The IBM Tank Keyboard

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Look at this beauty! This is a clear case of “They don’t make ’em like they used to.”

I found it laying around the office one day–free for the pickin’! It’s over 20 years old, and not unlike similar keyboards that are even older. It’s heavy. It makes a satisfying click noise when I type on it. They keys rise over a half of an inch. The date of manufacture on this one is 1992, but the copyright date is 1984. On the back, in large bold print, it reads “Made in the U S A.” The cable is long–at least 6 feet! It works perfectly, unlike the standard-issue keyboards that come with the Dell desktops that so many of us are issued at work.

You know the ones. Certain keys stick after a while. Some come loose. You’re never sure if you pressed a key or not because they feel so spongy.

Sometimes people look at this keyboard and ask, “Why in the world do you have that thing?” Others, those in the know, look at it with a certain degree of envy. Unfortunately I cannot attach it to my Mac. I don’t have a PS2 to USB adapter on hand, and I haven’t bothered yet, as I’m not sure if OS X has the necessary drivers.

I wonder what has happened to keyboards. They often seem to be an afterthought. Sony and Mac laptops are decent, but have you tried typing on a Lenovo, Dell, Toshiba, or HP keyboard? It’s downright difficult, even for a man with average sized hands. I suppose the poor keyboard that we are forced to use are a result of cost. Back in the day, I’m sure this IBM keyboard cost and arm and a leg. But here it is–still being used–and still performing with the lasting quality it was designed with.

Wikipedia: IBM  Model M Keyboard

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