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Thread: IBM iPoint keyboard--anyone have any ideas?

  1. #1
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    Default IBM iPoint keyboard--anyone have any ideas?

    On impulse (new for $5), I picked up an IBM I-Point IR keyboard:



    It takes 4 AA cells and has a rubber pointing device in the corner. I can't find a thing out about this and will probably end up hooking an IR sensor to my logic analyzer to figure the codes out.

    The serial number is 768, so there probably weren't many of these produced. IBM part number 19K1800; Model no. SK-8807.

    Anyone know anything else about this?

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    Never seen one, do you have the part that connect to the computer or just the keyboard?
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    The keyboard has what look like internet labeled keys (reload, home). I remember seeing a lot of similar form factor keyboards for WebTV. I also have a Kensington Mouse from the mid-90s with IBM logos, part of an unfortunate partnership.

    My guess would something along those lines: a WebTV keyboard with licensed use of the IBM logo. Unless IBM partnered on some other internet device.

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    I think it would be funny as frig if it worked with the PCjr.
    It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

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    Clearly, something with the IBM logo interests me, particularly if it's NIB and costs $5. I have only the keyboard--if there's a receiver/transmitter unit for it, I haven't found one.

    I've seen web photos of other similar, larger, IBM keyboards, but no hint as to what they were part of. Note that the function keys are labeled F1 through F5, with the remainder with various symbols. There are 12 of them, however, just as on a regular keyboard.

    Didn't IBM float a PS/2 IR keyboard back in the day?

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    Quote Originally Posted by luckybob View Post
    i think it would be funny as frig if it worked with the pcjr.
    lol !!

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    Does anyone have a picture of the IBM Net-Vista Personal Internet Device?

    Compare it to the Compaq MSN Companion which follows much the same basic design guidelines: partial set of function keys, bunch of icon keys, right hand row of navigation, and a pointing device in the upper right corner.
    http://www.wince.ne.jp/review/okamon/img/206.jpg
    Last edited by krebizfan; October 11th, 2017 at 11:33 AM.

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    IBM Netvista Internet Appliance.

    And there it is! From the press blurbs, it seems that the intent was to offer these things to OEMs for integration into their market. Royal Caribbean Cruises and Fidelity Financial were supposed to be the flagship customers, but I suspect the whole affair self-detonated shortly after introduction. Too bad--it reminds me a bit of the iOpener.

    I've never seen the IBM Internet Appliance "in the flesh". They must be uncommon.
    Last edited by Chuck(G); October 11th, 2017 at 01:29 PM.

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    Update

    Well, not being able to find anything on the keyboard, I couldn't resist a challenge. I'm getting very close however.

    A quick check with a scope and a phototransistor showed that it uses a standard 38KHz IR carrier. Good thing--little 3-terminal receivers for this are cheap. Now, what to make of the keyboard encoding.

    Using little STM32F103 board (cheap on ebay--I have a box full of them) and a VS1838B receiver (super cheap--about $0.15 each). I sampled the keyboard signal with a period of 125 microseconds. The bitrate looks to be about 1000 bps. But the encoding is very interesting.

    Press a key, you get a 20 bit stream (first bit always 1, so 19); release it and you get the same code with a couple of bits flipped. Press any key for more than about 100 milliseconds and you get a "repeat" code of 20 bits every 100 milliseconds until the key is released, whereupon you get the 40 bit "release" sequence.

    All keys repeat if held down, even the shift keys.

    Shift+any printing key modifies the sequence somewhat.

    Here are some examples:

    Letter 'a':

    65c33, 25cb3, 2d4a2

    Shift key, pressed and released:

    3e200, 1e240, 2d4a2

    Same "a" , but held down a bit:

    65c33, 2a4ac, 2a4ac, 2a4ac, 2a4ac, 25cb3, 2d4a2

    Shift-"a":

    3e200, 65c33, 25cb3, 1e240, 2d4a2

    Moving the little "joystick" thing produces streams of 60 bit values--I haven't figured those out yet.

    So, progress of a sort. I'll get it figured out and pair it with a little 3/4"x2" Maplie mini, either with USB or PS/2 output; I haven't decided.

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