Author Topic: [IC] Modern Selectric  (Read 8527 times)

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Offline skullydazed

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[IC] Modern Selectric
« on: Fri, 01 May 2015, 15:24:33 »
I've been running an interest check over at PMK for a keyset I'm calling Modern Selectric. It's been getting a lot of good responses both on PMK and on another keyboard enthusiast forum, and due to encouragement from ideus I found myself posting here a bit too.

Well, we're approaching the date when PMK said it would go live and I realized I had never posted it here. So I decided to rectify that.   ^-^

It goes up for sale soon, but if anyone has any suggestions in the meantime I'm open to hearing them. I want this set to work for as many people as possible so we can get that economy of scale going for us.

Here's an example of what it might look like on a full sized keyboard:



And here's another example on the fc660m:

« Last Edit: Tue, 05 May 2015, 21:57:00 by skullydazed »

Offline sethk_

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 01 May 2015, 15:26:07 »
"Other enthusiast forum", Ripster actually claims that forums are old and outdated, and doesn't think of reddit as a forum. But anyways, I like the way it looks, and the sculpted is a nice feature

Offline Dihedral

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 01 May 2015, 15:26:19 »
Looks like it has potential but needs work. My reservations about the legends would be that they look a bit childish - maybe size them down and make them a little less bold and chunky.

Offline Dihedral

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 01 May 2015, 15:27:19 »
"Other enthusiast forum", Ripster actually claims that forums are old and outdated, and doesn't think of reddit as a forum. But anyways, I like the way it looks, and the sculpted is a nice feature

Reddit is a forum. Ripster just wants to disassociate himself with GH.

Offline sethk_

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 01 May 2015, 15:35:28 »
"Other enthusiast forum", Ripster actually claims that forums are old and outdated, and doesn't think of reddit as a forum. But anyways, I like the way it looks, and the sculpted is a nice feature

Reddit is a forum. Ripster just wants to disassociate himself with GH.
Exactly, it just has a different way of showing the topics

Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 01 May 2015, 15:41:31 »
Holy **** I got excited. I thought someone was going to convert a Selectric to USB. Didn't realize it was a keycap set :(.

Offline E TwentyNine

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #6 on: Fri, 01 May 2015, 15:50:25 »
Looks like it has potential but needs work. My reservations about the legends would be that they look a bit childish - maybe size them down and make them a little less bold and chunky.

They need to be larger, not smaller.  They're not the same font as the original selectrics and not large enough.

This almost gets the alpha's right except for the font:

Daily driver: SSK or Tenkeyless IBM AT
1984 Model M Industrial Prototype ⌨ 1992 Black Oval Industrial SSK ⌨ 1982 5251 Beam Spring ⌨ 89 Key "SSK" ⌨ M13 triplets

Offline Dihedral

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #7 on: Fri, 01 May 2015, 15:55:53 »
Looks like it has potential but needs work. My reservations about the legends would be that they look a bit childish - maybe size them down and make them a little less bold and chunky.

They need to be larger, not smaller.  They're not the same font as the original selectrics and not large enough.

This almost gets the alpha's right except for the font:

Show Image


Ah, I see. Thanks for clearing that up. I was thinking about it from an aesthetic perspective but it would be nice to retain the design features of the original.

Offline E TwentyNine

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 01 May 2015, 16:12:07 »
Ah, I see. Thanks for clearing that up. I was thinking about it from an aesthetic perspective but it would be nice to retain the design features of the original.

I was looking at it from an aesthetic perspective.
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Offline skullydazed

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #9 on: Fri, 01 May 2015, 16:37:56 »
Thanks for your interest, and your passion. ;)

My goal is to have legends that are the same size as nuclear data's. The current rendering may not show that very well. However, I've compared ND against my own seletric and it's not too far off:



There are some obvious typographical differences between the two fonts, but I am limited to the gorton modified that SP already has.

Offline E TwentyNine

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #10 on: Fri, 01 May 2015, 16:45:29 »
There are some obvious typographical differences between the two fonts, but I am limited to the gorton modified that SP already has.

That looks great.  Love the greens.
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Offline Bloo

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #11 on: Fri, 01 May 2015, 16:49:56 »
I might have missed it somewhere...which blue are you going with and has it been matched?  I don't mind it, but the selectric samples I'm seeing online have a bit more punch. 

