PDA

View Full Version : IBM 5523 and all it's interest



lutiana
April 28th, 2017, 09:21 AM
So in the storage unit I bought there is a complete IBM 5253 (http://i.imgur.com/weXD1Oq.jpg), and of all the interest I have gotten from the stuff in there this one has seemingly captured the interest the most. No fewer than 10 or 15 people have contacted me about buying it, either complete or just the keyboard. I find this baffling.

So can anyone shed some light on why this unit appears to be so sought after? Where they iconic for the era? Or just really rare? Or is it a good target for scammers?

What does this thing even do (beyond just being a dumb terminal)?

EDIT: It's a 5253, I keep transposing those numbers. Thanks Chuck(G) for correcting me on this.

trmg
April 28th, 2017, 09:26 AM
I've only done some light garden shoveling about the unit, but I suspect one reason is that it was one the first "video" based terminals. So you went from a tele-type style terminal to one of these. I think.

Chuck(G)
April 28th, 2017, 09:42 AM
Well, first of all, it's not a 5523 (which would be a marketed-for-Japan PC), but a 5253--a terminal for the IBM 5520 Administrative System Unit--a sort of document-processing setup for the office. I suspect that the 5253 (or its cousin, the more unusual 5254) work only with the 5520/5525.

My guess is that people want the keyboard.

lutiana
April 28th, 2017, 09:56 AM
My guess is that people want the keyboard.

Yes, about half of them just want the keyboard. Is it a hard to find keyboard? Is there no alternatives to it? Is it just an aesthetic thing or is there no way to get another keyboard to work?

roberttx
April 28th, 2017, 10:19 AM
Yes, about half of them just want the keyboard. Is it a hard to find keyboard? Is there no alternatives to it? Is it just an aesthetic thing or is there no way to get another keyboard to work?

Some of them are going to be keyboard enthusiasts, I'd imagine.

trmg
April 28th, 2017, 10:24 AM
Looks like that keyboard uses a "beam spring" design. My guess is this may be part of the reason why there is so much interest? *shrug*

https://deskthority.net/wiki/IBM_Beam_Spring_Keyboards

lutiana
April 28th, 2017, 10:31 AM
Some of them are going to be keyboard enthusiasts, I'd imagine.

Why would keyboard enthusiasts want it?

Chuck(G)
April 28th, 2017, 10:32 AM
Well, given the popularity of the old Model Ms, I'd guess that some people are just fed up with the crappy quality of modern keyboards. The old IBM buckling-spring keyboards, such as those found on the Displaywriter and this unit have a very nice feel, even if they are a bit noisy.

chulofiasco
April 28th, 2017, 11:14 AM
Keyboard Kids tend to be the most eccentric.. at least from my experience reselling tech...

NeXT
April 28th, 2017, 11:26 AM
Keyboard collectors are....weird.
It started off initially with people saying that the older mechanical keyboards improved gaming performance or your WPM average and moved from there to ergonomics and asthetics. The Model M is still Ground Zero for this nonsense.
It has since boiled down to overly autistic (read: stupid) people in their teens and 20's with money to burn buying up keyboards in order to collect the keyboards exclusively. A few times it has been asked (in geekhack, deskthority and the keyboarding subreddit) why people would want to collect the entire computer or console...so there's your indication these people found some awesome aerosols to huff in their parents basements.
Some people buy them to put a USB adapter or conversion into it, others buy them to put them in display cases and show them off (I am not joking about this. (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/72/0f/50/720f508733dc855a8185de950686f8c8.jpg)). Others do the equivalent of animal poaching and buy it simply to pull the keycaps or switches and transplant them into aftermarket keyboard kits which is beyond demented. Me and a few others have noticed there are a lot of machines out there now either without their keyboards, or the keyboard is available separately from a seller. DKS (last official supplier of components for Symbolics machines) a while back almost sold out of his console keyboards (dubbed the Space Cadet) because suddenly everyone wanted one and his inbox was flooded with orders. He had to pull them from his pricelist for a bit and reintroduced them later with a far higher price because they had bought almost all of his spare stock and he couldn't get more. I know someone else with two NeWS workstations but the seller had already sold both keyboards to someone else. Yep, those too have a demand by these loose screws. (https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=25759.0)
In a nutshell, do not cater to anyone who is after the keyboard. Be as nasty and rude as you can to them and just ignore them.


