MCK-142 Pro: The Work Saver Quality Keyboard!

Take a trip back to 1998 or so when the MCK-142 Pro was introduced. The content on this page is from the archived pages of You can view this site strictly for its historical context or use the information presented in a useful manner. I remember when I first learned about the MCK-142 Pro. One of my squash partners had been experimenting with new computer devices. He had a large number of early machines like the Atari and Commodore. He showed me his MCK-142 which he was using in his studio to do something called search engine optimization. Once Google launched Bob Sakayama very quickly became one of the most successful early seos and I'm sure his MCK played a role in that success. As keyboard and computer technology advanced, he moved on. But the MCK-142 Pro still holds a special place in his memories of those times. Perhaps finding this page and looking at the promotion for the MCK-142 Pro will trigger some memories of your own.

MCK-142 Programmable Unbelievable!142 keys!!

...for persons seriously concerned about how long it takes to get a job done ...who need to simplify and save time!

What can I do with those 24 programmable keys?

Launch your favorite programs with just one key press! Program macros, formulas, CAD key combinations, text intros and salutations, paragraphs, multi key stroke combinations, functions ... in fact anything where you may need to reduce multiple key strokes to one key press. Great for data entry! Every time we publish this site we have to type in our account name and password. We have it programmed on 1 key! Now signing on takes just 1 key press! Pop up programs inside of other programs like calculator, notepad... any program you desire just 1 key press! The possibilities are endless! How Easy to Program?

Great with Solomon IV, MAS90, IBM, AutoCad, Office 97, Windows '95-'98-NT, Word, Word Perfect, Lotus 1-2-3, Excel, Access, VC++, VB5-6, Back Office, Delphi, MSDOS, Linux, UNIX, Adobe, Micrografx, Semantic and all of today's popular Windows and non Windows programs!

Save Work!  Reduce tedium!  Work faster!  Work smarter!

"I personally use the MCK-142 "Work Saver" Keyboard every day. This has got to be the best keyboard I've ever used and I've been using keyboards since I built my first Z-80 computer in 1976!" (Jim Faliveno, President)


  • Work Saving 24 Extra Programmable Function keys PF1 - PF24
  • Up to 320 programmable keystrokes per key
  • Great solid, "clicky feel" for keyboard users who recognize quality!
  • 2 sets of function keys F1 - F12 (at top and left)
  • 8k Ram total with internal lithium battery backup (non volatile memory)
  • 8 way cursor keys; Fast Repeat Key
  • Caps Lock and Ctrl keys can be swapped under Windows '95-98
  • Works with any IBM AT compatible computer
  • Software included to save programming to disk and restore to keyboard
  • From a company staffed by people who care about customer satisfaction!
  • Additional Feature Details

How tough is it to program? Piece of cake!

Simple Example: Let's say your favorite password is "4 Score & 7 Years Ago"

This is how we program 4 Score & 7 Years Ago into the PF-1 key:

  1. Press the Select key twice
  2. Press the PF-1 key (to designate that this is the desired key to program)
  3. Type in 4 Score & 7 Years Ago
  4. Press the Select key once (to signal that you are finished)

That's all there is to it! Instantly programmed!

Now when you need to type 4 Score & 7 Years Ago, just press the PF-1 key!


What sets the MCK-142 Pro apart from other keyboards is it's 24 programmable keys.


Why is this so important?  

Unlike some other keyboards which have been sold in the past, the MCK-142 Pro allows you to program up to 320 keystrokes per programmable key... not just 16 keystrokes or 32 keystrokes. Our experience with 32 keystrokes was that 32 was never enough! Just about the time you figured out the macro or combination you needed was when your ran out of keystroke storage! With the MCK-142 Pro this is never a problem.

Any combination of keys that you can type on the keyboard can be programmed into a PF "puff" Key (PF stands for programmable function). This includes carriage returns (Enter), Ctrl and Alt Combinations, F1-F12 keys, F1-F12 + Ctrl and/or Alt key combinations, numbers, backspace, TAB, Esc ... anything you can type! You can even program a delay! For example, M A R Y H A D A L I T T L E L A M B  (space between each letter)takes twice as long to output than MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB does. Also, one can type 12 backspace 23 backspace 34 backspace 4 to slow down the output when needed. The versatility is quite amazing!

The programming that you put into the programmable keys can be saved to a disk file. This file can then be reloaded back to the keyboard when needed. Some companies who have purchased several of the keyboards for Data Entry or Accounting and want all keyboards to perform the same have programmed one unit, saved to file and then downloaded that file to all the other keyboards. The MCK-142 Pro has an on board lithium battery and maintains its programming when the computer is powered off.

The Solid "Clicky" feel of the MCK-142 Pro is the feel most preferred by serious computer users. Many keyboards today have that "squashy" plastic feel. There is no weight to these inexpensive keyboards to hold them in place and they always seem to be moving around the table. You often have to press twice to make sure the keystroke registers correctly. The MCK-142 Pro is a real pleasure to type on! Once you have tried one, all others will fail to measure up! 


Full Keyboard Specifications

Compatible with all PC AT computers including new Pentium and Pentium II ATX mother boards. 
Standard PS/2 (the little tiny one) connector with large AT style adapter free for the asking normally $4.95); +5v DC standard; L 20.25" x W8.5" x H1.5"
coiled 8.5 ft cable. 
1 year mfg. warranty. 
This is brand new merchandise in factory carton with all manuals, disk and shortcut help information.




Our Customers Say . . . .

