Apple & SGI keyboards (Re: NEC ProSpeed 386)

Ben Sinclair ben at
Tue May 31 17:34:53 CDT 2016

I believe the Apple Extended Keyboard II was the last Apple keyboard with
mechanical switches. I know that it's a desired keyboard even today!

Out of the all of the keyboards I use regularly, I think my granite SGI is
my favorite. On my main work Mac, I was using a Das Keyboard until a few
days ago. I just had trouble going from the Das Keyboard back to the
integrated Macbook Pro keyboard. I sometimes work from home with the
Macbook in clamshell mode, and sometimes at a co-working space with just
the Macbook. So, I switched back to their tiny wireless keyboard, though I
wish they had a full size wireless keyboard. I'm also in a constant battle
between a great keyboard and a clean desk with no wires.

A nice project might be building an internal, battery powered bluetooth
adapter into an Apple Extended II.

On Tue, May 31, 2016 at 5:16 PM, Swift Griggs <swiftgriggs at> wrote:

> On Tue, 31 May 2016, Liam Proven wrote:
> > On 31 May 2016 at 19:15, Chris Hanson <cmhanson at>
> wrote:
> > > On my desk at work, I have a 5K iMac hooked up to the same Apple
> Extended Keyboard II that I've been using since 1990. :)
> > Excellent! :-)
> I'm not a huge Apple zealot to the point of wearing black turtlenecks
> every day, but I gotta hand it to them, they have been a big innovator
> with keyboard design. They (almost?) always design their own keyboards.
> They have had big fat key'd ones and tiny thin aluminum designs, ones with
> huge borders and ones with nearly zero borders, but they've always tried
> to put a little bit of pinache therein. Successful or not, I respect them
> a lot for trying, and several of their designs are very nice. I've never
> known them to create "clackety" keyboards with mechanical switches, but
> then again there are only two groups who care: gamers and curmudgeons
> (*grin*).
> I made my choice to be an "IT guy" a long time ago, I might as well do it
> in style and comfort with the most beautiful gear I can get. Thus, the IT
> gear I'm least afraid to drop money on is my keyboard and monitor. Okay
> cash on keyboards in my case is a vulgar embarrassment (let's just not
> talk about that *ugh*), but monitors I only buy once every few years (if
> that much). When I do buy one, I choose *very* carefully.
> That was the one thing that never really shone in the SGI world, despite
> some cool fru-fru in other places. I have a granite slab keyboard and an
> SGI USB keyboard. Neither is anything special (and the USB one has DOMES
> *gasp*... the horror). However, SGI did have the "dials and buttons" and
> "Spaceball" interfaces. So what they lose in style points for lack of cool
> keyboard designs I have to re-award for their other cool input devices.
> -Swift

Ben Sinclair
ben at

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