Bobby S., 36, of Dallas, Texas was quite excited last week. He wrote in to tell us about his latest vintage computer acquisition: his childhood computer system from 1985, the Leading Edge Model D. But it wasn’t the computer he was most excited about; it was the system’s much sought after keyboard, the Leading Edge DC-2014.
You see, the DC-2014 is one of only a handful of mechanical keyboard with complicated Blue Alps switches. Switches that, sadly, are no longer made. And what’s so special about these switches? Well Bobby had this to say: “the Blue Alps are, in my opinion (and that of many others!), simply the finest keyboard switches ever produced.” When asked why, Bobby said there were multiple reasons: “they have a great tactile response that’s really smooth yet punchy… it gives you a nice bump as they key comes back up. It really feels like you’re punching down through the keyboard. It’s amazing.”
Yet, despite, the amazing feel of the keys, Bobby says that that’s not even the keyboard’s best feature. “I love the feel, but the sound is what really does it for me.” Bobby likens the feel of the keys to the modern Cherry MX Blues, but he hates the sound. “Cherry MX Blues feel really good, almost as good Blue Alps, but they sound terrible to my ears; the clicks are just too high pitched.” The Blue Alps, on the other hand, “have a deep, penetrating sound that is simply unmatched,” says Bobby.
We have to agree. After watching the below typing demonstration of a DC-2014 it’s clear most modern keyboards (and most keyboards period), don’t even come close to this level of quality. Unfortunately, the DC-2014 uses an XT protocol, and is not directly compatible with AT ports (more common on older computers), o the PS/2 or USB ports on modern computers. There are, however, adapters that can be used, including one by Hagstrom Electronics.
“The XT to USB protocol converter is like $55”, says Bobby, “but oh man is it worth it.”