Back on topic, With the model being 525x, I would assume it is part of the 5250 line of Twinax terminals and therefor will work with conventional Twinax controllers and minicomputers?

edited: Hmm, the wiki on the 5520 indicates interconnectivity with the System/370. That's Coax, not twinax.

Chuck(G)
April 28th, 2017, 12:17 PM
Like the DW, aren't these things EBCDIC also?

Well, I never could figure out the "collector" rationale. Witness the craze for anything Apple. I recall schools with palletloads of IIe systems headed for the landfill, because they couldn't give them away.

bear
April 28th, 2017, 01:06 PM
I had hoped to make an offer on it as it's apparently identical to the 5251 terminal keyboard, and my 5251 is missing the keyboard. Almost certainly because bloody keyboard collectors had already got to it first.

lutiana
April 28th, 2017, 01:30 PM
I have zero desire to just sell the keyboard. I want to keep them together, they are a set. Beside WTF am I gonna do with a 5523 without a keyboard?

Come to think on it, what the hell am I gonna do with a 5523 with a keyboard.

Chuck(G)
April 28th, 2017, 03:23 PM
I have zero desire to just sell the keyboard. I want to keep them together, they are a set. Beside WTF am I gonna do with a 5523 without a keyboard?

Come to think on it, what the hell am I gonna do with a 5523 with a keyboard.

Actually, a 5523 would be a pretty good collector's item Summary (https://books.google.com/books?id=D8pyWaTBzyoC&pg=PA97&lpg=PA97&dq=IBM+5523+Japan&source=bl&ots=Q05cllQQQ2&sig=ClFEAMZzh0rcsSJbuq7xBpXz2Sc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiNvu_IpMjTAhVB3GMKHTZRCo0Q6AEIOTAE#v=on epage&q=IBM%205523%20Japan&f=false). It's a notebook and part of the PS/55 series.

What you have, again, is a 5253. All you have to do is find a 5520 with software...

bear
April 28th, 2017, 03:30 PM
I came off the wrong way in my original reply (thus the edit). I've been intending to drop you a line to say, I'm not going to be able to make it down for your open house, but if, at the end of it, you still have the 5253 or the Apollo DN330, to drop me a line and we'll see about arranging some kind of deal.

NeXT
April 28th, 2017, 04:53 PM
Well, I never could figure out the "collector" rationale. Witness the craze for anything Apple. I recall schools with palletloads of IIe systems headed for the landfill, because they couldn't give them away.

Previous employer bought three palletloads of IIe and IIgs machines. Seven years later I think they are still having trouble selling them.

lutiana
April 28th, 2017, 06:14 PM
Actually, a 5523 would be a pretty good collector's item Summary (https://books.google.com/books?id=D8pyWaTBzyoC&pg=PA97&lpg=PA97&dq=IBM+5523+Japan&source=bl&ots=Q05cllQQQ2&sig=ClFEAMZzh0rcsSJbuq7xBpXz2Sc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiNvu_IpMjTAhVB3GMKHTZRCo0Q6AEIOTAE#v=on epage&q=IBM%205523%20Japan&f=false). It's a notebook and part of the PS/55 series.

What you have, again, is a 5253. All you have to do is find a 5520 with software...

See, this is why I don't need the thing, I can't even get the freaking numbering right. :-D

lutiana
April 28th, 2017, 06:20 PM
I came off the wrong way in my original reply (thus the edit). I've been intending to drop you a line to say, I'm not going to be able to make it down for your open house, but if, at the end of it, you still have the 5253 or the Apollo DN330, to drop me a line and we'll see about arranging some kind of deal.

