philip at axeside.co.uk
Thu Aug 21 15:06:48 CDT 2008
> Speaking of key tops, most of what I've seen out there is one bit of plastic
> keycap, but this IBM I'm typing on seems to have a two-part approach to
> things. I know this because the "-" key on the numeric pad is missing the
> upper portion, the one with the "-" on it, so what's there is both a " "
> key and also smaller than all the rest of them.
I had a look, and I'm afraid not. However, I can offer you any of the
following: just e-mail me your postal address off-list.
"-" with a shift of "=", off-white
Totally blank, grey
"Field -", grey.
These interchangeable keykaps were used on a lot of IBM keyboards in the
late '80s. On the PC, I think they came in with the enhanced AT
keybaord; my PS/2 keyboards have them; and I think some 319x terminals
had them. The nice feature was that you could do make international
keyboards with fewer parts, since the keycaps were all mechanically
identical; they didn't change shape with the rake of the keyboard the
way the underlying keys did.
Many years ago I picked up a keybaord at a car boot sale. It belonged
to a terminal of some description. It sat around my computer room
getting tripped over and falling off things until it was so badly
damaged I didn't think it worth keeping. But I kept the keycaps,
several keys and a few spring/flappy bit subassemblies.
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