digging the flexibility of separated halves on this keyboard, not sure I want to go back to a solid keyboard even though the Northgate Ergonomic looks nice, even though it looks huge..

Offline Phaedrus2129

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Lexmark M15, what would you replace it with?
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 11 September 2010, 22:40:52 »
If Unicomp made ergonomic Ms the M15 wouldn't be worth half as much. ;)

It's up to you, mate.
Daily Driver: Noppoo Choc Mini
Currently own: IBM Model M 1391401 1988,  XArmor U9 prototype
Previously owned: Ricercar SPOS, IBM M13 92G7461 1994, XArmor U9BL, XArmor U9W prototype, Cherry G80-8200LPDUS, Cherry G84-4100, Compaq MX-11800, Chicony KB-5181 (SMK Monterey), Reveal KB-7061, Cirque Wave Keyboard (ergonomic rubber domes), NMB RT101 (rubber dome), Dell AT101W

Offline In Stereo!

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Lexmark M15, what would you replace it with?
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 12 September 2010, 00:41:10 »
I think you'll sorry for giving this one away. :)

Offline JBert

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Lexmark M15, what would you replace it with?
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 12 September 2010, 04:02:47 »
There aren't that many options out there, especially if you count only the proper mechanical adjustable-split keyboards.

Keep it, see if you like it. You might suffer seller's regret otherwise.
« Last Edit: Sun, 12 September 2010, 04:09:00 by JBert »
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Offline didjamatic

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Lexmark M15, what would you replace it with?
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 12 September 2010, 14:07:44 »
Some other options, but your board is a serious score.  I want it.  :)
Something like the Kinesis with cherry browns would be quieter than your buckling springs.  Most of the ALPS will be comparable in noise.

Northgate Omni Evolution - ALPS switches  (avail with or without trackpad)


Datadesk - ALPS switches.  Cool key alignment/stagger.


Kinesis - Multiple Cherry MX switches available


Cherry MX5000 - very hard to find.  Cherry MX switches.


Datahand


Also the utron that Rip posted with Topres.

If you want a quiet, traditional rubber dome board, there are many out there but that's about it for mechanicals.
IBM F :: IBM M :: Northgate :: Cherry G80 :: Realforce :: DAS 4

Offline Meg

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I would KEEP it, not replace it...
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 12 September 2010, 16:15:51 »
Omigod, you FOUND one???!! You would be crazy to get rid of it, unless you really dislike it and find something else you like better!  I have one (actually I have two, but one of them isn't working perfectly). I've been doing a huge amount of research since my keyboard stopped working, as it suddenly hit me that these keyboards might not live forever. There is NOTHING OUT THERE that has exactly the same range of adjustability. Nothing.

I won a CK Comfort keyboard in a raffle (believe it or not), and it might work for me, but I needed to rearrange the order of the sections. I got them off the base OK, but I can't manage to put them back on.  Even if I could get it back together, it might not be as good as the M15 because, regardless of the angle at which I adjust the pieces, they will be higher than the M15 and I'm not sure about that.

There is an IBM M15 for sale on eBay now starting at $550 -- I think this is kind of high because it doesn't have a numeric keypad.

Offline didjamatic

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Lexmark M15, what would you replace it with?
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 12 September 2010, 16:25:01 »
Quote from: Meg;222509
There is NOTHING OUT THERE that has exactly the same range of adjustability. Nothing.


Actually, I have one with a much better range of adjustability but it's not mechanical.

IBM F :: IBM M :: Northgate :: Cherry G80 :: Realforce :: DAS 4

Offline Meg

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Lexmark M15, what would you replace it with?
« Reply #9 on: Sun, 12 September 2010, 16:30:22 »
Didjamatic, that's a picture of the Comfort keyboard that I won, or a very similar model. In a sense, it does not have the same range of adjustability as the M15 because the pieces must remain anchored to the base (notice I said "exactly"). Yes, you can adjust the angle every which way (and supposedly the position of the pieces). I don't know what I'm going to do with this if I can't re-assemble it.

