IBM System 9000 keyboard and picture of unknown Model F

Engicoder

18 Mar 2016, 16:09

System 9000 keyboard

This is one of the keyboards used with the IBM System 9000 Instrument Computer. This computer was interesting in that it used the Motorola 68000 processor and used a multitasking operating system (CSOS or Xenix). It was produced from 82 to 87
The keyboard is a variant of the Model F PC/XT keyboard. The cable exists the case on the left hand side and it uses a different badge. This example has a few other interesting differences. The cable has 5 conductors where most PC/XT keyboards have 4. The 5th conductor is where the Reset line was on the earliest PC/XT keyboards. There a jumper wire from this pin to pin 5 on one of the DIP-14 ICs. The Intel microcontroller is a ceramic DIP where most PC/XT are plastic. The data codes on the ICs place this keyboard around late '82 early '83.

I've added it to the wiki. wiki/IBM_System_9000_keyboard

Image
Image
Image


The Unknown

In doing a little research it appears there were two models of the System 9000 computer; the 9001 "Benchtop" and 9002 "Desktop". This 9002 appears to have been offered with a Model F keyboard I haven't seen before. It has a section of programmable membrane keys above the standard key section which is configured with the standard PC/XT key layout. It also appears to have the tall legs of the F122. Here is are a couple images from some advertising.
9001-9002-front.png
9001-9002-front.png (717.95 KiB) Viewed 2095 times
IBM-Instruments.jpg
IBM-Instruments.jpg (182.57 KiB) Viewed 2095 times

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

18 Mar 2016, 16:41

Awesome thanks for sharing. That XT with the programmable membrane keys! :o :shock:

User avatar
Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

19 Mar 2016, 05:50

What keyboard is the guy in the beaker using?

User avatar
Khers

19 Mar 2016, 06:44

Looks like the one with the funky membrane keys.

Not only does that one look like it has the legs of an f122, the increased incline of the case surrounding the membrane keys is also reminicent of the f122/104.

User avatar
Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

19 Mar 2016, 07:37

I wonder if there are other model F's still out there that haven't been discovered yet?

User avatar
sharktastica

14 Oct 2019, 19:56

Sorry to bump this thread up, but I think I might have stumbled across some evidence of part numbers for these from IBM's archives. Apologies if this has been shared on another thread before - I've been trying to find some better photos of the 9002 one for a blog post. If any exist.

#1: https://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-b ... ame=skmwww
#2: https://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-b ... %209000%22

The first link mentions the withdrawal of keyboard 4780898 from individual sale, which the second lists as the 9000's "Standard Keyboard". The 9002 keyboard is referred to as the "Hybrid Keyboard" but I couldn't seem to find a P/N for it but blind me might have missed it. Perhaps it was only available as a bundle with 6404360? It's most intriguing!

User avatar
SneakyRobb
THINK

04 Nov 2019, 17:00

Hi, I am waiting to hear back from the ibm archives about this board. I do find it very interesting and hope they can find some info. I have spent quite a bit of time trying to search for info about this keyboard but so far have found little. It seems to have been extremely niche, extremely expensive and produced very briefly while being offered at the same time as the much less expensive XT.

As well over its brief life it changed names and designations a few times which makes finding info about it confusing.

Here are some random documents/images etc about this keyboard I found with google/or in the wikipedia references.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Syste ... References

http://www.columbia.edu/cu/computinghistory/cs9000.html
http://www.old-computers.com/museum/doc.asp?c=623&st=1

This article is interesting because even in 1983 it appears that this computer was relatively unknown.
https://archive.org/stream/byte-magazin ... 9/mode/2up


Same advertisement as above but different shot at the end
https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/cen-v062n013.p017
ibm 1.JPG
ibm 1.JPG (167.38 KiB) Viewed 1249 times


https://archive.org/details/byte-magazi ... /page/n233
ibm 4.JPG
ibm 4.JPG (35.78 KiB) Viewed 1249 times

This is the same publication as above, but a nicer scan.
https://vintageapple.org/byte/pdf/19840 ... _Issue.pdf
ibm 3.JPG
ibm 3.JPG (119.68 KiB) Viewed 1204 times


Quantex apparently bought entire sets of this computer and made it into a image processing terminal.

https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/cgi/viewcont ... ntext=qnde
quantex 1.JPG
quantex 1.JPG (54.08 KiB) Viewed 1249 times

Similar-ish document
https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp ... er=4055899
quantex 2.JPG
quantex 2.JPG (50.99 KiB) Viewed 1249 times

User avatar
SneakyRobb
THINK

05 Nov 2019, 15:25

Hi,

Here is another image and reference to this board.

