Author Topic: Split-Mechanical keyboard found in my basement  (Read 5316 times)

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Offline TacticalCoder

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Split-Mechanical keyboard found in my basement
« on: Sat, 02 July 2011, 13:07:14 »
I totally forgot I had this board... Long story short, after reading Geek Hack recently I realized all my mechanical keyboards were POS and thought that I probably had an old $5 rubber dome laying around in my basement.

My plan was to find a $5 rubber dome keyboard (anyone would do) and quit touch-typing: it was all being "open minded" and typing with two fingers in a "hunt and peck" style because it's all a matter of personal preferences anyway.  Really, all the trolls ^H ^H ^H ^H ^H ^H nice people here had me convinced: old rubber dome was to be my new way of typing.

Then behind boxes I noticed a keyboard and thought I had my old $5 rubber dome!

But then no luck, it turned out to be a board I totally forgot I had (I think I've got it since 1998): a "Darwin Keyboards ltd" model "SmartBoard".  It's a split-mechanical keyboard using white ALPS.  On the back there's a website: http://www.darwinkeyboards.com but apparently nowadays it's just a link farm.

Maybe that Darwin Keyboards ltd became DataDesk?

« Last Edit: Sat, 02 July 2011, 13:15:38 by TacticalCoder »
HHKB Pro JP (daily driver) -- HHKB Pro 2 -- Industrial IBM Model M 1395240-- NIB Cherry MX 5000 - IBM Model M 1391412 (Swiss QWERTZ) -- IBM Model M 1391403 (German QWERTZ) * 2 -- IBM Model M Ambra -- Black IBM Model M M13 -- IBM Model M 1391401 -- IBM Model M 139? ? ? *2 -- Dell AT102W -- Ergo (split) SmartBoard (white ALPS apparently)

Offline keyboardlover

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    • http://www.keyboardlover.com
Split-Mechanical keyboard found in my basement
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 02 July 2011, 13:08:23 »
Wow interesting find! Can you post a pic?

Offline TacticalCoder

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Split-Mechanical keyboard found in my basement
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 02 July 2011, 13:18:40 »
Quote from: keyboardlover;372035
Wow interesting find! Can you post a pic?

I thought there was a pic with my post.  It has two led keycaps: "Num Scroll" and "Caps Lock".

Here's the pic again and a pic of the back.  It's really weird because the model number says "SKR-2233" (but it does not corresponds at all to the other SKR-2233 references I've found).  I think I remember it's a keyboard I received from the company: at that time I was writing articles in french computer magazines and wrote them asking if they could lend me a board so that I could review it in case we were making a special issue with keyboard tests and they gave me that thing.

(edit: added two more pictures -- all the pictures were taken with my MacBookPro's integrated webcam so they s*ck big times ; )

[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 19979[/ATTACH]

[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 19980[/ATTACH]

[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 19981[/ATTACH]

[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 19982[/ATTACH]
« Last Edit: Sat, 02 July 2011, 13:28:17 by TacticalCoder »
HHKB Pro JP (daily driver) -- HHKB Pro 2 -- Industrial IBM Model M 1395240-- NIB Cherry MX 5000 - IBM Model M 1391412 (Swiss QWERTZ) -- IBM Model M 1391403 (German QWERTZ) * 2 -- IBM Model M Ambra -- Black IBM Model M M13 -- IBM Model M 1391401 -- IBM Model M 139? ? ? *2 -- Dell AT102W -- Ergo (split) SmartBoard (white ALPS apparently)

Offline TacticalCoder

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Split-Mechanical keyboard found in my basement
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 02 July 2011, 13:30:02 »
Quote from: keyboardlover;372035
Wow interesting find! Can you post a pic?

