Help! Apple //c keyboard & whatnot...

From: Roger Merchberger <>
Date: Wed Mar 10 21:07:47 1999

Once upon a midnight dreary, Sellam Ismail had spoken clearly:
>On Mon, 8 Mar 1999, Roger Merchberger wrote:
>> 1. His keyboard from the sounds of it, is (at best) *seriously* wounded...

>The //c keyboard wants to be torn down and rebuilt. It had these
>ridiculous metal hinges attached to each one to give them their feel.
>After a while the hinges go bad and start making the keys stick. So the
>solution is to lift the keycaps and remove each hinge. The click will be
>gone but the keyboard will be much nicer to type on.

Sounds like a good idea, but nicer for whom to type on? Personally, I like
the key click - but I could live without it. This person is disabled and
seems to need some tactile feedback so he can tell if he pressed the key
enough... he may not want to give up the keyclick...

Can the keyboard be torn down, cleaned, and restored to original (or
damn-near original) condition? I'm not afraid of work...

>> 2. He's got some software on disks that (i believe) he's assuming are
>> unreadable. He speaks of the disks being dirty & worn, but doesn't actually
>> mention that he's attemted and failed to see if they still work. He is
>> willing to purchase new (if possible) disks of this software, which he's
>> not sure what it was called... but he says it was the word processor and
>> spelling checker from "border bond" [sic] software... which I'm assuming
>> would be "Broderbund." He cannot remember the actual titles, but he says he
>> has the original disks, so I do have access to them if necessary.

>Sounds like Bank Street Writer. I don't know why he'd want to use that.

Maybe because that's what he's accustomed to? He'd used the system for many
years, and seems insistant that this is what he wants. Darned near everyone
seems to hate vi on the unix platform, but a *very* close cousin to that is
TS-EDIT, which I used for years, and actually liked it. And vi is the only
*guaranteed* text editor on a Unix box, so it's a good idea to learn the
very basics if you decide to become a *nix administrator-type person.

>It was terrible in my opinion. Tell him he wants APpleWorks instead.

Erm... he's what is commonly referred to as a "customer." Last time I
checked the definition, they're always right. I'm not about to try to
shoehorn him into new software that he'll "have" to learn, when it's not
what he wants.

>Integrated word processor, spread sheet and database. A much nicer

*if* you need a spreadsheet and database. He needs just the wordprocessor
and spell checker.

> and in 80-columns too (Bank Street Writer was implemented as 40
>characters in the hi-res mode).

I don't know for sure, but he may like the lower column count for his
less-than-optimal eyesight... but I've not asked him on that part.

[[[Editor's Note: And for those of you who think you *cannot* do decent,
business-type correspondance letters in 40column... My Tandy200 says

>> *Any* help or information at all on this project would be most appreciated,
>> so thank you all in advance.
>I'd be happy to help him out. Give him my e-mail address and we'll take
>it from there.

Normally, I'd have no problem with that, but he doesn't want his e-mail
address public, and he wishes that I take care of the work -- he doesn't
want to be bothered with all of the particulars of why, what, and how to
fix the thing... he's just interested in the final product -- a working
//c. He's by no means technical (I shielded his description of the 7"
floppy drives from the list members... ;-) My being good with classic
machines (tho mostly on the Tandy side of things), I mentioned I might be
able to help him. He's put the ball in my court, now.

And in other news.........

Once upon a midnight dreary, Mike Ford had spoken clearly:

>Start by taking it apart and giving it a good cleaning. Its just a few
>screws and a little convincing, and the keyboard comes off as a unit with I
>think just one more screw inside (which I hope to remember to put back in
>one of mine next time I open it up).


But does this only get the keyboard out of the computer, or does this tear
down the keyboard itself... I've tried the "keyboard in the dishwasher"
routine, and the "keyboard and the toothbrush" routine... and personally,
I've not had any success with them. (This is not to say that it doesn't
work... the only thing I've *ever* successfully glued together with
superglue are my fingers. The stuff must work, to sell so much - but I must
just be plain stupid regarding its use 'cause it doesn't ever work for
me... that's why I use epoxy - works every time.) Subsequently, the only
way I've ever successfully restored a keyboard (to better than new, I might
add) is by full teardown, clean, lube (judiciously...) and reassemble. I
have done this with several keyboards, and always had a winner.

>I would not spend more effort than that, they are just too cheap.
>Reluctant machines become organ donors for the more promising.

Define "cheap." This is probably the only //c in existance in over a 50
mile radius of here... There's no source for spare parts around here (in
any form) for at least 200 miles. No spare parts available... so all I have
going for me *is* effort. What else is there for a poor, backwoods country
geek to do??? ;-)

Thanks to all, and I'm still open for ideas...
Roger "Merch" Merchberger
Roger "Merch" Merchberger   ---   sysadmin, Iceberg Computers
Recycling is good, right???  Ok, so I'll recycle an old .sig.
If at first you don't succeed, nuclear warhead
disarmament should *not* be your first career choice.
Received on Wed Mar 10 1999 - 21:07:47 GMT

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