If you’re going to buy a computer today, you have two choices, Windows-based PCs or Macintosh. And yes, you can install another OS, like Linux, or purchase a Chromebook, but that gets into a somewhat different discussion. This hardware duopoly wasn’t always the case, as the 1980s and early ’90s, featured computers made by such companies as Tandy, Sinclair, Commodore,
Cardiff Electric, and Atari, as well as the two brands that eventually came out on top.
In some ways, this consolidation was a very good thing, as developing software for 5-or-so platforms would be cumbersome. Regardless, there is a vibrant scene around using and programming these old computers as a hobby, but what if you have a piece of older computing hardware that’s not being used, or perhaps doesn’t even work? It seems a shame to get rid of it; perhaps part of it could be recycled into something new.
If your piece of older hardware just happens to be a Commodore Amiga 600 or 1200, here’s an interesting idea: use it as a keyboard for your modern computer! For how to implement this functionality, Tynemouth Software is offering a USB conversion kit that will be usable with any modern computer. It even powers the keyboard LEDs to provide normal keyboard lighting feedback.
Although you could use this with a “live” computer, Tynemouth Software encourages the use of a broken unit, as it would be a shame to break one of these vintage devices just to use as a keyboard!