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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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  • 2
    You mean from Griffin not Belkin right ?
    – Studer
    Aug 18, 2010 at 2:34
  • yeah you're right. Changed it above
    – jdiaz
    Aug 18, 2010 at 5:18

4 Answers 4

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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.

2

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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  • 4
    The old Apple Extended keyboards are legends. Mechanical tactile keyboards beat the pants off the new membrane keys ;)
    – jdiaz
    Aug 18, 2010 at 5:07
  • 1
    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, 2010 at 1:22
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    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, 2010 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, 2012 at 5:31
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FYI there appears to be another USB to ADB adapter out there as well Micro Connectors USB ADB Adapter. Good luck with your search.

-3

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, 2011 at 14:57
  • 2
    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, 2012 at 5:11
  • Good commentary but not a real constructive solution.
    – MrDaniel
    Feb 26, 2012 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. Sep 9, 2013 at 3:56

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