VOGONS


First post, by chinny22

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Due to the way my KVM's are set up my daily driver is connected the KVM with a MS Internet Keyboard attached, its period correct and fine for light gaming but actual typing its horrible.
I thought it was due to not been used to it but its now almost 12 later months and still think the Dell QuietKey from the same era and a silver and grey P4 era Compaq attached to the other 2 KVM's feel better.
Even the author of this review at the time want impressed.
https://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/R … eyboards/2.html

The MS Intellimouse was considered a great gaming mouse back in the day, how did they screw up their keyboard that even OEM keyboards were better?!
But that got me thinking...

What WAS the desirable keyboard the professional Quake3 or UT99 players using at the time?

Reply 1 of 18, by Boohyaka

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Just sharing my experience and memories - used to be a counter-strike competitive/semipro player early 2000's and played in a team sponsored by Logitech at some point, that also had q3a and UT players. Went to my fair share of LAN's and tournaments in Europe. It was all about mice and mousepads at the time and we didn't care that much about keyboards as far as I remember. In terms of mice it was all about the MS Intellimouse Explorer 3.0 (still rocking mine 😁), later on Logitech's mx300 came with a bang and most serious FPS gamers used one of those two.

In terms of keyboard I remember using mainly Logitech ones. There were no real gaming oriented keyboards as I remember. Quickly googling I had a Logitech Elite for some time, and later on we got the first Logitech gaming keyboard out of the sponsoring deal - the G11. So I'd say my anecdotal opinion is that gaming keyboards are somewhat a recent thing and we really didn't care that much at the time, but I'm really interested in reading other opinions and also check if my memory serves me well (and it usually doesn't 🙁 )

Ah! Just remembered Razer was also a thing early 2000. I remember them for their mouse abomination, the Boomslang.

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It had amazing specs at the time but hated how it felt with a passion.

Reply 3 of 18, by Shagittarius

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Boohyaka wrote on 2021-01-18, 16:11:

Ah! Just remembered Razer was also a thing early 2000. I remember them for their mouse abomination, the Boomslang.

boom320.jpg

It had amazing specs at the time but hated how it felt with a passion.

There used to be a boomslang! meme before they were called memes but its all but disappeared from the internet...weird.

Reply 5 of 18, by chinny22

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Boohyaka wrote on 2021-01-18, 16:11:

I'm really interested in reading other opinions and also check if my memory serves me well

Was semi pro players like yourself I was hoping to get answers from.
Knew keyboards aimed at gamers wasn't a thing yet. I just wondered if serious gamers opted for a particular keyboard just as they did with the Intilmouse which was marketed towards internet browsing more then gaming originally.

The MS natural keyboard seems to have had a following back then, otherwise the Logitech Elite keyboard seems to be the other popular choice, a rubber dome Internet focused device.
I guess N-key just wasn't a problem back then?

Was just curious as this was the change over period. You had the traditional players who kept pre Windows keyboards so Ctrl and Alt were in the "correct "place but also had people moving over to keyboard and mouse control.
I'm more into RTS's and never got the hang of WSAD or using a mouse in 3d shooters so never gave it much thought. Did get a 2002 Logitech Access keyboard which is same generation as the Elite just less buttons. Does have volume control which was the only reason I got it.

Reply 6 of 18, by Oetker

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From what I remember there really weren't gaming keyboards, the hot thing was to have media keys on your keyboard. As for mechanical keyboards, there wasn't much either. You had Unicomp, Cherry, Das Keyboard was around pretty early and I think Happy Hacking too. At the time I was using an old Model M keyboard. However my personal pick would be a Dell AT101W, and it's what I use on my retro machine. It's got a Windows key and apparently it was made into the 2000s. No N-key rollover though.

Apparently the Logitech G15 came out in 2005, that's the first real gaming keyboard I remember. Razer Tarantula was also an early one, 2006.

Reply 8 of 18, by gex85

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I was using a Cherry G80 (1800) with MX Black switches back then, and use one for my retro PCs to this day. Best keyboard ever.

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Reply 9 of 18, by creepingnet

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I don't think gaming keyboards were a big thing back then. YOu just had three tiers of keyboard.....

- The basic beige or black rubber-dome 104 key PS/2 or USB (usually PS/2) keyboard with no media buttons or anything. Some people were still using "Model M"s - which were like, $3.99 at any thrift shop anywhere at the time, some people were still using their old AT keyboards or AT/XT keyboards with a converter cable attached to change it to PS/2.

- The fancier Multimedia keyboard that came with more expensive PC's, like HP and Dell were giving out with their Pavilion and Presario boxes at the time. Some of these got quite weird. I have/had a particular favorite from HP from that period that had an actual KNOB for volume on it, 🤣.

- The elite of keyboards was "wireless" multimedia keyboards w/ mouse - which usually came with this giant puck with an infared sensor in it that plugged into the two PS/2 ports on the back of the machine. Then you had the keyboard and mouse which were indeed not much different than today except much more limited range, and some were particularly cantankerous.

