The Keyboard Meetup

I went to my first ever keyboard meetup in Manhattan yesterday. I am going to guess there were about 50 people in attendance with about 60 keyboards while I was there.

Being an introvert I didn’t really speak with anyone other than a hello or excuse me as I invariably bumped into people.

Overall impressions
People: Generally have very good taste. There was not a single board there which made me think, “That’s terrible.” Now there were plenty of cool boards that weren’t for me (I don’t get the lure of the Keycults or the super mini 40s), but overall I have to say “Well done, strangers from the internet.”

What I must buy: SA Oblivion

What I don’t want: Any super-tiny 40s

What I noticed: I saw a lot of GMK sets (which I guess I should have expected, but didn’t because I guess I’m still a n00b). I had never seen any GMK sets in person (I have some on order, but, you know…) and wow are GMK sets sharp. I did not see any PBTfans sets other than the one I brought.

What I need: More AC. The room was too small and too hot for the amount of people. The organizer updated everyone after the event saying he took a lot of notes as to what worked and what didn’t and he was also aware of the size of the space. Big thumbs from me to the organizer.

What I realized: I am old. Far older than anyone there and while it didn’t bum me out, it did make me feel like I was crowding into a space I didn’t totally fit into. Now, no one said anything and it could be my endless anxiety. It’s not even so much that I care what people think of me (It’s not my business what people think of me), but I try to be aware of sliding into a space that maybe doesn’t need me. Or maybe I just prefer virtual rooms. I am 100% glad I went and I will go to more should they pop up in NYC.

I guess it’s been a year and a half now that I’ve gotten deep into the mechanical keyboard hobby. Mostly, of course, the hobby consists of spending money and then waiting for something to be made.

I’ve met (“met”) so many friendly, helpful, supportive people in this hobby—some my age, some half, that I’m not sure I would have remained (somewhat) sane during this pandemic.

Never being into hobbies before and also never assembling items on my own (I don’t count Ikea furniture) I can’t believe I build my own keyboards and get as much excitement and pleasure out of them as I did on day one.

Here is the Class65 keyboard with Spark keycaps made by PBTfans. PBTfans is a new brand to me who seem to be making keycaps nearly as good as GMK (sharper than GMK, too) for a lot less money.

My son and I just finished Season 1 of Strange New Worlds and I think it’s my favorite Star Trek series. Anson Mount is excellent as Captain Pike, Ethan Peck is perfect as Spock, and I definitely swooned over Jess Bush as Nurse Chapel. Nurse Chapel is already a much better character than in TOS and Bush’s acting is great.

I can’t wait for the next seasons. 🖖

If the Dems put as much effort into getting things done (hell, even trying) as they do asking me for money, we might not be in such dire straights.

I’m still getting emails from James Carville! WTF, Dems?

This feel like a 70% appropriate punishment for punching out the teeth of a flight attendant. I would have added in: You no longer get to fly in the United States. And, before the 3-year probation begins, you have to pass a college-level biology class with a perfect grade.

This is a Piggy. It’s a mechanical keyboard I built using Matcha Latte switches (they are sorta kinda green).

I can feel the withdrawal of Twitter happening (this is day 3, but not yet full days since Monday I was using it for reading). It’s going to stick this time, just like leaving Instagram behind stuck. The silly thing is all I did was remove the app from my Mac’s dock and hid the app on my iPhone. That’s all it really took.

I think it’s high time we remove United from the name of our country. We’re so far from united at this point the name just looks silly.

Suggested name: Disparate States of North America. Motto: But we all hate Ted Cruz, so we have that going for us.

If yachts are going to be seized, can we start with Joe Manchin’s?

My son turned on C-Span and watched UN ambassadors plea for peace. While he was watching, a graphic appeared on TV stating Russia had begun the attack. One can’t help but wonder if World War III is starting. And I’m not sure which side half of our country is on.

Is 950,000 a lot?

It’s an interesting experiment that of “What if everyone acted like dicks, everywhere, all the time?” I don’t like this experiment, but we’re living through it anyway.

