As you may have gathered already, this website is dedicated to IBM keyboards. IBM keyboards are highly regarded by many people in the keyboard hobby, whether it's vintage folk continuing to restore and use these behemoths of the last century or modern folk who appreciate whether the devices they're passionate about descended from. But, would it surprise you to hear that there's in fact a lot more than meets the eye with these keyboards? Not unlike how people are continuing to experiment with new materials or switch component combinations, IBM keyboards contain a lot of nuances visually and under the surface. This website celebrates that diversity!
The IBM keyboards that various people are passionate about can be categorised into 5 distinct families; the typewriter printer-keyboards, Keyboard Bs, Model Fs, Model Ms, and ThinkPad keyboards.
In a nutshell, this website is...
This website was created out of the discovery of a lack of a centralised resource base for the IBM keyboard enthusiast hobby when I started out in August 2019. Great resources already existed, such as the deskthority wiki, YouTubers like chyrosran22, and personal websites such as kishy's, but I wanted something that could be completed in one place. The website is still in its relative infancy, but already it has begun to show its impact in the community as a valuable resource for those needing to look something else or learn more about IBM and family keyboards.
Starting with the biggest and most well-known resource, the keyboard database is the most well known and used offering of the website. Inspiration came from the IBM part numbers page on the deskthority wiki, but I wanted to deliver a more detailed listing from a centralised database that could provide a lot more features, such as search engine-like querying, an API for external access, and the ability to develop 'applets' from using the data. And of course, I wanted to deliver more standardised data fields and include Lexmark, Unicomp, Lenovo and Toshiba Retail part numbers as well.
Shark's Wiki is my own personal wiki on IBM and family keyboards, their history, the technology they employ, and the companies themselves. Development of the wiki is still in its infancy, thus the structure and quality of the wiki are subject to change.
Articles are my own opinion, research, or exploration pieces regarding one or more specific keyboards. These can be my findings when researching a particular keyboard, a comparison between two or more devices, digging inside one or more devices, or pretty standard reviews.
Topics of interest are the pure knowledge bases this website has to offer, from subjects like common questions, jargon-busting, plug and internal connections, notable external sites and pages, and recognised distinct keyboard types!
Guides are exactly what you expect - tutorial pieces designed to help you with a particular situation, desire or problem. The focus is generally niché issues not widely described or solved elsewhere.
Hi, I'm Shark!
I'm a guy in his twenties from Wales, a small but beautiful country inside Britain where the valleys, sheep and several hundred castles dominate the landscape! My interest in IBM was ignited the moment I received my first laptop, a ThinkPad T21, when I was thirteen or so years old. Whilst it certainly wasn't as sleek and elegant as the other kids' PowerBooks and MacBooks, the thing felt indestructible and I was more than happy to lug around an absolute unit of a laptop! About a decade later, I finally got interested in keyboards and decided to pull the trigger on a cheap eBay listing for a 122-key Model M in the summer of 2019. And, the rest is history...
This website is a testament to my love of high-quality and interesting keyboards and dedication to this hobby! I like to think I'm the helpful sort of person, and I'm more than happy to spend time and effort building this site towards being the greatest centralised resource in the hobby! I've also happily taken on the role of moderator of r/ModelM, r/ModelF and r/Vintagekeyboards, and I frequent the forums deskthority and geekhack.
Outside of keyboards, I'm a lover of technology in general, a huge sci-fi fan, interested in naval history, listener of heavy and thrash metal, and I'm a CompSci research student and web developer by occupation!
* IBM - IBM 3215 Console Printer-Keyboard Component Description [accessed 2021-09-12]
** The Henry Ford - IBM Displaywriter Word Processor and Printer, 1983 [accessed 2021-09-12]