Offline didjamatic

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Lexmark M15, what would you replace it with?
« Reply #10 on: Sun, 12 September 2010, 16:33:01 »
Oh, gotcha.  I misunderstood.  

Mine arrived in total pieces, it's not tough to reassemble, just a little tricky to slide the metal disk things into the grooves.  I bought mine to mod but don't have time now so I might sell it.
IBM F :: IBM M :: Northgate :: Cherry G80 :: Realforce :: DAS 4

Offline khaytsus

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Lexmark M15, what would you replace it with?
« Reply #11 on: Sun, 12 September 2010, 20:15:26 »
Thanks for all the replies and info guys, now I know my google-fu wasn't completely off; there's just very little option out there anymore.  As with a lot of posts I found here, I liked the layout of the MS Ergo's but the switches BLOW, so there are options in fixed keyboards with better keys, I've written them down "just in case".

I think I will keep the board, particularly the suggestion that they only get more rare and desirable ;)  And from what I've seen of some boards recovered from heaps of wet garbage, hopefully this one can survive a 4 year old nearby.  She knows she's not supposed to touch my computer, but I've already heard the keys clacking a few times in the last few days and come in here and she's "petting the cat" and the screens are on and screensaver timeout ticking down....  Mmmm hmmmmm..

I'm still getting used to the layout, i wish it had about 6" more cable honestly, although just another inch or two would be great..  I could have them almost straight out from my chair arms.  But what I've done right now works well for me, still almost exactly the same as in the Picasa link in the first post.  My treasured Logitech Marble in the middle works out pretty well.  :)

Only thing that I would really want is an enter key on the lefthand side would be awesome, I can't think of a specific reason but I keep finding myself wanting to hit enter over there.  And the occasional one-handed typing (sandwich, or kid asleep in lap on an arm, etc....) is rough ;)  But the primary use is awesome.  I'm going to look around for smallish wrist pads, perhaps those from the "mouse pads" and just chop off the mouse pad part.

Only complain about the keyboard is I'd really like to raise them up in the front with the foot, but it's not stable in that mode if the halves are separated, as the foot is only on the inside.  I might look around for a way to raise them up a bit, I'm sure I can come up with something.  I put my contact cases under 'em to tinker around and they feel much nicer with them under there, but I have enough trouble finding the cases in the morning without them being under my keyboard..  *squints*

I think I'll keep reading on the board, and try not to become a.... keyboard-a-holic?  You guys are nuts, and it's pretty cool.  :)  And I'll keep my eyes open at work, they, um, made these there and all ;)  Maybe I'll get super lucky AGAIN.  I know I've seen some traditional clackies there, although I couldn't fathom guesses what exact ones I've seen.  Any I see around that are being tossed I'll certainly rescue.

Offline Phaedrus2129

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Lexmark M15, what would you replace it with?
« Reply #12 on: Sun, 12 September 2010, 20:48:50 »
lol, good luck not becoming a keyboard-o-holic. I started out with a measly single Model M and now I've got three shelves full of keyboards (most of them only acquired Friday and going in the trash as soon as I get the keycaps off, but still ;)).
Daily Driver: Noppoo Choc Mini
Currently own: IBM Model M 1391401 1988,  XArmor U9 prototype
Previously owned: Ricercar SPOS, IBM M13 92G7461 1994, XArmor U9BL, XArmor U9W prototype, Cherry G80-8200LPDUS, Cherry G84-4100, Compaq MX-11800, Chicony KB-5181 (SMK Monterey), Reveal KB-7061, Cirque Wave Keyboard (ergonomic rubber domes), NMB RT101 (rubber dome), Dell AT101W

Offline didjamatic

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Lexmark M15, what would you replace it with?
« Reply #13 on: Sun, 12 September 2010, 21:15:12 »
Keyboards being rescued from trash are my favorite stories.  That's how I acquired Northy (in my signature) and many other favorites.

