Decision Data 8010 keyboard review (Honeywell dual-magnet Hall effect)

Skip to 13:21 for a typing demonstration.
Today we look at a very old keyboard, from 1975. Finally I get to talk about Micro Switch dual-magnet Hall effect switches! Also, there is a nice bit of computing history associated with this keyboard. Hope you enjoy the video!

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I’m Thomas and I do videos and reviews on mechanical keyboards ranging from the most sickening modern RGB gaming keyboards to vintage hardware relics, or sometimes keycaps or keyswitches ranging from Cherry MX to Alps SKCM to IBM buckling springs and anything in between.

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The practice sentence was: “Hello my name is Thomas and I’m typing on a Decision Data 8010 right now. This old hunk of junk is still quite the example of what good old manufacturing used to be back in the day! Holp eou enjoyed the video!”


Kees Reuzelaar says:

I would be very interested in a video where you go through all the various legends of these old keyboards. Somehow modern keyboards are a bit on the tame side with special functions.

PixelPlays says:

Finally got rid of those gamery keycaps on my keyboard 🙂

Jonathan Patten says:

TIL Thomas’s age.

Outtheredude says:

I was just one year old (doing boom boom in my nappy) when this keyboard came out! 🙂

UncleKitchenerSA says:

I think the sound differences between the modern and old first gen keys most likely has the whole bunch of factors like the switch size, keycaps and the whole board makeup. Wouldn’t be surprised if the old keyboard is four or six times heavier than any of the modern Ace pad boards. Really, you’re not gonna find consumer level products with so much metal anymore ever since everyone started outsourcing everything.

XalphYT says:

2:52 Could this be the inspiration for Cherry’s mousetrap switch from the 1950s? The mechanism looks suspiciously similar.

Mike Holtackers says:

Question tho… I would love to build a battleship sized keyboard using Box navy switches… Would you be able to recommend anything regarding what case, backplate, etc?…

Poly says:

Watching your videos mid day feels so weird. I always religiously watch them in bed before I sleep, for obvious reasons. Your voice really gets me going, really gets me in the mood…. To sleep

Bryce Snell says:

Keyboard density should really be a quantity that we use

ethan spaziani says:

I’d love to see there be a way to actually use this

Mikhail Evtushenko says:

IF I HAD a caps LOCK switch LIKE that I WOULD BE typing like THIS.

Jonathan Buzzard says:

Why do people keep parroting this rubbish about the modern layout coming from IBM. The DEC LK201 predates any IBM keyboard with anything approaching a modern layout by several years. Most noticably the invert T for the cursor keys, a modern num pad, function keys above the main keyboard, and the six keys abover the cursor pad. The only thing IBM didn’t copy was the compose key, and dam those to hell who where responsible for this monstrous omission.

Mike Holtackers says:

Eargasmix :O

laserhawk64 says:

You know you’re makin’ me drool with all these old keyboard reviews, riiiiight…? I love this stuff!

“Who are you” (the pink key mentioned) has to do with Baudot Code, which is the five-bit (five-hole, more properly) version of your paper tape codes there. More specifically, WhoAreYou aka WRU was introduced with the Western Union dialect, if you will… sort of third generation Baudot. It goes Baudot, Murray, Western Union, ITA2 (which had two versions, USA and “everyone else”, go figure), 7bit ASCII, then 8bit ASCII. When received, the WRU code spat back from the receiving station, automagically, some sort of ID code telling you with whom you were communicating.

As an aside, Emile Baudot, the inventor of that code, is also where the term for characters per second comes from… that would be Baud or Baud Rate.

…by the way, have you yet gotten the shipment with a particular Model M keyboard? 😉 (Yeah, I’m that guy.) I can hardly wait to see the review!

Karl Olson says:

Is it just me or does that thing look like an old Atari 800?

dombrox says:

Yeah that sound is nice. Cherry could create something like this. Hall switches should be quite popular due to their sound and durability

Cebrilung says:

Another superb video, thank you Tom! The reverse ISO-enter on the left is mesmerizing and holy hell that ~9U spacebar is brutal 😀

h3oCharles says:

“Skip to 13:212 for a typing demonstration.” :thinking:

Techokami says:

5:40 Man I would love a set of keycaps like that. Too bad they cost stupid amounts of money…

network spring says:


Natalie 2k1 says:

Whether it’s technology, history or something else – I always learn something new when I watch one of these reviews. Thanks for another excellent one Thomas. I know this isn’t about keyboards, but just out of curiosity (given the stuff about computer memory evolution in the video) is anyone following Nantero NRAM ?. It’s due next year and is a non-volatile memory using carbon nanotubes. It’s supposed to have insane durability (it’s almost like the hall effect switch of computer memory). Link:

Zozang Zozang says:

Floppy discs are nigh unhackable, thus they are still used in military installations around the world.

Unnamed Internet Citizen says:

4:46 MX Loud Red next?

Molasses says:

Teensy c o n v e r s i o n time

Nick Georgopoulos says:

When I think “reliability,” the first thing that comes into mind are tanks.

Dangerous Extremist says:

Engineering like this turns me on.

darkholyPL says:

Those caps… you could probably load them into a shotgun and kill someone with them. Love ’em! 😀

XalphYT says:

If you want to read the user’s manual, then you can find Section 2.4 (“Keyboard Keys and Controls”) here:

BoyBalastog says:

I just realized, given that the 30 billion keystroke number’s been referenced before, but howTF did Honeywell ever come up with that rating? If they actually tested it back then, they’d probably still be going until now and still not hit 30 billion.

Michael Dina says:

I don’t know Russian but you seem to have done well pronouncing that Russian word.

Socky Noob says:

I bet somebody out there could figure out a way for it to work on modern keyboards. Lol

Dmitry Belogub says:

I liked history lesson part of this video very much. Please more!

XalphYT says:

12:21 Those three buttons up at the top-left are media buttons. But not music buttons. No, nothing lame like that. These are punch card media buttons!

Matthew Hall says:

That “WHO ARE YOU” key is beyond rad.

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