The logo on the right of the "SmartBoard" writing is a hand under which it is written "DARWIN".
HHKB Pro JP (daily driver) -- HHKB Pro 2 -- Industrial IBM Model M 1395240-- NIB Cherry MX 5000 - IBM Model M 1391412 (Swiss QWERTZ) -- IBM Model M 1391403 (German QWERTZ) * 2 -- IBM Model M Ambra -- Black IBM Model M M13 -- IBM Model M 1391401 -- IBM Model M 139? ? ? *2 -- Dell AT102W -- Ergo (split) SmartBoard (white ALPS apparently)

Offline darwinkeyboards

  • Posts: 1
Split-Mechanical keyboard found in my basement
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 17 February 2012, 01:26:44 »
Hi All, I am the founder of Darwin Keyboards (we sold the company in 1999). Happy to answer any Qs you might have! -- Michael Blend

Offline Magna224

  • Posts: 393
  • Location: Tempe, Arizona
Split-Mechanical keyboard found in my basement
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 17 February 2012, 01:54:50 »
hmm... interesting.
If you live in AZ you can try my keyboards. I usually keep plenty of different ALPS and MX and buckling springs.

Offline sordna

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Split-Mechanical keyboard found in my basement
« Reply #6 on: Fri, 17 February 2012, 02:45:18 »
Quote from: darwinkeyboards;516782
Hi All, I am the founder of Darwin Keyboards (we sold the company in 1999). Happy to answer any Qs you might have! -- Michael Blend

Hi and welcome to Geekhack! I have tried the Smartboard (I think it was branded Datadesk Smartboard, so I guess after you sold the company), but unfortunately the keys were a bit hard to press, and would bind if you didn't press them in the center. Also I did not like the fanning so much (outer columns having progressively wider keys). However I did like the straight column layout! Too bad not many keyboards have the keys in straight columns, because it's a much better design than the pointless zig-zag staggered keys.
Kinesis Contoured Advantage & Advantage2 LF with Cherry MX Red switches / Extra keys mod / O-ring dampening mod / Dvorak layout. ErgoDox with buzzer and LED mod.
Also: Kinesis Advantage Classic, Kinesis Advantage2, Data911 TG3, Fingerworks Touchstream LP, IBM SSK (Buckling spring), Goldtouch GTU-0077 keyboard

Offline Uncle Roger

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Split-Mechanical keyboard found in my basement
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 14 May 2012, 18:40:13 »
Quote from: darwinkeyboards;516782
Hi All, I am the founder of Darwin Keyboards (we sold the company in 1999). Happy to answer any Qs you might have! -- Michael Blend

Howdy!  #1 question any Smartboard user will have is where can I buy more?  I've got a couple that are wearing out, and I can't imagine switching to a "normal" keyboard.  I'd love to buy a couple more of them!  

In any case, thank you for designing the Smartboard!  As a programmer and part-time writer, the Smartboard has made a huge difference in my life.  Thank you!

Offline REVENGE

  • Posts: 568
Split-Mechanical keyboard found in my basement
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 14 May 2012, 20:03:48 »
Quote from: Uncle Roger;592781
Howdy!  #1 question any Smartboard user will have is where can I buy more?  I've got a couple that are wearing out, and I can't imagine switching to a "normal" keyboard.  I'd love to buy a couple more of them!  

In any case, thank you for designing the Smartboard!  As a programmer and part-time writer, the Smartboard has made a huge difference in my life.  Thank you!
http://www.datadesktech.com/desktop_sb.html

Welcome to GH!
◕ ‿ ◕

Offline jimogeek

  • Posts: 1
Split-Mechanical keyboard found in my basement
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 14 June 2012, 13:13:52 »
I will buy that keyboard off you, been looking for a replacement FOREVER.

Offline hoggy

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Split-Mechanical keyboard found in my basement
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 14 June 2012, 13:57:17 »
Jimogeek,

Do you still have the old keyboard?  You might be able to get it repaired.  Bob  - http://www.northgate-keyboard-repair.com/  - might be able to help.
GH Ergonomic Guide (in progress)
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=54680.0