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Francois-Rene Rideau wrote:
>I couldn't find on the web any precise description of the space cadet
>keyboard. Has any of them survived the flood of PC computers? Is there
>a picture anywhere? How does it compare to a symbolics keyboard?
You ask how a space cadet keyboard compares to a Symbolics keyboard.
keyboards on the first model of Symbolics machine *were* "space cadet"
I will now indulge in Symbolics nostalgia, so feel free to delete this
message if you
could not care less.
The first model was known externally as the LM-2. The official internal
was "The A machine". The unofficial internal name was, with great fondness,
the "dogma" or "dog". It was very similar to an MIT CADR, just
repackaged to be
shorter and have boards that could be easily removed and intgerchanged
field service somewhat less impractical than it would have otherwise been.
The LM-2's at Symbolics were all named after dogs: "boxer", "beagle",
"collie", and so on. Fortunately there are very many breeds of dogs.
We toned it down for the next family of models, known externally as the
3600 family (3670,
3640, etc, etc). The official internal name was the L-machine; the
name would have been the "pragma" but it wasn't actually ever called
that. The "L"
was for "low-cost", which was the original vision. Relatively low.
Um, you don't want to know, it was a long time ago, best not to go into
The 3600's at Symbolics were named after rivers. Mine was "Chicopee"
my wife comes from the town of Chicopee in western Massachusetts and a
river runs by it, an eponymous one. I think there were different naming
conventions for 3640's.
(The rest of the proposed naming scheme, internally, was the "I" machine,
for "integrated circuit", a.k.a. "optima", and "S" machine, the "super",
the "ultima". The "ma" names were proposed by Jack Holloway, one of the
founders and chief hardware wizards of Symbolics. In the very early days
of Symbolics, we made up a huge list of joke "ma" names for proposed
additional machines, many of which were inside jokes. If you're from
Boston and of a certain age you might know why the "proposed"
music-specific Lisp machine would have been called the "Lurtsema".
There was going to be a machine called the "enigma" but nobody knew
what that one was for. The movie-making Lisp machine would be
the "cinema", and so on and so forth. We had a list of these up on the
and if anybody knows where it is, the founders and early employees of
Symbolics would very much like to see it for nostalgia value. The
proposed "I", the custom-IC Lisp machine, did in fact get created and
really worked and was packaged in many different ways, including
as plug-in cards for other computers. As far as I know, no work
was ever done on the "S", not even preliminary work, as I think by
that time it was clear that the whole custom-hardware concept had,
as Tolkien puts it, "diminished, and gone into the East".)
By the way, we had a great convention for router machines, initially
At first they were named after Santa's reindeer ("prancer", "vixen",
soon we had too many, and we ran out of reindeer. So we generalized the
convention to "things that cannot actually fly", so to speak: "dumbo"
of them, and we actually managed to find quite a few such names.