Restoration of 37-year old IBM keyboard

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They sell mono color keyboards on their website. Not quite so fugly.


This brings back some fond clacky memories - my elementary school had a blend of IIe’s (for the classroom) and 5150’s (for the admins). My brother was the whiz kid who regularly got called to the office when they had a problem, and I inherited his title when he moved on. All that time learning DOS wasted, flushed when they moved to Windows 2.0 in the late 80’s. C:>sigh


Oh, a model F. Much respect.

Also seems worthy of note: this wasn’t so much a restoration as a ‘cleaning’(albeit a sterner than usual one). “The restoration did take a few hours and fortunately none of it involved a soldering iron or replacing any of the electrical or physical components because it was already in great functioning shape”

‘Grimy; but 100% electrical and mechanical function’ is pretty good for something of that vintage.


There is a small company selling Model F keyboards, I ordered one but it hasn’t arrive yet.


A few years ago, I ran two of these keyboards through a dishwasher, cut off the cords to make them play toys. I gave gave one to my kids and the other to the preschool we were at. The preschool had some old broken Dell keyboards or fake toy keyboards that were replaced regularly by parents as they broke.

My kids still play with the the keyboard and the preschool’s keyboard has held up well. They just toss it in the dishwasher and it’s fine.

I had no idea that they sometimes are worth more than $50 on eBay. Still, totally worth it. The preschool will have a keyboard that no kid will really use in real life, yet they will have some time with something that sounds and feels nice.


I have several of these, IBM and Compaq, and I still use one for my desktop PC. I can’t stand those cheap plastic ones that come with new computers. Every once in a while I will clean of the keys and it’s good as new. I did have to find an converter to USB input as the Compaq cable isn’t compatible.

I donated mine. Let someone else do the cleanup.

You appear to have misspelled “and they’re goddamn beautiful”.

No, but terrible quality in my experience. The first one I ordered had keys that did not work, so I returned it. The replacement died not even six months into owning it. They refused to replace it or refund my money.

I went back to using the Gateway keyboard that I’d had since 1999.

I’ll never buy a Unicomp product again.

This seems like a lot of work. I used an IBM Model M for years, and before vacation, I’d always toss it in the dishwasher, and then set it upside down to dry while I was away. Came out squeaky clean, and after about 20 washes, I still have it - and it still works (though I’m not using it much lately)…

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