Space Cadet Keyboard

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

The Space Cadet Keyboard, designed by John L. Kulp around 1978, and arrived at MIT lab in 1980 January.

Space Cadet Keyboard, 1st Generation

space cadget 1st gen gg3nn
Space Cadget keyboard, 1st generation [image source flickr By Jesse Vincent © [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/legalcode] ]

This keyboard is also used other (not Lisp) terminals at the MIT Plasma Lab, so not entirely specific to Lisp machines. [2022-05-30 from Lars Brinkhoff https://twitter.com/larsbrinkhoff/]

Here is photo of another.

lmi-cadr keyboard 1st gen space cadget 368fc
lmi-cadr keyboard 1st gen space cadget 368fc [image source https://deskthority.net/keyboards-f2/cadr-lisp-machine-keyboard-the-space-cadet-keyboard-t19373.html ]

History of the Space Cadet Keyboard

The Space Cadet Keyboard is designed by John L. Kulp. It was designed around 1978, and making began in 1979, and arrived at MIT lab in 1980 January. [see Keyboard Design for the LISP Machine]

There is a file dated 1978 with notes about the new Space-Cadet Keyboard. It's signed JLK. https://raw.githubusercontent.com/mietek/mit-cadr-system-software/master/src/lmdoc/kbdpro.3

The CADR initially used the Knight Keyboard .

It seems design and manufacturing progressed during 1979. There is an email from January 1980 that the “new keyboards” arrived to the lab. https://ml.cddddr.org/bug-lispm/msg00859.html

The CADR, LMI, and LM-2 all used the same Space Cadet Keyboard although they looked different.

[ 2019-02-28 email from Lars Brinkhoff. • http://lars.nocrew.org/ • [2018-07-27 https://github.com/larsbrinkhoff ]]

There are different makes of the space cadet keyboard. They look different.

There is a lisp machine called CADR machine, used at MIT. This is the first machine that the space cadet keyboard is designed for.

Symbolics Inc sold CADR machine as LM-2, and made Space Cadet Keyboards with Symbolics printed at top.

Space-Cadet_keyboard_2-s250
Symbolics Space Cadet

Lisp Machines Inc (LMI) sold CADR machine as LMI-CADR, and make Space Cadet Keyboards known as LMI Lambda keyboard. Made in around 1983. The keyboard protocol is different.

lmi_lambda_keyboard_b270d-s250
LMI Lambda Keyboard

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Space Cadet Keycap 2016 yw76d-s381x164
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