Keebin’ With Kristina: The One With The 200% Typewriter

Illustrated Kristina with an IBM Model M keyboard floating between her hands.

Image by [jefmer] via Hackaday.IO
You know, the really sad truth about cyberdecks and cyberdeck-adjacent builds is that many of them just end up on the shelf, collecting dust while waiting for the dystopian future. Well, not this one. No, [jefmer] says their Portable Pi sees daily use, and even comes along on the go.

Since [jefmer] is “temperamentally unsuited to 3D printing”, the Pi 4B and its accessories are nestled in a rugged, splash-proof case under some acrylic sheets. One of those accessories, the keyboard, is a KPrepublic BM40 with Gateron Yellows. In order to get used to the number and symbols layer, [jefmer] laid down some great-looking labels above the keyboard.

Although the build started with an SD card for storage, [jefmer] has since upgraded to a 120 GB SSD. This required a beefy battery pack, but the difference is that it gets around four hours of power versus five hours when using an SD card.

Young Typewriter Repairman Is In High Demand

Lucas Dul in his Downers Grove, IL repair shop. Image via Chicago Sun-Times

It’s a sad state of affairs — most people think that typewriters are going the way of the buggy whip, if they haven’t already. But don’t try to tell that to Lucas Dul of Downers Grove, IL. He’s got a backlog of 70 writers, artists, and collectors waiting for his typewriter repair services.

Lucas started repairing typewriters about ten years ago, at the age of 14. That’s when he found a 1930s Royal No. 10 and taught himself how to fix it. Eventually, he realized there was a need for his services outside of family and friends’ machines.

Lucas cherishes his time alone in the workshop with his tools — the hand-cranked drill, and the copper-headed mallet that’s easier on steel. Even so, he would like to open a brick-and-mortar shop. And boy, would I like to go there. Check out the very brief video of Lucas’ story below.

The Centerfold: Another One Joins the Club

Image by [Lamb_Sauce] via reddit
It’s always unfortunate to have to welcome another person to the repetitive stress injury club, but you know I live to see the various weapons they choose against pain and discomfort. [Lamb_Sauce] went with a Keyclicks W-Ergo in clear acrylic and Gazzew White U4T Alpha switches for most, with Gateron Oil Kings for the Control keys. That macro pad is a DOIO KB16-01 with Gateron G Yellow pro linear switches and the same MT3 Susuwatari keycaps as the keyboard.

Do you rock a sweet set of peripherals on a screamin’ desk pad? Send me a picture along with your handle and all the gory details, and you could be featured here!

Historical Clackers: Conjoined Typewriters Mean Double the Fun

The IBM Model C, tandem version. Just look at the size of that platen. Image via The Typewriter Revolution

Before the invention of the the IBM Selectric with its easily-changeable type ball, you had to switch typewriters if you wanted more characters for scientific reports and the like. The problem was, you really risked mis-aligning the type.

To that end, IBM and a few others like Optima, Imperial, and Olivetti produced these conjoined typewriters with 200% keyboards and 30″ platens; one QWERTY, and one devoted to other alphabets and/or symbols.

If you only wanted a few extra characters, companies like Smith-Corona had your back with their Changeable Type System (PDF). All you had to do was slip a type slug on and change the keycap. Although this system was not as comprehensive as having two complete keyboards, it sure took up less desk space.

ICYMI: Altoids Tin Keyboard Is A Fresh Idea

Image by [flurpyflurples] via reddit
Tired of using your phone’s janky software keyboard? You need something like [flurpyflurples]’ Mintboard, a 40% Bluetooth keyboard in an Altoids tin. It even has a built-in cover. What more could you ask for?

This was originally going to be a 60% build, but the footprints of even the smallest available switches prevented that many keys from fitting in the given space.

In order for this to be Bluetooth, [flurpyflurples] went with a Nice!Nano and ZMK instead of their usual Arduino Pro Micro and QMK. I absolutely love those buttons and legends, which [flurpyflurples] cut with a Cricut and sealed with UV nail polish. The adorable symbols absolutely make this thing in my opinion.

Got a hot tip that has like, anything to do with keyboards? Help me out by sending in a link or two. Don’t want all the Hackaday scribes to see it? Feel free to email me directly.

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