What was Apple thinking?

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Joined: Oct 9 2011
Posts: 1078


So I had given up my Apple II plus keyboard a while ago for the Rickets Apple-1 so that a working keyboard could be included in the auction. Kept my eye out for a spare and actually picked one up from eBay for $36, sans encoder. Cleaned and tested but not working. I got it and put it away about a month or so ago. It really became apparent I needed to get to this thing working after I had to drag out a pristine Apple II and bring it to a VCF east workshop so I could simple test monitors with something that had early Apple Video, this meant a IIe wold not work since it has proper NTSC video.

What was Apple thinking is all I can say....

I know these "leaf" type keyboards are a pain... But this one was the worst. Every key including reset was stuck "on". I spent 3 hours with dental picks rebending and shaping the contacts and leaves inside that keyboard. Beer didn't cut it. After finally finding a consistent technique, all I have to say to myself is..... Really this design was better than switches?

Whom ever Spec'd this keyboard out must have worked for Microsoft or Commodore on a plan how to destroy the Apple II line. Luckily it wasn't successful and the IIe did not use this design.

Ok rant over....

BTW cleaned and tested meant the inside of the keyboard was covered in contact cleaner, which doesn't work on this kind of keyboard, I guess the guy I bought it from tried and gave up on getting this keyboard working.


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Joined: May 27 2013
Posts: 795
Re: What was Apple thinking?
Moonferret's picture
Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 9
Re: What was Apple thinking?


Really this design was better than switches?

Nope, but I bet it was a lot cheaper to produce. I share your pain, I've had to fix a few of these keyboards and they are a nightmare.