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    Only vaguely related but I’ll give it a shot anyway: I have a thing for the TypeMatrix 2020 keyboard – but mine is broken beyond convenient repair. If anyone knows where one can get one of those that work, please do tell me.

    More related: I also have the CM Storm QuickFire TK at home. I really like how it squeezes in a numpad and arrow keys without while still being of “tenkeyless” size. It easily goes in my backpack along with my laptop for longer trips.

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      The TypeMatrix 2020 seems to be constructed to not be very durable. In case you are interested in learning something very similar but different, have a look at keyboards like:

      You can probably recognize the similarities between these and the TypeMatrix you already have. I have to warn you if you go down the custom build route - it’s a dangerous hobby! You might end up with way to many boards in a short time :-)

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        Ah. The others are significantly more expensive though! I guess that’s the premium you pay for a keyboard that doesn’t break?

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          (late reply)

          Yes, they are even more niche and use more expensive parts (the keyswitches, for example). I kinda like this hobby and have constructed a few (lets not go into just how many…) for the fun of it.

          If you’d like to learn some soldering, buying a keyboard kit and assembling it yourself is a lot of fun! I had no experience before assembling my Ergodox, I just watched some tutorials online.

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            I wouldn’t call myself proficient, but I’m at least comfortable with a soldering iron. The bigger hurdle is probably convincing wife or employer that it is worth the money!

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        I’ve personally bough about 5 Typematrix. 4 are broken to various degree (some keys are no longer working). The last one I still use, and it works mostly because I was careful never to transport it. I have no idea what causes this failure. I’m kinda done with Typematrix. I like the layout, but the lack of durability is a deal breaker for me.

        That, and I’m not a fan of the relatively high actuation force.

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          fwiw, most times that keys stop working in mechanical keyboards it’s due to a bad resister. You can solder a new one and get it working again.

          A friend of mine did this with an old WASD Code keyboard that I had, it was useless to me so I gifted it and he fixed it in front of me.

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            Oh, good to know. While the Typematrix is not mechanical (it uses scissor-switches) this resistor stuff looks like something to look out for.

            I’ll take a look, thanks.

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        The webpage seems to be down, is there a working mirror?

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          It’s back up. I need to move it over to my new server; will probably do that this weekend.

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          The Noppoo was super compact and traveled well. I ended up using it as my primary keyboard at work. Due to the way it implemented n-key rollover (NKO) over USB, it was impossible to use on MacOS without connecting it into a BlueCube controller, thereby disabling NKO and forcing it into boot protocol mode

          Thanks for this! Typing on a Noppoo (Choc Mid) right now and have always wondered why it didn’t work on a coworker’s mac. Now I have something to look into and maybe solve that mystery (which wasn’t important enough at the time to spend a lot of time one)

          Also great article. I’ve made a post once about the ones I have, but this is… elaborate.

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            This might not be a popular opinion but as someone who spends most of their day on the phone, I strongly dislike mechanical keyboards and the culture that has recently sprung up around them. I’m a consultant and my normal interactions with customers is over the phone. I can usually tell within 24 hours on a project who I have to mute by default on any new project. Especially with remote meeting software that emphasizes “call using my computer”. The sound of someone taking notes with a loud mechanical keyboard has disrupted my meetings so often that I can’t even count the occurrences. For clients I know very well, I’ll usually start the call saying “Hey [name], if you have something to say, make sure you unmute yourself” because I start the call with that person muted.

            I know there are mechanical keyboards that are quieter, but there are also a lot that are so loud no one can hear the conversation over the sound of the person taking notes on the call. Please be aware of the sound of your keyboard if you’re on a conference call.

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              I find it incredibly odd that “push-to-talk” isn’t the cultural default almost anywhere. It’s so much nicer for every participant at so little cost to the individual.

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                Yeah this is more of a broken software than anything else. I wish more systems were like mumble. Super low latency, crystal clear, push to talk. Instead we’re trying to cram 30 pointless video streams onto everyone’s screen.

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                  Your comment could just as well have been written by myself. Not only are these 30 pointless video streams crammed onto everyone’s screen – they’re also choking everyone’s network connection, causing further latencies in the audio, meaning conversations require explicit handoff to other people.

