Modern keyboard granddaddy: recall the keyboard Model M king

when your hands touch the dream finally IBM Model M keyboard, you will immediately attracted by its specification. Over the years, most chocolate keyboard and glass screen for two to three pounds, so when you are watching the 5 pounds of plastic, metal mixture, scared is inevitable. The next charm it is sound – it is this strong beat to a standard of beige external device into the computer realm of the most valuable antiques.

next year, the Model M will be 30. Over the years, however, it is still a lot of people think the only keyboard is worth a try. Recently, it was surprised to find the Model M in Minecraft (game “my world”), the creator of Markus “Notch” Persson’s desk. More alarming, it still be connected in a game of light video card is worth tens of thousands of dollars on process optimization tools used, its value is obvious. Markus later to PC Gamer (British magazines) explanation: “there is no doubt that the Model M is by far the world’s best keyboard.” If you often browse the YouTube, you will find that there is a pile of Model M presentation and teardown video, even compared to other mechanical keyboard sounds are everywhere. Since the Model M listed, it has become the industry standard of excellence keyboard.

Princeton university’s information technology director Brandon Ermita, said: “I like it, it is a great device, electronic reader, the Kindle is good also, of course. But I can’t use touch screen to work, also can’t use them to write an album and papers.” A nut is Ermita collection Model M: he will chose some supply warehouse and recycling center looks good on their own ClickyKeyboards sale. At the same time, he also has a veritable Model M private museum. He proudly declared: in the past ten years, he has to provide Model M fan SiWuQianTai keyboard for collection.

as well as ordinary people, the memory of my childhood using the Model of M was blurred. But last month, when I went to visit Ermita, suburban New Jersey I was ecstatic to find love in the memory of the keyboard.

the Model M in 1985, as part of the IBM3161 terminals made public, at first also dubbed “IBM enhanced keyboard”. Immediately after a year in the spring, IBM introduced a PC compatible versions, and in 1987 became the official standard of IBM’s system/2. Ermita can verify the earliest Model M – terminal version – is produced on June 10, 1985. This day is a very special day, because since that day, all the Model M keyboard in the back with their ID and date of production – Ermita always and twentysomethings have stable business, because they like to look for the Model M production on his birthday. Ermita, director of the plan or Model M archives, responsible for organizing a long data form to track through its trading or other users reported (with ID, date of production and factory code) Model M keyboard.

in the early 70 s to 70 s of the keyboard “deformation”

designed for typewriter QWERTY keyboard quickly spread after the rise of the end of the 19th century the western world. When IBM released its first PC in 1981, the keyboard layout is beginning to change. Finally, the keyboard is no longer the blank space key and the capitals of the world – PC users need special keys to use word processing software, computer terminals and a microcomputer. So in the early 70 s to 70 s, a keyboard “deformation” the wildfire: IBM PC at first is using a 83 – key keyboard – is famous for its PC/XT – one of the most important Shift and Return be pushed to one side, after shrinking too much letters also replaced by the fallacy of the arrow. The entire keyboard looks like a lot of extremely tiny buttons and the blending of the fallacy of the vacancy. In August 1984, IBM released the PC/AT the keyboard very well. None miserly to PC Magazine own praise, and made the keyboard than “it” AT the keyboard. Although the AT still cannot be compared with the modern keyboard — function button is not AT the top, but on the far left arranged in two rows; The Escape safely is located in the numeric keypad; Ctrl and the Caps Lock key to exchange the position, to be fair, it has simple and clear.

