VOGONS


Any Buckling Springs Fans on Vogons?

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Reply 60 of 84, by AlphaDangerDen

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Runicen wrote:

Are there any threads on the board that compare different switch types (brand/make against brand/make rather than comparing different styles of Cherry MX switches, for example)? I've been wanting to take the plunge into mechanical keyboards as I'm using an old Saitek that's rapidly shedding paint on keys and feeling a bit beat up and want something with really solid build quality, but the prices keep putting me off.

Logan from Tek Syndicate did a mechanical keyboard switch comparison video, and he surprisingly included buckling springs, something most tech youtubers haven't done:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OfUAQiIOWQ

Reply 61 of 84, by bjt

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Been using an IBM Model F recently. What a piece of machinery! I had it set up in the corner of the living room and it's too noisy for anyone to watch TV 😀

Can't imagine what an office full of them would be like. Quiet keyboards have their place!

Reply 62 of 84, by AlphaDangerDen

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bjt wrote:

Been using an IBM Model F recently. What a piece of machinery! I had it set up in the corner of the living room and it's too noisy for anyone to watch TV 😀

Can't imagine what an office full of them would be like. Quiet keyboards have their place!

Dang that sounds awesome 😁

Don't the model F keyboards have a different version of the buckling spring switch and sound slightly different? Or am I thinking of a different keyboard?

Reply 64 of 84, by squareguy

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My main work PC uses the PS/2 version of the Unicomp Classic 101 White. I have had it for several years now and have been very happy with it.

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Reply 65 of 84, by Great Hierophant

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I have a Model F XT keyboard, and man is it a beast! Heavy and loud! The keyboard still works perfectly even though someone at some point dropped it with sufficient force to break one of the side height-adjust knobs off. The height adjust still works, just requires a bit more pressure. The space bar requires an unnatural amount of force to register a hit. The piece that holds the keys in place is made of metal. The bottom part of the shell is metal and the top part has to be the hardest ceramic substance I have ever seen. The buckling springs make contact with a real PCB, not a pair of plastic sheets separated only by a middle sheet as in the Model M. You won't find that kind of build quality ever again for a keyboard. I wish I had a Model F AT keyboard just to show people with modern computers what they are missing.

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Reply 66 of 84, by Runicen

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I lucked into an old Acer keyboard (manufacture date in 1996) that I'm just about positive is buckling spring at a Salvation Army for $4. It must have been some kind of NOS or office surplus they'd taken n as it was still in the box with the plastic packing that covered the keys. No fading or yellowing at all.

Hell, for the price, it made sense to give it a whirl. The PS/2 cord was a bit short for my taste, but that's the only gripe I've had thus far. I find it's a lot more responsive than the Saitek I'd been using for gaming purposes. Not "clicky" in the sense of the Cherry MX Blue switches, but pleasantly tactile and just noisy enough to be pleasant to my ears.

Reply 68 of 84, by AlphaDangerDen

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Runicen wrote:

I lucked into an old Acer keyboard (manufacture date in 1996) that I'm just about positive is buckling spring at a Salvation Army for $4. It must have been some kind of NOS or office surplus they'd taken n as it was still in the box with the plastic packing that covered the keys. No fading or yellowing at all.

Hell, for the price, it made sense to give it a whirl. The PS/2 cord was a bit short for my taste, but that's the only gripe I've had thus far. I find it's a lot more responsive than the Saitek I'd been using for gaming purposes. Not "clicky" in the sense of the Cherry MX Blue switches, but pleasantly tactile and just noisy enough to be pleasant to my ears.

I know a lot of old Acer keyboards use some type of Alps switch. Have you checked the model number of your Acer on Deskthority?

Reply 69 of 84, by Runicen

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AlphaDangerDen wrote:
Runicen wrote:

I lucked into an old Acer keyboard (manufacture date in 1996) that I'm just about positive is buckling spring at a Salvation Army for $4. It must have been some kind of NOS or office surplus they'd taken n as it was still in the box with the plastic packing that covered the keys. No fading or yellowing at all.

Hell, for the price, it made sense to give it a whirl. The PS/2 cord was a bit short for my taste, but that's the only gripe I've had thus far. I find it's a lot more responsive than the Saitek I'd been using for gaming purposes. Not "clicky" in the sense of the Cherry MX Blue switches, but pleasantly tactile and just noisy enough to be pleasant to my ears.

I know a lot of old Acer keyboards use some type of Alps switch. Have you checked the model number of your Acer on Deskthority?

Not yet, but I'll definitely take a look when I get home tonight.