Offline skullydazed

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #12 on: Fri, 01 May 2015, 16:58:00 »
I might have missed it somewhere...which blue are you going with and has it been matched?  I don't mind it, but the selectric samples I'm seeing online have a bit more punch. 

I picked out colors based on the ABS color chips I ordered:

White: WFK
Black: NN
Blue: BDH
Red: RDD

That blue is darker than the blue case some selectrics have, and it's way darker than the blue keys that other selectrics have, but I think it's a blue that evokes that Big Business Blue feeling I get from the IBM logos of the 80's.

Offline skullydazed

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #13 on: Sat, 02 May 2015, 18:15:04 »
One of the biggest and most frequent questions I've been getting is "what if my iso kit doesn't tip?" I think I've just solved that problem, at the cost of a little more complexity when ordering. Now there's a Base ISO kit with the common ISO keys, so even if your particular ISO kit doesn't tip you know that you'll get the correct enter and shift keys.



Of course, that still leaves the question of what the MOQ for these child deals will be. Melissa tells me I can set them as low as I want, even at 1, but of course any child deal with only 1 sale will be very expensive.

Offline Findecanor

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #14 on: Sat, 02 May 2015, 19:55:42 »
If you are going to copy the Selectric, then the letters should be centred and large and the modifier legends should be textual and centred.
Personally, I do like symbolic legends on modifiers with the symbols left-adjusted on the left and right-adjusted on the right. I got a custom keyset made at WASD Keyboards that way.

The Tab symbols are wrong. The symbol for Tab has an arrow pointing right. The left-pointing arrow is the symbol for Back-Tab, which you get when holding down Shift. Therefore, the left-arrow should be top and the bottom-arrow at the bottom.
Of course, if you are going to follow convention, then the symbols should also be at the same size and rows as the symbols on the keys on the right: such as \ and |. The exception to the size/alignment would be when you have something in-between them (such as the text "Tab") and there is not enough space to have the symbols in full size.
BTW. Some older computer keyboards (such as from the IBM Beam-spring era) do have separate keys for Tab and Back-Tab, as do many typewriters.
For my key set from WASD Keyboards, I chose to have only a Tab symbol (left-justified, middle) and no Back-Tab symbol.

Holy **** I got excited. I thought someone was going to convert a Selectric to USB. Didn't realize it was a keycap set :(.
I thought first that it could have been someone who wanted to make new typewriters ...
Some borderline ridiculous ideas do pop up here now and then.  :rolleyes:
« Last Edit: Sat, 02 May 2015, 20:05:29 by Findecanor »
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Offline Elrick

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #15 on: Sat, 02 May 2015, 21:29:06 »
Looking forward to this one happening at PMK soon  :thumb: .

Like that you're trying to initiate the look of an IBM Selectric but since very few here on this forum has ever seen or used one in their life, they can be left wondering what this set actually means.

Provide some pics of an actual typewriter showing some of these keys and legends just so they get the idea of what you are proposing.   Every design and colour-way has it's roots in history so it would be great for the lazy here to see with their own eyes, what you are trying to achieve with this key-set.

Offline skullydazed

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #16 on: Sat, 02 May 2015, 21:57:46 »
If you are going to copy the Selectric, then the letters should be centred and large and the modifier legends should be textual and centered.

The letters are as big as keyboard-layout-editor.com will go. The final design will be the same size as nuclear data and pulse, which is also very close to the selectric's letter sizing.

As for the mods, that's what makes this modern. ;D I'm projecting what the selectric design would look like if it had survived into the 80's/90's and beyond.

The Tab symbols are wrong. The symbol for Tab has an arrow pointing right. The left-pointing arrow is the symbol for Back-Tab, which you get when holding down Shift. Therefore, the left-arrow should be top and the bottom-arrow at the bottom.

Just when you think you haven't got any mistakes left in there... Thanks for pointing that out, I'll correct it and get new shots up.

Thanks for putting in your 2 cents!

Offline skullydazed

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #17 on: Sat, 02 May 2015, 21:59:16 »
Provide some pics of an actual typewriter showing some of these keys and legends just so they get the idea of what you are proposing.   Every design and colour-way has it's roots in history so it would be great for the lazy here to see with their own eyes, what you are trying to achieve with this key-set.

That's a pretty good idea. I'm working tonight on putting together a "which child deals do I need?" flowchart, but I'll pull together something like that before the buy goes up.