Model M keyboard symphony

can’t meet accepted only IBM’s ambitions. In the early 80 s, according to experts and IBM user feedback specially set up a special team for ten persons to carry out the research of the keyboard. Established on the basis of the former generation of keyboard, research and development work accomplished soon. Team member David Bradley (also is now generally accepted the founder of the Ctrl + Alt + Delete function), said the whole process is so “efficient, quick – looks like easy”. They use a computer beginners to test the usage of the keyboard, amplify the control key of important; In order to let the user can both hands touch the commonly used such as Ctrl and Alt keys, they even make these key repeat; For user can according to need to exchange key position at will, many with keys can be directly removed from the keyboard. The Model M was born.

when I step into its spacious office at that moment, many like red wine in the collection of the permutation greets my keyboard on the shelf. At the top of the keyboard is, however, a black keyboard is a separate glass box — – it is Ermita numerous collections of the most historic Model M prototype Model. In the private museum of Ermita, even a has just been to the keyboard also needs to be cleaned teardown, because their owners will always leave a chip such as potato chips, sewing needles and small gravel such “souvenir”. Years ago saw the Model M one eye, I knew it on the surface of the ordinary is the excellence of it. Even if the Model M has been labeled as the “past”, but its DNA is rooted in the nowadays we use all of the keyboard.

there are many special types of keyboard in Ermita collection: a specially designed for booking travel using embedded on the keyboard of a bunch of tags; One possibility is that to the cashier have three groups of tiny buttons on your keyboard model. IBM’s former manager Neil Muyskens said: “at first, this computer is as a business machines.” “Old” keyboard for some special programming a lot can be posted on the keyboard command stickers, and determine when critics a standard keyboard stand or fall of is that it can with software such as WordStar and Lotus 1-2-3 perfect cooperation.

PC Magazine, a critic once again frustrated by Model M put forward a new type of keyboard layout, it is suspected that the design can insist on how long again. It writes: “I always feel in IBM, it conveys a message to me, ‘you’d better try to fall in love with it, because it is the future of all keyboard templates. ‘” this sentence was later proved to be the computer industry’s largest prophecy.

unconsciously Model M design has lasted for so many years, so that modern people all think that this keyboard layout. Model M children abandoned, however, it’s most iconic a design – “spring button”, that is a PC/XT to introduce key system. This button is not straight on straight down like a mechanical switch, because they are the spring under the each key, so that it can be every time you return to its original position. To some extent, this keyboard is softer than now the mute arch rubber keyboard is much more attention. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a good thing. Model M users often sad tale some mates and colleagues unbearable noise, and the story of chicken fly a dog to jump around. But other Model M enthusiasts think it can reduce the typing mistake, because the sound of the resistance of the spring and the clear makes you aware each button. And, more importantly, they think on the Model M type have a very special feeling, because each time the button is just like a typewriter, every click sound like notes to each letter endowed with life.

the Model M a born is quickly occupied the market, for the new keyboard, IBM is only equipped with the most simple design. As a result, several generations of the original Model M. Ermita said: “people often through the mail to thank me, because I have found in the 1880 s to help them when they are as engineering students from more than twenty years old young memory.” Young buyers can always recall high school such as disturb students keyboard alphabetical order of practical joke: “this kind of story I’ve heard a lot of times.”

in 1990, IBM put it in the United States of the keyboard, the typewriter, and go to a new company called Lexmark printer business. Six years later, Lexmark in Muyskens put forward “industrial structure transformation” gave up the keyboard department to start production of relatively cheap products, so the IBM entrust another Scottish factory continue to produce. Temporarily, however, extend the service life of the Model M the last generation of Maxi – Switch company also terminate the Model M production line in 1999.

as long as you are willing to pay a $80, you can still buy the official Model M, but even so, it also does not have the formal IBM tag. After Lexmark termination of keyboard operations, Muyskens and other older employees began to gradually acquired in the name of Unicomp Model M’s intellectual property and manufacturing equipment. It said: “we have to change the Model M, because of its shell material has risen to $99, but other ways we will try to be the same.”

a lot of people can’t determine the authenticity of a Model M. Muyskens very helpless: “we have been trying to persuade them – we can sell products with IBM logo? The answer is no, IBM has the right to use trademark.” It revealed that IBM now also sell some commercial user Model M, but if you want to buy the old logo with the keyboard, you can only find eBay or collectors such as Ermita. nullnullnullnullnullnullnullnull

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