I know about the Cassie Keyboard Prototype Interface Box. It is easy to understand why Apple would not have produced such a device to allow their 128k-Plus keyboards to use ADB, if for no other reason than they would want to sell the more expensive newer ADB keyboards. What I don't understand from reading various articles from the period is why no third party vendors offered such a device. After all, When Apple introduced ADB on the SE & MacII (we're talking Macs here, not Apples, so the IIgs doesn't count), they charged you extra for one of two keyboards. Not only that, but the chief complaint about the Apple Basic Keyboard and the Apple Extended Keyboard was that they were huge compared to the older non-ADB (I suppose a shrewd consumer would have special ordered a IIgs keyboard at that point which had a much smaller footprint, but still paid extra for it none-the-less). Many also preferred the feel of the older keyboard keys for typing to the new ADB designed ones. If the ADB Mac was your first Mac, I suppose buying a new keyboard was no problem. But for the many older Mac users that eventually upgraded to a new ADB Mac, I would imagine the prospect of paying extra for a new keyboard was a slap in the face, when they had a perfectly fine one they may have even preferred typing on, not to mention the size, already connected to their old Mac. A simple interface box would have certainly solved a lot of those complaints -- it could have even had an old mouse port and done double duty -- no need to buy new peripherals to use your new Mac. The closest thing to it I have found is the Data Desk Mac101E keyboard that had dip switches allowing you to switch between old and ADB Macs. If that were possible, why didn't someone produce a simple, inexpensive interface box? I may try to build the Cassie interface box as the schematics were kindly posted: http://www.applefritter.com/node/313 but it would be nice if the chip were identified. I'm sure it's just a stock IC and as long as it is appropriately connected should perform exactly the way the Cassie box does.
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I just re-read the whole Cassie post and realized the chip is identified by Michael R. Clarke and the Cassie appears not to be ADB, so even if I built the box, it probably wouldn't understand ADB anyway. But that doesn't mean it can't be done!
I doubt whether many people would have bought such an adapter. Macs cost a serious amount of money in the 1980's and it is unlikely that many people would have had a spare pre-ADB keyboard lying around. There would have been a few exceptions -- owners who had upgraded a 128/512K to a Plus and had purchased the Plus keyboard option.
I thought about that too and that might have been the case for a while. I would guess most Mac users at the time who bought the latest models, probably re-sold their older Macs and until about 1991 that would have made a lot of sense as there would have been a market for even a 128k Mac. I think most Mac ownwers today keep their old Macs as they upgrade (which is part of the reason why so many of us have garages full of old Macs). But for those people who upgraded from their second-hand Mac (which would then have little re-sale value), I would have thought those converter boxes ($25 retail maybe?) would have been desirable over paying $130 for a new keyboard -- a practice I think Apple engaged in until they introduced the first Performa (anybody)? Of course, if you could afford to upgrade your Mac in the 80s and keep your old Mac, you probably didn't mind paying an extra $130 for a state of the art keyboard. Cost aside, many people preferred the old Mac keyboards, so given that they had to buy a keyboard anyway, they probably opted for a third party keyboard like the Data Desk, which people swear is the best keyboard they've ever used, and justified the expense. Thanks for the mind-food.