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The CODE Keyboard


For those of you that yearn for a Model M replacement, look up http://pckeyboard.com/ - Unicomp is the company that bought the rights to make the OEM Model M’s back in the '80s. I have one and it uses the buckling spring type keys (and a USB cord!). They also have plenty of customization available including alternate layouts for those that prefer them.


While I’ve heard of the Cherry switches, I’ve never tried one. I have a buckling spring keyboard (Unicomp “space saver” - though it’s not a small keyboard), and like typing on it. I don’t really want to try out a keyboard with Cherry MX switches (clear, red, blue, black, orange pink whatever) mostly because I don’t know how it will feel, and don’t have a local vendor to try them out on, though not that I’ve looked all that hard. I do like the backlit keyboard of the CODE keyboard, though, and it does intrigue me.


‘But Jeff, there’s no share button! How will I EVER get to my social media!!’

This keyboard puts the emphasis on getting the important things right. This just might be going on my christmas list.


This project sounds great, but you absolutely need to create an “European” 105 key version with the “large” enter key. As Carsten suggested, you can leave the keys blank if you don’t want to deal with different layouts (most geeks will love a blank keyboard anyways).


No love for people stuck with AZERTY?


I program as a hobby so I’m probably missing something but my first thought was why is it not tenkeyless? The people asking for ergo have a good point as well.

My dream keyboard: Tenkeyless, mx_clears, figure out what deck does to have PBT keycaps work with backlighting (I haven’t looked into it), blue led, steel backplate, navy blue brushed aluminum case, costar stabilizers

I think that covers it, I could do without the backlighting it’s just a bonus. I respect the effort but I think you missed quite a few details to claim it’s the ultimate keyboard. Just my opinion.


This looks great, but surely you can go beyond US layout. I’m in the UK, but there’s a whole world out there!!


For all of those asking for the curved “ergonomic” keyboard, there are others of us who prefer the older style straight ones like this. Jeff, how is this cooler than Das Keyboard? I do not doubt that there are things you found missing there that for you needed to be fixed, but it would be nice to know what you thought in the design phase.



+1 on the “make an ergonomic version and I’ll buy one”. I use a Logitech “Comfort Cordless” which they don’t make anymore but the keys are laid out just right. Make one of those and I’ll buy two!


Too bad this keyboard is still missing the most important feature for keyboard enthusiasts: an ergonomic layout. Though that’s not surprising considering WASD Keyboard’s insistence on making relics from the past.

Suggested additions:

  • Ergonomic layout model
  • Support for a range of colors for the backlight
  • New model without the arrow key section. Or make it detachable

Try talking to Logitech or Microsoft. Sometimes they head in the right direction, but with a big push from a respected member of the programming community, maybe they can come out with something truly amazing.


On the CODE keyboard, the Fn key replaces the Menu key (provided you’ve enabled it via the switches on the back of the keyboard), and moves the media shortcuts to the navigation cluster.

Is there a way to have both the Menu key and the media controls enabled simultaneously? I use the Menu key (most often for accessing suggested spelling corrections when the caret is over a misspelled word), but would also like to us the media keys functionality.


I’m very intrigued.

I use two Das Keyboards (Cherry Brown and Blue, both with blank keys), and am quite happy. But I’m interested in the Cherry Clears, and especially interested in all those little customizations via the DIP switches.

I use Colemak, and I’ve been wondering what it would take to get Colemak implemented at the hardware level instead of software, as I do now. That, plus being interested in the Cherry Clears, is really tempting me.

It’s too bad there’s no super-cool version with blank keys, like my Das Ultimates, but I may need to try a Code keyboard anyway.


I use a Coolermaster QuickFire tenkeyless (no numeric keypad), it has fairly loud Cherry MX Blue mechanical keyswitchs.

It rocks. I used a Microsoft Ergonomic for years. Now I don’t feel the need for the curved ergo style, I have grown to prefer the lower hand travel of a tenkeyless design, since the right hand moves 2000x times a day from mouse to keyboard.



I imagine those of old enough to remember the early micros and the first PCs, love the mechanical switches of the old IBMs. Younger programmers not so much (espec. the guy who said it caused pain - you’re just not used to it or you’re working too hard).

The best keyboard Ive ever used is on the old BBC Micros from Acorn in the UK - custom made, they used individual mechanical switches but somehow were much quieter than the IBM PC keyboards giving them a really nice feel.

Stateside, I found great keyboards made by NMB (I ended up buying several and still have a brand-new one boxed in storage for when the first one dies :slight_smile:

It might sound weird to some, but those old mechanical keyboards could be washed (something I would do once per year) leaving them as fresh and light as the first day you used it - can’t do that anymore with modern keyboards. Dont you hate it when newer technology removes functionality?


If you made a natural/ergo/split version I would totally get one. I LOVE that you can disable or change the stupid caps lock key.


As many have already said, it would be great to see a version with blank keycaps. I have a Das at work and a green switch CM at home, and neither have keycaps. I can’t say I’ve ever missed them.


If you’re going with blanks then you ditch the backlighting and switch to pbt. Unless you actually like the shiny/greasy key look.


@Warren Postma – I have a CM QuickFire Rapid too, only mine has the Brown switches. It’s a wonderful keyboard: solid-feeling construction, good size keys, and Fn button for using media functions (although the CODE idea of putting the media functions on Ins/Del/etc. is great, and makes much more sense).

For those asking about a Mac version, just do what I did: swap the Windows and Alt key caps around, then go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Modifier Keys, and tell OS X what you’ve done.

Here’s a picture of my keyboard:


This sounds nice but you missed one very important feature as far as I’m concerned–there are no function keys on the left!

I’m typing this on an old OmniKey/Ultra. While it’s still behaving well it’s old enough to drive by now. Quiet also has it’s merits.


Any chance of a 60% layout in future?