Page 8 https://s3.amazonaws.com/ieeecs.cdn.csd ... %2FmsrDBkg

ibm 6.JPG
ibm 6.JPG (150.91 KiB) Viewed 1166 times

User avatar
SneakyRobb
THINK

05 Nov 2019, 21:55

Hi,

Further speculation.

One obvious other thing to wonder is how the keyboard case relates to the Unsaver and the F122 keyboard. Obviously the large upper function key area is seemingly identical on the Unsaver/F122 .

For the Unsaver, aside from the plastic that divides the nav cluster and goes around the nav-T, the two cases look like they could be almost the same dimensions. The upper function-button area-outline looks identically sized so I thought maybe they either made the 9002 Keyboard case and then later modified it for the Unsaver or vice versa.

I tried looking into whether I could find any "early" Unsaver keyboards in publications that looked like the function area was repurposed from the 9002 keyboard. Maybe the early Unsaver function keys were simply put into the hole where the 9002 membrane module used to be with a rectangular cutout plate or have some kind of blocky outline etc.

It's just one, but I actually found such a picture. It is an early photo of the 3290 Terminal.

(*but I have no idea if the 3290 Keyboard in the photo just has some kind of raised edge for some other reason.)

From this January 1984 technical journal on page 2.
Full pdf
https://plasmapanel.grid.umich.edu/arti ... Issue1.pdf
website showing
https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/D ... 7/figure/0
unsaver f key cutout.JPG
unsaver f key cutout.JPG (211.86 KiB) Viewed 1108 times

Now Im getting a bit nutty here but that cutout looks smaller *Larger than the function area of the 9002, but if we squint onto 2 of the earlier photos in the thread. It does kind of look like the top of the membrane module sits on the top of the angled function area. and the membrane module could be 1-2 cm thick.

squints 1.JPG
squints 1.JPG (20.58 KiB) Viewed 1108 times
squints 2.JPG
squints 2.JPG (15.47 KiB) Viewed 1108 times

Finally for today, by no means definitive this early IBM 5080 manual shows the unsaver with the same sort of outline of the function area.

http://chiclassiccomp.org/docs/content/ ... _Mar84.pdf

User avatar
JP!

06 Nov 2019, 16:05

Thanks for sharing all this. Now we have more questions than answers!

User avatar
SneakyRobb
THINK

06 Nov 2019, 18:53

JP! wrote:
06 Nov 2019, 16:05
Thanks for sharing all this. Now we have more questions than answers!
Hey no worries.

It is strange, I wish I could get one of these! I am basically thinking if the 9002 membrane is of a similar sort of size/scale to the IBM 3278 A02 upper button area.

As seen in monster toys restoration thread.

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=8515

Photos are Monster Toys
Image
Image


Its pretty blurry and not definitive but I think I found another image of the unsaver where the upper area is not quite yet to the finished smooth surface with the square badge that arrived just after and sort of squarish.

Found on this random manual aggregator website.
https://manualzz.com/doc/30878011/alpha ... -terminals

Does anyone have an unsaver and can take some images of the underside of the upper case around the function keys? Maybe by chance there are some artefacts or something.

Here is the other possible image of the sort of outline. Again, I have no idea why such an outline might be there, I am just investigating this for fun. Its kind of blurry, but it sort of looks like the same block/outline shape...?
dec 1983 unsaver.JPG
dec 1983 unsaver.JPG (242.43 KiB) Viewed 937 times
march 1983 outline possible..JPG
march 1983 outline possible..JPG (415.41 KiB) Viewed 937 times

User avatar
JP!

06 Nov 2019, 19:13

OMG that clock is so cool...My dad has clocks like I have keyboards. He has old advertising clocks on all the walls of his shop. I never imagined our unique hobbies would cross but of course IBM used to make old time recorder clocks.

User avatar
SneakyRobb
THINK

07 Nov 2019, 01:55

sharktastica wrote:
14 Oct 2019, 19:56
Sorry to bump this thread up, but I think I might have stumbled across some evidence of part numbers for these from IBM's archives. Apologies if this has been shared on another thread before - I've been trying to find some better photos of the 9002 one for a blog post. If any exist.

