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I recently found an old Apple Extended Keyboard that uses the ADB interface. I would like to use it, but I don't have an ADB-to-USB converter. I know of only one which is the Griffin iMate. Unfortunately, it's out of production and the ones going on ebay are expensive.

Anyone know of another company that made the ADB-to-USB converters? Even better if they still do!

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You mean from Griffin not Belkin right ? – Studer Aug 18 '10 at 2:34
yeah you're right. Changed it above – jdiaz Aug 18 '10 at 5:18
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The iMate was the only converter available on the market.

If you do get an iMate, the only thing it will work with these days are keyboards and mice. It internally converts ADB keyboard and mice commands to USB keyboard and mice commands, so it will just make your ADB mouse and keyboard look like a USB mouse and keyboard to the computer, no drivers required.

In ~2001 there was a driver for the iMate that would actually configure it as an ADB bus the computer could see, that way anything with real ADB drivers could use it just like a builtin port. That driver has not been updated in years, and Apple dropped all ADB support from OS X, so at this point USB emulation is the only thing it does. Not that there were many (any?) interesting ADB devices that were supported under Mac OS X anyway.

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Find a matching vintage CPU, install an old linux on it with ADB drivers, and then send the resulting keystrokes over IP.

Or you could buy a nice new low-profile aluminum Apple keyboard. It'll be cleaner, more comfortable, and cheaper.

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The old Apple Extended keyboards are legends. Mechanical tactile keyboards beat the pants off the new membrane keys ;) – jdiaz Aug 18 '10 at 5:07
Cleaner? Yes. Cheaper? Yes. More comfortable? Not by a long ways… I'm using my ancient Apple Extended right this second (with an iMate), and it's simply the Best Keyboard Apple Ever Made. If it or the iMate ever break, I'll be in deep trouble. – Dori Aug 26 '10 at 1:22
They're great keyboards, to be sure, but the real benefit of the aluminum ones IMO is how close they lie to your desk. Maybe I just never gained a proper appreciation for that particular piece of vintage hardware, but I really enjoy the more-or-less effortlessness and lack of strain resulting from using the new keyboards. – NReilingh Aug 26 '10 at 9:14
This sounds like an awesome solution, what would you need to do on the modern mac to grab those IP packets and turn them into key-presses on the OS, any one have any links on actually doing this... – MrDaniel Feb 26 '12 at 5:31

FYI there appears to be another USB to ADB adapter out there as well Micro Connectors USB ADB Adapter. Good luck with your search.

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ADB is over ten years old.

I would highly doubt anyone is still making a converter for it.

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Ten? More like 20+ years old. – CajunLuke Mar 4 '11 at 14:57
The Apple Desktop Bus connector was first used on the Apple IIGS in 1986. It is 26 years old. The last Mac to use one came out in 1999. – user9290 Feb 26 '12 at 5:11
Good commentary but not a real constructive solution. – MrDaniel Feb 26 '12 at 5:26
What's your point? Ten years (or 26) is nothing for interface standards. Serial and parallel ports on PCs are still useful. – dodgethesteamroller Sep 9 '13 at 3:56

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