[NTLK] OT: Better keyboard, mouse for iMac alu midsummer 2007

James Fraser wheresthatistanbul-newtontalk at yahoo.com
Thu Dec 10 09:07:29 EST 2009


--- On Wed, 12/9/09, Andrew Beals <andrew.beals at gmail.com> wrote:

> A lot of people swear by the IBM "Model M" keyboards that are clicky, 
> like the original IBM-PC Personal Computer's keyboard. 
> Simply grab yourself a PS/2 to USB adaptor and have at it.  

It's a good idea to confirm that the specific adapter you're looking at will work with a Model M.  I know it sounds odd, but choosing an adapter isn't as straightforward as one might think.  The Model M dates from a quarter-century ago and draws ~112mA, while a modern keyboard draws ~1.2mA and not all adapters will allow for the difference. 

If the OP is interested in this idea, they can go here: 


...and look under the header "Another Alternative - Get a USB to PS/2 Adapter."  There are two known good adapters, and it's worth knowing that the Ziotek "blue cube" pictured is fairly large.  It might block an adjacent USB port if the ports are stacked one immediately above the other.  I mention this because I learned the hard way. :)

> The genuine article has gotten pricey, especially if there's a trackpoint > (red mouse pointer between G and H) involved, but you can find knock-offs > that review well easily enough.

Unicomp sells brand-new Model Ms with built in USB for $70 or so.  


I'd check out some of the Unicomp reviews before taking the plunge.  The Model Ms that Unicomp sells aren't *quite* the same as the ones that IBM built, so it's worth looking over the reviews and deciding if any of the shortcomings noted are ones you are willing to accept.  Again, this is comparing Unicomp to IBM, so the standards are pretty high.  

> The advantage of the clicky keyboard is that they make the
> sound (and register the keypress) before they bottom out so your
> typing isn't as jarring to your fingers.

As seen here:


The catch is that while the typing experience the keyboard offers isn't jarring, the same thing can't be said about the experience of *listening* to one being typed on.  


Subtle it isn't, and if you share your workspace with other people, the noise a typical Model M makes is something to bear in mind.  Of course, the noise is a plus if you want to know when someone else is using your computer should you happen to step round the corner. :)


James Fraser

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