A crash course in computer architecture. This is a presentation I put together during my time at Recurse Center to introduce my fellow Recursers to basic CPU design.

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The Kinesis Conversion

I recently decided to undertake yet another keyboard modification project. You may be familiar with the popular Kinesis Advantage ergonomic keyboard. Yes, the one with the crazy contoured shape. Well, mine has been lying dormant in the back of the closet for months due to the fact that I hate the feel of the Cherry Brown switches which it ships with from the factory (you can get it with Cherry Reds also but I do not like them either). Having taken a peek inside the case of the Advantage, a potential switch swap (to Cherry Blues) did not appear too difficult, so I finally made the move to order some parts and do the swap.

To figure out what parts I needed for the swap I simply called tech support and asked. The support guy I spoke to was extremely helpful. He told me exactly what I would need to do the switch swap and made the order for me. It came out to around $14 total and he even threw in a free set of blue home row key caps! This was probably the best tech support experience I have ever had.

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Quest for the Perfect Click

While searching for reasonably priced mechanical keyboard, I decided to pillage the archives of the keyboard enthusiast community to learn what I could about what makes these bad boys click, and to put together a list of contenders I wanted to test personally.

After some searching, sorting and filtering I decided to make my first buy. A Leopold FC200R with Cherry Brown switches. On paper, the brown switch is perfect. It provides tactility without much noise, and features a low key activation force, making it easy to glide over keys without any effort but with all the assurance of accuracy. I ordered the FC200R from EliteKeyboards and it arrived later that week.

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