Keyboards Retro Computing

Buckling Springs

🎶 Oh buckling springs oh buckling springs! 🎶

The (current) daily driver on my Mac Studio, a Model M from 1992, got some new blue keys + caps today courtesy of Unicomp.

There’s quite a following for these keyboards for good reason – they’re built like tanks, have wonderful feedback from the buckling spring mechanism, and audibly alert everyone within a one mile radius that you have a mechanical keyboard.

IBM Model M keyboard with blue keys from Unicomp.

It doesn’t take much to run this keyboard on a modern system. Most machines these days won’t have a PS/2 port (although some high end gaming motherboards do, due to the lower latency), but it’s simple enough to use a PS/2 to USB converter like this one. Not all converters will work, so it’s good to check out reviews or forums beforehand. In case the Amazon link above eventually fails it’s a Monoprice PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse to USB Converter Adapter 110934.

You’ll also notice there’s a lack of “super” key in between Ctrl and Alt. To get around this on my Mac I’ve simply mapped Command to Alt and Option to Caps Lock. If this is too much of a deal breaker the good news is that Unicomp makes a modernized version.