Apple & SGI keyboards (Re: NEC ProSpeed 386)

Electronics Plus sales at
Thu Jun 2 16:42:02 CDT 2016

-----Original Message-----
From: cctalk [mailto:cctalk-bounces at] On Behalf Of Liam Proven
Sent: Wednesday, June 01, 2016 6:16 PM
To: General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
Subject: Re: Apple & SGI keyboards (Re: NEC ProSpeed 386)

On 1 June 2016 at 20:57, Swift Griggs <swiftgriggs at> wrote:
> Cool. I didn't know about those early mechanical models. I didn't wake 
> up to macs until about the Mac II days. I did have a friend with a 
> IIGS. I remember playing the Bards' Tale series on there. So, I must 
> have used it before.

Yeah, I think all Apple keyboards /up until/ the Extended II had keyswitches -- then they switched to cheaper ones, like most of the industry.

> I was disappointed that they didn't take the IIGS further as a 
> hardware platform, but that's only because I loved my SNES (and yes, 
> also my Genesis). IIRC, the IIGS has the same processor as a SNES with 
> a 16bit bus, no? I like the design of the GS, too.

Interesting -- I didn't know the SNES had a 65816!

I've not touched a //GS since they were new, but yes, they were lovely machines. Even if somewhat crippled -- they ran the 65816 at about 2.something MHz, when even the early ones could do circa 10-12 MHz and later ones 20-30MHz, AIUI.

There are alleged technical reasons, but the main one, I think, and the reason for the machine's demise, is that it just competed with the Mac too much.

The IIgs came out in 1986, the Mac II in 1987. So when the IIgs shipped, there were no colour-capable Macs (and their sound wasn't that impressive either). The IIgs looked like a plausible rival, and could have been expanded into an Amiga-alike fairly readily -- and thus threaten the still-new Macintosh.

Damned shame, really.

Liam Proven • Profile:
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The Apple Extended Keyboard II also has mechanical switches, made by Alps. I have several of them.


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