What’s better than meeting up with a bunch of keyboard enthusiasts who share the same love for keyboards? Nothing! On July 11, 2015, Geekhack Toronto was re-invited by Edgar and Steve from Matias Corporation for Toronto’s second meetup. The last meetup was held back in 2013 with Matias (thanks again!) and this one was long overdue. Although I have been a member of GH for over two years, this was the first meetup I attended.
Upon entering the building, we were greeted by Steve from Matias, numerous new faces and many keyboards. The first thing I did was find a spot to display my pride and joy…my KMAC2 Korean custom keyboard. Like others, I was excited to meet new faces as well as experience different keyboards.
After mingling for a bit with fellow Geekhackers, we were then ushered to enter the main boardroom where lunch was being served. Matias was kind enough to arrange food, snacks and some refreshments. What really caught my eye were cupcakes baked by Hyde’s fiancé. It looked good…and tasted even better…mmm!
After we grabbed some chow, Steve began talking about the history behind Matias and we started having brief introductions of everyone in the room. When it was my turn, I explained how I first started this hobby with a Filco keyboard, which I thought at the time was the “one” and then I proceeded to buy another Filco, two Ducky Shines and then I sold everything and settled for a KMAC2.. which was, by the way, probably the best decision I ever made (Korean custom keyboard fanboy). It was extremely interesting and amusing to listen to stories from fellow Geekhackers which were different in their own way yet were strangely relatable.
Matias went around informally asking for feedback regarding colouring scheme of keycaps, keyboard layouts and keycap preferences (plastic material and legend printing type). Edgar then covered the more technical topics and showcased Matias’ current prototypes. One of their prototypes really stood out – it was similar to a Korean custom keyboard called the Duck Lightsaver. For those who are unfamiliar with the Lightsaver, it is essentially a keyboard that has a majority of the keys found on a full-sized keyboard, but with a similar footprint as a tenkeyless keyboard. It’s nice to see enthusiast designs incorporated into mainstream keyboards. I could really see Matias’ passion though their concepts!
We got a tour of Matias’ factory and then proceeded to head back to the main office. The warehouse was both very cool and spooky at the same time, but nonetheless part of the whole experience. Before heading back inside the main office, it was the perfect segue to take a group picture to commemorate the afternoon!
(Credits: Hyde @ Geekhack)
Overall, this was definitely a great turnout and I was glad I was able to attend and meet fellow Geekhackers. I was able to make new connections while being able to try different keyboards. Thanks to this meetup, my thirst for a new keyboard continues and perhaps the HHKB will be my next project.