The Apollo has been sold actually. Found out it had the disk drive and hard drive to go with it. The guy who bought restores mainframe stuff and is picking it up this weekend.

As to the 5253 (yay, got it right this time), I have some solid offers and I am considering some of them, even though they would require shipping it.

Now that Honeywell Mini Mainframe is gonna be a much bigger problem...

commodorejohn
April 28th, 2017, 06:33 PM
What did that Honeywell turn out to be, anyway?

jharre
April 28th, 2017, 07:25 PM
Well, given the popularity of the old Model Ms, I'd guess that some people are just fed up with the crappy quality of modern keyboards. The old IBM buckling-spring keyboards, such as those found on the Displaywriter and this unit have a very nice feel, even if they are a bit noisy.

If its anything like the keyboards we had on the 5250 terminals we used with the S/34s, not only did you have the buckling springs making noise, but they also had a "knocker" inside for tactile feedback. Basically, a solenoid that whacked the side of the keyboard case when you struck a key. I remember being just a wee bit startled the first time typing on one of those.

<*> Jim

lutiana
April 28th, 2017, 07:43 PM
What did that Honeywell turn out to be, anyway?

It's a mini mainframe. Apparently meant to be a cheaper competitor to IBM large mainframes and is compatible with IBM mainframe software.

Chuck(G)
April 28th, 2017, 08:27 PM
If its anything like the keyboards we had on the 5250 terminals we used with the S/34s, not only did you have the buckling springs making noise, but they also had a "knocker" inside for tactile feedback. Basically, a solenoid that whacked the side of the keyboard case when you struck a key. I remember being just a wee bit startled the first time typing on one of those.

The DD60 console on the CDC 6600 had a speaker and a volume control under the keyboard. You could make the "clunks" as loud as you wanted. I'll bet that you could insert a speaker in the same way on the IBM Model M.

NeXT
April 28th, 2017, 09:03 PM
It's a mini mainframe. Apparently meant to be a cheaper competitor to IBM large mainframes and is compatible with IBM mainframe software.

I need more info on this. Someone in the Seattle area has been hounding me to drag a Honeywell DPS away but without documentation, software, or even a disk controller it's pretty much impossible to run.

lutiana
April 28th, 2017, 09:35 PM
I need more info on this. Someone in the Seattle area has been hounding me to drag a Honeywell DPS away but without documentation, software, or even a disk controller it's pretty much impossible to run.

I wish I had more info for you. I could not come up with anything and it was someone on Reddit who confirmed this. There is a giant box of Novell stuff there, so I am wondering if that mainframe is running Novell on it. In any event I suspect that the Honeywell is most likely complete and functional and the original owner used at least some of the terminals in there to work with it. The stuff in there is very terminal heavy.

jamesbeat
May 3rd, 2017, 05:23 PM
Keyboard collectors are....weird.
It started off initially with people saying that the older mechanical keyboards improved gaming performance or your WPM average and moved from there to ergonomics and asthetics. The Model M is still Ground Zero for this nonsense.
It has since boiled down to overly autistic (read: stupid) people in their teens and 20's with money to burn buying up keyboards in order to collect the keyboards exclusively. A few times it has been asked (in geekhack, deskthority and the keyboarding subreddit) why people would want to collect the entire computer or console...so there's your indication these people found some awesome aerosols to huff in their parents basements.
Some people buy them to put a USB adapter or conversion into it, others buy them to put them in display cases and show them off (I am not joking about this. (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/72/0f/50/720f508733dc855a8185de950686f8c8.jpg)). Others do the equivalent of animal poaching and buy it simply to pull the keycaps or switches and transplant them into aftermarket keyboard kits which is beyond demented. Me and a few others have noticed there are a lot of machines out there now either without their keyboards, or the keyboard is available separately from a seller. DKS (last official supplier of components for Symbolics machines) a while back almost sold out of his console keyboards (dubbed the Space Cadet) because suddenly everyone wanted one and his inbox was flooded with orders. He had to pull them from his pricelist for a bit and reintroduced them later with a far higher price because they had bought almost all of his spare stock and he couldn't get more. I know someone else with two NeWS workstations but the seller had already sold both keyboards to someone else. Yep, those too have a demand by these loose screws. (https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=25759.0)
In a nutshell, do not cater to anyone who is after the keyboard. Be as nasty and rude as you can to them and just ignore them.


