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First post, by Mephusto

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I recently acquired an old AT keyboard. I have not had any luck finding any information on it. Also, I have very little knowledge from XT or early AT computers. I would really appreciate it if anyone has any information that they could or would share with me.

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Reply 2 of 14, by Mephusto

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VileR wrote on 2020-10-13, 15:06:

What is there to know that isn't already on the web, when you search for the company name + model number?

I would like to know if anyone has used one or one like it. Have you ever seen one? I thought it was a cool old keyboard and I hadn't ever seen one like it. Also, I did not find much info on it. Is that enough info for what there is to know?

Reply 4 of 14, by Mephusto

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IBM Model M, a keyboard a lot of older people like and has memories attached. Alps keyboards from apple computers, have memories for people, commodore computer keyboards, have memories for people. I just would like to hear if anyone has anything like that with this keyboard. Yes you can just say, "it's a keyboard what else." Is the same as telling someone that the keyboard they really enjoy is trash because you are fine with anything. This is an area of the forum for talking about things. I just wanted to hear people stories if they have any. Theres no need to be rude or to just answer because you want to if you have nothing of worth to add. Thanks for your opinion, and keeping this up higher. Hopefully someone with something to add can see this.

Reply 5 of 14, by WolverineDK

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Mephustu: lately I have seen quite a few rude posts from people. And it blows to be honest. Like a big post count makes it okay to be rude. Which it is not. Vogons should be informative enough to explain what keyboard it is. And in fact, what you are doing is correct in this thread, not the opposite. I wish I was knowledgeable enough to tell you what type of keyboard it is.

Reply 6 of 14, by Jorpho

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My question was "It's a keyboard. What more do you want to know?" I wasn't trying to be rude; it's just that it seemed like there was something specific you might have been wondering about that wasn't clear from your posts.

Mephusto wrote on 2020-10-13, 18:39:

IBM Model M, a keyboard a lot of older people like and has memories attached. Alps keyboards from apple computers, have memories for people, commodore computer keyboards, have memories for people.

Yes, there are a few uncommon keyboards that are of unusual significance. There are a lot more keyboards that aren't particularly special. Maybe there's something specific about this one that makes you think it should be set apart from other keyboards? You haven't mentioned anything specific.

Reply 8 of 14, by Errius

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Hoho, who remembers using the Borland Sidekick calculator in the DOS era?

“Your mission is to attack and destroy the Apple Computer manufacturing plant. You are allotted 35 bombs and 60 lasers."

Reply 10 of 14, by chinny22

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Never had or seen one but agree its quite feature rich with the XT/AT switches, calculator and alps keys.
It's a lot nicer then the rubber dome Microsoft Internet Keyboard I've started using. It's fine for reto activity but horrible for proper typing.

I would expect it does well but hows it go with n-key rollover test? Quick dirty way to test is is to type in notepad:
the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog
holding both shift keys held down

Reply 11 of 14, by VileR

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Mephusto wrote on 2020-10-14, 00:23:

I just think it's neat and was hoping for stories or info not on wiki

When you started the thread, you wrote that you haven't had any luck finding *any* information on it, so that would lead others the wrong way wouldn't it? 😉

But yes, it does look neat and the switches probably make it much nicer for typing than generic rubber-dome stuff.

[ WEB ] - [ BLOG ] - [ TUBE ] - [ CODE ]

Reply 12 of 14, by Mephusto

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VileR wrote on 2020-10-14, 10:12:
Mephusto wrote on 2020-10-14, 00:23:

I just think it's neat and was hoping for stories or info not on wiki

When you started the thread, you wrote that you haven't had any luck finding *any* information on it, so that would lead others the wrong way wouldn't it? 😉

But yes, it does look neat and the switches probably make it much nicer for typing than generic rubber-dome stuff.

Ok I am sorry. I have just been seeing a lot of rude posts and I may have gotten a little defensive, so for that I do apologize. I am just really getting interested in old pc hardware and have really enjoyed finding out about other peoples' experiences. I started getting into pcs around 2000 ish. Anyway, I have an update. I received that keyboard and another one and was doing some research. Yes I found the wiki and read it and have found a few bits of information here and there. I had never seen one with the capabilities this one has. The other one I haven't done much research on yet but it seems like rubber dome.

Ok so I have a 386dx 25 mhz machine, not sure of brand and a Leadman Personal Computer. I have gotten the Leadman working, it has an Alaris Leopard motherboard with an IBM 486SLC2 either 50 or 66mhz with an IIT XC87SLC-33 coprocessor. I can't get the 3001 to work with it but the dome keyboard does work. I haven't been brave enough to mess with the dips yet to test out. Anyway just wanted let y'all know what I have seen with it so far today. I haven't tested the 386 machine yet.

Reply 14 of 14, by shamino

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That calculator feature is crazy. I've never seen that. Maybe not a bad idea though, especially for the DOS era when running a software calculator wasn't convenient.

Never used that keyboard but I had a Wang keyboard from that era which uses "Alps White" switches - I think. All I really know is that on my 2nd copy of this keyboard, the switches are branded by Alps and the plastic on them is white. I've inferred from the internet that apparently the color means something. I assume my original had the same switches, but I don't think I ever actually saw them.

I typed on that thing for so many years and from a young enough age that it basically became my personal reference of what a keyboard should feel like and what key layout I prefer (unfortunately the layout isn't common). I was never as good with anything else.

I've also tried the Model M. Having had that experience, I'm definitely an Alps guy. I never got used to the IBM and eventually stopped trying to use it.

I think a lot of these late 80s-early 90s keyboards are just obscure and forgotten, but probably loved by whoever had them back in the day. It can be hard to find any info about any specific model.

I tried to find a twin of my old Alps-based keyboard on eBay but it was difficult to find any info. I thought it might have a different OEM branded version (not just Wang) but never turned up anything on that front. I was hoping there'd be some amazing website somewhere with tons of history and family trees and part number cross references for old keyboards like this, but no luck.

I had a saved search on eBay for years. Finally one came up that didn't come with a computer and was reasonably priced. I grabbed it. It's a later revision but basically the same.
Unfortunately the switches are rough/stiff and not pleasant to type on. I know they're not supposed to be like that. One of these days I'd like to replace all of the switches so I can use that keyboard again. It might be a fun project, but I'm guessing that buying that many new Alps switches (if they even make them anymore) is going to be expensive.

Nowadays my typing is pretty clumsy. I'd like to blame the modern keyboard. I'd like to avoid thinking it's my age. But in fact I now think that input lag is a factor. It's partly LCD lag but also the lagginess of modern GUIs and web browsers that all contributes. I don't think the screen keeps up with what my fingers are doing and it throws me off mentally.