• Martin Kollie
2 minute read
A dark room illuminated by the green glow of a backlit mechanical keyboard in the foreground and a laptop screen displaying lines of code, with a secondary monitor showing similar content in the background.
My 2015 desk setup (dark room and terminal for dramatic effect).

As a programmer, the keyboard you use is important. Having the right keyboard can greatly improve your productivity.

Back in 2013, the keyboard I had at the time was a generic Logitech. I read online about mechanical keyboards and about how great they are.

The different types of switches:

  • Blue - Tactile, clicky - Good for typing and gaming.
  • Brown - Tactile, non-clicky.
  • Red - Clicky.

Mechanical keyboards cost significantly more than regular keyboards. I discovered the /r/MechanicalKeyboards subreddit. For my usage, I needed blue switches. I spent weeks searching for the best mechanical keyboards. Then, I saw Razer was doing a sale.

I managed to get my first mechanical keyboard, the Razer Blade Blackwidow Ultimate, at the Razer sale for quite a steal. When I got the keyboard, I was amazed at how clicky and responsive the keyboard is. It comes with extra function keys and backlighting. My WPM (words per minute) improved greatly. I headed onto Typeracer and won a couple of matches. Also, it is excellent for gaming. The first game I played with it was Bioshock Infinite.

Maintenance was another chore you have to do when you own a mechanical keyboard. The spacing between keys allows crumbs and dirt to fall through and build up. Cleaning it was easy; I watched a quick tutorial online. Simply pull all the keys off and soak them in water, then clean the inside with cotton swabs. And you’re done (if you remember to put the keys back in the right order).

In 2015, I made the switch to Mac. I decided to get a MacBook Pro when I started university (sorry, PC) and have been using macOS as my primary operating system ever since. I hooked up my two monitors to my laptop and bought an Apple Keyboard.

I’ve been alternating between the Apple Keyboard and the Razer Black Widow. At first, I was a bit annoyed at the default keyboard mapping: Alt being mapped to Option and Ctrl being mapped to Command. I decided to remap them by swapping the keys in keyboard preferences. Perfect, now I was still missing something.

Apple Keyboard vs. MacBook Pro 2015 Keyboard

There is a noticeable difference between the two keyboards. The keyboard on the MacBook Pro feels a lot mushier, whereas the keys on the Apple keyboard are more tactile.

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