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KBK update for Sunday, 1st May

Sometime between 1975 and 1977, US keyboard manufacturer Collimation was acquired by Applied Dynamics International (one of the two ADIs, the other being Advanced Datum Information Corp). Applied Dynamics International, founded in 1957, is still in business, and they reported a year ago that “there are those who remember and participated in ADI’s illustrious past” but have since refused to be forthcoming.

The Applied Dynamics International page is now updated according to material collected by Marcin Wichary. Due to the often poor quality of that material and its poor stewardship (no indications of origin and sometimes not even an indication of source document or year) I have tended to instead use a higher-quality Bitsavers scan or, in at least one instance, obtain a higher quality scan from a library. In this case, the most detailed material is from Electronic Design’s Gold Book series, and unlike the rival Electronic Engineers Master series, it is not possible to read the Gold Book volumes online as they have not been archived. It’s quite possible that there are some fascinating gems awaiting discovery there.

Sadly, like with so many other advertisements, the ADI advertisements in the Gold Book leave unsolved mysteries. The specificatons for Series 50 and Series 55 seem to be akwardly merged. The electronic interlocking in the photoelectric encoder keyboards is not properly explained. There are no depictions of the switch type used in the Series 55 mechanical contact switches. Even the series names kept changing without explanation, and it’s difficult if not impossible to be sure whether series were renamed or represent slightly different products, and the lack of information about Collimation’s product range means that we don’t know what was on offer before ADI’s acquisition of Collimation.

As is almost always the case, we have as many new questions as we have answers to old ones.

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