Offline skullydazed

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #18 on: Sun, 03 May 2015, 15:33:42 »
I put together a chart to help people figure out which child deals they'll need. Once it goes lives I'll be able to have it link directly to each child deal.


Offline Wilba

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #19 on: Sun, 03 May 2015, 19:30:08 »
"Traditional Keyboard Contrast" is wrong. Traditional would be F1-F4 and F9-F12 in black, not F5-F8.

So looking at the PMK page, it seems one would need to buy both TKL mod kits and the "Traditional Keyboard Contrast" kit to get a real "traditional" colorway - i.e. black alphas including `~ and \|, F1-F4 and F9-F12, and blue mods. Even if you fixed the "Traditional Keyboard Contrast" kit, it's still an extra kit, that adds an extra cost to something that really should be considered the default. If I can't get "traditional" with two kits, then it's just another reason to pass on the GB altogether, especially when there are other SA kits coming soon, like SA Retro and Penumbra.

In regards to the Ortholinear kit, you may want to consider adding a second 2U shift key, and another 2U R3 blank, as the future Atomic plates/PCB will support 2U left and right shifts and a split 2x2U "spacebar". Maybe offering 1U and 2U blanks (in row 3) would also be a good way to help those wanting to fit out a Planck or Atomic, but aren't keen on the mod profiles... sculpted alphas with row 3 blank mods is a good compromise for them. There's also the slight annoyance that `~ and \| are in mod colour not alpha colour.

FWIW I don't mind paying for keys that I don't use, and I certainly prefer it to playing some lottery with PMK hoping some child deal will tip so I can pay more for exactly what I want. As the kits are structured now, I may consider playing it safe and getting black mods, which I know will tip.

Offline skullydazed

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #20 on: Sun, 03 May 2015, 20:19:32 »
"Traditional Keyboard Contrast" is wrong. Traditional would be F1-F4 and F9-F12 in black, not F5-F8.

I had originally set that based on other people's requests, but now that you mention it that is wrong. I've updated that pack to be F1-F4 and F9-F12, I'll upload new shots after dinner.

So looking at the PMK page, it seems one would need to buy both TKL mod kits and the "Traditional Keyboard Contrast" kit to get a real "traditional" colorway - i.e. black alphas including `~ and \|, F1-F4 and F9-F12, and blue mods. Even if you fixed the "Traditional Keyboard Contrast" kit, it's still an extra kit, that adds an extra cost to something that really should be considered the default. If I can't get "traditional" with two kits, then it's just another reason to pass on the GB altogether, especially when there are other SA kits coming soon, like SA Retro and Penumbra.

I'd be disappointed if you decided to pass because of that, but understanding. You can't please everyone, and I've gotten a lot of good feedback about slimming down the essentials which I think will translate into more sales. Breaking the traditional contrast items out means the TKL kit can be $5-10 cheaper.

In regards to the Ortholinear kit, you may want to consider adding a second 2U shift key, and another 2U R3 blank, as the future Atomic plates/PCB will support 2U left and right shifts and a split 2x2U "spacebar". Maybe offering 1U and 2U blanks (in row 3) would also be a good way to help those wanting to fit out a Planck or Atomic, but aren't keen on the mod profiles... sculpted alphas with row 3 blank mods is a good compromise for them. There's also the slight annoyance that `~ and \| are in mod colour not alpha color.

Good things to plan for, thanks for the note. PMK won't let me offer individual blanks as child deals but they've promised to put them up for sale as soon as the group buy ships. (This is a new policy they're instituting as they were losing money shipping out individual blanks.)

FWIW I don't mind paying for keys that I don't use, and I certainly prefer it to playing some lottery with PMK hoping some child deal will tip so I can pay more for exactly what I want. As the kits are structured now, I may consider playing it safe and getting black mods, which I know will tip.

I can understand not wanting to play the lottery. It sucks when your kit didn't drop. I'm trying to figure out the right MOQ for everything to avoid that, but it may happen.

Offline Wilba

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #21 on: Sun, 03 May 2015, 21:10:28 »

I'd be disappointed if you decided to pass because of that, but understanding. You can't please everyone, and I've gotten a lot of good feedback about slimming down the essentials which I think will translate into more sales. Breaking the traditional contrast items out means the TKL kit can be $5-10 cheaper.

