The IBM Model M keyboard, introduced circa 1984, was the very pinnacle of keyboard construction technology. They are characterized by buckling-spring switch keys with swappable keycaps, a satisfying clicky sound and easily recognizable-by-touch contact threshold, a heavy steel backplate, and enough heft to fell an ox with a single blow coupled with the durability to be used as normal immediately after slaying the beast. They have reportedly been used as weapons, bats in indoor cricket competitions, doorstops, chock blocks while jacking up the car, and grappling hooks, all without deleterious effects on the keyboard’s operation. Due to their superior design characteristics, the vast majority of those Model M keyboards manufactured in the mid-’80s are still in service today, or operational but neglected by the young philistines who now rule the workplace and utterly fail to recognize their splendid quality. While new replicas retail for around $50, used 1984 Model M keyboards complete with twenty year old cookie crumbs under the keys often go for upwards of $150, and they’re worth every penny. No kidding. Meanwhile, the dome-membrane switch keyboards manufactured this century have been hauled away to the landfill by the thousands, already failing and broken. The only vulnerability of the Model M keyboard is liquids: don’t get it wet while it’s plugged in.
The next time some sniveling whiner tells you his ergonomic Microsoft Natural keyboard is better, and it can even be put in the dishwasher (not that the Model M can’t, but don’t plug it in while wet), take your IBM Model M keyboard by one end firmly in both hands and proceed to beat his metacarpals (the longish, thin bones in the back of the hand) into powder. When your supervisor asks what happened, and why the brat is screaming, inform him calmly that that he’s had an attack of carpal tunnel syndrome and should probably be seen by a physical therapist. To prove your innocence, and that of your precious eight-pound (I kid you not) IBM Model M keyboard, you will be typing away comfortably at 120wpm, the very picture of tranquil productivity, the ultimate team player. It will, of course, be in perfect working order, as long as you were careful to not strike the soft, fleshy parts of your victim so that he did not bleed into it.
There were later variants of IBM Model M keyboard that featured drainage channels (we call them “blood grooves”) to protect them against just such a mishap, but the incomparable quality of the keyboard design was slightly compromised. One does not screw with perfection.
[reprinted from another venue]