Sorry I didn't write last night. I was exhausted and turned in around 9:30.
Boy, did I get something neat today.
I got an IBM Model M keyboard, manufactured in October of 1989.
For fifty cents.
Here it is!!
Okay. Maybe I should back up.
Keyboards are nothing new. They have been the primary way of getting information into a computer for decades. But for the past 20 years or so, keyboards that have been bundled with newly-purchased computers are, well, cheap. Sucky. Mushy. Not very good.
There are exceptions to the above rule. Old PS/2 keyboards can be not bad at all. But the keyboards I used in university, and into my 20's, haven't been made in bulk for many years. There is a company that makes 2017 versions of these classic keyboards, but they are not as good as the real thing.
The keyboards that IBM manufactured in the 1980's and into the 1990's have a special spring under each key that gives a very satisfying "clack" every time you press it. These "mechanical" keyboards are nearly indestructible and can last for very long time. The one I got today, which is attached to the computer I am typing this blog post on, was manufactured in March of 1989.
Even now, typing this, I am getting back the old feeling of typing again, and I am enjoying the sensation very much. Takes me back to that first job after university where we would clack away all day in an office on these and similar keyboards. I can find and use the home row of keys much more easily. I was a little concerned that the keyboard tray would not accommodate this keyboard as it is quite a bit "taller" than the one I just had here, but the keyboard tray is closing. It fits, if only barely.
My goodness, this is a wonderful feeling, typing on this keyboard. A little noisy, perhaps, but it feels great to use a real keyboard again. I wish I had several more of these critters. I will keep looking.
I bought it today at a thrift store on Almon Street in Halifax. I go in there from time to time. They had a box of keyboards, 50 cents apiece. I sifted through the 8 or so, until I found one that was very heavy relative to the others. I noticed that all the keys were present. I flipped it over and saw the underside of it. Here it is:
Yep. Model M. Manufactured in October of 1989.
I have the option of selling this on kijiji or ebay for $100 or more. I am leaning toward keeping it. I will let you know. If I keep it, I imagine I can get a few more years, maybe quite a few more years, out of this keyboard.
What cool things have you found and purchased at a thrift store over the years?
See you tomorrow.