Once you typed on a mechanical keyboard, you never want to go back to the stock rubber dome keyboards that come with most computers. And I am not even a gamer. I just spend a lot of time in front of computers. Even Logitech has entered the mechanical keyboard market aside from gaming with their MX Mechanical. It has become its own hobby, with enthusiast spending many hours on selecting, assembling, modifying keyboards. It is another rabbit hole. “How deep?” you ask? Just check out these YouTube Channels.
Instead of spending my own thousands of dollars, I decided I should rather eatable you to do it for me. So here we go, a list of my favourite keyboards. I have settled on the 75% form factor as the most suitable for me.
After I integrated a Raspberry Pi 4 into a C64 Maxi, I wanted to start actually using it. Once I got my fingers onto the keyboard I realised that what is printed on the keys is not what would appear on the screen. Here is what is printed on the keys:
The layout of the C64 keyboard does not follow the ANSI standard. It even has some keys that related back to programming in BASIC, such as RESTORE and RUN STOP. Here is what a typical 60% keyboard would look like:
The difference between the two is market here:
Some keys produce the expected result while other have a very different function. Here is what the actual input is when you press the keys in Raspbian using the ANSI 104 (US) keyboard layout in the settings:
It would be great if there was an easy way to re-map the keys but this would require a little bit of work on the command line and in several configuration files. Still, it would be great to have an actual Cursor UP and Cursor LEFT key. I will look into this.
There are some beautiful and useful mechanical keyboards on the market but only a few of them are made for Mac. Matias Keyboards have a Mac layout and they also sell mechanical keyboards. But their keyboards are not illuminated. Das Keyboard has some Mac models but they also do not come illuminated. I could not find a Mac layout mechanical keyboard that has not just illuminated keys, but keys for which their colour could be adjusted. Most modern gaming keyboards offer this function.