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I have the same experience a Griff.
So I counted backwards and realized that my logitech Internet keyboard 350 is eight years old.
Pity the letters are printed on the keys, because my s and a aren't that readable either.
1) Take an old keyboard, tear out the encoder and the cable. Throw the rest away.
2) Buy a sufficient number of cherry keyboard switches of your choice. There are quite a few types. harder, softer, with or without a 'click'.
3) 3D print a 'tray' with square openings to mount the switches in, with the proper layout of course.
4) Wire up the keyboard switches and the encoder on the underside of the 'tray.
5) Buy or 3D print keycaps and put them onto the switches. Now you already should have a functioning keyboard.
6) Design and 3D print a case, mount the 'tray and the encoder inside. Done.
Some fine sandpaper, spraypaint, decals (especially for the keycaps) and a coat of clear paint to protect the decals can work wonders for the appearance.
I have lived with several Zen masters - all of them were cats.
His last invention was an evil Lasagna. It didn't kill anyone, and it actually tasted pretty good.
I still favor my 20+ y/o HP that I got with my very first Windows system back in '98. I take it apart every few years and give a good cleaning. So far, it's been one keyboard for my entire coding career!
Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard.
Takes some time until you get used to it, but then it's much better for your health.
And I use it daily, and it is about 15 years old, still no problems (okay, except for some dirt ).
I have been using wireless Logitech mice and keyboards for 20+ years - they were the first quality brand to offer wireless keyboards, which to me is essential. It is an undisputable fact that wireless mice more easily fall to the floor than cabled ones. I still can't understand how Logitech manages to make things that still function flawlessly year after year of almost daily falling down on a stone floor. Logitech makes quality components.
Any keyboard gets sticky keys after a while, at least in my working environment and with my sweating fingers. So every now and then, I flip all the keytops off, put them into one of these string bags made for keeping sock pairs together in your washing machine. The bag with the keytops, I put it in the dishwasher (make sure to place the bag so that it isn't washed down onto the heating element!). The keys come out shiny and black and lots of water in small openings on the underside; it takes several hours, usually overnight, in front of a fan to make all the water evaporate.
While the keytops are being washed/dried, I brush out the keyboard "bed" with a discarded toothbrush. If you have never flipped off the keytops, you'll probably get shocked by what you can find there! With the keytops off, you can also far more easily clean the top surfaces of the keyboard, between the groups of keys.
I do this sort of cleaning "whenever needed" - I guess the average would be around once a year. It takes some effort, but afterwards, the keyboard is as good as a new one, at zero cost. And the keyboard is familiar: No need to re-train your fingers to modified positions of functions keys etc. The mechanical stroke provides the familiar feedback. The keytops have the same curvature or flatness as you are used to. I hate changing keyboards!
I've got two (one for home, one for work) - I use a Filco Majestouch 2 with Cherry-MX Browns at work, which is very nice, and an Aukey keyboard (like this one, but without the key backlighting) which, for £35 (about $45) is an absolute bargain. The Filco one is better made, I'm sure, but the Aukey one will also take years of use & abuse...
Java, Basic, who cares - it's all a bunch of tree-hugging hippy cr*p
I've been using an IBM KB-7953 keyboard since (?) 1998. It requires a PS-2 to USB adapter and has no special function keys. Great key feel with long travel, reminiscent of the great IBM Selectric typewriter keyboard. Bulletproof, from my experience. You can find them cheap in thrift shops, eBay, etc.
When I get a new PC I don't even unpack the new keyboard -- I just clean this old one and transfer it to the new PC>
Once you use a "split"/ergo keyboard for a while, you will recognize the "stress" in your wrists every time you go back to a "block" layout. If you are getting a new keyboard, I highly recommend a "split" layout.
I have one of these at home and a coworker has one in the office for the last 12 years.
Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 $49USD
I have an old Mouse Systems ergo at the office for about 19 years.
(no touch pad as the touch pad version would hang after a few hours and probably put the company out of business due to returns!).
Quit spilling your soda into it. This is possibly the best keyboard I've run into since the end of the mechanical keyboard era. I have one on my desk that's three years old, after replacing the same model keyboard that was almost 10 years old.