Whitening Yellowed Keyboards

Hi everyone!

I was visiting an office a couple months back that used to be a dentist office. In the attic, we found a bunch of VERY old computer equipment. I’m fairly young so this felt like an archaeological dig.

I managed to salvage a Key Tronic keyboard with the model number E03418201D. Some of the writing on the back label is in German as well! It also had a Dell Enhanced Keyboard sticker on it.

The thing is a beauty!

However, it suffered from very yellowed plastic. Probably from smoke or UV exposure. So lets clean that thing up.

The first thing I tried was putting the keys into a jar with water and sodium bicarbonate. This involved periodically mixing the solution to make sure all the sodium didn’t settle to the bottom and putting the jar in direct sunlight. From what I understand, the sodium reacts with the UV light from the sun and produces Ozone gas which whitens the plastic.

I wouldn’t recommend the sodium bicarbonate method as I didn’t have very good results with it 😔

Okay, so I moved onto using Hydrogen Peroxide. This stuff us tough to find on it’s own however, you can use hair lightener instead. I used Bblonde 40vol/12% cream peroxide.

Lets jump into it

This is what the keyboard looked like when I first brought it home. I was in love immediately…

I covered all plastic items with the cream peroxide, covered them with cling film and left them on a window ledge for a day or two depending on weather.

I found this method drastically whitened the plastics, hopefully you can see the difference from the below picture:

Enjoy! 🎉

Submitting a CSR for Signing by a CA

Bit of a weird post today, I had a need to update the SSL certificate for an old DRAC (Dell Remote Access Controller) 5 module. This is just an overview of what I did.

First I logged into the DRAC and went to System > Remote Access > Configuration > SSL > Generate a new certificate signing request (CSR). In here I entered my details and put the address I would use for connecting to the server as the common name.

After I clicked “Submit”, I got a small txt file called “csr.txt”. I then needed to get this signed by a Certificate Authority (CA) so that I could get an actual certificate file. Note that the format you want for DRAC 5 is .cer

The CA I used for this was “getacert“, they’re a bit “ghetto” with their site not even using the technology that they provide… kind of ironic but I was desperate.

On this site I entered the contents of my csr.txt file and clicked “Submit CSR“. This them gave me the certificate file, signed by getacert.

Finally, I went back into the DRAC management webpage (in the same location as pointed out earlier) and selected the option to “Upload Server Certificate” Now just select the .cer file you got from the CA and click submit. This will cause the management site to go down for a couple of minutes whilst it configures the new certificate.

After this you should be all set. Enjoy!