After getting my Cherry finished, my brother messaged me
that his company was emptying
their old office and were throwing away some sort of IBM typerwiter. He asked if I would be interested
in taking it instead, to save it from going to the landfill. Of course I was, and so I was soon in
possession of a working IBM Wheelwriter 6747-2. The Wheelwriter is an electric typerwiter
introduced by IBM in 1984 to replace the earlier Selectric. It has a keyboard with similar
construction to that of the famous IBM Model M, using the same buckling spring mechanism. The unit
my brother saved for me is from 1986.
I myself had no use for a typewriter, but I was
very interested in its keyboard, that seemed to be in perfect condition. All the keys responded
properly, so it was just a matter of disconnecting the keyboard and converting it into USB usage. This
is how my conversion story started.
I’ve always loved retro keyboards. Back at my previous job I used to
use a Keytronic keyboard
that I salvaged from the university’s trash room. I liked the 80’s/90’s beige aesthetic, the huge
keys, and the sound of typing on it. But it wasn’t a mechanical keyboard, just rubber dome. Once
I got to type on a mechanical keyboard, I knew I wanted one, but that meant I had to put my trusty
Keytronic to the side.
So about a month ago, I was very surprised and excited when I found an old looking keyboard in the
trash bin at my current employer.
If there’s one thing I miss from the old pre-touchscreen phones we used to have, it’s
physical keyboards. Physical QWERTY keyboards, to be exact. From the
Nokia 6800 series,
and all the way to
I’ve always loved their
typing speed and power, especially with regards to terminal usage where special
characters are essential. Sadly, after Nokia’s betrayal and the subsequent flop with
the market wasn’t looking that good. There were mostly a couple of Android
phones, but I’ve never been a fan of the OS.