NEC ProSpeed 386

Dave Wade dave.g4ugm at
Tue May 31 17:30:18 CDT 2016

> -----Original Message-----
> From: cctalk [mailto:cctalk-bounces at] On Behalf Of Chuck
> Sent: 31 May 2016 20:01
> To: General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
<cctalk at>
> Subject: Re: NEC ProSpeed 386
> On 05/31/2016 11:21 AM, Dave Wade wrote:
> > I don't like the Model "M" keyboard. It's a bit like wanting a tracker
> > organ rather than my Yamaha EL90. The keys require significant
> > pressure to operate and if you are not used to it its actually hard
> > work. I am not really used to this Lenovo Thinkpad T410 keyboard, but
> > the Thinkpad laptop keyboards haven't really altered For a long time,
> > even though IBM sold the business to Lenovo.
> It could be a matter of what you learned to touch-type on.  For me, it was
> manual Underwood office machine.  It took some time to get used to an
> electric typewriter--too twitchy.  One thing that's probably been lost to
time is
> the need for a uniform striking force when using a manual typewriter.

Whilst I can touch type, more often than not I am in "Hunt and Peck" mode as
I normally want to use the special keys all of which are "hard" from the
home position.
I learnt on a Smith Corona (horrid thing) from some kind of old second hand
store, and a book borrowed from our local library. I spent a week just
typing and I am sure it was the most effective use of time ever spent. After
that it was an 026 or 029 keyboard, or a Selectric/2741 or an IBM 22xx
display and then Honeywell keyboards. I don't remember any of them being as
clicky as the Model-M on the PS-2.

When I first had a job, I remember one of the typists left with RSI as she
kept thumping her word processing keyboard as she had also spent many years
on a manual typewriter and couldn't adapt to the soft feel of a WP keyboard.
(That would be a Honeywell)...

> With that in mind, the Model M is the best of the recent (<30 years) lot.
> Nothing wrong with tracker-action organs, IMOHO.  There's an immediacy of
> "feel" to them, not easily reproduced by electronic/electrical/pneumatic
> keying. I'm speaking from the home town of John Brombaugh, so allowances
> must be made, naturally.

I well of course I live in "Historic Cheshire" (i.e. it used to be part of
Cheshire) the home of Robert Hope-Jones the inventor of the
electro-pneumatic action, the double diapason and a pioneer of high pressure
pipe work in swell boxes, as adopted by the Wurlitzer Company for whom he
worked, so I would  say I prefer assisted keying...

He also invented a type of Fog Horn which some says is more musical than the

> Just call me an old fossil.

Not at all, it's a personal preference. Life would be boring if we all liked
exactly the same things. Model-M's are popular with gamers, and my son has
one, and loves it. I was just saying there are people who don't like them
and prefer a softer action. 

> --Chuck


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