I'm sorry for the click-baity thread title, I just couldn't think of a way to make it more descriptive without ruining what I think may be my biggest/most interesting photos and post since I started here. I should immediately follow that up with a note that this may not be that interesting to many, or maybe you'll retort - 'Ha, you think that's cool? Look at this!' Just let this newbie have his moment and reflect on his good day
*I'm going to start with a few items first that will kind of ruin the chronological order of how this all happened, but I don't care - I'm saving the best stuff for last, even if it happened first today!
So I wasn't feeling too well this morning. It was just shaping up to be a crappy Wednesday judging by the first few hours of my day. I tried to struggle through work from 8:30am til around 10:15, then, after having nodded off at my desk several times, gotten a pounding headache and just feeling generally shitty, I said screw it and took a sick day. I went home to rest for a couple of hours. When I woke up, I decided to check my email to see if I had gotten any response from a guy that posted an interesting Kijiji(like Craigslist in Canada) ad the night before. It's a good thing I did, because he had responded but for some reason my phone hadn't notified me of this email at all. He had only written back 10 minutes prior to me checking and said he would try to wait for me to respond before moving onto other people who had made offers after me. He turned out to be a great guy and gave me first dibs - also agreed on a price under asking...but I'll come back to that trip after some photos!
Now then, moving back to the beginning of my day - well, more like the middle of my day as this all went down at around 1pm. We had decided on a price, and I headed towards the center of Toronto to meet this guy at his rental space on the ground floor of a senior's apartment building - no safer place to do a meet, right? I got there and met Loui, who is a computer engineer, among other things - seriously, from what he told me, it seems like he works 3 jobs and is trying to run/revamp a computer museum at the same time. He turned out to be a very interesting guy to talk to and had a ton of knowledge on computers and their history. I was so excited I immediately offered my volunteer service, even though he never mentioned he was looking. I told him to let me know if he ever needed help refurbishing, sorting and cleaning all the equipment he gets - including lots of keyboards! Hopefully he'll keep in touch. He worked all over Europe and was a Commodore field tech for about 10 years, servicing and repairing all sorts of them. This means that he also made lots of connections all over the world and has computers and tech from many places, including various prototypes and models only produced in very small numbers.
In fact, he could see I was thrilled to see all this stuff, so he took me to his office and showed me all the stuff he had stored there, waiting to be refurbished - dozens of keyboards, computers, motherboards, components etc. He had 2 F XT's just laying on the shelf that looked brand new - not even a spec of dust under the key caps on the barrel plate that I could see. He said he might be selling one of them soon and would keep me posted - I told him I would love to buy one! He even had a brand new, complete IBM 5155 Portable PC and a NIB and also complete, Colecovision Adam. There were all sorts of Compaq keyboards, 8 bit computers (Commodores, Radioshack, Sinclair etc.) and to be honest, most of the keyboards piled up on the floor (as the shelves were bursting as the seams as it was and had no more space), I had never seen before. He had an interesting looking Sega keyboard that was not a teradrive and he had one of those Japanese Sony keyboards, black case, that looked like it should have brown or some other Alps switches, a mini-pc/keyboard only sold in Brazil....but I didn't bring a key puller and didn't really want to start asking if I could pull key caps off of his boards. I'm terribly sorry guys, but I didn't get any photos of that magical room, but I hope to return there one day and if I do, I will take some!
Wow, I'm sorry to ramble again - I'm sure you just want to know what I bought, right? Here you go
And one last thing - I told you this guy was cool. Well, he has so much stuff that he's had to reject donations from time to time, so he gave me these freebies =D
This particular keyboard interests me, because I had never seen a blue slider SMK Vintage linear before - and I'm either a little crazy or these switches could be quite dirty, but I detect a slight tactility when typing on this board - It felt very minor, but I swear I could feel it while typing normally, but not when focusing on depressing one switch at a time.
Here is Sandy's photo and mention of this switch, which appeared to be from an NEC PC8801. He indicates the switch is supplied by SMK and links to our wiki page for the Vintage Linear switch, but says it's unconfirmed?: