Ever seen IBM Model M key caps with upper AND lowercase letters?

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snuci
Vintage computer guy

15 Dec 2015, 03:24

I purchased an interesting set of key caps from a seller on eBay and was wondering if anyone has ever seen IBM key caps with both uppercase and lower case on them? If so, what are they used for? They don't appear to be for any special language but it's hard to question the authenticity of them being from IBM. The box has a copyright date of 1986 so the could be from the late 80's. I assume that in "the day", there were other sets like this that could be purchased?

I requested permission of the seller to use their pics (along with requesting any more info they could give me on these key caps) but haven't heard back. For now, please check out the auction for pics.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/272077109023

I'm really not sure how these would look but they were interesting. Any info is much appreciated.
Last edited by snuci on 15 Dec 2015, 03:48, edited 1 time in total.

terrycherry

15 Dec 2015, 03:45

That's rare and excellent found keycaps with the original box.
I don't know. Never seen this special layout.

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snuci
Vintage computer guy

15 Dec 2015, 12:51

Thanks for the reply Terrycherry.

I guess nobody else has seen these or any key caps that IBM sold? I've done some serious searching and haven't turned up anything.

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

15 Dec 2015, 17:14

Fascinating! Do you know who purchased these? These are SSK caps - check out the front num pad printing!

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snuci
Vintage computer guy

15 Dec 2015, 17:34

XMIT wrote: Fascinating! Do you know who purchased these? These are SSK caps - check out the front num pad printing!
I bought them. You are right. I did see that but didn't put it together. I checked my SSK at work and my SSK has one piece key caps. I'll have to switch the stems for some pics (if that will work) :)

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Halvar

15 Dec 2015, 18:23

Very strange and interesting caps ... who would need something like that? Language seems to be Spanish, with the ¿¡ñÑ caps...

I'd like to know the story behind these...

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snuci
Vintage computer guy

15 Dec 2015, 21:04

Well, the seller bought these at an Estate sale so that's a dead end. They are also on their way so I'll take some better pics when I get them.

Spanish does make sense but then the modifiers would be in the set, I would imagine (being is Spanish) but it looks like the three trays are the only things that fit in that box. I'll know in a couple of weeks when I get them, I guess.

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mashby

15 Dec 2015, 21:26

I can't wait to see your photos. So glad someone here purchased them!

hypkx
Chasing the Dream

15 Dec 2015, 21:48

Really nice find, reminds me of this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1351710-BLANK-I ... SwPcVVt843

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snuci
Vintage computer guy

16 Dec 2015, 13:03

Thanks for pointing that out hyphx. I remember seeing a similar box somewhere and must have seen this auction at some point because I couldn't figure out why anyone would want blank key caps. That was why I figured these sets were available and why someone here must know about them.

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snuci
Vintage computer guy

21 Dec 2015, 13:56

As mentioned, my current SSK is a blue logo version that has 1 piece key caps. Last night, I was fortunate enough to find an IBM SSK (black logo) with two piece removable key caps. I ended up buying two SSKs actually, through some strange combination of a "Best offer" auction before a second "Buy It now" auction minutes later from the same seller. The seller wanted me to have the second one to save shipping hassles I guess. Now I'll have something to put these key caps on for pictures when they arrive :)

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snuci
Vintage computer guy

31 Dec 2015, 16:47

Well, here are some pics of the key caps on an IBM Model M SSK keyboard. Looks pretty cool:
IBM Model M SSK with Upper/Lower case key caps
IBM Model M SSK with Upper/Lower case key caps
IBM Model M SSK Upper Lower.JPG (371.89 KiB) Viewed 5084 times
IBM Model M SSK Upper Lower - side.JPG
IBM Model M SSK Upper Lower - side.JPG (283.79 KiB) Viewed 5084 times
Close Up
Close Up
IBM Model M SSK Upper Lower - side 2.JPG (222.21 KiB) Viewed 5084 times
IBM Model M SSK Upper Lower - profile.JPG
IBM Model M SSK Upper Lower - profile.JPG (380.1 KiB) Viewed 5084 times

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Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

31 Dec 2015, 17:20

That is quite a find. I have never seen caps like those.

Nice job. I'm jelly. 8-)

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snoopy

02 Jan 2016, 19:00

Interesting set. If you find another one, send them to me. :mrgreen:

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jerue

02 Jan 2016, 19:16

Those look fantastic on the SSK.

And I thought my Displaywrite caps were something special... :lol:

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Muirium
µ

02 Jan 2016, 19:43

Interesting. Not quite my style, but looking at those SSK shots is making me nostalgic for mine. I only brought my HHKB out here to America with me! <sniff>

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bocahgundul
Sell me 5k please

03 Jan 2016, 00:23

Interesting thats a really cool keycaps. Somebody will pay a lot of money to get one of those. Nice find bro

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maxmalkav
dye hard

03 Jan 2016, 09:42

Indeed is an attempt to map ISO Spanish layout on ANSI with a couple of omissions (°, ç, <> and one weird point only used to write Catalonian)

pcaro

03 Jan 2016, 14:13

The best keycaps I never saw! It fill my main keyboard usage. English for programing or forums and spanish for writting (with a shortcut for language change)

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ramnes
ПБТ НАВСЕГДА

03 Jan 2016, 14:51

Awesome find snuci!

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snuci
Vintage computer guy

03 Jan 2016, 17:36

Thanks for the comments. I put a quick blog entry on my site here: http://vintagecomputer.ca/ibm-model-m-s ... y-cap-set/

I also posted on Reddit so let's see if anyone knows any information about them. I'll post back if I learn anything about these.

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depletedvespene

13 Aug 2017, 15:30

I've just found this thread (after a mention on keyboards-f2/list-of-all-known-ssk-keyc ... 17185.html), and this is the information that I can offer:

1) The blue legends clearly correspond to the "Spanish (Latin America)" layout (distinct from the "Spanish (Spain)" layout).

2) The set seems to be incomplete — it should also contain the following keys:
- A «~ `» key with "° |" (degree, pipe) printed in blue.
- A «6» key with an "&" (ampersand) printed in blue.
- A «" '» key with "[ {" printed in blue.
- A 1.5U «| \» with "] }" printed in blue.

It's not clear whether this set ever included these keys or not. The mystery deepens when taking into account a couple extra oddities:

- The «Q» key could have had the @ sign front-printed in blue (as the ES(LA) layout assigns said sign to AltGr-Q).
- The «} ]» key adds "* ~" in blue, but... in the ES(LA) layout, that key has the + (plus) sign in the unshifted state, and the ~ (tilde) sign available through AltGr.

User avatar
snuci
Vintage computer guy

13 Aug 2017, 16:48

Thanks for the reply. It's definitely an odd set and all searches on the IBM part number return nothing. I'm still also not clear on why they made it but it is pretty cool.

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depletedvespene

13 Aug 2017, 16:52

snuci wrote: I'm still also not clear on why they made it but it is pretty cool.
I would venture to guess that this was for the benefit of people in Latin American countries where ANSI keyboards were common.

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depletedvespene

13 Aug 2017, 16:55

... come to think of it, this implies that SSKs would have sold well enough, at least in some countries, to justify the production of this alternative keycap set (and what about other languages??).

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