Do You Miss The Sound Of Your Model M?


There is one aspect of desktop computing in which there has been surprisingly little progress over the years. The keyboard you type on today will not be significantly different to the one in front of your predecessor from the 1970s. It may weigh less, its controller may be less power-hungry, and its interface will be different, but the typing experience is substantially identical. Or at least, in theory it will be identical. In fact it might be worse than the older peripheral, because its switches are likely to be more cheaply made.

The famous buckled springs in operation. Shaddim [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.
The famous buckled spring in operation. Shaddim [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Thus among keyboard aficionados the prized possessions are not necessarily the latest and greatest, but can often be the input devices of yesteryear. And one of the more famous of these old keyboards is the IBM Model M, a 1984 introduction from the computer behemoth that remains in production to this day. Its famous buckled-spring switches have a very positive action and a unique sound that once heard can never be forgotten.

So if you are a Model M enthusiast and you miss the characteristic clack of high-speed buckled-spring typing on your modern-day laptop, what’s to be done? Fortunately [Ico Doornekamp] has the answer, in the form of bucklespring, an IBM Model M sound emulator. Install it on your Linux box, your Mac, or your WIndows PC, and relive the classic sound of the 1980s as you type!

Yes, it’s gloriously silly, we’ll grant you that. And all your colleagues will hate you for it. But we know some of you won’t be able to help it, and will spend the next few days gleefully clacking away from your MacBook Airs until you get bored with it. After all, if using your computer no longer has the power to entertain, what’s the point?

If the Model M is too new for you, it’s not the only desirable IBM keyboard of yore, how about a Model F? Or give up on these newfangled electronics, and just use a typewriter.

Via Hacker News.

Header Model M image: Raymangold22 (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons.



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