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

Gregory Ewing greg.ewing at canterbury.ac.nz
Mon Dec 19 16:58:08 EST 2016

Random832 wrote:
> 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]

If it's reachable with the thumb, that's actually quite
a big difference, because the thumb is much stronger than
the little finger, therefore better suited for a key that's
so frequently used.

> 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,

Probably they never anticipated that the control key would
become such a frequently-used key. All the commonly-used
ASCII control characters (CR, LF, TAB etc.) had their own
dedicated keys, so you only needed to use the control key
for characters that were rarely used before things like
Emacs came along.


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