Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Focus Keyboard FK-8200

I am dependant upon an extremely rare keyboard. This keyboard is the Focus Electronic FK-8200. It is special for several reasons.

First, it has an extra top row of PF key’s above the function keys. This top row is programmable on the keyboard itself; no special drivers or software. Some other vintage programmable keyboards also have extra keys, but they are on the left side of the keyboard which makes the keyboard too long for most keyboard trays. Other programmable keyboards require computer software or drivers to work, which means that if the company stops supporting the product, the keyboard will become obsolete. I couldn’t do without these PF keys for my CAD work.

Second, it has a built-in calculator that can send results directly to the computer. This is a function that is unique to an extremely few number of keyboards. I think there’s a patent on it or sumfin, otherwise I’m sure this would be a more common feature. As it stands, only two Focus keyboards and a few their predecessor Omni keyboards have this feature; and only the Focus keyboards have the “Send” function.

Once a person gets to using this features, they become addicted to them.

The fact that makes all of this frustrating is that no new FK-8200’s have been made in several years, and the company that used to make them appears to no longer be in business. Finding these keyboards is becoming increasing more difficult as time goes by. I’m becoming dismayed at the prospect of breaking mine and not being able to find another to replace. They are good quality keyboards that take frequent use in stride, unless you happen to spill the slightest bit of liquid on it, then they fry. I’ve already destroyed two this way.


matthewmc5772 said...

I have 50 of these keyboards for sale. How many boxes of 5 or singles might you be after?

FCSuper said...

Just as a follow-up to that previous post. That person may or may not've had 50 keyboards. But he was in Australia and did not want to deal with a credit card exchange.

uncle chris bischoff said...

did you ever find a replacement for your FK8200? I loved my 2 programmable Focus keyboards, and am getting back into CAD, and I miss them!!

Matthew Lorono said...

Chris, I have an active search on eBay, and used ones pop up about once a year. You won't get a choice as to whether you get an older style or a newer style. It just whatever someone happens to be selling. I've picked up 2 of the 5 that have come up in the past few years. Final sale price is usually between $60 and $120.