\spˈe͡ɪskɐdˈɛt kˈiːbɔːd], \spˈeɪskɐdˈɛt kˈiːbɔːd], \s_p_ˈeɪ_s_k_ɐ_d_ˈɛ_t k_ˈiː_b_ɔː_d]\
Definitions of SPACE-CADET KEYBOARD
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A now-legendary device used on MIT Lisp machines, whichinspired several still-current jargon terms and influenced thedesign of Emacs. It was equipped with no fewer than *seven*shift keys: four keys for bucky bits ("control", "meta","hyper", and "super") and three like regular shift keys,called "shift", "top", and "front". Many keys had threesymbols on them: a letter and a symbol on the top, and a Greekletter on the front. For example, the "L" key had an "L" anda two-way arrow on the top, and the Greek letter lambda on thefront. By pressing this key with the right hand while playingan appropriate "chord" with the left hand on the shift keys,you could get the following results: Llowercase l shift-Luppercase L front-Llowercase lambda front-shift-Luppercase lambda top-Ltwo-way arrow(front and shift are ignored) And of course each of thesemight also be typed with any combination of the control, meta,hyper, and super keys. On this keyboard, you could type over8000 different characters! This allowed the user to type verycomplicated mathematical text, and also to have thousands ofsingle-character commands at his disposal. Many hackers wereactually willing to memorise the command meanings of that manycharacters if it reduced typing time (this attitude obviouslyshaped the interface of Emacs). Other hackers, however,thought that many bucky bits was overkill, and objected thatsuch a keyboard can require three or four hands to operate.See cokebottle, double bucky, meta bit, quadruplebucky.Note: early versions of this entry incorrectly identified thespace-cadet keyboard with the "Knight keyboard". Though bothwere designed by Tom Knight, the latter term was properlyapplied only to a keyboard used for ITS on the PDP-10 andmodelled on the Stanford keyboard (as described under buckybits). The true space-cadet keyboard evolved from the Knightkeyboard.
By Denis Howe