Author Topic: IBM Keycap Changes Over Time?  (Read 721 times)

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Offline kalrand

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IBM Keycap Changes Over Time?
« on: Wed, 30 November 2016, 18:43:17 »
As far as I can tell, IBM changed their keycap printing more than a few times. Is there a resource to help me figure out what matches well with what?

Wheelwriters, Model F's and Model M's through about 1989 all seem to have a "sharp and bold, very dark black" printing. With wheelwriters having different green inks over time. At some point in here things moved from one piece keys to two piece keys.

IBM Model M's from ~89 through Unicomp M's in ~2009? seem to be roughly: "slightly less dark, slightly less sharp, occasionally brownish-black." And there appears to be two different Green inks uses on Alt keys. There might be a revision in here I havent' run into yet.

New Unicomp keys have a totally different font, and even have a slightly different color "pebble" than anything before it.


Are there more variations? I'm in the middle of restoring a F122, and I'm finding out how little mix-and-match there actually is older keys.
My 122 key Model M was born on July 25th, 1988.

Offline zslane

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  • Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: IBM Keycap Changes Over Time?
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 30 November 2016, 19:41:19 »
Well, there is IBM's Golden Age of beamspring keycaps, which were glorious examples of spherical-topped design. The only decent keycap IBM ever produced, IMO. Everything after about 1980 is gag-worthy.