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Re: old keyboard



On Thu, Oct 23, 2008 at 01:21:15AM +0400, Hiisi wrote:
> Dear List!
> Recently I've found a nice old computer. It's called Convergent 
> Technology. Some 80's machine without any decoration signs. The problem 
> is I have only box with motherboard and processor and a keyboard - no 
> display. The display was main link between keyboard and box. So, I can't 
> run it. What I actually want to do, is to use its keyboard on my modern 
> computer (Celeron 510 MHz with 256 MB memory running FC 7).  The 
> keyboard has some strange plug. It looks like network (LAN) plug, but 
> board. Pictures of the keyboard and plug can be found at the address: 
> http://kampela.ru/kuvat/index.php?offset=1
> If I'll solder a PS or PS/2 plug to it is it possible to run this old 
> beauty? I vainly googled for the information about old keyboards. And 
> found only stuff of how to make a valet from it.
> Thanks for attention,
> Hiisi

I know just enough about old Convergent Technology machines to 
know that I don't know very much.

Having said that, I'll step out on a limb here:
They made a number of different kinds of computers. Back when I used to
work at Prime Computer (remember them?) we used their "NGen" system
as part of our office system.

It was a cute little thing made of a bunch of boxes that plugged into
each other side-by-side, each with another component in it. You wanted
another hard drive, you plugged it into the side. Modem? Plug it
into the side. and so on.There was also an older system with a flat base
and a CRT attached to one end of it and another similar-sized device on
the other that contained the computer itself.

As I recall, the keyboard plugged into the system, somewhere, and it
had other connectors on it for daisy-chaining other devices (but I
don't recall that we ever used those other devices). I doubt that the
monitor would be PC-compatible, though I don't know either way. And
I doubt the keyboard was, either, since it probably originated in
designs from pre-IBM PC.

The NGen models we used had a screamin' 10 Mhz 80186 chip, later models
had 286 and 386 processors also.

They ran CT's own OS, as I recall named "CTOS". No graphics on the 
display, only character-cell display, but it was reprogrammable. Someone
had written a game for it (named Rats) that made excelelnt use of the
reprogrammable fonts in the display hardware to LOOK like you were moving
around in a maze with various denizens you had to shoot before they ate
you. My son still mentions that game as one of his favorites.

I'm also vaguely aware of other higher-end systems, perhaps some
multi-processor server machines, or some such, but have no personal
knowledge.

-- 
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