I don't really recall gaming keyboards and mice really taking off until the mid-late 2000's, then you got all these light up keyboards with the rainbow lighting in the keys and the crazy mice with all sorts of steampunk-like adjustments. I used to work at Microsoft so I saw a LOT of the high end versions of some of these and some were rather awesome but some of them were kind of like "that's a lot of money for what is basically a regular optical mouse that for some weird reason has more attachments than a $500 Cuisinart!".

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Reply 10 of 18, by Baoran

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chrismeyer6 wrote on 2021-01-20, 19:06:

I still have my G15 I think I got it around 06-07. I still use it today. All of the lights work and it's held up great after all these years of service

I also got that G15 one. It was the first gaming keyboard I got back then, but I think I got mine around Christmas 2005. Before that all I remember that people were just using normal keyboards for gaming on PCs. I haven't used my G15 for 10 years, but it is still in perfect working condition.

Reply 11 of 18, by chrismeyer6

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Yeah before I got the g15 I just had a standard keyboard with the multimedia keys. I still love my G15 and I really like that MSI afterburner still supports the LCD screen so it's easy to see my GPU/CPU/RAM stats without having to use the on screen overlay.

Reply 12 of 18, by darry

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I have been using a model M in my main rig for the last 20 years or so, for gaming and everything else . Check out https://www.pckeyboard.com/ , they still make model M variants (EDIT: a lot cheaper than buying an old one on Ebay) .

Unfortunately (for them), I have several vintage model M, so I have not purchased one of their new ones, but I have only heard good things about them .

EDIT2 : I was no pro, but I played a lot of Unreal Tournament on that keyboard and a Logitech Trackman Marble Wheel.

Reply 13 of 18, by OSkar000

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Noone that I know about really cared about keyboards until about 10 years ago when the mechanical boom hit us.

I had a Facit branded Cherry with MX Clears at that time.... and thats still the keyboard I use for my computers today. Really good keyboards that seems to survive everything. The oldest and most used one is over 30 years old now and has been used many hours every day.

Reply 14 of 18, by jmarsh

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OSkar000 wrote on 2021-01-21, 06:23:

Noone that I know about really cared about keyboards until about 10 years ago when the mechanical boom hit us.

I think the more accurate way of describing it is that "regular" keyboards became so obnoxiously unusable that people started looking for alternatives, "the way things used to be."

Reply 15 of 18, by mothergoose729

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jmarsh wrote on 2021-01-21, 06:41:
OSkar000 wrote on 2021-01-21, 06:23:

Noone that I know about really cared about keyboards until about 10 years ago when the mechanical boom hit us.

I think the more accurate way of describing it is that "regular" keyboards became so obnoxiously unusable that people started looking for alternatives, "the way things used to be."

Kids buy gaming keyboards, they don't remember the 90s.

Nah, the gaming market has always been driven by 90% marketing , 50% placebo and 20% pretty lights.

Reply 16 of 18, by OSkar000

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mothergoose729 wrote on 2021-01-21, 06:56:
jmarsh wrote on 2021-01-21, 06:41:
OSkar000 wrote on 2021-01-21, 06:23:

Noone that I know about really cared about keyboards until about 10 years ago when the mechanical boom hit us.

I think the more accurate way of describing it is that "regular" keyboards became so obnoxiously unusable that people started looking for alternatives, "the way things used to be."

Kids buy gaming keyboards, they don't remember the 90s.

Nah, the gaming market has always been driven by 90% marketing , 50% placebo and 20% pretty lights.

Kids buy everything that annoys adults 😀

Its nice to see that there are lots of good keyboards to chose from and not just the ultra cheap ultra light ultra crappy keyboards that still is very common if you buy a desktop computer today. There are lots of good keyboards that's not marketed for "gaming" that are nice for office use and typing.

Keytronics (Ergoforce) was pretty popular around year 2000. They didn't age very well but when the were new they were quite nice to type on.

The worst keyboard I have used is the black ones that Dell had for many years. Horrible quality and it was impossible to type fast on them since the keys stuck. The same for HP keyboards from around 2010.

Last edited by Stiletto on 2021-01-22, 03:43. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 17 of 18, by chinny22

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Keyboards that come with business class Dell, HP, Lenovo PC's has definitely been going down hill for a while now.
That's fine, they are still ok for basic office use, still outlive the PC's they come with. I always give the user the choice of keeping their better built existing keyboard or the new one. Only 1 in 60 will keep or switch back to the old one.

I can imagine this drop in quality helps selling after market keyboards, but agree alot of gaming keyboards are just as crap but now with RGB lighting

Reply 18 of 18, by rmay635703

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Hmmm already there

https://www.amazon.com/Yooso-Streampunk-Mecha … e/dp/B07MKCV71G

Makes me Glad my newest keyboard is from the 90’s

And back “in the day” besides coders who insisted you could only use the Happy Hacker keyboard and learning to use it was important
I can’t think of a single gaming keyboard from yea olde times
But There were many campy mice and high end units meant for catia that would get repurposed for gaming and some folks liked the odd ergo keyboards that were available even back then.
A few folk I knew insisted on using those giant obsolete bespoke trackballs on their pc

Now instead if we wanted to list all the terrible 90’s era gaming add ons (that weren’t keyboard and mice related) we could have a mile long list like the “pad” that put base /blast impacts into your keester.