back to article Chill out to the sounds of an expert typing on a variety of mechanical keyboards

Discerning writers and programmers know that keyboards matter. It's mostly the feel, but the best feel tends to come from mechanical key switches and they make a noise as they activate. That feeling goes hand in hand with a chorus of soft clicks… and thanks to custom keyboard guru Taeha "Nathan" Kim and weirdo label Trunk …

  1. Bitsminer Bronze badge

    Taeha also has a YouTube channel

    How long before a DMCA takedown request?

  2. Christoph
    1. hughca

      Shouldn't that be classical mechanical typewriter sound?

  3. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    If experts aren't your thing

    You can always call tech support and listen to an amateur typing on a keyboard.

  4. Stoneshop Silver badge

    Less commonplace, but still the closest relatives to a Model M

    "Your correspondent is a bit of a fan of devices like this (this piece was typed on a 1991 IBM Model M; accept no substitute) – but no such brash, commonplace kit features on the album"

    The Model F is the closest (and it's very close), the 5140 and P70 keyboards probably less so, but they're not to be sniffed at anyway. We've got a P70 in the museum[0]; the keyboard itself works OK and typing is indeed nice, but its cable is succumbing to Outer Sleeve Rot.

    Daily keyboard is an Unicomp; at the office[1] it's a Cherry.

    [0] unfortunately stored in two shipping containers at the moment.

    [1] Not been there since March last year.

    1. Kane Silver badge

      Re: Less commonplace, but still the closest relatives to a Model M

      "[0] unfortunately stored in two shipping containers at the moment."

      How is a keyboard stored in two shipping containers??

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge

        Re: Less commonplace, but still the closest relatives to a Model M

        The museum is, not just the P70.

        And you could disassemble the keyboard and store it in about a hundred containers if you feel the urge.

        1. Kane Silver badge

          Re: Less commonplace, but still the closest relatives to a Model M

          "The museum is, not just the P70."

          Ah, another case of reading comprehension failure, on my part.

          "And you could disassemble the keyboard and store it in about a hundred containers if you feel the urge."

, technically true. Although a lot of effort methinks, and I don't think it would satisfy any of my urges.

          Oo-er, missus.

  5. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    The best piece of software I have ever used ran on an Atari ST (we had a Mega ST4 in the lab where I was working) and replaced its synthesised keyclick with the sound of a 1930s Remington Imperial typewriter, including the clatter-bang-ding for carriage return. I would pay good money for a Linux version, but have never seen it for any other platform.

    1. Liam Proven

      TBH, I don't really see the appeal myself -- I use them for the feel, not for the sound.

      But if that's what you want -- OK; this close enough?

  6. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

    Apple Standard? Ick.

    Nah, mate, you want the proper cursor keys & everything. You want Apple's best keyboard: the Extended II

    Bonus! They're being remade! A mob got hold of the original switch making machinery plus the rights. I can unreservedly recommend.

    They have branched out with some other variations -- you should check them out too, see if one better takes your fancy.

    1. 2+2=5 Silver badge

      Re: Apple Standard? Ick.

      > I can unreservedly recommend.


      Agreed. The USB ports on the keyboard are remarkably handy for quickly plugging in a headset when a call starts when working from home.

      Actually I have the Tactile One which is great for instantly switching between the PC and the phone. Matias do other bluetooth switchable keyboards but they have a noticeable delay when switching. This one switches instantly because the Bluetooth remains connected and the keyboard decides whether to send the keystrokes to the PC or the phone. It would be nice if they could make a new version (since this has been out of production for years).

      The main annoyance is their decision to relocate/merge the page-up, page-down etc. keys to make space for somewhere to rest the phone: modern phones are far too big and even if they fitted it's in the wrong place. A new version should just have the standard Tactile Pro feel and layout but with the bluetooth connectivity.

    2. Liam Proven

      Re: Apple Standard? Ick.

      > You want Apple's best keyboard: the Extended II

      I have a two of them, thanks, and both my iMac and Mac mini have AEK2s on them. I do have an AEK one as well, but it needs professional cleaning.

      I use Apple keyboards on Macs, and IBM keyboards on PCs. That way, the key feel tells me which keyboard shortcuts to use without thinking about it.

      If anyone knows a vendor in the EU which offers an AEK/AEK2 restoration service, do please let me know...

      1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        Re: Apple Standard? Ick.

        Perhaps try posting the question on the mailing-lists of the London Mac User Group and the Oxford Uni Mac User Group. I used to be on both years ago and they both always had a wide range of friendly people and a lot of love for keeping old kit going -- someone might know of someone, or even be that someone. : :

        Both have Digest options if you don't want your inbox cluttered/your day interrupted.

        EDIT: possibly also email and see if they know anyone? They started out from a nostalgia POV, after all.

  7. Clausewitz 4.0

    Model M was a Robust Horse

    1991 IBM Model M was kinda of an unbreakable horse.

    Unfortunately I threw mine away because of the cable - that was the "weak" part. After some 20 years the cable starts to crumble.

    But let's say that's ok.. after all.. 20 years :-)

    1. ITS Retired

      Re: Model M was a Robust Horse

      My Model M is at least that old. The cable is still soft and pliable.

      1. wegie

        Re: Model M was a Robust Horse

        Ditto. My model M is only 19 years old (made in Greenock fae girders), but the cable is likewise still in perfect condition.

        One day, I will get my study back and be able to use it again. Him Indoors, whose WFH takes precedence over my retirement, has exiled the Model M because he doesn't like it (philistine) and is using a cheapo entry-level Cherry from 2003 or so.

    2. Liam Proven

      Re: Model M was a Robust Horse

      > After some 20 years the cable starts to crumble.

      No, not generally. As I said, mine is 30 and the cable is perfectly fine. (If it were not, I have 4 or 5 others, mind you. I salvaged as many as I could in the 1990s when people were throwing them away.)

      Also, you could just replace the cable.

      To throw away a ~£150 keyboard because the cable is perishing seems short-sighted.

    3. James Dore

      Re: Model M was a Robust Horse

      Replacement cables are available, if you have one with the modular plug in the end. They even include USB connections now ;-D

  8. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    The ideal present …

    … for the man who has everything (but a life).

  9. GrahamRJ

    IBM keyboard

    I retrieved an old IBM keyboard from the "dead PC bits" at the tip, around 99-00, attached to a 286 PC. It was utterly filthy and it had a full-sized DIN connector, but it still worked. I took it completely apart, washed all the mechanical bits in the sink and gave the PCB a judicious spritz, and it worked for the next 10 years. By far it's the best keyboard I've ever used.

    Eventually a couple of keys gave up and a couple more were iffy. I did consider whether I could desolder some less-frequently-used keys and swap them around, but realistically I had to admit it had had a good innings and it was time to call time on it.

  10. bob, mon!

    Northgate keyboard

    I still have a Northgate Omnikey from three decades ago. Great keyboard, even without the Windows key :-] Sadly, I can't get it to work through my KVM switch.

    Weighs a ton, should be able to stop a small-calibre round at least.

  11. James Dore

    Misses the point.

    The sound is not the attraction of a mechanical keyboard, the most important aspect is the FEEL.

    This is not something you can outsource to KaaS, it has to be most definitely on-prem.

  12. Screwed

    Where is the analyser to convert the sounds into the actual keys being typed? So you can read as he types. Or get Siri/Alexa/whatever to read it out.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Read as he types

      Hang on, let me set it up.

      N... E... V... E... R... G... O... N... wait a minute! Bastard!

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