Vortex Race 3 keyboard


For reasons that were not entirely my fault, my beloved IBM Model M4 compact keyboard bit the dust late last year. It was smaller, quieter, and arguably less tactile than my Model M, but it was also two-tone beige and matched my computer so well. eBay has more, but they’ve gone up in price steeply since I bought this a decade ago.

Photo of the Vortex Race 3 with the Windows key caps

So I’m looking for alternatives, and Dan Benjamin posted his handsome Vortex Race 3. It has the same two-tone beige colour, but I can get it with Cherry MX Clear switches. They’re no Topres, but this board’s interface could be used with a USB-PS/2 adaptor, which means I can use my PS/2 to AT adaptor for this vintage machine. Maybe.

It doesn’t have chintzy coloured LEDs, and has the all-important insert, delete, home, end, pig up and pig down keys which are important for DOS and other older OSs. A colleague noted the escape key doesn’t look standard, but given I’m buying it in part given it’s two-tone beige, I doubt I’d be replacing them anytime soon.

I might grab one when we’re back in Akihabara this year, assuming the Australian Dollar hasn’t slipped further in the interim.

Author bio and support


Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person in bios. Hi!

The site is powered by Hugo, FreeBSD, and OpenZFS on OrionVM, everyone’s favourite bespoke cloud infrastructure provider.

If you found this post helpful or entertaining, you can shout me a coffee or send a comment. Thanks ☺️.