OT - "Soft" ESC key on the new MacBook Pro

Random832 random832 at fastmail.com
Mon Dec 19 07:57:33 EST 2016


On Sun, Dec 18, 2016, at 17:03, Gregory Ewing wrote:
> mm0fmf wrote:
> > +1 for knowing where CTRL should be.
> > Bonus +1 for having used an ASR33.
> 
> And it's quite remarkable that the designers of the ASR33
> knew exactly where it would need to be for Emacs users
> years later! I think Richard Stallman must have a time
> machine as well.

Except for the fact that the actual keyboard that Emacs was originally
developed for [the Knight Keyboard, and the later Symbolics "Space
Cadet" Keyboards] had the control key more or less where it is on modern
PC keyboards [slightly further to the right, so easier to reach with the
thumb of the same-side hand], and the Meta key to its left. To the left
of A was "rub out".

I assume the original Emacs users used proper touch-typing style:
modifier keys with the opposite hand from the letter they were using it
with, rather than trying to contort the same-side hand into hitting both
keys at once. Meanwhile, users of Unix systems were stuck with terminals
like the ADM-3A and VT-100, which, inherited from the ASR-33 but one
must assume the real reason was to save money, only had one control key
and no true meta key (one escape key). I suspect there would have only
been one shift key if they could have got away with it.


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