Keyboard Builders' Digest
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Keyboard Builders' Digest / Editorial

Behind the Scenes of Issue 78

Newsletter subscriptions and postcards, new donor, trivia of the week, bidding for a HP 9810A.

Published May 16, 2022

Hey y'all,

Welcome back for another edition of Keyboard Builders' Digest (this time Issue #78), a weekly roundup of this DIY keyboard focused newsletter and blog from Tamas Dovenyi – that's me. If you are new to this, you can read how this started out and what this is all about nowadays. If you like what you see, you can subscribe to the newsletter (free) and donate some bucks to keep this otherwise free and ad-free project alive.


I was away from computer for most of the week so this issue may seem a bit clumsy.

Newsletter subscriptions & postcards

I continue testing Buttondown and exchanged some mails with Jason. The opening rate issue is resolved now. But I wanted to write about something else this time: How newsletter subscriptions are like postcards to me.

To begin with, the newsletter is free, right?

Because there are no ads on, I'm not financially interested in the increase of subscriber numbers either. (On the contrary.)

Sure, it's a cool indicator to check every now and then but other than that there's no point in giving it too much importance.

Nevertheless, while I don't earn a penny via the newsletter, IT COSTS ME MONEY to send it out – and the fee is proportional to the number of subscribers.

That's why I keep cleaning up my list and getting rid of inactive subscribers. (Just click a link in the newsletter to make sure you stay subscribed.)

So when I'm asking for your name and country in the subscription form, I do it simply because I'm interested (I don't sell your data or do anything shady with it).

Think of it as an old-fashioned postcard to me. I simply love seeing people subscribing from all around the world.

And that's why I remove users who think those fields are there to enter garbage, "funny" things or even war propaganda lately.

God, some people seem to shy away from giving me their names and fill the form with junk while their real name is part of the email address. Which they provide to get the newsletter... Facepalm. :D

The point is, I'll keep cleaning up my subscriber database by removing these funny guys. Thanks for your understanding.

New donor

Cerakey, who is offering you a $5 discount, supported this project this week. Thanks!

As already teased in February, after individual ceramic keycaps they are going to make full sets. Check out their KS campaign which is a huge success already, 15x money pledged in a single day.


I'm very curious how these ceramic caps will feel.

Trivia of the week

This is from the CPT Phoenix Jr post:

The plastic for the gray keys was color-matched to dust collected in an office windowsill by the departments VP so that the keys would not easily show dirt.

Bidding for an HP 9810A

There was a dirty HP 9810A listed on a local site. Without shipping options, local pick-up only. Btw, this a calculator, not really a computer, but I was interested anyway, maybe because the cool caps and because it's pretty rare on this part of the world. Actually, I'd never thought I'd met something like this.

Almost a month passed by without any activity and I focused my attention to the last minutes of the auction too. Well, the photos were low-res and mostly useless (512px photos in the 21st century?!) but I was willing to bid a few hundreds of dollars anyway. Then, in the last seconds of the auction the price skyrocketed from $100 to about $1,500. :D Ouch.

Pic: HP 9810A – original photo from the listing...

HP 9810A – original photo from the listing...

A colleague of mine – not involved in keyboard or retro stuff – was in my office and witnessed the culmination of events. Even without saying a word, his face was very expressive which I could translate as: "These jerks are total crackpots..." :D


That's all for today folks.

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

Cheers, Tamás

Published on Mon 16th May 2022. Featured in KBD #78.

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