Mechanical Me

I was thinking of ideas for a blog redesign today when I remembered what my original banner used to be and I realized – shit, I’ve actually been interested in keycaps for keyboards all this time without knowing it! Just kidding, I never had an interest in keycaps until recently, but I thought it was funny coincidence that my old banner used to look like this:

That was a vector trace of the keycaps of my old ass Microsoft keyboard (which was this, minus the wrist rest) that I used for over ten years. It took a long time for me to hop on the mechanical keyboard train because I always thought that they were too expensive and everything I could do on one I could already do with my existing keyboard.

My first mechanical keyboard (or keyboard purchase, in fact, I never had to replace any of the ones I had owned before) was back in June 2015 when I picked up a secondhand SteelSeries 6Gv2 keyboard for really cheap from some guy on the forum. They were black Cherry MX switches and had an ISO layout that I never really got used to. On the plus side, it had PS/2 support, which freed up a USB slot on my PC. While it was my first foray into the world of fancy computer peripherals, it was only a decent introduction.

SteelSeries 6Gv2

A year later, in 2016 I decided to upgrade my keyboard to something fancier – the SteelSeries Apex M500 (Gem Five (RIP) was having a promotion and I got it for cheap). The keyboard had red Cherry MX switches that felt much better for gaming than the black ones on the 6Gv2. Also, I liked the blue LEDs which meant I could game in the dark if I wanted to. Most importantly, I was back to having the ANSI layout which I missed dearly. Until now, I use it as my daily driver on my desktop and probably for the foreseeable future (mechanical switches are supposed to last forever right?).

SteelSeries Apex M500

In late 2016, I learned about smaller mechanical keyboards. Seng Yip wanted to buy a Vortex Pok3r (after seeing it in a Pewdiepie video) and I followed him to Ultimate Zone in Jaya One where he tried the keyboard for a bit and ended up buying one. I saw the keyboard and thought it was impractical – it had no arrow keys, function keys or dedicated home/end/page up/page down buttons. I was like, why would anybody want a keyboard like that? At that time I used a lot of Excel for work, so having a keyboard without those buttons seemed impractical to me.

But it was still a really cool looking keyboard and it piqued my interest. I started looking up additional mechanical keyboard form factors and discovered that there were slightly larger ones with more keys that seemed more practical to me. That was how I discovered the Ajazz AK33. It had all the keys that were missing from the Poker, the same portability, and a decent price tag. I decided to take the plunge, also I chose blue switches because I had never tried them before. It was one of the best purchases of my life. I fell in love with that keyboard immediately, the keys were such a joy to type on. I brought it to work. I traveled with it. I used it whenever I could. I didn’t care that I had to bring an additional cable and device out with my laptop, it was worth it.

Ajazz AK33

After using the Ajazz for about a year, and since I no longer have a job that requires Excel, I decided to get myself a 60% keyboard that I could customize (the Ajazz has non-standard key sizes which means customizing options are very limited). I found out about the Obins Anne Pro, which was basically a Pok3r clone minus the programmable layer functionality but with a cheaper price tag. I ordered one after reading many good reviews about it.

Side note: in between the AK33 and the Anne Pro, I also tried a Drevo Gramr which was a wrong order (I wanted the Drevo Excalibur) and returned it.

I’ve been using the Anne Pro for almost a month now and it’s been a pleasure to use. Sure, the lack of arrow keys takes a while to get used to, but it’s even smaller than my AK33 which makes it even easier to bring around. The brown switches aren’t as great as the blues in my AK33 (I wanted to try browns since I didn’t have any) but it’s still great for typing on. In fact, almost all the blog posts I’ve written this month were on my Anne Pro. I’m still getting used to all the fn + keys and it’ll probably take a while before I can completely touch type on this but I’m very happy with the keyboard. I’m also looking forward to receiving my keycaps that I’ve ordered online to customize this baby.

Obins Anne Pro

My AK33 is going to sit on my desk at my new job. As for my next keyboard, I’m considering a Planck – once I get the balls to assemble one myself or the money to buy a prebuilt one.

As a short follow-up on my previous rant about parking tickets, I discovered JomParking. Thanks for the introduction Liwen, I had no idea it existed. It could have saved me 50 bucks and a trip to the post office if I discovered it earlier. Well, better late than never. For those of you who frequently park your car in public spaces in KL, this app is a life saver. It even reminds you if your parking is expiring soon, and you can top up the timer remotely.

The only question I have is why the hell would you have to convert cash to tokens as opposed to just paying money outright? Sure, there’s a service charge involved but why not just add it to the cost in RM? I mean, we all know that 100 tokens = 1 hour (RM1), why not just charge me RM1.02? Since all (I think) places have a minimum charge of 1 hour parking, there’s really no use for the extra zeroes either. Also, it’s not like a free to play game where you can grind for gems to open chests. I don’t see the point of additional currencies. Unless in the future they plan to change their pricing for token purchasing and keep the parking rates consistent, then that makes sense. But whatever, it’s still much more convenient than hunting for parking tickets to purchase and littering your dashboard. Farewell tickets, we never missed you!

Anyway if you’re interested in finding out more about JomParking, head here.

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