Space-Cadet Keyboard

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

The Space-cadet keyboard was made by John L. Kulp.

it was designed around 1978, and making began in 1979, and arrived at MIT lap in 1980 January.

[see Space-Cadet Keyboard Design]

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Symbolics's Space-cadet keyboard. image source

There is a file dated 1978 with notes about the new Space-cadet keyboard. It's signed “JLK”.

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.

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

[ 2019-02-28 email from Lars Brinkhoff. •]

The lisp machine that used space-cadet keyboard includes the following, though the keyboard may look different:

LMI Lambda keyboard

The Space-cadet keyboard is also made by Lisp Machine Inc, for their LMI-CADR machine, year 1983.

lmi lambda space cadet keyboard b270d
LMI Lambda keyboard [image source ]
lmi lambda lisp machine 37vp6
LMI Lambda lisp machine [image source ]

Note the LMI logo. It's lisp cons cell, which is the building block of lisp's list.

See also: Guy Steele Says: Don't Iterate, Recurse, and Get rid of cons!

space cadet keyboard 1
Brand new one, without case.

Video Review

Symbolics Space Cadet keyboard review (Honeywell Hall effect 4B3E) by Chyrosran22, Published on Dec 22, 2017

Meta Hyper Super Modifiers

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Note the Meta Hyper Super modifier keys, and roman numeral keys. , , ,

The modifiers are:

The extra modifiers allows more key combination possibilities.

However, extra modifiers create much less possibilities than key sequences.

[see How Many Keyboard Shortcuts Are There]

APL Symbols

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Space-cadet Keyboard has APL symbols, but not in standard APL layout.

[see How to Create APL or Math Symbols Keyboard Layout]

space-cadet keyboard 4

Thumb Up Key

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Featuring thumb up/down 👍 👎 👈 👉. In front of the keycaps are:

[see Hand Emoji 👍]

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space-cadet keyboard 2
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Photos of the Space-cadet keyboard by webwit At Used with permission. You can see more photos about key caps and electronics there.

For the key layout, see: Lisp Machine Keyboard Layout

For lots more photos of the space cadet keyboard, see: Jesse Vincent's photo album flickr

2016-06-17 Thanks to Jon Snader for tip.

Lisp Machine

  1. Lisp Machine Keyboards
  2. SAIL Keyboard
  3. Knight Keyboard
  4. Lisp Machine LMI-CADR keyboard
  5. Space-Cadet Keyboard
  6. Symbolics Keyboard PN 364000
  7. Symbolics keyboard PN 365407
  8. Racal-Norsk KPS-10 Lisp Prototype Keyboard
  9. History of Emacs and vi Keys

APL Keyboards

  1. How to Create APL or Math Symbols Keyboard Layout
  2. MCM Model 70 Microcomputer (1972)
  3. IBM 5100 (year 1975)
  4. Space-Cadet Keyboard

Hacker Lore Keyboards

  1. IBM Selectric
  2. History of Emacs and vi Keys
  3. Apple Keyboard History ⌨
  4. Space-Cadet Keyboard
  5. ADM-3A Terminal
  6. DEC VT100 Terminal
  7. IBM Model M keyboard
  8. Sun Microsystems Type 6 Keyboard
  9. Control Key and Capslock Key Positions in Old Keyboards
  10. The Idiocy of Happy Hacking Keyboard

Lisp/Selectric Keycaps

  1. IBM Selectric
  2. Space-Cadet Keyboard
  3. Modern Selectric Keycaps
  4. UHK LISP keyboard
  5. Hyper 7 Keyboard

If you have a question, put $5 at patreon and message me.