Keyboard Builders' Digest
8% off at Melgeek! Code: KBDNEWS
Keyboard Builders' Digest / Keyboard Spotting


The classy IBM SCAMP was a prototype to showcase the APL programming language (1973).
Published December 2, 2021
Creators! Feel free to tip me off about your keyboard related projects to bring them to 100K readers.

In 1972, Paul Friedl and his colleagues at IBM Scientific Center in Palo Alto, California developed this classy luggable computer known as the SCAMP (Special Computer, APL Machine Portable) in six months.

The prototype used existing components - a cathode ray tube from Bell Brothers, Inc., for the display; a Norelco audiotape cassette recorder for secondary storage; a keyboard from IBM in Raleigh, North Carolina; memory cards from IBM Germany; and a PALM microprocessor board from IBM in Boca Raton, Florida. The APL language processor emulated one for the existing, much larger, IBM 1130 computer. (source)

According to the IBM SCAMP page at Smithsonian, this one served as a prototype for the IBM 5100 and was considered by some as the grandfather of the IBM PC 5150 (?!).

Well, I have an IBM 5155 but this one with its "chocolate brown frame and almond white cover" is much more mouthwatering than its contemporaries. Of course such an upper part, folding into the suitcase-like frame and popping up when in use, was no more possible with larger screens.

Do you like this post? Share, donate, subscribe, tip me off!

Published on Thu 2nd Dec 2021. Featured in KBD #55 (source).



The IBM Lighted Program Function Keyboard (LPFK) was used as an extra input device when doing computer aided design on the IBM RS/6000 series of machines. Posted by epearl-tv.


The manifold is a handwired keyboard in a 3D printed IBM SSK-like case. Designed by _galile0.

IBM 5291

Kirkwood1994 picked up a beautiful IBM 5291 terminal.

IBM Model M122 classification

SharktasticA reworked his page on differences between and classifications of IBM Model M122s.

Model H

Model H is a USB controller for IBM Model M – by John Hawthorn.

IBM 5100

The IBM 5100 is one of the many "first" portable computers (1975). Shared by u/Crul_.