Journal: News & Comment

Friday, May 16, 2003
# 7:36:00 PM:

Geeks waxing nostalgic

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Yesterday I linked to two companies that make industrial-strength PC keyboard like the old ones from IBM. One of them even sells refurbished originals, with the IBM logo and everything.

Well, after I reported that to some of my geeky friends, they just went off about those amazing old input devices:

Aw, dude, I've got them stockpiled. You shoulda let me know you wanted one...

At any moment in time I usually have at least 4 or 5 of them. I never let my personal stash go below 3 (which is what I figure a good number is for if I never found another one in my life and wanted these to last the rest of same lifetime).


Yup I have three of them now, one for work one for home and one backup.


I remember my first IBM 101, ahhh yes. Using it right now as a matter of fact.

I have 4 in my possession, at least 3 of which I use regularly.

Took one to work, got some funny looks pitching up to my first day of work with a keyboard under my arm. But I've never had much use for that stupid windoze button and it only ever gets int he way when you're gamming.

...and, the best one...

Oh YEAH baby! There are very few bits of computer gear that really make me happy. I like computers just fine when they work, but good stuff costs money, and there is no piece of geek crap that excites me in the abstract. When I can actually afford it, and when it actually works the way it's supposed to, then sometimes I get excited about some new thing that I got, and the excitement usually lasts for a bit less time than when I get a new knife for my kitchen. Most of the time, there is nothing other than numbers to show me the improvement between one computer thing and another—I get no jollies out of knowing that one piece of hardware I don't have theoretically works some order of magnitude better than another.

Now, if we were talking fountain pens or guitars or cables or amps or effects pedals...

So in light of all my little shortcomings as a geek, it means a lot when I say that this is one piece of gear that does it for me. These keyboards feed the big dog, man. They feel great, I type faster on them than anything else I have ever used, and they take a serious beating. And no bullshit MS marketing buttons to get in the way. I used the same IBM 101 for I dunno, a couple of years at [an old employer]. When I left, I bought the company an expensive current model IBM keyboard for about 85 bux in exchange for keeping the old one. [...]

I used the IBM for three more years or so, until I dumped a latte into it. I still have it in a box, because, even though I tried twice, I am still SURE I can clean it enough to convince it to stop making "q" and "w" and "e" at the same time.

I also bought a refurb IBM to replace my old one—actually, I bought three for $14.95 each. I gave one to [the first guy who replied], another rabid fan of the mighty 101, and the guy who got me onto one in the first place, and one sits in a box in Vancouver, somewhere, I think. Even though these things DO NOT seem to wear out, and I don't really need one right now, and I don't really have any money, I am still sorely tempted to get another, just in case.

But I just got offered a really good deal on a Boss FT-2, see, and even though I'm not doing too much playing right now...

You know, I'd recommend that everyone get one of these keyboards, and get free of crap little membrane boards and those completely annoying bullshit Winders marketing keys, but the increased demand might make it harder for me to get them later. So I think everyone should go out right now and get a real nice Lite-on or Logitech wireless board or something, with lots of lights and them buttons that automatically connect you to the AOL and the MSN...

And real high bus speed—make sure it's got a real high bus speed. You'll need that.

Don't get between a nerd and his keyboard, man.


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