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Keyboard Builders' Digest / Editorial

Behind the Scenes of Issue 61

Lots of small developments, new vendors, new discount codes, Videoton terminal, etc.

Published January 17, 2022
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Hello everyone,

I spent the past week with a lot of research before purchasing the Videoton VDN-52500 terminal, then with collecting, disassembling and cleaning it. This last part is still in progress… Other than that, I'm working on some interviews with various community members and are sending out dozens of emails daily regarding this and the vendor database.

Lots of small developments

I've been planning to simplify the posting process for a long time and since I stopped doing those long-format entries on r/mk with all the titles and contributors, the time has come for ditching one of the lead formats.

I mean, I've done at least three versions of the lead in the past simultaneously:

  • a standalone lead with a link to the original Reddit post (used on r/mk and blog inner pages)
  • a "clean" one without any links (blog front page, meta description, etc.)
  • and a third one for the newsletter: complete without the title

This week I ditched the first one so I have to prepare only one lead working with a title (blog, Twitter, etc.) and a standalone version (newsletter).

In addition, there will be some occasional guest appearances on the blog – authors from all over the keyboard scene – so I have to rework the inner pages reflecting the specific author, date of publication, etc. right at the top of the page.

I haven't updated the vendor database for a long time – there wasn't any reason for that – but Shirogane and an inquiry by mechboards directed my attention back to this part of the site.

A small change in the interface: "real" shops, the brick and mortar kind, can have a photo displayed on their profile page now. E.g. check Yowkees' Shirogane Lab.

And the "Other shops in the region" list at the bottom of vendor profile pages will list shops in an improved order, incorporating the country and distance instead of randomly choosing from the whole region – which may work perfectly for some regions like the US or Europe but not for Asia. I have to make some more test before rolling out this feature.

Finally, I also added a few major currencies (other than USD) to the donation page. This was suggested by a donor but I can't find the email or PM, sorry. Thanks for the idea anyway.


I'm still far away from the monthly donation level I had before the BMC vs PayPal calamity, but a new regular donor joined the ranks of supporters:

Welcome FFKeebs! And thank you. These predictable monthly donations mean a lot.

And I had a generous one-time supporter this week: David Yang – you are awesome!

New coupon codes, new vendors

So as already told, I haven't done much update to the vendor database in the past few weeks but there are some news now:

Mechboards created a 5% discount code for you. Use the code "KBDNEWS5" to get 5% off for your first purchase.

In addition, is now included in the database, and Roy offered a 5% for you too – use the discount code "KBDNEWS".

Thank you guys!

Also, Meckeys in India was added – and I'm pretty sure I forgot some updates. Anyway, check the vendor database before purchasing anything, there might be a discount code around.

New acquisition: Videoton terminal

Now you know what I spend your donations on. :D After a lot of research I bought a Videoton VDN-52500 terminal. Help! Why am I buying these?! It makes no sense at all. This specimen doesn't even work and is dirty as hell. But it's mine now. :D [Gollum SFX]

At least the model is quite rare. This retrofuturistic terminal was manufactured in Hungary from 1983 and only 5000 pieces were made if the resources I found are right. I have a hard time with the disassembly but couldn't find any labels or stickers to reveal the exact date of manufacturing.

Anyway, I spent the weekend with trying to clean this but it's still very dirty on the inside. I try to be very careful because some years ago I pretty much ruined the painting of an old keyboard by using household detergents which turned out to be much more aggressive than I anticipated.

I will post a more detailed entry about the intestines later.

Logical layout switching with data

I like when somebody logs his/her improvement with a new logical layout. This week Tanukishouten published some hard data on switching to Colemak.

There are plenty of science papers out there on getting accustomed to ergonomic/split physical layouts. (Only about 1-2 hours are needed to get to (usually 90% of) your original speed and accuracy.)

However, understandably, proper data on learning alternative logical layouts is very scarce. The stats and graphs provided by Tanukishouten, while still sporadic, suggest that only about 22 hours (net) were needed to get back to a (pretty average) original speed.

That's way less than I thought and if muscle memory would work that way, a successful transition to a new logical layout could be done in a weekend – at least to a point where you could do your job with an average typing speed.


Well, that's it for today.

Thanks for reading, thanks for your support.

Feel free to ask and comment in this issue's r/mk thread, and as always: keep learning and building.

Cheers, Tamás

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Published on Mon 17th Jan 2022. Featured in KBD #61.


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