"I like to setup shortcuts in Windows for Explorer, the Calculator etc. For the Calculator I setup Ctrl-Alt-C to pop it up. Then I put that key combination on the "Work Saver's" PF 24 key. When I'm in the middle of a spreadsheet or 'Word and need a calculator, I just press PF24 and there it is! Same with Explorer and other programs..."


"I put passwords on my programmable keys! Saves looking them up!"


"I always sign my email messages with my name, email address and web site address. I have these three lines programmed on the 24th key and when I finish writing my email text, I just hit key 24! It's really convenient!"


"In one of our CAD programs, to print the whole page to a laser printer it is necessary to enter this key sequence:

DP,5,3,1,8,2,laser3,3,7. The "Work Saver" makes this into a 1 keystroke command!"

"In the CAD program we use, to outline a drawn object requires the entry of a number of "snap parallel" commands such as LI,SA,@,,1.25,click. With the "Work Saver" keyboard, we just program this onto one key, point to the object on the screen and press a key....point and press...point and press.  The outlining is done in no time at all! It saves hours of work!"


"I am a programmer and I have to run Windows and Unix on the same machine. The cut and paste between the two doesn't work for me. I bought the "Work Saver" last week and it saved me 3 hours in one day alone!"


"I've been looking all over for a keyboard with the function keys on the left. Please enter my order for 3 more! The first one I ordered has worked out just great!"


"I know that this sounds silly but as a programmer you use what works for you and to heck with what everyone else says, right? I have a hard time with mis-spelling the name of variables. When I write a new routine, I list the variables and program the correct spelling on the programmable keys on my MCK-142 keyboard. When I have to insert the name of a variable in my program, I just press the correct PF key ( I use l_o_n_g descriptive variable names :) )


"When I first got my "Work Saver" keyboard, I played with it every day. Then when the newness wore off it got to be a pain like everything else and I kind of forgot about the programmable keys. But I kept using it because I liked the feel and everyone in my office thought I was a whiz or something because I had this impressive keyboard. When they asked me what the keys were for I told them that it was "classified" ... I could tell them but then I'd have to kill them! Then one day the boss gave me one of those projects that everyone just loves where you have to type in the same thing over and over and over... I thought I'd go nuts! Then I remembered the programmable keys. I did the job so fast that I had to wait an extra day before I turned it in so she wouldn't think the job was too easy or something....."Free800


"Sometimes, I come up with an idea while sending email that I would like to send to others but I don't have their address. As I'm typing the idea into the first email, I record (program) it onto a PF key and save. Then, when I locate another person's email address and I want to send the same message, I open an email message form, click in the text area and press the PF key. Sure, there are other ways to do this and many are much more effective ... if you are that kind of organized person. However, when thinking on the fly, nothing could be faster and easier. I often think of it as a "keyboard record and playback device". "


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After you have purchased your "Work Saver" MCK-142 Pro, send us email and we'll add your special use story right here. Make sure to tell us if it's ok to use your name with your special use story. How to Order

April 1998 BYTE Magazine reports.......

"Spring is around the corner, and the Orchids and Onions are sprouting in Dr. Pournelle's garden."

"A few months ago, I wrote about the Avant Stellar keyboard from Creative Vision Technologies . It's a great keyboard, and I still recommend it."

"But the User's Choice Award for keyboards goes hands down to Ortek Technologies ... for their MCK-142 Pro. The MCK-142 has the heft and feel and keyclick of the old Northgate OmniKey. It has function keys across the top and on the side as well. Above the keyboard are 24 keys you can program to do almost anything, including address and signature, and opening programs with parameters; essentially, any text string you like at the touch of a button. The MCK-142 feels good and is as solid as a rock. It doesn't have the "Windows" key, but then that's nothing more than control-escape anyway."

"My Northgate OmniKey keyboards are old, and several have broken down. Now I don't worry about that so much. If you liked the Northgate OmniKey, you will like the Ortek MCK-142."

BYTE Magazine - April 1998 / Pournelle / Good Enough Is Good Enough

April 1999 Jerry Writes about it in Byte Again!



And a Mention In 2008

FROM: GEEKHACK Blog a for the Keyboard Enthusiast

Topic: MCK-142 Pro Programmable keyboard - different types of ALPS switches (Read 2618 times)

MCK-142 Pro Programmable keyboard - different types of ALPS switches

Thu, 08 May 2008

Hi all,

I'm so very glad to have found this forum. Like everyone else, I am a big keyboard geek.

Today I would like to bring to your attention the MCK-142 Pro keyboard, it is sold under many different brand names. Like this one:

Well I have used this keyboard for quite a few years. the keys feels slightly larger than normal. I have about 4 of these over the years.

The wierd thing: one of my MCK-142s have a much lighter resistence compared to others. it clicks louder like the ALPS should, but it takes less force to move the keys. So this morning I opened two keyboards to look at the switches. On the lighter touch keyboard, the switch says ALPS on one edge, '4' and 'G' on the other two corners. The other keyboard has ALPS on one edge and a '5' and maybe a 'C' (or could be a 'G'?) on the other two corners.

So this leads me to believe that there are different types of ALPS switches that behaves differently. Anybody know how to get these ALPS switches? I'm interested in replacing all the switches so that I would have all 4G switches in my MCK-142.

I really love the MCK-142 Pro's programmable ability and if you look around you can find it cheaper. I usually pay a bit under $100 for these over the years.

BTW, I do have keyboard collections and I'm trying to make some customizations these days, sort of like the Steampunk Keyboard.