IBM Model M Keyboard

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#1
When I was last working for them (Dec '88), they were one of the planet's top corporations in both turnover and profit, and every employee had a "job for life". I left for a bucolic life in an old water mill / brewery in rural Wales, and the company went into an immediate decline. (I will leave you to draw conclusions as to cause and effect ! )
Now, of the 40-50 guys I regularly meet up with (2-3 times a year), only 2 this time are still with the big blue. None of the others moved jobs as far as I know. They all took advantage of generous severance packages and retired early.
I'm still several years away from getting my pension because I just left, before such financial "downsizing" inducements were even a remote possibility.
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
lmao - I'm hoping you don't leave NST or we might end up like Big Blue too (except a lot worse off!) :tongueout:

IBM may not be the huge monolith it once was, but I hear its still at the foregrounds of R&D though not so much in the industrial areas as much as the theoretical ones..... I hear it's still a decent+ place to work?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#3
They've always been heavily into research (Nobel Prize even, for the scanning tunnelling electron microscope), and they were a great firm to work for. I was in technical support (long hair, no suit) where our unconventional apearance was tolerated, though causing some surprise amongst the admin "suits".
I've not really kept in touch with them technically, only socially, but I get the feeling that they're almost totally divested of the manufacturing side now, and completely into consultancy and research.
 

Saxon

New Member
#4
Terry IBM still sounds like a great place to work from what i hear, i own one of there laptops (typing on it now) its dual badged Lenovo an IBM thinkpad i love it IBM have made some of the best hardware I have ever owned.
I see a lot of there servers very regularly excellent build quality, an the after sales is wonderful to deal with.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#5
I must admit, my 12 year old IBM keyboard still has a nicer feel than the 2 new ones (but no multi-media, just alphameric)
 

Saxon

New Member
#7
Man i would LOVE model M a dude I used to work with had one such a lovely keyboard to use.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#8
Followed your link CG through to this customized model M
http://steampunkworkshop.com/keyboard.shtml
which looks like it's been "liberated" from H G Wells' Time Machine.
(which incidentally turned up on "Big Bang Theory" recently - anyone else here find that as funny as I do ? )
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#10
I'll probably grab a Model M off of eBay or something... Really need one!

(btw, the keyboard on the Asus Eee is way too "soft" and clicks don't always go through, just in case anyone cares).

And that steampunk mod is just way cool! :smile:
 
#11
I like the eee I was considering one for a cheep email book on the move, but i bought a IBM X41 an love it I am wondering if i can get my hands on a SSD for it an another 1gb stick (Currently got 1.5gb in it) I might push it to 2gb its supper lightweight, has tablet functionality an the battery life is huge at around 3.5 hours on a full charge. It's a Factory refurbishment with a 2year world wide warrintie on it not bad for just over £300.

But guru look at that page it seems to have a better selection over the 8 that are currently up for grabs on ebay an as i said they have new stock on there (well it's still new never used or opened in most cases) they also ship world wide most people on ebay wont.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#12
I took one look at that site and ran away. It's so unorganized, it's very hard to navigate.

They have a separate "item" for each copy of the same model that they have in stock. Their inventory is ~30 page of 30 items, and I have to look through the "sold out" items, too.

Time is money, bro :smile:

Addendum:

OK Terry, this is bizarre.

No sooner did you post that, than this appeared on the HN headlines:
Hacker News | Reborn IBM Model M a great improvement on average keyboards, features USB port

(I had just come across the unicomp site minutes before stumbling across that link, and been wondering how the customizer keyboard stacked up to the old Model Ms.... now I know :smile:)
 
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#13
CG I get what your saying but I would rather trust them than some random person on ebay (got ripped off in the last 24 hours :| ) also they seem to have a lot of stock but i digress...

I am now on a mission to find the best most comfortable an above all well built PC peripherals to make my life much more easy, the M is going to be the centre peace of this from my short experience with it in the past I can tell it will be a happy relationship.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#14
I'm still trying to decide between the Model M or the DiNovo Edge..... because I really need some media keys (play/pause, next, previous, and volume).
 
#15
DiNovo Edge is not as nice as it looks i have tried one and it was unpleasant to use an if you wish to be able to read your keys after a week or so forget it the markings ware off way to quick I have a PS/2 OEM from Compaq that came into my possetion in 2000 still in use an there has been no fading on it at all.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#16
I'm better off with no labels on my keyboard, actually. I type in DVORAK on QWERTY keyboards, so the labels aren't only useless but actually misleading.
 
#17
How is DVORAK? I head it is better if you type fast but hard to pick up once you have used QWERTY for so long any truth to that?

Oh an CG please take my advice the Eadge is very uncomfortable your wrists feel very stressed after a hour or so of using it, save your money an get a nicer keyboard thats easy to use.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#18
Yeah, I'm seeing from the reviews that the diNovo Edge is best for "casual typing" and is more a marvel in artistic abilty than anything else... I think I'll be ordering that Customizer Keyboard real soon then.

DVORAK is great. I had chronic CTS pains all the time until I switched to DVORAK, for me that is the greatest benefit. Speed-wise, it's not that big a difference (maximum of 5 WPM increase, perhaps) asuming you type blind on both.

Learning DVORAK was painful. I was determined to learn it by heart, so I didn't get a DVORAK keyboard, and instead just used my old QWERTY ones.... after deleting the QWERTY profile entirely from my PC.

Forcing one's self to use a new keyboard layout for day-to-day tasks (including real-time activities like IM) is a great motivator... in 3 days I was "fluent" in DVORAK, but those three days were hell! >.<
 
#19
Might order a dvorak board then an give it a go I am placing a order tomorow for a contract but i might aswell treat myself to it :grinning: an still get a model M.

I don't even think that the edge is that nice looking, at the moment I am using some MS oem media job an it's annoying the keys are not so much as click as a rattle the space bar is loose (wobbles) an the tactile feedback is a joke feels like i am stabbing jelly with my finger, I bought it as a test to see if i would be willing to stock it an my answer is no i wont put some one through the hell that is this keyboard.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#20
I spent nearly 20 years employed by them, typing on IBM buckling spring keyboards, and never suffered any strain.
I never learned to touchtype in all that time, though my wife (whom I met at IBM) is amazing to behold as her fingers flash around on an IBM Selectric 82C. The sound of that keyboard in overdrive resembles a Gattling gun on a Phantom. The sound of the golfball somewhat drowns the click of the keys though.
I always have to look at the keyboard as I type, and I tend to use only 2 or 3 fingers per hand, and though I can work up a reasonable speed, I couldn't look away and continue to type.
Strangely though, when for some reason I was forced to use a US rather than a UK keyboard, although I was looking at the keyboard as I typed, I found the output was littered with mistakes.
On investigation, all of the errors were due to me hitting the UK key position even though I was looking down at a US keyboard (things like parentheses are u/c 8 and 9 on one and u/c 9 and 0 on the other, and a few other special characters are differently positioned too)
How weird is that, I was actually "touch typing" i.e. from an automatic brain-nerve-muscle program, but it required optical feeedback reassurance.