                  I really wish I could convince my company to switch to something like Mumble. The low latency, crystal clear audio would make conversations flow so much more naturally and feel less forced. But no. We have to look at each others badly lit outlines of faces. That’s worth so much more than fluent communication.

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                    It’s madness. In the pandemic it has shown itself to be a deeply irritating technology. In 99% of cases the sole purpose of the video feed is to see what people’s houses look like.

                    Mumble cracked the ‘how to we do natural conversation’ issue 15 years ago. Everything I have used since then feels like a step backwards.

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                    Mumble is especially good with RNNoise, that seems to “learn” filtering out sounds such as keyboard or clicking noises, improving over time. I have a not-so-quiet keyboard and a friend of mine has a more-loud-than-not mechanical keyboard and unless you’re typing and speaking, nobody notices either of us.

                    Sadly it has to be enabled, as it’s not turned on by default.

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                      Wow, that was really cool!

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                  Back when folks were in the office, I didn’t mind using my mechanical keyboard around others. If they get to talk loudly on the phone, wandering around with wireless headsets, often times about topics that aren’t even vaguely work-related, then they get to listen to my clacking. Seems fair.

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                    If everyone thought like that then there would be no peace in the world. Well, maybe there isn’t… but still, I don’t think others acting poorly means you should too.

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                      MX Blues might be an exception but I can hear people typing on our work-supplied Logitech keyboards just as well on a mechanical one.

                      I think it’s more the people who refuse to use headsets but use their laptop mic that grabs every sound in the room…

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                    I’m a fan of mechanical keyboards, my first one was a Sun UNIX style buckling spring model with the command and caps lock key functions swapped (so that CTRL is on the home row where it should be for programmers). Still, I think you’re undoubtedly right that they are best for people who work in private offices and non-collaborative work environments instead of open plan offices and people who do a lot of conferencing.

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                      Not to be facetious. But that sounds like a problem for management.

                      If you want to stick me in an open office and then complain that my work is too loud; that’s on you. (Yeah, I know keyboards are a preference but so is working in an open landscape)

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                        (Note: writing this comment turned out more aggressive than it ought to be. Rest assured that I have no quarrel with you, I just hate open plans, to the point I’d consider turning down offers over them.)

                        private offices and non-collaborative work environments instead of open plan offices

                        I’m not sure I agree with the implication that anything “not open plan” is not collaborative. Like many people here I suddenly started to work remotely this last few months, and the amount of practical collaboration within my own team doesn’t seem to have significantly decreased, despite the higher friction of instant messaging with microphones compared to our shared office. I’ve also worked in an actual open plan office, with over 50 people on the same completely floor. We collaborated all right, but boy, the noise.

                        Let’s not kid ourselves, what is so often sold as a way to increase collaboration is mostly cost cutting, surveillance, and showing off. Discovered that last one pretty recently: open plan offices are great at showing the sheer mass of people buzzing & working together to executives and clients. Lots of people at their desk doing whatever hermetic magic technical people do, a couple group here and there on a Scrum meeting, or just discussing obscure schematics on a whiteboard, honestly it’s beautiful.

                        Me, I yearn for a cubicle. I don’t even require a full wall, I just want less noise, less visual distraction, and a wall behind my back. Seriously, leaving your back open to a room full of people you barely know, some of which you may even dislike a little? Nobody wants that. Why do you think the higher ups end up near the corners of the open floor? Why do you think the last hire, juniors, or interns, end up with the one office with their back to the door?

                        Cubicles however are horrible to show. Everyone looks isolated. You don’t hear as much buzzing activity, the floor is now closer to an oppressive maze than a green field, you don’t see as many faces…

                        I tried to put up walls on my desk. 90cm tall, some foam to dampen the sound, all around my desk (80cm deep, 180cm wide). Very effective at attenuating the sound, much less distractions. Despite prior authorization to try it out by ones of the higher ups, the first higher up to actually see it instantly vetoed it. And here’s the thing: one thing they worried about was that everyone would do something similar, and the whole office would start looking like a slum. So they knew on some level that many people might want this. But they were reluctant to give it to them because it wouldn’t look nearly as good.

                        Lesson learned: outwards appearances are more important than internal well being.