Apple’s 1993 Ergonomic Keyboard

apple adjustable keyboard 2
Articles Ergonomic Keyboards

Having used Apples and then Macs continuously since the 1990s, their keyboards are everything you would wish for except for good ergonomics. They sure are beautiful and have incredible engineering to produce good touch feel and spacing.

Wonder how many people know that in 1993, a full year before Microsoft launched their first ergonomic keyboard, Apple released an adjustable, ergonomic keyboard. You can still buy one of these for about $50 on eBay, some even with the original box.

apple adjustable keyboard 2

The Apple Adjustable Keyboard M1242 is an adjustable keyboard made by Apple Computer in 1993. Image courtesy Wikipedia.

Don’t expect to buy one and plug it right in. This keyboard connects to a Mac via an Apple Desktop Bus (ADB) plug. The last Apple computer released compatible with this keyboard was the Power Macintosh G3. You can however buy an ADB to USB adapter on eBay if you wanted to buy one and then actually use it with your Mac. I have no idea if this will work with a PC. Having plugged many Mac keyboards into PCs and vice versa, I don’t think this is going to work well with Windows.

The Wikipedia article noted Apple released this during a time when computer manufacturers were being sued for poor design which let to repetitive stress injuries. Because Apple stopped selling these or even making a version two model, either there was little commercial demand or this didn’t fit into Apple’s overall designs…or a little bit of both.

I’ve bookmarked the eBay search and may try to pick one up at some point. Would make a cool but completely impractical review! If you do want to read a review, here’s one from 1993.

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Kealoha

Hi, I'm Kealoha, an American engi-nerd. I've designed dozens of software systems for Fortune 1000 companies worldwide and institutions like MIT’s Digital Media Lab. I started to get carpal tunnel syndrome early in my career and a total
switch to ergo products has completely eliminated any pain or discomfort despite decades of crazy hours behind screens. I hope you too weave in a bit of ergo into your lives.

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