The only quirk I can really pick out on this keyboard is that it tends to respond poorly to more than two simultaneous keypresses. For example, if I'm holding down shift and W to run forward in a game and there is an action button I need to hit, it tends to not respond until I release one of those keys. It's a little bit of a pain for gaming - not horrible, but definitely an issue.

EDIT: I need to spend some more time on Deskthority because it looks like a thoroughly interesting forum. I didn't find any specific mention of the Acer I found (6511 - Extension N91/BL/US), but from what I've seen popping off my ESC key, this keyboard is probably using some kind of Alps switch. Funny enough, looking around on Desk... Had no idea so many PoS keyboards and machines used mechanical switches. Half assumed those would have been made of the cheapest stuff possible.

Reply 70 of 84, by dexter311

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Big fan of buckling springs, but I can't convince my other half that I should have one. She hates the noise of my MX Blue TKL board as it is - she'll snap if she hears the CLACK CLACK of a Model M or a Unicomp!

Reply 71 of 84, by AlphaDangerDen

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Runicen wrote:

EDIT: I need to spend some more time on Deskthority because it looks like a thoroughly interesting forum. I didn't find any specific mention of the Acer I found (6511 - Extension N91/BL/US), but from what I've seen popping off my ESC key, this keyboard is probably using some kind of Alps switch. Funny enough, looking around on Desk... Had no idea so many PoS keyboards and machines used mechanical switches. Half assumed those would have been made of the cheapest stuff possible.

Funny that you mention that, because the retail store I work at has IBM PoS machine cash registers, and I'm pretty sure they use MX Browns/Blacks or some kind of Alps switch.

Reply 72 of 84, by Runicen

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dexter311 wrote:

Big fan of buckling springs, but I can't convince my other half that I should have one. She hates the noise of my MX Blue TKL board as it is - she'll snap if she hears the CLACK CLACK of a Model M or a Unicomp!

Clearly, the best solution here is to drive her totally mad so she'll no longer notice the noise. 🤣

AlphaDangerDen wrote:
Runicen wrote:

EDIT: I need to spend some more time on Deskthority because it looks like a thoroughly interesting forum. I didn't find any specific mention of the Acer I found (6511 - Extension N91/BL/US), but from what I've seen popping off my ESC key, this keyboard is probably using some kind of Alps switch. Funny enough, looking around on Desk... Had no idea so many PoS keyboards and machines used mechanical switches. Half assumed those would have been made of the cheapest stuff possible.

Funny that you mention that, because the retail store I work at has IBM PoS machine cash registers, and I'm pretty sure they use MX Browns/Blacks or some kind of Alps switch.

It makes perfect sense on some reflection as those mechanical switches can take a LOT more punishment over a much longer period of time, but for whatever reason, it never struck me that those registers would be using hardware comparable to standard PC keyboards. Honestly, it's something I find fascinating about PC hardware of all eras: you have recycled basic components across all manner of applications you'd never guess at.

Reply 73 of 84, by AlphaDangerDen

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Runicen wrote:
Clearly, the best solution here is to drive her totally mad so she'll no longer notice the noise. :lol: […]
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dexter311 wrote:

Big fan of buckling springs, but I can't convince my other half that I should have one. She hates the noise of my MX Blue TKL board as it is - she'll snap if she hears the CLACK CLACK of a Model M or a Unicomp!

Clearly, the best solution here is to drive her totally mad so she'll no longer notice the noise. 🤣

AlphaDangerDen wrote:
Runicen wrote:

EDIT: I need to spend some more time on Deskthority because it looks like a thoroughly interesting forum. I didn't find any specific mention of the Acer I found (6511 - Extension N91/BL/US), but from what I've seen popping off my ESC key, this keyboard is probably using some kind of Alps switch. Funny enough, looking around on Desk... Had no idea so many PoS keyboards and machines used mechanical switches. Half assumed those would have been made of the cheapest stuff possible.

Funny that you mention that, because the retail store I work at has IBM PoS machine cash registers, and I'm pretty sure they use MX Browns/Blacks or some kind of Alps switch.

It makes perfect sense on some reflection as those mechanical switches can take a LOT more punishment over a much longer period of time, but for whatever reason, it never struck me that those registers would be using hardware comparable to standard PC keyboards. Honestly, it's something I find fascinating about PC hardware of all eras: you have recycled basic components across all manner of applications you'd never guess at.

It does make sense now that you mention the punishment part. Those IBM PoS systems, the beige ones, are probably at least 15-20 years old and still chugging along every work day, good as new for the most part. I do enjoy typing on them as I ring people up haha.