If you work somewhere that has access to these suckers then seriously keep your eyes open.  Ask the maintenance people if you have a stash of them, or if there are storage closets with old computer gear - those are often the best places to look.
IBM F :: IBM M :: Northgate :: Cherry G80 :: Realforce :: DAS 4

Offline lmnop

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Lexmark M15, what would you replace it with?
« Reply #14 on: Sun, 12 September 2010, 21:24:39 »

Quote
SmartBoard II - Coming Soon!

:)
« Last Edit: Sun, 12 September 2010, 21:50:07 by lmnop »

Offline DesktopJinx

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Lexmark M15, what would you replace it with?
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 16 September 2010, 10:48:35 »
khatysus, you are my hero.

Well, except for the part about letting a four-year-old near the keyboard, but we all have our flaws :)

No, wait, I mean... that keyboard is poorly designed and will cause you great injury if it doesn't explode first. I can't believe someone just threw it in a dumpster; those things need to be carefully disassembled so as not to cause anyone harm. Fortunately I have a copy of the procedure and have done it before, and am willing to put myself at risk again for the greater good. Please box it up carefully, using copious antistatic packing material that will protect it against shock and vibration, and ship it to me immediately.
M15 for life

Offline microsoft windows

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Lexmark M15, what would you replace it with?
« Reply #16 on: Thu, 16 September 2010, 19:22:56 »
Quote from: didjamatic;222589
Keyboards being rescued from trash are my favorite stories.  That's how I acquired Northy (in my signature) and many other favorites.

If you work somewhere that has access to these suckers then seriously keep your eyes open.  Ask the maintenance people if you have a stash of them, or if there are storage closets with old computer gear - those are often the best places to look.


Geez, that guy blew my trash find out of the water! I got my low serial-number M5-2 out of a trash can at work.
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Offline ocdonkb

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Lexmark M15, what would you replace it with?
« Reply #17 on: Thu, 16 September 2010, 19:45:44 »
Quote
but I was dumpster diving in the electronic recycling box at work

damn how you do this? Many times I've walked by ours, but the most i've done is slightly raise my head to take a peek. Always feared that the entire office is probably watching :)
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Offline khaytsus

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Lexmark M15, what would you replace it with?
« Reply #18 on: Fri, 17 September 2010, 05:26:29 »
Quote from: DesktopJinx;223911
khatysus, you are my hero.

Well, except for the part about letting a four-year-old near the keyboard, but we all have our flaws :)

No, wait, I mean... that keyboard is poorly designed and will cause you great injury if it doesn't explode first. I can't believe someone just threw it in a dumpster; those things need to be carefully disassembled so as not to cause anyone harm. Fortunately I have a copy of the procedure and have done it before, and am willing to put myself at risk again for the greater good. Please box it up carefully, using copious antistatic packing material that will protect it against shock and vibration, and ship it to me immediately.


Oh noes!  PM me your address, I'll pay shipping!

Quote from: ocdonkb;224063
damn how you do this? Many times I've walked by ours, but the most i've done is slightly raise my head to take a peek. Always feared that the entire office is probably watching :)


HA!  I have no shame.  I've pulled several servers out of there that the various build teams have replaced, even a few desktops that were well worthy of what I wanted to use them for.  They always pull the drives, but often leave the CPU and RAM so I find a drive from some other machine that's lesser and upgrade.  :)  I pulled 6 Kensington laptop locks out of there a few months ago...  People toss weird stuff.

Although I did make a bad pick once..  There was this massive mean looking server build box in there I about killed myself getting out of the box (power pack box; maybe 4 feet tall?) and when I got it set up I found out it was a dual processor Intel Xeon P2.  It was very high end spec for 2001, but even my weakest server in my lab was faster in every way.  ;)

Offline microsoft windows

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Lexmark M15, what would you replace it with?
« Reply #19 on: Fri, 17 September 2010, 06:06:38 »
Wow. You're almost like me. I got all 14 of my computers through dumpster diving.
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