I spent some good money and time getting my SE/30 uplifted and retrofitted for modern use. Both the motherboard, analog board and power-supply have been recapped, it has 32M RAM installed and a SCSI to CF adapter to ensure quiet operation and no surprise disk failures. The one failure I encountered was the keyboard and mouse. As well loved as the Apple mechanical ADB keyboards and squared, ball-mice were in the day, today they are nowhere as easy (on your fingers) to use as modern USB thin chiclet-key keyboards or a usb optical mice.

The smaller Apple ADB keyboards are ok, but still require a lot more pressure than modern keyboards. I have loved the Apple chiclet keyboards since they debuted in the original polycarbonate Apple MacBook. Going back from heavy, daily use on these modern Apple keyboards to older ADB keyboards wasn’t a pleasant experience for me, but clearly many people enjoy these keyboards as there are adapters and projects to use them with modern USB computers. However– I was looking for the exact opposite.

1200px Apple Standard Keyboard M0116

The best ADB keyboard, but still not the best keyboard.

Eventually one day my current ADB keyboard died and I’ve was unable to use the SE/30. Looking around on eBay most nice, clean ADB keyboards (pre-extended keyboard) are around $30-$60 dollars. When shipping is factored in that is a fair bit of money for keyboards I don’t really enjoy using and are 30+ years old- and subject to breaking at any time. What I needed was a ADB to USB converter. After that, I quickly found the WOMBAT (created by Big Mess O’ Wires) and ordered one. It works perfectly and now my SE/30 is usable with modern USB keyboards and mice that allow me to type without finger strain.

Apple Wireless Keyboard

A wonderful, quiet, and easy to use keyboard.

And as a bonus the USB scroll wheel on the mice is mapped to the up and down keys and now you can do seamless scrolling in windows in OS 7.5… USB buss is also supported as you can plug the mouse into the keyboard ports if the keyboard has them- which is the only way to use the wombat without a small hub as it has a single USB-A port.


IMG 2560

IMG 2559

BMOW’s site (https://www.bigmessowires.com/usb-wombat/) has the wombat and now a case for it. It’s worth getting as usability insurance for any Apple ADB computer you want to keep using.

BMOW is also the creator of the FLOPPY-EMU – an amazing product that gives you a virtual floppy drive for Apple II, Mac and Lisa Computers.

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