Return of the red keys

Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight. Red keys on the keyboard? Well, that’s just right!

Visitors to the recent London Show – and readers of the RISCOSitory account of the event – will know that one of the items on display was a keyboard on the RISC OS Open Ltd stand. However, this wasn’t just any old keyboard, but something a little more interesting.

The most obvious thing was its appearance: It was black, just as many keyboards are these days, but it sported a row of red function keys – something long standing RISC OS (and earlier) users will recognise as a common feature of keyboards attached to many Acorn computers, starting with the BBC Microcomputer.

Elesar's weighty, solid - and rather nice - keyboard at London 2015
Elesar’s weighty, solid – and rather nice – keyboard at London 2015

In use, the keyboard was very impressive, with the keys feeling solid and offering a degree of feedback that is often sorely lacking on modern keyboards. This is because each individual key has a mechanical keyswitch behind it, rather than a rubber membrane.

The keyboard was provided by newly formed Elesar Ltd – responsible for the Cortex-A15 Titanium board – and the company has now announced that the keyboard is available to order, in one of two variations.

There is one minor difference between the two variations: The so-called “Windows key”. While one of the two – which was the version on display at the London Show – has the common ‘Flag’ graphic on that key, on the other it is replaced by a ‘Cog’ graphic, which will undoubtedly be more appealing to RISC OS users.

Additional features are more contemporary: As well as a dollar sign, the ‘4’ key also sports a Euro symbol, and “SysRq” and “Pause” are gone from “Print Screen” and “Break” keys – and there are risers underneath to provide an additional four degrees of incline.

The keyboard costs £66.00 plus postage – but beware that the keyboard isn’t light, so the postage cost is going to reflect that. Let’s hope there will be some to purchase at future RISC OS shows!

Related posts