Keyboard Part Number Database FAQ

Contents

What do the data fields represent?

Part Number A part number (P/N) is used to describe a specific part or product (or even a specific target region/language/SKU of either) used within a larger system without needing a large name or description. For keyboards, part numbers help identify unique examples of keyboards and tie them to specific known specifications or properties.
FRU Part Number The field replaceable unit (FRU) number is another part number that IBM and Lenovo uses, but in this case, it specifically references what part should be used to replace it.
Known Assembly Part Numbers An assembly part number is the unique number IBM or Lexmark sometimes assigned to the internal assembly of a keyboard only. For example, IBM Enhanced Keyboard P/N 1391403 could contain a P/N 1386716 assembly inside. This is only possibly applicable to keyboards whose internal mechanisms aren't integrated with the case of the keyboard.
Known Package/Box Part Numbers A package/box part number is the unique number IBM or Lexmark sometimes assigned to the packaging the keyboard was shipped in. For example, IBM Space Saving Keyboard P/N 1392934 could be shipped in a box with the P/N 1396050.
RPQ RPQ stands for Request Price Quotation. If a keyboard has an RPQ number, it likely means it's had some customisations applied from the factory but is not considered an entirely new product thus doesn't receive a new name or designation, nor is it normally marketed with these modifications. Keyboard RPQs are typically uncommon, especially after the 1980s.
Market Model Name/Feature Code IBM and Lenovo occasionally use a more consumer-friendly model number like RT3200, SK-8840 or KU-1255 for their products that are not language exclusive like some part number schemes. Official feature codes may be used as the market model name too.
Type I use my own type naming scheme for helping to categorise similar keyboard examples by common features and market intent and is roughly based on official designations and keyboard enthusiast lingo. For example, "Model M Type I Functional Key Keyboard" describes a keyboard that's a Model M, is the first generic type of its kind, with that kind being a keyboard specialising in function keys.
Nickname The nickname is usually derived from keyboard enthusiast lingo as an even more 'compact' identifier for a keyboard. These can be simply a shortening of their name and properties (like "M50" denoting a Model M that has 50 keys), or a more abstract term, real-life reference or metonymy used for insinuating its properties (like "battleship" describing a keyboard of considerable size).
Known Host Systems A list of known host systems this keyboard could be bundled with or at least designed specifically to operate with. This could be terminals, desktop PCs or laptops.
OEM The original equipment manufacturer (OEM) refers to the company that manufactures the product for the one marketing it. For example, if the keyboard is marketed as an IBM product but the OEM is said/known to be Lexmark, it means Lexmark manufactured that model of keyboard for IBM to then sell later on. If the market company and OEM are the same, it means that the company is using in-house production for its products. Multiple OEMs are also possible.
Key-switches The name of the switching mechanism that lies under the keyboard's keys.
Earliest Appearance The year (and possibly the quarter) the keyboard was introduced, first observed, first recorded or the first example found.
Withdrawn The date the keyboard was withdrawn from marketing. This doesn't necessarily mean production or refurbishments ended on the same date, just the keyboard was no longer being sold under normal circumstances from then on.
Original Keycaps The keycaps' material and text/symbol printing technique.
Casing Colour The original colour of the keyboard's outer casing. In the case (pardon the pun) of keyboards whose casing materials are known to yellow, this will refer to the original colour before such chemical transformation occurs.
Branding The specific style of branding that the keyboard features. Multiple forms of branding being specified are also possible as IBM and family have updated their logos and theme colours over time, and applied them to their products without changing their part numbers.
Feet The style of keyboard feet the keyboard sports. If applicable, this may also state how many levels of height adjustment are available and whether the feet could be rubberised.
Protocol The protocol(s) that the keyboard uses to speak to the host computer (ie, scancodes).
Connection The type of connection employed by the keyboard to speak to the host computer through. This is could simply be "Cable" to denote a physical connection, or the name of a technology like "Bluetooth".
Cable A description of the cable used by the keyboard if the connection type is known to be a cable. This may include its colour, whether its coiled, whether its detachable and what connector is at its end. This doesn't include charging cables for wireless keyboards.
Key Count The number of keys that the keyboard originally had.
Form Factor The standardised or universally acknowledged name for the keyboard's layout form factor.
Layout/Language The original regional/language layout that the keyboard was configured as. Both the language and the standardised key layout may be listed, and in the case of both being known or defined, it will be styled as language then standard - for example, a UK English keyboard that conforms to the "ISO" standard is denoted as "UK ISO".
Built-In Mouse The name or description of the pointing device(s) that some keyboards may carry. If the keyboard has such a feature, this will either be the brand name of the pointing device if such a brand name is known, or a simple description of it if the brand is not known.
Accessories & Other Features Accessories such as carrying cases or charging cables or other notable features like fingerprint reader or card reader one may want to know about.
Earliest Recorded Price The earliest price, currency and year of record found for this keyboard.
Additional Notes These are optional notes about the keyboard that may be of interest or are important to know. These could include more details about the layout like function key lettering schemes, known specific host computers, or details about bundled features or products such as a matching mouse or a specific wireless receiver. If necessary, this may also be used for details of conflicting or uncertain information about the database entry itself.
Related Directory Entries Possible ASK Keyboard Directory entries that relate to this part number. The Directory serves as a convenient way to find and share a particular keyboard, containing links to where to find out more about the keyboard and sometimes common part numbers. This field is currently only shown on individual part number links due to the database overhead involved with populating this field.
Credits A reserved special acknowledgement to anyone who has helped me with research through social media, email or via the P/N submission form.

