Sun Microsystem's “Type 6” Keyboard

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Sun Microsystem's “Type 6” Keyboard

Xah Lee, 2006-06

Sun Microsystem keyboard is one of the worst. The following shows the one that is the keyboard for Sun's Ultra 5 computer (circa 2000).

Sun Microsystem's Keyboard

Sun Microsystem's “Type 6” Keyboard.

Sun Microsystem's Keyboard

This keyboard's got 2 columns of special keys on the left. Also note, the Caps Lock and Control keys are swapped. And, it has a big Help button on the top left, and a blank key. (If you think that putting Control left to A is good, see: Why You Should Not Swap Caps Lock With Control.)

I hardly ever use this keyboard or sit in front of this computer. So i don't know what these keys actually do. I don't think most of these special keys do anything useful. Most of the time, i just telnet/ssh from the PC running WindowsNT, using the generic PC keyboard. This Ultra5 is used as a server, it is one of the test bed for releasing our web-based software.

Sun Microsystem's Keyboard

Note the Compose key and Alt Graph keys. I've never used it. In writing this page, i learned that they are used to type special characters such as éäç¡£¥© etc. The key marked with a diamond (◆) is the Meta key, a key inherited from Lisp Machine's keyboards and today mostly known for its use in Emacs. This special modifier key is similar to the Command key (⌘) on Apple's computer's keyboards, or the Windows key on PC keyboards.

More photos: Mid section close-up, The Compose, Alt Graph keys, Top indicator LEDS, Number pads.

For some photos of lisp machine's keyboards, see: Why Emacs's Keyboard Shortcuts Are Painful.

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