DEC VT102 question

From: Ethan Dicks <>
Date: Tue May 4 17:35:11 2004

On Tue, May 04, 2004 at 10:54:52AM -0400, Paul Koning wrote:
> >>>>> "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.
> 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.

Yep... also EDT uses "PF1" a lot, but it was only called the "Gold Key"
in WPS instructions.
> You'd be more likely to find those keycaps on an LK201 style keyboard,
> to go with a DECmate.

Specifically a DECmate II or III(+).

> Or they would appear on a box that looks like a VT52 -- an older
> WPS box.

WS-78, by another name, but it had an integral keyboard (being in a
VT52 case). I can't say much about what it would look like; it's about
the only PDP-8 that I'm missing.

> 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.

Not all that strange... WPS-Plus could import (via serial port if not
through 8" floppies) from the PDP-8-version of WPS.

The DECmate I is built into a VT100 housing and uses a standard VT100
keyboard. Because it was a dedicated terminal, they shipped with a
keyboard as you describe, with word processing legends on many keys,
and a Gold, Blue and Red key at the top of the number pad.

> So you have something legit and somewhat unusual.

Legit, yes... unusual, no. Sure, they made plenty more "plain" VT100
keyboards than WPS keyboards, but they did make a lot of WPS keyboards.

As other people have pointed out, it's electrically identical to the
more common variety. You'd only care about the legends if you wanted
to run WPS on any one of the supported platforms.


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Received on Tue May 04 2004 - 17:35:11 BST

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