IBM Model M

By | October 24, 2013

Digging through an attic at one of my clients’, I found these — a stack of IBM Model M keyboards! – UK version, 1391406, to be more precise. Here’s one in good condition:

ibm model m
Behold — the IBM model M in all its glory.


I would have liked the US 1391401 model better, with its big right Shift key – but hey, I’ll take this one as well!


Efforts were then made to get it working – it uses a PS/2 cable, which of course does not fit my systems anymore.

Furthermore, not just any PS/2 <–> USB converter will work. I tried a cheap, ~5Euro Delock 61244 – Delock 61244 – this did not work (it works briefly, then at some point the keyboard freezes).


Digging on the net some more, I found a little modification that could help – copied it locally here: IBM PS/2 Keyboard Modification Some people chose to build an adapter box: Model M Keyboard Adapter Box. This modification did not work for me either… In the process I had to acquire a 5.5mm hex screwdriver for about 10 Euro (I already had a 5.5mm bit for 1/4″ square adapters, but they will not work since the holes are too narrow!). My screwdriver is made by Proxxon with markings of 5,5x125mm.

The insides of the keyboard, surprisingly well preserved:

Anyways, after digging around some more, I found a more expensive PS/2 – USB adapter that could actually work – the ATEN UC100-KMA, available here for about 25 Euros. And I am happy to report it works great! I have seen ATEN brand converters in datacenters before, must be a decent brand.


clicky clicky!
clicky clicky!


Witness now the power of this fully operational keyboard*



*best used with Linux, as the lack of Win/Meta/Command key makes its use on Mac OS X tedious, and on Windows a bit annoying.




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