I agree, you can't please everybody, and there's no way of splitting up kits to please everybody... but the trend on PMK seems to be towards breaking things up into so many kits just so the people with 60% layouts get the price benefits of not having to pay for ANY keys they don't need, at the expense of people wanting TKL or 100% layouts.

Putting `~ and \| in the core kit would go a long way to making this GB bit more appealing, esp. for people that consider it heresy for them to be in mod colour... they might pick up the blue mod kit and not mind an all-blue function row. It offsets the cost of the "Traditional Contrast Kit" becoming more expensive because of the correction, i.e. adding 4 keys but taking out 2. It's a very minor addition of cost to the core kit (since it's going to have high MOQ and cheaper per key) and may boost sales of the blue mod kit.

I'm not going to suggest adding more keys to the blue Ortholinear kit... I guess people are stuck with blue `~ and \| if they want blue mods and don't want to buy both kits. The two Ortholinear kits will split the buyers and possibly make them more expensive (to make sure they tip) or not tip at all.

I'm sure this set will tip, but it may come from people just wanting a white-on-black fully sculpted SA set and passing on the blue mods and "Traditional Contrast Kit" completely, because it's the cheaper and safer option.

Offline Vizir

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #22 on: Tue, 05 May 2015, 08:59:44 »
i'd def buy one.

Offline Data

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #23 on: Tue, 05 May 2015, 09:07:23 »
I like this colorway.  This is what I originally wanted to put on my ErgoDox.

Offline Hellcatz

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #24 on: Tue, 05 May 2015, 09:48:57 »
I'm in

Offline skullydazed

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #25 on: Tue, 05 May 2015, 21:55:32 »
Thanks for the encouragement everyone. I've put up what I think are the final forms for the child deals. Tonight and tomorrow I'm going to work on creating each child deal so this is ready to go live. According to PMK they should be ready for this one any day now, depending on how things go with the symbiosis group buy.

Offline noumenology

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #26 on: Sat, 16 May 2015, 18:49:46 »
Just want to say I'm just getting into mechanical keyboards and these seem aesthetically perfect to me. definitely going to buy a set as soon as they go on sale! thanks for the design.

Offline skullydazed

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #27 on: Sat, 16 May 2015, 20:24:50 »
Thanks for the support, hopefully it'll go on sale soon. We're past the date SPLady told me a month ago but I know they've been busy with the recent changes and getting the current GB's out the door. I'm just waiting for an answer about pricing so I can set MOQ's, and it'll be ready.

Offline Elrick

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #28 on: Mon, 18 May 2015, 04:56:08 »
Thanks for the support, hopefully it'll go on sale soon. We're past the date SPLady told me a month ago but I know they've been busy with the recent changes and getting the current GB's out the door. I'm just waiting for an answer about pricing so I can set MOQ's, and it'll be ready.

Hopefully we can get some Selectric onto our Cherry Keyboards soon, another older style that needs to be resurrected, back into our lives  8) .

Offline Vizir

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #29 on: Thu, 21 May 2015, 11:30:24 »
what happened to the IC page on PMK?

Offline skullydazed

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #30 on: Thu, 21 May 2015, 19:16:07 »
what happened to the IC page on PMK?

It's down while we get it ready for the group buy. Unfortunately I need to do some things but won't have time until later tonight or tomorrow. Their backend isn't the best so I have to basically remake most of the child deals.  :mad:

Offline Cods

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #31 on: Tue, 26 May 2015, 04:53:49 »
Bugger.
But on the upside, sweet, we can order it soon!
Model M Industrial, SSK, Unicomp 104, Code TKL MX Green, FC660M MX Green + Clear + White + Grey, FC660C Topre 45g, MagicForce 68 USB and Bluetooth, Whitefox, some optical switch 65% Bluetooth split spacebar thing ... wait, I think I need an intervention. Too late, there’s a couple of new Model Fs on the way.
Too much SA is never enough.

Offline Vizir

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #32 on: Wed, 27 May 2015, 02:39:32 »
The group buy is up on PMK.

Offline skullydazed

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Re: [IC] Modern Selectric
« Reply #33 on: Wed, 27 May 2015, 09:12:21 »
Yes it is! I posted a group buy thread here: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=72254.0;topicseen

I posted it to the group buy section buy the mods moved it, not sure why yet.