#1: https://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-b ... ame=skmwww
#2: https://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-b ... %209000%22

The first link mentions the withdrawal of keyboard 4780898 from individual sale, which the second lists as the 9000's "Standard Keyboard". The 9002 keyboard is referred to as the "Hybrid Keyboard" but I couldn't seem to find a P/N for it but blind me might have missed it. Perhaps it was only available as a bundle with 6404360? It's most intriguing!
Hey I just came across your blog post on this topic. We seem to have had similar ideas, you should share your ideas here as well! I wasn't aware of this board until you bumped the post. Cool to see other people trying to figure this out. As well I think your idea of naming it "Escort Carrier" is a good one.

User avatar
sharktastica

08 Nov 2019, 14:37

SneakyRobb wrote:
07 Nov 2019, 01:55
sharktastica wrote:
14 Oct 2019, 19:56
Sorry to bump this thread up, but I think I might have stumbled across some evidence of part numbers for these from IBM's archives. Apologies if this has been shared on another thread before - I've been trying to find some better photos of the 9002 one for a blog post. If any exist.

#1: https://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-b ... ame=skmwww
#2: https://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-b ... %209000%22

The first link mentions the withdrawal of keyboard 4780898 from individual sale, which the second lists as the 9000's "Standard Keyboard". The 9002 keyboard is referred to as the "Hybrid Keyboard" but I couldn't seem to find a P/N for it but blind me might have missed it. Perhaps it was only available as a bundle with 6404360? It's most intriguing!
Hey I just came across your blog post on this topic. We seem to have had similar ideas, you should share your ideas here as well! I wasn't aware of this board until you bumped the post. Cool to see other people trying to figure this out. As well I think your idea of naming it "Escort Carrier" is a good one.
Cheers! It is nice to know my blogposts reach someone! :D But yeah, for anyone else curious, here's my thoughts from the other week about this keyboard: https://sharktasticallyshark.wordpress. ... -keyboard/. There's naturally a lot of conjecture, but I think my summary on this "Escort Carrier" is pretty solid all things considered.

User avatar
JP!

08 Nov 2019, 15:26

The "Escort Carrier" it is. I believe this is what happens when an XT and and an F104 have a drunken one night stand.

User avatar
JP!

08 Nov 2019, 15:49

I just came across this unfortunately there does not appear to be a keyboard.
Also there is some good reading on Wikipedia on the System 9000.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_System_9000

http://bitsavers.informatik.uni-stuttga ... felter.pdf

"The keyboard is almost identical to the IBM Personal Computer
keyboard, in fact, it is electrically inter-changeable. We had an instance
where a keyboard was giving us a problem, and we simply took a PC keyboard,
plugged it in, and it ran fine.
The second highlighted area is a 57 keys keypad that allows you, under program
control, to assign the role of those keys. You could write applications in
which there is no keyboard required. A user could interact with the
applications from the keypad. You can put overlays on top of the key pads and
label them for whatever is appropriate for the application."

User avatar
sharktastica

08 Nov 2019, 16:24

JP! wrote:
08 Nov 2019, 15:49
I just came across this unfortunately there does not appear to be a keyboard.
Awesome find!

So at this point, we have confirmed the 57-key pad is reprogrammable, it was developed into the Unsaver instead of being a variant of it, and the actual keyboard part is XT/Set 1-compliant.

So, the video. The integrated-to-system touch panel the guy seemingly talks about at around 0:55 is what the escort carrier "hybrid keyboard" replaced. The machine in the video is specifically the System 9001 (as labelled in IBM's 1984 advert), but the label says just "9000" which means it was manufactured and sold before the System 9002 came out and IBM renamed 9000 -> 9001 in 1984. The keyboard for the early 9000s like this and the 'proper' 9001 would have been the so-called "standard keyboard", which was previously well-documented to be a straight rebadge of the Model F XT. Unfortunately I don't speak Italian, so I have no idea if there's information in the video to contradict or reinforce our deductions. Anyone happen to be able to translate it? Likely at this point, though, we've got a pretty good idea!

Thankyou SneakyRobb and JP for all this information to consider! When I replied early, I completely missed all of the gems posted before the one I replied to. Anyway, I've talked to some lecturers at my university to see if we historically used System 9002s, and if any happen to be lying about in storage. I've already been told there's a possibility, so I'm currently waiting to hear back!

User avatar
SneakyRobb
THINK

08 Nov 2019, 20:45

sharktastica wrote:
08 Nov 2019, 16:24
JP! wrote:
08 Nov 2019, 15:49
I just came across this unfortunately there does not appear to be a keyboard.
Awesome find!

So at this point, we have confirmed the 57-key pad is reprogrammable, it was developed into the Unsaver instead of being a variant of it, and the actual keyboard part is XT/Set 1-compliant.