This is the Class 65 keyboard from MM Studio (the studio is based out of China). I was lucky enough to get into the first small in-stock sale of 50 units and got it straight away. The Class 65 only went into Interest Check in November so it’s remarkable I have it already. There was no build guide, so I did get tripped up a few times when trying to put it all together, but thanks to the absolutely wonderful community I’ve found, I got help and advice and got back on track. There is a group buy happening in February 2022 and I hope to be able to contribute to an official build guide before the next units ship out.

I built it with Silks Red switches and stabilizers from NovelKeys.

For this picture, I used Cherry Sand keycaps from NovelKeys. I know, I love NovelKeys!

Here it is with MT3 2048 keycaps from Drop.

Neil Young, Joni Mitchell… I can’t quite work it up yet, but it’s like they are going on strike against Spotify. It’s not a boycott since it’s more than they aren’t using the service itself. They are no longer letting their music work for Spotify. The part I can’t work up is there’s a lesson about the rest of us going on strike. You know, if we want real change in the country. I know folks say vote… I do. Am I suppose to vote harder? Anyway, I hope more artists follow their lead and I hope fewer people listen to that podcasters who spouts lies.

Is 850,000 a lot?

Finally went to the movies. My son and I are vaccinated and boosted and just needed a bit of semblance of a normal life. We wore our N95 masks and didn’t eat anything. It’s been 26 months since we were at the movies. Curse this virus for taking this away from us. Anyway, Spider-Man: No Way Home was just great. My son and I were so happy to just be at the movies that it could have been a craptastic film and we’da been happy. So glad it was a fun one. If Spider-Man is your thing, you’ll love it. Rating: Thumbs up.

Ikki Aurora 68

As I avoid the news (which I am doing so very poorly), I’m trying to focus my energy on keyboards. They are silly amounts of fun.

This is an Ikki Aurora 68 in Charcoal. I used Red Silk switches from NovelKeys along with Cherry Taro keycaps which are also from NovelKeys.

I’m a little annoyed I can’t straighten out the enter key (you can see it’s a little crooked), but it doesn’t affect how it works. I tried redoing the stabilizer (that’s the problem), but I can’t make it as straight as I’d like.

America, in all its sadness: Teachers forced to grab money for their under-funded schools while the crowd cheers.

Every student in America should go on strike.

I’m trying so hard to ween myself from social media. Mostly from Instagram. I do use Twitter but mostly for news consumption, but I do get enough news from RSS, so I could see Twitter going away before too long.

I once again removed Instagram from visibility in my iPhone. It’s there, but hidden. I have found some solace in hyper-focused Discord rooms (mechanical keyboard stuff) and that feels somewhat better.

Murder as grift, that’s a new one.

Today I built my first mechanical keyboard. In the travails of life, it’s so incredibly minor it hardly qualifies as worth mentioning. But I’m mentioning it because it means something to me.

As I’ve mentioned in the past I’ve had a thing for these old-fashioned keyboards. Well, I guess they’re not really old-fashioned since these are all new and literally didn’t exist even 5 years ago, but the fact I was was able to get one was because of the community surrounding this. Now, I know I’m a pretty privileged white male so there’s just a lot of abuse I’m not faced with or even am aware of because it just doesn’t happen to me I’d the (generally) other white males I know. But the little communities I’ve become a part of have made this whole experience just so much fun.

Almost involved in these communities all are much, much younger than I am and, greedily, I’m stealing their energy, enthusiasm, and sometimes their eccentricities. I’m stealing their silliness too.

I’m not into luxury goods. I don’t need fancy clothes, jewelry, or cars. I’m pretty happy with a movie at home or a library book. But I guess I do like some luxury goods after all. As long as I can assemble them myself.

When all is said and done, it’s America that’s guilty. #shame

Speaking of that opening scene in Wall*E, I watched that new Apple TV+ movie Finch and there were several scenes that reminded me of bits of Wall*E. There was a scene on the elevated highway and a scene about the storm (the first one) where sensors went off, etc. I’m sure there were other scenes, too.

Is 750,000 a lot?

I used to think that opening scene in Wall*E depicting all the junk in space was a bit of an over exaggeration, but between SpaceX’s internet satellites and now Amazon’s planned satellites, I’m thinking it was pretty prescient.