Author Topic: I feel dumb  (Read 4781 times)

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Offline xsphat

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I feel dumb
« on: Thu, 30 August 2007, 04:20:40 »
You know, even though I have known this in the back of my mind for a while now, I never connected that my Apple clickys have the same switches as the Omnikey. And I have two of them in storage. Well, one in storage now that I just got one out to play with. I just can't decide what kind of keyboard I like the best. The Alps sliders are a lot lighter to the touch than the Model M, and I do like this keyboard quite a bit, but given it's age and that it is made by Apple, it is lacking a few keys that I would love to have - like F keys, or at least an Fn key.

Here is a pic of the keyboard in question:



See, I go back and forth between keyboards all the time. I think I'll leave this one plugged in for a while.

iMav, have you ever used a keyboard with Alps switches? If so, let me know what you think of them.

Offline iMav

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I feel dumb
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 30 August 2007, 04:24:53 »
I do not currently own any alps slider switch keyboards.  You appear to have Alps, Cherry, and buckling-spring keyboards at your disposal.  throwing form factor and key layout out the window...what is your gut preference as far as tactile feel of those keyboard types?

Also, I'd love to know the story behind the, obvious, color modification on your keyboard.  :)

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #2 on: Thu, 30 August 2007, 12:20:42 »
This all happened inadvertently, but now I can do the keyboardists dream head-to-head review. Give me some time and I'll write up a professional review of the three switches and put it on my blog, and I'll post it here as well. I'll go the nine - audio clips of typing and close ups of the switches. God, this is going to be fun!

Now, on to the painting thing ... I am a keyboard watcher, and I have been a professional writer for years, so I am good at typing but it is just a safety mechanism in my head. So I painted the keys on my favorite keyboard at the time, this one, to take that away from myself. The funny thing is, even with the blank keys, I still type faster when I look down. It's a hard one to break, but it doesn't hurt anything, so whatever.

 I used glossy cream white car paint on the keys, two coats, and I used camo paint that hunters and rednecks use on their guns and cars (respectively) for the case because it adds a little texture to the finish. To be fair, I taped off the Apple logo. That big key at the top brings up the shut-down menu in Mac and Windows. The finish is really nice looking and it feels good, and I just knew the colors I wanted from the start, so I don't know how I came up with the scheme. I just thought it would look nice and I still like it.

This model, the M0116, is really easy to take apart. There are only three phillips head screws on the bottom, and the circuit board just slides into some grooves.

I do like this keyboard, which I call my Axe in a little ode to black jazz musicians from way back in the day, quite a bit. I have another keyboard from this era, but it is a year older and it shipped with the Apple II GS, and that was the one that started this all for me. I got it and just loved it, and now it is my least favorite one because of the shape of the keys. It's in that pic I posted of my collection, it looks like this one but has a narrower footprint. I painted those keys too.

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #3 on: Mon, 03 September 2007, 02:09:09 »
Quote from: iMav
Also, I'd love to know the story behind the, obvious, color modification on your keyboard.  :)


iMav, it looks like we have a winner. The Alps switches are the most comfortable to type on by a long shot. The buckling springs require about twice as much force to register a key stroke, but the Cherry switches sound the coolest. The Alps are so smooth and responsive, and they are almost as loud as the buckling springs on the Model M.

Mind you, my Cherry ML4100 has different switches than the flagship models to conserve space, but the quality remains high and it is still my favorite keyboard.

But the Alps are the best feeling switches I've ever used. I'll write up a full review when I get a little spare time.