need (physical) key for Sun SPARCserver 1000e

Fred Cisin cisin at
Tue Feb 14 13:15:45 CST 2017

On Tue, 14 Feb 2017, Jerry Kemp wrote:
> Hello Fred,
> Thank you for the post.
> This is really a chicken vs egg issue here.
> Apparently, no one right now has a copy of this key.
> No one seems to even have a picture of the key.
> There have been a couple of pictures + eBay sales shared that show, what I 
> would call newer keys.  I label them newer keys because the keys shown have a 
> purple plastic surround molded on to them.
> Does that mean they won't work?  I don't know.  The 1000e is a 1992 vintage 
> box.  If I recall correctly, Sun's purple era was early 2000's.
> Someone out there has a spare of the key I need.  I feel confident that 
> ultimately it will turn up sooner or later.

Yeah, it happens.   can be real frustrating to wait

The plastic "surround" on the bow started showing up on car ignition keys 
about 1970, and the same keyways were available with plastic ("rubber") or 
metal bow, so it is not necessarily incompatible.

In the meantime, take a close look at the keyhole, and see if the milling 
(side grooves) seem to be the same as the one in the eBay ads.  If so, 
then a locksmith might be able to match you up with a blank, and some 
could cut a key based on one of those pictures, iff they are willing.
(not legal in some towns)

Can you get the box open without the key?
If so, then you can rig up jumper cables to bypass it.
And, you should be able to physically remove the lock and take it to a 
locksmith.   A locksmith can pick it open, and/or disassemble it and make 
a key.

If not, take the whole machine to the locksmith to have them pick it open.
They make it look easy.

Those are not very high security, and should be relatively easy to pick.

Or, buy a set of lockpicks on eBay, and use it to practice on.   If at 
first, you don't succeed, use LESS pressure on your torsion tool. 
Periodically, stop, and listen carefully as you release it, to hear how 
many of the pins you had set.

I hate to suggest drilling it out, since that is wasteful and should not 
be necessary

Grumpy Ol' Fred     		cisin at

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