Hardware For Sale/Trade

Complete 486 "Computer In A Keyboard" on eBay

Not my auction, but definitely one of the more interesting and unique things I've seen on eBay: An entire 486 system built into an AT keyboard , with floppy drive, ethernet, and apparently even an expansion slot. Were it not for the high price I'd be all over this one.



EDIT: From Google: Keyboard Network Station (KNS) from Advanced Interlink Corporation. It has a built-in 486-DX microprocessor, up to 32 MBs of RAM, super VGA adapter, 2.5" hard drive,, built-in 3.5" floppy drive, optional on-board Ethernet, two serial ports, one parallel port, standard 16-bit expansion slot, optional barcode reader and external 5.25" floppy drive. And it's fully tested with Novell Netware, Windows, and DOS environments.
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I saw one of these on the local Craigslist for $50 a couple months ago - didn't include a power supply though.
Twitter: @neko_no_ko
IRIX Release 4.0.5 IP12 Version 06151813 System V
Copyright 1987-1992 Silicon Graphics, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.
For a moment I thought it had a small LCD screen too, until I saw the last pic on the auction.
Now why isn't there a trackball in that keyboard??
Sitting in a room.....thinkin' shit up. :evil:

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zahal wrote: For a moment I thought it had a small LCD screen too, until I saw the last pic on the auction.
Now why isn't there a trackball in that keyboard??


I recall seeing ads for these in PC Magazine, etc. Trackballs weren't super popular and I think the target audience was call centers, data entry, pos, all places where mouse input isn't needed (at the time, and should still be minimal).
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Back in the 486 era I had a really cool "CAT" keyboard with a integrated full size trackball. I wish it had been built a little sturdier - the trackball eventually wore out.
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IRIX Release 4.0.5 IP12 Version 06151813 System V
Copyright 1987-1992 Silicon Graphics, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.
ajerimez wrote: Were it not for the high price I'd be all over this one.


Here's another one @$16 with no bids:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0279430576
Twitter: @neko_no_ko
IRIX Release 4.0.5 IP12 Version 06151813 System V
Copyright 1987-1992 Silicon Graphics, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.
I have about 25 of these in various states of repair and was going to assemble them in to a Beowulf Cluster. That looks like mine which are all Pentium 200Mhz with two memory slots. The power supplies are very, very hard to come by and tend to die much sooner than the computer. I've jiggered a AT style power supply and I have it powering 4 of these at a time. Each keyboard computer draws about 30 watts. This model typically had a 4 to 6 gb hard driver, floppy drive and a single ISA slot. They have USB on the mother board but I haven't toyed with that. I put in an old SCSI card and booted WIndows 2000 from an external CD drive and I was in business. The ones I obtained (while working at a recycling center in the Bay Area) all came from the Childrens Hospital and were running Windows 95 and some Novell network software to access a central database.

There are newer models (the company is still in business) with CDs, faster CPUs, more memory, etc.

thegoldbug
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thegoldbug wrote: There are newer models (the company is still in business) with CDs, faster CPUs, more memory, etc.


Yeah, it's one of those things that sounds really cool until you realize that a laptop has all of that, plus a built in display ;)
Twitter: @neko_no_ko
IRIX Release 4.0.5 IP12 Version 06151813 System V
Copyright 1987-1992 Silicon Graphics, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.
nekonoko wrote: Yeah, it's one of those things that sounds really cool until you realize that a laptop has all of that, plus a built in display ;)


True. There are, however, some advantages to this keyboard unit, especially for playing vintage DOS games. First, you can throw a genuine Sound Blaster into it, while most vintage laptops only offer quasi-compatible SB emulation hardware. It also has built-in networking, something that most 90's era laptops lacked. Also, most old DOS games ran in odd resolutions that used non-square pixels, so they appear stretched on laptop LCD screens. You can, of course, connect an external monitor to a laptop to alleviate the problem, but then the laptop LCD screen gets in the way.

Perhaps running old DOS games in DOSBOX on a newer laptop is the best way to go, but there always seem to be minor compatibility or speed issues.
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In europe we had a complet PC in keyboard
it was the scheider EUROPC, circa 1990...

Image

powered with an i8088 9.54Mhz, 512Kb memory and hercule/ CGA onboard... if i correctly remember

Laurent
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fzalfa wrote: In europe we had a complet PC in keyboard
it was the scheider EUROPC, circa 1990...
Laurent


There was also Sinclair PC200, which had 8086 processor, CGA graphics and 512 kB memory.
tg3 makes something like that only a bit more modern
http://www.tg3electronics.com/products/pckeyboard.php

If the build quality is anything like their keyboards I would recommend it completely.
thegoldbug wrote: I have about 25 of these in various states of repair and was going to assemble them in to a Beowulf Cluster.

Goldbug, you made my day. Everyone else takes 25 boxes without keyboards and makes a cluster. You take 25 keyboards without boxes and make a cluster. Only on nekochan :D