The marvels of the buckling spring


If you're not approaching forty years old, then you've probably spent most of your computer-using lifetime in front of a spongy feeling, lackluster keyboard with absolutely no feedback. Now don't get offended, it just happens to be more likely than not. If I'm wrong, then fantastic. That means you've heard about those days of yore and the marvelous industrial keyboards that they produced. In which case you can stop reading now, and go do something more productive. No really; I wouldn't blame you. For those of you that decided to stick around, let me tell you a little about my new favorite keyboard,
the Unicomp SpaceSaver M.






















The SpaceSaver M is actually a modern reproduction of the classic clicky keyboard known as the Model M used by IBM back in the 1980's. They're affectionately known as clicky because of the loud clicking sound that they make with each depression and release of the keys. They have a wonderful tactile feel and resonating auditory feedback. They were also built like tanks, and can still command a hefty price on eBay. The problem is that the original ones used an AT type connection and later a PS/2 connection, which as you might be aware, are no longer found on modern machines; especially ones like my Macbook. That's where Unicomp came in. They hold the rights to the design, and have modernized the keyboard while keeping all of the wonderful attributes of the original. This includes the wonderful buckling spring that gives that tactile feel and wonderful click.


Unicomp's SpaceSaver M















These are rather expensive keyboards. Mine set me back a whopping $94, but don't let that price deter you. I promise you that they're worth every penny. For one thing, like I said before, they're built like tanks. These things are designed to stand up to years and years of abuse. The thing is so heavy that it'll never slide off of your desk, but if it does, it'll be more likely to crack the floor than break. Think about how flimsy most modern keyboards are. They're usually made out of very cheap plastic, and have keys that use rubber dome switches that give little to no feedback. That's why typing on a modern keyboard is so frustrating. Half the time you can't tell whether or not you actually hit the key. That certainly isn't a problem with the SpaceSaver. You can hear it from the next room. Just tell your family to turn up the television while your typing.


Closeup





















I bought my SpaceSaver to help me with my writing, and I actually think it has made me more productive. These things are just a joy to use. Of course, I learned to type on an old IBM Selectric back in 1988, so I might just be crazy. In fact, it's probably a sure bet that I'm crazy, but I still think you'll love this keyboard. And yes, it works well with my Macbook. It has the Apple Command key as well as keys for Expose and Dashboard. It even has audio controls and playback built in, as well as a full numeric keypad. One other thing that I happen to like is that the keys are easily replaced. If you ever wear off the lettering, you can just pop the keys off and snap on a replacement. Unicomp even sells the replacement keys.

So if you miss the old days of the buckling spring keyboards, do yourself a favor and splurge on one of these beauties. I promise you they're worth every penny. If you'd like to know anything about the SpaceSaver that I haven't covered, feel free to drop me an email. Of course, the folks over at Unicomp could probably answer your questions better than I can, but I'll still give it my best shot, and I'll even use my SpaceSaver to do it.

P.S. - Before you write me, and tell me that I'm an insensitive jerk for taunting you with such a wonderful keyboard that is only available for the Mac, have no fear. They make these things for just about any kind of configuration you can imagine.

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