DEC VT102 question

From: Paul Koning <>
Date: Tue May 4 09:54:52 2004

>>>>> "Jay" == Jay West <> writes:

 Jay> I have a DEC VT102 terminal that I got some time ago from a
 Jay> listmember. On the right of the keyboard where the numeric
 Jay> keypad is, the keys don't match the color of the other keys on
 Jay> the keyboard. The upper left key in the keypad is gold, and the
 Jay> other keys on the keypad are different colors - red, blue, white
 Jay> - and have editing words on them, I think words like "left,
 Jay> copy, print", something like that.

 Jay> My question is - is it likely that someone scavenged keys from
 Jay> another non-vt100 keyboard to replace missing keys, or was this
 Jay> some option used with some word processing software? If the
 Jay> later, I'm happy I have something unusual. If the former, I am
 Jay> going to yank those keycaps off and scavenge the "correct" keys
 Jay> from one of the other VT100's I'm going to junk.

Those are DECword (a.k.a., WPS) keycaps. The gold key is the dead
giveaway -- WPS used that as a command prefix, similar to the way TECO
and Emacs use ESC.

You'd be more likely to find those keycaps on an LK201 style keyboard,
to go with a DECmate. Or they would appear on a box that looks like a
VT52 -- an older WPS box. But the VT100 series keyboard makes sense;
if nothing else, that could go with the WPS-Plus application that was
part of one of KO's stranger brainstorms. That was a port of the WPS
system to VMS, and then backported to a PDP11 (RSX or RSTS) for
terribly bad performance, written in a brand new programming language
(KOALA) never seen before or since.

So you have something legit and somewhat unusual.

Received on Tue May 04 2004 - 09:54:52 BST

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