So, the video. The integrated-to-system touch panel the guy seemingly talks about at around 0:55 is what the escort carrier "hybrid keyboard" replaced. The machine in the video is specifically the System 9001 (as labelled in IBM's 1984 advert), but the label says just "9000" which means it was manufactured and sold before the System 9002 came out and IBM renamed 9000 -> 9001 in 1984. The keyboard for the early 9000s like this and the 'proper' 9001 would have been the so-called "standard keyboard", which was previously well-documented to be a straight rebadge of the Model F XT. Unfortunately I don't speak Italian, so I have no idea if there's information in the video to contradict or reinforce our deductions. Anyone happen to be able to translate it? Likely at this point, though, we've got a pretty good idea!

Thankyou SneakyRobb and JP for all this information to consider! When I replied early, I completely missed all of the gems posted before the one I replied to. Anyway, I've talked to some lecturers at my university to see if we historically used System 9002s, and if any happen to be lying about in storage. I've already been told there's a possibility, so I'm currently waiting to hear back!
Hey no worries.

I would be inclined to agree with this. My personal/speculation theory is something like this.

They made the XT keyboard. Then they put the membrane function keys on top of the 9002 XT keyboard. Combining both of the keypads of the 9000/9001.

At the same time/concurrently they made the AT and the 4700, "Kishsaver", 77 and 107 key banking keyboards. The latter of which had the shorter spacebar now more closely associated with the model M.

At some point they realised the 9002 membrane function buttons were bad and thus replaced them with 24 physical buttons, basically taking the existing 9002 keyboard case and filling in the large function area save for the 24 buttons. Because this would require changing the PCB anyway, they basically used the 107-key 4704 minus the far right pad area.

The unsaver had a separate numpad/function pad as seen above, but maybe people wanted an all in one, so they modified the right side of the case to add in the numpad from the full 107-key 4704. Giving us the F122.

Then at a later date they trimed down the buttons, so if you see Model M122, the plastic around the 24 function buttons was reduced.

This is totally unconfirmed but this is my speculative theory.


The archives unfortunately was unable to find anything about this system. I did manage to buy a 9001 service manual on ebay which will arrive in a few days though, so that might help a bit. The archives though were able to get some sweet highe-ish res photos of the system! Will report back later.

*if I can get these to work...
1984_IBM 9002 Desk Top Computer_I01_1-9-E-7_b120_f9.jpg
1984_IBM 9002 Desk Top Computer_I01_1-9-E-7_b120_f9.jpg (46.71 KiB) Viewed 564 times
1984_IBM 9002 Desk Top Computer_I02_1-9-E-7_b120_f9.jpg
1984_IBM 9002 Desk Top Computer_I02_1-9-E-7_b120_f9.jpg (45.53 KiB) Viewed 564 times
1984_IBM 9002 Desk Top Computer_I03_1-9-E-7_b120_f9.jpg
1984_IBM 9002 Desk Top Computer_I03_1-9-E-7_b120_f9.jpg (39.95 KiB) Viewed 564 times
1984_IBM 9002 Desk Top Computer_I01_1-9-E-7_b120_f9.tif
1984_IBM 9002 Desk Top Computer_I01_1-9-E-7_b120_f9.tif (2.29 MiB) Viewed 568 times
1984_IBM 9002 Desk Top Computer_I02_1-9-E-7_b120_f9.tif
1984_IBM 9002 Desk Top Computer_I02_1-9-E-7_b120_f9.tif (2.38 MiB) Viewed 568 times
1984_IBM 9002 Desk Top Computer_I03_1-9-E-7_b120_f9.tif
1984_IBM 9002 Desk Top Computer_I03_1-9-E-7_b120_f9.tif (1.92 MiB) Viewed 568 times

User avatar
JP!

09 Nov 2019, 16:20

I love these old photos. Does your university have any other pictures of other retro computer systems that they used to use?

Engicoder

12 Nov 2019, 15:09

Nice work on the research! I really wish more of these would turn up in the real world. I imagine the total number made was low and the due to their research/lab usage they didn't end up in the normal computer recycling pipeline when retired

User avatar
sharktastica

12 Nov 2019, 21:22

SneakyRobb wrote:
08 Nov 2019, 20:45
They made the XT keyboard. Then they put the membrane function keys on top of the 9002 XT keyboard. Combining both of the keypads of the 9000/9001.

At the same time/concurrently they made the AT and the 4700, "Kishsaver", 77 and 107 key banking keyboards. The latter of which had the shorter spacebar now more closely associated with the model M.

