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FAQ

Contents

Site: Why do you do what you do?

Because no one else is really doing something quite like what I'm doing - a centralised hub for collecting, researching and describing IBM and family keyboards and related technologies. There are plenty of talented, helpful people in the hobby who are contributing on forums, wikis and Discord servers, all efforts that very much matter. But often, you have to do digging to find obscure and nuanced information above all the surface-level common knowledge. Obscure and nuanced is my speciality! I also love helping people, something that helps keep me motivated and answers the whole "why?" thing for me personally.

Site: What are you most proud of when it comes to this website?

The Keyboard Database and Revealed: The Story of the Model M4 family article. The database is the biggest offering of this website, being one of the most detailed repositories of per-part number keyboard data available. It took a lot of effort to get started and continues to take a lot of time to keep updated and fact-checked, so I'm proud of the impact it's made as a reward for the said effort. The Model M4 article is my favourite editorial piece.

Site: What does "SNKB" mean?

SHARKNET Keyboard. SHARKNET was the original codename for this website (and many of my school days' projects), so I used SNxx as my inventory system. There are several designations I use that at one point were present on this website when it had ThinkPad content, including SN (computers), SNA (docking stations), SND (displays/monitors) and SNM (mice). Anyway, for SNKB specifically, there's a unique identifying system in the designation that allows me to find a keyboard in my storage from just reading the characters of the box.

Let's take SNKB-F1983-XTT-83 as an example:

Site: What's to come?

I'm not 100% sure, to be honest. I write based on my current interests, and as those are subject to change, I can't accurately say what is to come. Of course, whatever I do will still be IBM/keyboards based, but I always keep a main focus in mind when writing content and then shift it once I'm happy (or bored) with the topic. That said, the one overarching theme is developing the wiki. The database is pretty stable at the moment, the articles are flowing, and several mature topics exist that I'm happy with. So maturing the wiki is the main thing I want to do now. With deskthority's future presently in doubt, it's the least I can do.

Personal: Why "Admiral Shark"?

It combines references to my favourite franchise (Star Trek) and my favourite creatures (sharks), with the "Admiral" specifically being a reference to my social media avatar of a shark in a Starfleet uniform bearing Fleet Admiral pips. "Shark" is also a shortening of my usual social media handle of "SharktasticA". As this website is essentially my main online presence and I largely developed this on my own, I thought it was fitting to include my social media name in the site's title.

Personal: What was your first IBM keyboard?

My first IBM keyboard period was a P/N 89P8527 IBM PS/2 Travel Keyboard with UltraNav (SK-8840) that I bought in January 2019. You can see it here. However, my first vintage IBM keyboard was a P/N 1390886 IBM Command Key Keyboard I got in August 2019, a 122-key Type II Model M and my personal 'flagship'. You can see that one here. Yeah, I'm technically a relative 'new boy' to the hobby, but my interest and understanding of IBM and its keyboards predates these purchases by several years. 2019 was just the year I finally decided to buy into it all.

Personal: What are your favourite keyboards?

The IBM 5291 Model F "bigfoot" is perhaps my overall favourite keyboard, despite its layout. I love how much character and 'desk presence' the keyboard has, I love how ridiculous its tall riser feet look, and it has awesome acoustics (especially its thunderous spacebar)!

In second place, it's the Model M4/M4-1. I've spent a lot of time researching and working with buckling sleeves keyboards, both of which has made me quite fond of them. At the very least, they're very underrated keyboards in good condition. At the very best, they're excellent quiet-tactile keyboards with classic IBM styling.