Blast from the past – IBM Model M Keyboard 1985


Anyone who know’s me know’s I am a mechanical keyboard snob. I am always on the hunt for the perfect keyboard, I think I have tried almost every keyboard out there from Razor (Windows) to the overly expense Matias mechanical keyboard (Mac).

During my hunt I kept hearing people say how they love their IBM keyboards and how they would never go back. So what’s so special about the Model-M?  I had to find out for myself, So I bought a 1985 version, which are not cheap…they cost as much as much as any top of the line mechanical keyboard.  Now I know why they love this keyboard.

Unlike today’s mechanical keyboards, the keys are not cherry red, blue, and brown switches. It uses a buckling spring mechanism to engaged the keys responsible for the tactile and aural response of the keyboard. This mechanism controls a small hammer that strikes a capacitive or membrane switch,which gives it that very distinctive feel unlike any other keyboard. You have to press a little harder than say Cherry red switches. Which are my favorite type of modern mechanical switches.  And let me tell you this keyboard is LOUD, which makes me feel like I’m getting work done.

The keys have two layers, the first layer where the keys are printed comes off without any kind of key puller so you can rearrange them for Windows or Mac computers and it makes it convenient to put them in your dishwasher for washing. (Yes i’m serious). The second layer is where the spring meets the key. The Model M is incredibly well built, with a built in sheet of metal at the bottom holding the motherboard together. Because this keyboard was built in 1985 it uses a PS/2 connector and not a USB but a PS/2 to USB adapter will work just fine which is what I have to use.

This keyboard is not really for the hardcore PC gamer, it does not have any programmable keys, and it also lacks a Windows key, for those that love shortcuts that use the windows key. You would have to hack the registry to remap the Windows key.

I am not much of a gamer so for me it suits me just fine. With that said I love this keyboard and like everyone who uses the Model-M, I will never go back to using any other keyboard. Using this keyboard has changed the way I type, I can type more accurately and with a faster type speed.

So throw those modern keyboards away and pick yourself up a IBM Model-M keyboard.

Josh Mckee Banner


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