Mechanical Keyboards

Almost 20 years ago, as I was wrapping up college, I was walking downtown and passed by a small antique store. I'd normally have kept walking but something caught my eye. The most beautiful Model 3 Underwood Typewriter. It wasn't working. The keys were jammed, some armatures were bent, the spindle wasn't...spindling. But it was still beautiful.

I loved the mechanical genius of it all. The pure ballet caused by pressing a single key, rotating the ribbon, moving the paper just so slightly. No wires. No plastic. It was gorgeous. But not gorgeous enough for me to pay the sticker price, (I was still a student, after all). So, I haggled the price down - and then lugged the 50lbs machine 23 blocks back to my apartment. People on the streets lit up when I passed them. One person even made an offer to buy it off me while I carried it home. But it wasn't for sale. I got it back to my apartment, and spent the next 4 hours cleaning it, and restoring it to full functionality.

I loved that thing. Forget that it lacked the modern conveniences of a computer, this thing lacked the conveniences of the last few typewriters you'd find in the late 80s and 90s. But it was so cathartic typing on the thing & hearing that bell go off. As college wrapped up, I moved and with no other option, I ended up giving the typewriter away.

I've since kept an eye out for functioning typewriters. While you can find them easily on eBay, shipping such a handsome product means paying handsomely.

Fast forward 20 years, and then this past weekend, I found myself antiquing (college-me would be so proud...). And there I saw it. Glistening in the dusty, musty light on the second floor of an antique store.

An Underwood Model S. Coincidentally made about 20 years after my Model 3. This one was in incredible condition. Lugging the much lighter 40lbs machine 3 blocks back to my car, I was once again catching the attention of others.

It has no spellcheck. No WiFi. No USB ports. It can't even do italicized or bolded fonts. In fact, the font weight is purely proportional to how hard you press the key.

But... it's pure mechanical keyboard bliss.


Let's Clear Up The Ambiguity!

FAQs for a Software Engineering Hiring Manager

7 Steps to Writing an Amazing Resume

7 Steps to Building your Portfolio MVP

On Systems Debt