At some point they realised the 9002 membrane function buttons were bad and thus replaced them with 24 physical buttons, basically taking the existing 9002 keyboard case and filling in the large function area save for the 24 buttons. Because this would require changing the PCB anyway, they basically used the 107-key 4704 minus the far right pad area.

The unsaver had a separate numpad/function pad as seen above, but maybe people wanted an all in one, so they modified the right side of the case to add in the numpad from the full 107-key 4704. Giving us the F122.

Then at a later date they trimed down the buttons, so if you see Model M122, the plastic around the 24 function buttons was reduced.
Seems logical and perhaps the best family tree I've seen so far. The only potential issue that might invalidate our Escort Carrier -> Unsaver hypothesis is that one of the systems known to feature the Unsaver, the IBM 3290, was announced a year earlier (1983, Q1) than the 9002 announcement letter. https://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/rep_c ... index.html. The announcement is not specific about what the keyboard is other than stating an APL and data typewriter variant existed nor a concrete release date, but AFAIK the Unsaver was the only keyboard available for it? But then again, the Escort Carrier could simply have been planned for an earlier date?

Anyway and to this end, I've been working on developing a tree visualisation of the development of Model F and M keyboards for a future website I'm building to replace my blog with and host information and resources relating to the Model F/Model M (and IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad) collection I'm growing. So far, I at least believe that the Unsaver definitely came before the Battleship. And both stemmed from the Beamsprings-replacing IBM Displaywriter Keyboard from 1982, whose almost-ISO layout was FAR ahead of its time and ultimately beat out the AT (being developed concurrently to the Escort Carriers and exclusively for the PC line) as the layout to develop from to make the standard Model M layout. And finally, I believe the 4701 keyboards were developed in parallel with the Displaywriter Keyboard given that the 4700 was really early '80s.
JP! wrote:
09 Nov 2019, 16:20
Does your university have any other pictures of other retro computer systems that they used to use?
They don't AFAIK so far. We have a mini 'museum' of parts salvaged from previous university systems outside a lecture hall, including ancient drum memory unit, some PS/2 era stuff, and a really neato AdLib sound card. I think - it's been a while since I've seen it. No whole systems, though.

User avatar
SneakyRobb
THINK

13 Nov 2019, 21:46

sharktastica wrote:
12 Nov 2019, 21:22
Seems logical and perhaps the best family tree I've seen so far. The only potential issue that might invalidate our Escort Carrier -> Unsaver hypothesis is that one of the systems known to feature the Unsaver, the IBM 3290, was announced a year earlier (1983, Q1) than the 9002 announcement letter. https://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/rep_c ... index.html. The announcement is not specific about what the keyboard is other than stating an APL and data typewriter variant existed nor a concrete release date, but AFAIK the Unsaver was the only keyboard available for it? But then again, the Escort Carrier could simply have been planned for an earlier date?

Hi I think this is a very good point about our theory and something to keep in mind before making any hard conclusions. I think we have a lot of circumstantial evidence that heavily leans toward ours, but that final nail in the coffin is elusive.

We know that the 5080 Graphics system also used the 104-key Unsaver keyboard, the annoucement of that product from November 1983, actually explicitly identifies a 104-Key keyboard with 24 function buttons.

https://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/print ... _locale=en

By May 1983, this 3290 advertisement appeared which shows our speculated membrane area filled in. It looks like the final unsaver keyboard. So I am not sure why the 3290 announcement just 3 months earlier doesn't mention the keyboard key count. but maybe they just didn't mention it for some reason and it was always 104 keys, or maybe they didn't know the final layout.
3290 may 1983.JPG
3290 may 1983.JPG (68.43 KiB) Viewed 122 times
https://books.google.ca/books?id=BDAyLA ... el&f=false


As well I wonder if anyone has seen this before. It appears to be a promotional item from the 3290. As far as I can tell it's real?

Strangely it doesn't have the release layout and to add to the confusion it is dated March 1983. It has a more ansi layout vs the 3290 release iso keyboard. As a promotional item it isn't definitive but it is still curious.
Halfway down this page. It has a left shift, and a stepped enter. I believe that layout is still 104-keys if i recall. *but the 2nd row from the bottom is aligned with the one above it. Which is weird
http://www.chipsetc.com/ibm-internation ... age-2.html
paperweight clock.jpg
paperweight clock.jpg (80.45 KiB) Viewed 122 times

Finally the wikipedia mentions the 9003 system as an industrial controller. I have found even less reference to this system than the 9002, but the few things I have found say that it has an 83 key keyboard and a 57 key function keypad, which sounds just like the xt+keypad of the 9000/9001

Post Reply

Return to “Gallery”