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origin of the Meta key


From: Xah
Subject: origin of the Meta key
Date: Sat, 23 Aug 2008 17:15:36 -0700 (PDT)
User-agent: G2/1.0

On Aug 23, 2:41 pm, Barry Margolin <address@hidden> wrote:

> Nope, you have it wrong.  Meta came from the SAIL keyboard at Stanford
> AI Lab, developed in 1971.  This was more than a decade before Sun was
> founded.  Of course, the Sun founders came from Stanford, so they were
> undoubtedly familiar with this keyboard, and the diamond key was
> presumably put there to serve the same function.  Similarly with Apple's
> command key.
>
> http://www.stanford.edu/~learnest/sailaway.htm
>
> http://infolab.stanford.edu/pub/voy/museum/pictures
> /display/1-6-RAIL-keybd.jpg

Thanks for this informative post!

Quote from the article:

«A fancier display system, installed at SAIL in 1971, put a terminal
using a television monitor on everyone's desk. SAIL was apparently the
first system in the world that put terminals in offices -- before
that, the few computer displays that existed were kept in "display
rooms." This display system also included an advanced keyboard that
introduced the "Meta" key and other features to facilitate touch-
typing. That keyboard design was picked up promptly by MIT and
Carnegie-Mellon University and later by Apple, whose Command key is a
direct descendent of the Meta key on the SAIL keyboard.»

i did a quick google image search but didn't find more photos...

is here more info about this keyboard? or other doc about the origin
of the Meta?

  Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/

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