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Hardware Hacking Input Devices Build

USB NeXT Keyboard With an Arduino Micro 115

Posted by Soulskill
from the clickity-clack-hack dept.
coop0030 writes "Ladyada and pt had an old NeXT keyboard with a strong desire to get it running on a modern computer. These keyboards are durable, super clicky, and very satisfying to use! However, they are very old designs, specifically made for NeXT hardware: pre PS/2 and definitely pre-USB. That means you can't just plug the keyboard into a PS/2 port (even though it looks similar). There is no existing adapters for sale, and no code out there for getting these working, so we spent a few days and with a little research we got it working perfectly using an Arduino Micro as the go between."
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USB NeXT Keyboard With an Arduino Micro

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  • Re:waste (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SomePgmr (2021234) on Saturday December 08, 2012 @06:12PM (#42228787) Homepage

    congratulations on devoting your time & money on doing something useless, thanks for sharing!

    They're using a keyboard they like, where previously they could not. And in the abstract, they found a problem and solved it... which is reason enough for a hobby project.

    Now go away, troll.

  • Re:waste (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 08, 2012 @06:32PM (#42228955)

    If you like cheap keyboards just fine, then by all means, do that. Some prefer the older ones, and that's ok too.

    It certainly doesn't hurt anyone to make those options available and it's not like they claim to have cured cancer... it's just a project.

  • When things lasted (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Saturday December 08, 2012 @06:35PM (#42228967)

    Back in the 90s, a company called Northgate Computer Systems, based out of Minnesota, ranked right up there in terms of marketshare, etc as Dell, HP, etc. They had several government contracts which were exceptionally lucrative. They also made keyboards that everyone at the time lusted for because they were super-reliable, very comfortable to use, and quiet despite the snappiness of the keys. You simply couldn't find a better keyboard. Everything was looking great for them, until senior management made a series of horrible and totally avoidable blunders and within a year the company tanked. The one thing to survive the company's demise was their patents on keyboards -- bought out by a company called Avant Stellar (if memory serves). They charge a fortune for their keyboards, and they aren't as reliable as those old ones are.

    I can understand why these guys decided to hack together a microcontroller assembly to get it working on modern hardware: human interface equipment back in that day and age was built to last forever. It could even survive contact with 5 year olds, as my keyboard frequently crashed onto concrete floors, was pissed on by animals, and crushed by falling monitors (remember: Back in the day, a 19" monitor weighed a good 50 pounds). Things that would kill today's keyboards dead, it simply brushed off as a non-event.

    I wish things were built like that today, rather than this planned obsolesence bullsh*t. There's some things in this industry that just don't change: The power cord, the mouse, the keyboard, and the cases. Build those things to last guys. Really.

  • Re:waste (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Eponymous Coward (6097) on Saturday December 08, 2012 @07:50PM (#42229469)

    Like John Lennon once said, time you enjoy wasting isn't wasted.

The greatest productive force is human selfishness. -- Robert Heinlein

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