[vcf-midatlantic] OT: Modern keyboard question

Herb Johnson hjohnson at retrotechnology.info
Mon Nov 26 13:44:30 EST 2018

> I'm also more of an Alps fan; my daily [desktop keybord] is an Apple Extended Keyboard II through an iMate ADB->USB adaptor. 

Since I sell ADB keyboards, this phrase caught my eye. Let's see what 
such adapters are about, these days. I presume 1) none are in current 
commercial production but 2) there's some hobby projects old and new 
about it. And I found I was likely right.

"ADB to USB Connector Adapter" on that auction site, shows  Griffin 
imate,  AlphaSmart as apparently old brands, resale price $70-$100+; and 
maybe "Wombat" as some hobby class product at $59-$79.

A Web search seems to zero in on a hobby project apparently called 
"tmk". Further searching and hopping about the Web, reveals some person 
calling themself "tmk", in Japan. There's some kind of code to run on 
microcontroller chips like Atmel AVR and Cortex-M; on some kind of 
hardware design (not physically complicated, interfaces and a MPU chip I 
imagine). The trail I was able to find amounts to:


Without a lecture from an old-guy; it's mostly a club around someone's 
microcontroller board for specific purposes. You have to join the 
conversation to figure out what you get, how to make it useful, see 
what's available now. All code is on  github. The "sales" page seems to 
be an updated post in a keyboard discussion group (geekhack). More 
information is in various discussions.

I don't think much of this kind of hobby-product-support, to be honest. 
I understand, this is how such things are done today.

And of course - I may be wrong about "tmk" being a particularly popular 
old keyboard to USB solution. All I did was search the web cold, and see 
what Google came up with first. I'm not "in the club", so I know 
nothing. Maybe someone in that club, or another club, can reference 
other work.

This is marginally within vintage-computing: this is about reuse of 
vintage tech. That's a fact: I sell ADB keyboards for current use, or 
disassembly, all the time.

Otherwise I posted here what I found, to save my other know-nothing 
friends some of the time I spent on this subject this afternoon. Hope 
this is informative.

Herb "click-clack" Johnson

Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey in the USA
http://www.retrotechnology.com OR .net

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