How do I properly search the database?

Single term searching

The simplest form of searching is entering a term or a sentence to find in any of the fields listed above. If a sentence is given, the words are not broken up and searched individually. The search is case insensitive. The result is sorted by the number of fields found to contain the search term or sentence (most occurrences to least occurrences).

Example

enhanced keyboard

Exact single term searching

If you wish to search by matching the exact value of one of the fields listed above, you can do so by surrounding your term or sentence in double quotes or by placing an exclamation mark at the beginning. Words are not broken up and searched individually. The search is case sensitive. The result is three-level sorted (in order; by earliest appearance, by keyboard type's earliest appearance, and by part number).

Examples

"Lexmark"
!Lexmark

'Can-contain' multiple term searching

If you wish to search with multiple terms a keyboard's data can contain, you can do so by providing a comma-delimited list of terms. If a sentence is given, the words are not broken up and searched individually. The search is case insensitive. The result will contain items containing at least one of the given terms. The result is sorted by the number of fields found to contain the most search terms or sentences (most occurrences to least occurrences).

Example

model m,tenkeyless

'Must-contain' multiple term searching

If you wish to search with multiple terms a keyboard's data must contain, you can do so by providing a semicolon-delimited list of terms. If a sentence is given, the words are not broken up and searched individually. The search is case insensitive. The result will contain items containing all of the given terms. The result is sorted by the number of fields found to contain the most search terms or sentences (most occurrences to least occurrences).

Example

model f;122;1986

Exclusions

For any of the above types of searching, you may also specify exclusions by supplying space-separated words with a minus at the start of them. When running a search with one or more exclusions, all of the fields listed above will also be checked for those terms and any matches found will result in the keyboard being excluded from the result. Even when used with exact single term searching, exclusions are case insensitive.

enhanced keyboard -lexmark
!Lexmark -m4 -m6 -m7 -m8 -m9 -m11
model m,tenkeyless -unicomp -lexmark -ansi -blue
model f;122;1986 -tpc

Other tips

How do I report suspected errors or mistakes?

In the event you believe an error or mistake in the Keyboard Part Number Database data is present, please contact me via the details outlined on the Contact page. The more supporting evidence you can provide the better.

Where does the data come from?

The Keyboard Part Number Database is best described as a conglomerate of various historical and contemporary sources such as official IBM and family documents and manuals, past eBay and other auction website listings, other repositories like deskthority wiki, and community submissions. Most of the database is sourced, mostly by one or more backed-up documents and sometimes with a direct link to a website. In fact, out of the 3415 total keyboards recorded:

Each keyboard part number entry can have a "Source(s)" field that shows these individually.