Wednesday 20th

A Giveaway!

I have loved decent keyboards for many years. It’s a natural affiliation for someone who uses them every single day, really. If you go and see this video, you can win this very keyboard: https://youtu.be/k_gb9g26hcw (after 5.00 PM).

Back in the 1980s, when I was a callow computer salesman, I grew to know and love good quality keyboards. Originally, I worked with Apple IIe machines, but progressed quickly to the ACT Sirius, and from there I started working on the Olympia range and others.

When I started working for Wordplex, I loved the smooth feel of their keys; at Wang Laboratories, I liked the low, minimalist appearance of the 4200 range. But then, when I started working with IBM machines, I grew to adore the IBM “click” as the key registered. It meant that I could type faster, knowing exactly when I had pressed down far enough. I could tell even before I had heard the key; it was a tactile delight.

Over the years, I have had a lot of keyboards. From my IBM PS2 (which I kept hold of from my last employer, since they forgot to pay me my last monthly salary payment), and then I had an AST (I think) laptop, and soon had to buy an external keyboard for it; then a Toshiba, which also wore out and I had to buy another keyboard; then my first Apple, a beautiful iMac with anglepoise-attached screen, which eventually had a total of four separate keyboards; my first iMac, with another two keyboards, and finally this iMac, which is so far on its second keyboard.

Keyboards come and go, but it is very noticeable to me how the different types of technology have impacted keyboards. In the 80s, all used individually sprung keys. That meant they had a spring, made of metal, and the key slid up and down in its own little channel. They were reliable, and the only way to tell how they had been used (and abused) was by the way that the letters began to wear off.

But as time moved on, and laptops became more popular, keyboards became cheaper; there was a drive to manufacture them at a lower cost, but also to provide keyboards that would be thinner, so that slimline laptops or metal keyboards would look more elegant.

The problem is, for fast typists, this meant all the benefits of real, sprung keys were lost.

A couple of years is all a standard keyboard would ever last with me. The keycaps wore off, and Apple worn keycaps look and feel horrible. But it wasn’t easy to find a firm that sold keyboards that would suit me, and I had pretty much given up over time – but then I bought an Astrohaus Freewrite, and discovered that some people were still making real keyboards that were suitable for writers like me. Searching on the web brought me to The Keyboard Company, and while chatting, I learned that they had been the supplier of keyboards to the late (very great) Terry Pratchett. I was hooked. It cost me quite a few pounds, but the keyboard I bought at the time – a Filco Majestouch, is still working well for me. It is reliable, makes a satisfying rattle as I type, and the individual keys have that satisfying little click as I type.

And The Keyboard Company have some spare Minila keyboards. These don’t have the click in the keys, but are all individually sprung for the best typing experience.

The Filco Majestouch Minila – unused!

They have given me one to give away – so, if you would like a Filco Majestouch Minila keyboard, all you have to do is, go to Twitter, retweet the tweet there, and follow me @MichaelJecks, @KeyboardCo and @FilcoUK. If you would like to visit our Facebook pages at http://www.facebook.com/keyboardco/ and http://www.facebook.com/Michael.Jecks.author or my Instagram account at @MichaelJecks, it won’t hurt, as will subscribing to my YouTube channel at WriterlyWitterings.

The names from all accounts will be pulled from a hat (probably literally) on Friday March 22nd, and the winner contacted that afternoon. An announcement will be made at 5 pm.

So, if you fancy a new keyboard, if you want to have a good, strong, old-fashioned keyboard, or just a smaller one that’s better for typing, go and follow The Keyboard Company and me!

Best of luck!

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