Documentation for the AT&T Sceptre Videotex terminal

Gordon JC Pearce gordonjcp at
Thu Nov 22 02:53:45 CST 2007

On Wednesday 21 November 2007 23:34:33 Stroller wrote:
> On 21 Nov 2007, at 18:06, Gordon JC Pearce wrote:
> > ....
> > Of course we've ignored one important fact about keyboards with
> > "Windows
> > keys" - they're bloody awful.  I could chew up and swallow a bag of
> > yoghurt
> > pots and excrete a less flimsy keyboard than the ones on sale these
> > days.
> Here, I've corrected your statement for you:
>     Of course we've ignored one important fact about most modern
> keyboards
>     - they're bloody awful...
> I have an IBM keyboard here with windows keys - it is at least as
> good as the Mac keyboard (assuming that was actually made by Apple)
> that you say you're using in your work PC (and, really, probably
> better).
> Of course, I've had this a few years, and perhaps IBM's (Lenovo's?)
> current keyboards aren't so good, but you can still pay 100 quid
> (that's c $200) for a keyboard if you want a good one.
> offer buckling-spring models which feature the Windows key and which
> are "based on an award winning design, ... the same quality and crisp
> tactile feedback as their IBM predecessors"; if these are really as
> good as the model M, then I think there are few who would be unhappy

Hmm.  They look interesting.  I couldn't see anything about buckling-spring 
keyboards, but I might not have been looking hard enough.  The idea of custom 
keycaps sounds good - the Windows Objectors could get alternate logos on 
their Windows keys.

> Back when my father bought his first "IBM-compatible" 286, he paid
> more than that for a keyboard, but in those days, so did everyone
> else - it was just one component in a c £2000 package. Nowadays
> computers are cheap "commodity" items, and Walmart sell whole
> computer systems for $199. Are you surprised that the keyboards feel
> naff?

You could (as of 2006) buy new Model Ms as an IBM spare part - I don't have 
the reference number handy, but it was in the parts database.  As you can 
probably imagine, they were Not Cheap.

> I find the Windows keys pretty useful, being obliged to use Windows
> on a daily basis. All the keyboard shortcuts on Windows 2000 / XP and

I use Linux pretty much exclusively (the rest of the time I use NetBSD), and 
find the Win keys handy - you can always remap them to something useful if 
you're not using them as modifier keys.

> research, hands-on with users. For those of us that like keyboard
> shortcuts a Mac is a VERY poor relation in this regard.

Not having much experience with Mac and even less experience with Windows, I'm 
not best placed to comment.  But, they seem about the same to me.  Going from 
Gnome or KDE to Mac OS X takes a bit of getting used to, mostly reaching for 
Splat-S instead of Ctrl-S to save ;-)

I think that's as much OT as I'm going to get into.


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