Reply 74 of 84, by Sedrosken

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AlphaDangerDen wrote:

Hey all! In November 2014, I purchased a custom-built Unicomp Classic 101 keyboard (PS/2), black on black with no printing on the keys, I also purchased some extra keycaps. Purchasing this keyboard has made me loving typing my college papers (or playing Doom 2 when I'm *supposed* to be typing my college papers 🤣 ). I absolutely love this keyboard, and buckling springs switches, the loud clackity sound they make just cannot be replicated by any Cherry MX or Topre switch. Unicomp is located in Lexington, KY, USA, which is also where I'm located, which is just plain awesome. But anyway, I went to their facility to pick up my keyboard instead of paying $20 to have it shipped 20 minutes. The employee that I picked my keyboard up from actually uses their own product, how flippin' awesome is that?

Now, I know a lot of you absolutely love the IBM/Lexmark Model M keyboard from the 1980s and 1990s, so post some pics of your Buckling Springs keyboard(s) in this thread!

I'll upload some pics of my keyboard here soon, but what's the maximum resolution I'm allowed to post on here?

Hello from Shelbyville, KY! 🤣 Do you ever make it out this far?

I have a Unicomp black/black PS/2 for my KVM that I use on both machines I own. Typing was fun again once I finally put my pennies together and bought one. I bought the one with a trackpoint included but I don't use it, tried it but I prefer my mouse.

EDIT: Yet again, here I am necroing threads! Sincerest apologies, I'll stop now.

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Reply 75 of 84, by Stiletto

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Sedrosken wrote:

Hello from Shelbyville!

They have a store that just sells shoes! 🤣
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44T-V_A3htU

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do the Fandango!" - Queen

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Reply 76 of 84, by Sedrosken

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Not sure if I should be offended or laughing along with you, that pretty much sums up my town, for better or worse. Mostly worse.

Hebian-To: P4P800-VM, 3.4 Prescott, 4GB RAM, 9600XT, SB0730, 256GB SSD, XP USP4
Shoushi: D815EAA, 1000EB, 512MB RAM, Ti4200, YMF744, 128GB SSD, 2000 SP4
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Reply 77 of 84, by dexter311

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Sedrosken wrote:

Not sure if I should be offended or laughing along with you, that pretty much sums up my town, for better or worse. Mostly worse.

Is it true it used to be called Morganville, back when the nickels had bumblebees on em?

Reply 78 of 84, by Sedrosken

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I would say not. I don't know the history of the town very well, and the Wikipedia article has nothing to say on the matter.

Hebian-To: P4P800-VM, 3.4 Prescott, 4GB RAM, 9600XT, SB0730, 256GB SSD, XP USP4
Shoushi: D815EAA, 1000EB, 512MB RAM, Ti4200, YMF744, 128GB SSD, 2000 SP4
Cragstone: Alaris Cougar, 486BL3, 16MB RAM, Trio64V+ VLB, CT2800, 16GB SD2IDE, 98lite

Reply 79 of 84, by AlphaDangerDen

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Sedrosken wrote:
Hello from Shelbyville, KY! XD Do you ever make it out this far? […]
Show full quote
AlphaDangerDen wrote:

Hey all! In November 2014, I purchased a custom-built Unicomp Classic 101 keyboard (PS/2), black on black with no printing on the keys, I also purchased some extra keycaps. Purchasing this keyboard has made me loving typing my college papers (or playing Doom 2 when I'm *supposed* to be typing my college papers 🤣 ). I absolutely love this keyboard, and buckling springs switches, the loud clackity sound they make just cannot be replicated by any Cherry MX or Topre switch. Unicomp is located in Lexington, KY, USA, which is also where I'm located, which is just plain awesome. But anyway, I went to their facility to pick up my keyboard instead of paying $20 to have it shipped 20 minutes. The employee that I picked my keyboard up from actually uses their own product, how flippin' awesome is that?

Now, I know a lot of you absolutely love the IBM/Lexmark Model M keyboard from the 1980s and 1990s, so post some pics of your Buckling Springs keyboard(s) in this thread!

I'll upload some pics of my keyboard here soon, but what's the maximum resolution I'm allowed to post on here?

Hello from Shelbyville, KY! 🤣 Do you ever make it out this far?

I have a Unicomp black/black PS/2 for my KVM that I use on both machines I own. Typing was fun again once I finally put my pennies together and bought one. I bought the one with a trackpoint included but I don't use it, tried it but I prefer my mouse.

EDIT: Yet again, here I am necroing threads! Sincerest apologies, I'll stop now.

The only time I'm in Shelbyville is when I'm passing through, I'm in Lexington almost every single day, though.

Apparently those clear IBM keycaps I posted a few posts have the stem built-in in. Anybody know if those would work on a Unicomp after removing the stems from it?