Back on topic, With the model being 525x, I would assume it is part of the 5250 line of Twinax terminals and therefor will work with conventional Twinax controllers and minicomputers?

edited: Hmm, the wiki on the 5520 indicates interconnectivity with the System/370. That's Coax, not twinax.

I'm something of a keyboard enthusiast.
Let me preface this by saying that splitting up a mainframe and keyboard is a horrible thing to do.

I spend 40 hours every week using a keyboard, and I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to have a nice one.
It gives me a little pleasure every time I use it - sometimes it's the little things in life.

I sometimes switch around the keycaps so that it more closely resembles the vintage machines that I love.
I have made it like a BBC Model B using red function keys, and I'm considering buying some keycaps to make it resemble a space cadet.

I don't collect vintage boards, and I certainly don't keep my boards on display.
I actually only own three mechanical keyboards - you can just switch the keycaps around if you get bored with how it looks.

My only vintage keyboard is a Focus FK 2001, which I don't use because it's in in mint condition :D

As I said, I totally agree with you about ruining pieces of history, but I just wanted to let you know that not all keyboard people are idiots :D

jim121049
May 4th, 2017, 04:39 AM
Keyboard collectors are....weird.
It started off initially with people saying that the older mechanical keyboards improved gaming performance or your WPM average and moved from there to ergonomics and asthetics. The Model M is still Ground Zero for this nonsense.
It has since boiled down to overly autistic (read: stupid) people in their teens and 20's with money to burn buying up keyboards in order to collect the keyboards exclusively. A few times it has been asked (in geekhack, deskthority and the keyboarding subreddit) why people would want to collect the entire computer or console...so there's your indication these people found some awesome aerosols to huff in their parents basements.
Some people buy them to put a USB adapter or conversion into it, others buy them to put them in display cases and show them off (I am not joking about this. (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/72/0f/50/720f508733dc855a8185de950686f8c8.jpg)). Others do the equivalent of animal poaching and buy it simply to pull the keycaps or switches and transplant them into aftermarket keyboard kits which is beyond demented. Me and a few others have noticed there are a lot of machines out there now either without their keyboards, or the keyboard is available separately from a seller. DKS (last official supplier of components for Symbolics machines) a while back almost sold out of his console keyboards (dubbed the Space Cadet) because suddenly everyone wanted one and his inbox was flooded with orders. He had to pull them from his pricelist for a bit and reintroduced them later with a far higher price because they had bought almost all of his spare stock and he couldn't get more. I know someone else with two NeWS workstations but the seller had already sold both keyboards to someone else. Yep, those too have a demand by these loose screws. (https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=25759.0)
In a nutshell, do not cater to anyone who is after the keyboard. Be as nasty and rude as you can to them and just ignore them.


Back on topic, With the model being 525x, I would assume it is part of the 5250 line of Twinax terminals and therefor will work with conventional Twinax controllers and minicomputers?

edited: Hmm, the wiki on the 5520 indicates interconnectivity with the System/370. That's Coax, not twinax.

I guess no one else sees the irony in a vintage computer enthusiast calling a keyboard collector "weird". We need more of "Be as nasty and rude as you can to them..." in today's society.

vwestlife
May 4th, 2017, 02:57 PM
Looks like that keyboard uses a "beam spring" design. My guess is this may be part of the reason why there is so much interest? *shrug*

Beam springs are considered the holy grail of IBM keyboards, since the buckling spring keyboards that the PC world knows and loves were developed as a cost-reduced replacement for beam springs, so therefore beam springs must be better.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNRH1ULmbNA