Keychron Q6

I’ve been eyeing the Keychron Q6 since the middle of 2023 and finally have one in my possession. Here’s why it’s a winner in my book:

  • Full size – you can’t beat the speed of a numpad!
  • Wired – one more unnecessary battery avoided.
  • QMK firmware – highly flexible and open source.
  • Hot swappable switches – in case I get bored with Gateron Browns.
  • Made out of aluminum – a sturdy 5 lbs!
  • Knobs are cool.
  • South-facing RGB LEDs.
  • Has a handy switch to toggle between Mac and PC modes.

After an hour or so of using it, so far so good! It’s exactly what I hoped it’d be, and a leap in modernization and build quality from the New Model M that I’ve been running. I’ll still use Buckling Springs on my retro machines, of course, but it’s so nice to have LEDs, a knob for volume, dedicated function keys for brightness and Spaces, and the flexibility to do whatever I want with custom firmware. 😎

Keyboards Retro Computing

Buckling Springs

🎶 Oh buckling springs oh buckling springs! 🎶

The (current) daily driver on my Mac Studio, a Model M from 1992, got some new blue keys + caps today courtesy of Unicomp.

There’s quite a following for these keyboards for good reason – they’re built like tanks, have wonderful feedback from the buckling spring mechanism, and audibly alert everyone within a one mile radius that you have a mechanical keyboard.

IBM Model M keyboard with blue keys from Unicomp.

It doesn’t take much to run this keyboard on a modern system. Most machines these days won’t have a PS/2 port (although some high end gaming motherboards do, due to the lower latency), but it’s simple enough to use a PS/2 to USB converter like this one. Not all converters will work, so it’s good to check out reviews or forums beforehand. In case the Amazon link above eventually fails it’s a Monoprice PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse to USB Converter Adapter 110934.

You’ll also notice there’s a lack of “super” key in between Ctrl and Alt. To get around this on my Mac I’ve simply mapped Command to Alt and Option to Caps Lock. If this is too much of a deal breaker the good news is that Unicomp makes a modernized version.