Discussion:
VT keyboard replacement
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Arne Vajhøj
2021-11-04 16:51:48 UTC
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I ran across this keyboard
https://3dconnexion.com/us/product/keyboard-pro-with-numpad/
and am considering buying it (it's 129$) as a replacement for my LK464
keyboard that I use with Linux for EDT on OpenVMS. I was wondering if
anyone has any experience with it.
I don't know it, but the fact that there is only 5 keys over
the arrow keys does not appeal to me.

Arne
Jeffrey H. Coffield
2021-11-04 19:13:07 UTC
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Post by Arne Vajhøj
I ran across this keyboard
https://3dconnexion.com/us/product/keyboard-pro-with-numpad/
and am considering buying it (it's 129$) as a replacement for my LK464
keyboard that I use with Linux for EDT on OpenVMS. I was wondering if
anyone has any experience with it.
I don't know it, but the fact that there is only 5 keys over
the arrow keys does not appeal to me.
Arne
The picture I am looking at shows 7 keys above the arrow keys.

Jeff
Simon Clubley
2021-11-04 19:24:06 UTC
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Post by Jeffrey H. Coffield
Post by Arne Vajhøj
I ran across this keyboard
https://3dconnexion.com/us/product/keyboard-pro-with-numpad/
and am considering buying it (it's 129$) as a replacement for my LK464
keyboard that I use with Linux for EDT on OpenVMS. I was wondering if
anyone has any experience with it.
I don't know it, but the fact that there is only 5 keys over
the arrow keys does not appeal to me.
Arne
The picture I am looking at shows 7 keys above the arrow keys.
That's the same picture I am looking at, but only 5 of those keys are
where the editing keypad is on a DEC keyboard. The other two are on
the same row as the function keys.

Simon.
--
Simon Clubley, ***@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
Walking destinations on a map are further away than they appear.
Robert A. Brooks
2021-11-04 19:25:09 UTC
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Post by Jeffrey H. Coffield
Post by Arne Vajhøj
I ran across this keyboard
https://3dconnexion.com/us/product/keyboard-pro-with-numpad/
and am considering buying it (it's 129$) as a replacement for my LK464
keyboard that I use with Linux for EDT on OpenVMS. I was wondering if
anyone has any experience with it.
I don't know it, but the fact that there is only 5 keys over
the arrow keys does not appeal to me.
Arne
The picture I am looking at shows 7 keys above the arrow keys.
Below is the keyboard my son uses for gaming. While I've never used it on a VMS system, I like the feel of
it the few times I've used it on his Windows system.

When my LK keyboard stock runs out, this is the next keyboard I'll buy.

https://www.corsair.com/us/en/Categories/Products/Gaming-Keyboards/Mechanical-Gaming-Keyboards/K68-Mechanical-Gaming-Keyboard-%E2%80%94-Red-LED-%E2%80%94-CHERRY%C2%AE-MX-Red/p/CH-9102020-NA
--
-- Rob
Arne Vajhøj
2021-11-04 19:43:47 UTC
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Post by Jeffrey H. Coffield
Post by Arne Vajhøj
I ran across this keyboard
https://3dconnexion.com/us/product/keyboard-pro-with-numpad/
and am considering buying it (it's 129$) as a replacement for my LK464
keyboard that I use with Linux for EDT on OpenVMS. I was wondering if
anyone has any experience with it.
I don't know it, but the fact that there is only 5 keys over
the arrow keys does not appeal to me.
The picture I am looking at shows 7 keys above the arrow keys.
Yes, but two of them I count as F-keys.

I like 2 rows 3 cols below the F-keys above the arrows.

That is just me. YMMV.

Arne
Simon Clubley
2021-11-04 19:20:51 UTC
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Post by Arne Vajhøj
I ran across this keyboard
https://3dconnexion.com/us/product/keyboard-pro-with-numpad/
and am considering buying it (it's 129$) as a replacement for my LK464
keyboard that I use with Linux for EDT on OpenVMS. I was wondering if
anyone has any experience with it.
I don't know it, but the fact that there is only 5 keys over
the arrow keys does not appeal to me.
Agreed, very strongly. (Note that the Insert button is actually on the
top row of the keyboard where the function keys are.)

If Jeffrey is thinking of buying that, then I think a normal high-quality
PC keyboard would probably be better as it's much closer in layout to
a DEC keyboard than the above keyboard is.

I have used both emacs in EDT keypad mode and EVE on VMS exclusively
from a PC keyboard for over 15 years and it works very well indeed.

In fact, I actually prefer a high-quality PC keyboard over a DEC
keyboard because my fingers "flow" over the PC keyboard much easier
and I still remember just how much less effort there was typing on
a good PC keyboard compared to a DEC keyboard.

I might upset a few people around here saying this, but in other words,
I found the ergonomics of a high-quality PC keyboard to actually be
better than a DEC keyboard.

Simon.
--
Simon Clubley, ***@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
Walking destinations on a map are further away than they appear.
Jan-Erik Söderholm
2021-11-04 21:57:35 UTC
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Post by Simon Clubley
Post by Arne Vajhøj
I ran across this keyboard
https://3dconnexion.com/us/product/keyboard-pro-with-numpad/
and am considering buying it (it's 129$) as a replacement for my LK464
keyboard that I use with Linux for EDT on OpenVMS. I was wondering if
anyone has any experience with it.
I don't know it, but the fact that there is only 5 keys over
the arrow keys does not appeal to me.
Agreed, very strongly. (Note that the Insert button is actually on the
top row of the keyboard where the function keys are.)
If Jeffrey is thinking of buying that, then I think a normal high-quality
PC keyboard would probably be better as it's much closer in layout to
a DEC keyboard than the above keyboard is.
I have used both emacs in EDT keypad mode and EVE on VMS exclusively
from a PC keyboard for over 15 years and it works very well indeed.
In fact, I actually prefer a high-quality PC keyboard over a DEC
keyboard because my fingers "flow" over the PC keyboard much easier
and I still remember just how much less effort there was typing on
a good PC keyboard compared to a DEC keyboard.
I might upset a few people around here saying this, but in other words,
I found the ergonomics of a high-quality PC keyboard to actually be
better than a DEC keyboard.
Simon.
Don't know about high quality, and I am maybe not that fuzzy about it.
I simply buy a couple of some cheap BT keyboard/mouse combo, use one
and put the other away as a replacement. Currently using this one.
Mine says K540, not sure about the difference to this MK540...

https://www.logitech.com/en-us/products/combos/mk540-advanced-wireless-keyboard-mouse.920-008671.html

I have no trouble with EDT, it is just that fourth key in the right-most
column on the keypad that I can't remember what it was in EDT.
I haven't use a "DEC keyboard" in 30 years.

And since my OpenVMS consulting is probably 20% VMS and 80% traditional
PC work, I want a PC keyboard.

Jan-Erik.
Simon Clubley
2021-11-05 18:29:57 UTC
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Post by Jan-Erik Söderholm
Don't know about high quality, and I am maybe not that fuzzy about it.
I simply buy a couple of some cheap BT keyboard/mouse combo, use one
and put the other away as a replacement. Currently using this one.
Mine says K540, not sure about the difference to this MK540...
https://www.logitech.com/en-us/products/combos/mk540-advanced-wireless-keyboard-mouse.920-008671.html
Looks like a nice keyboard (although I prefer wired over wireless).
Post by Jan-Erik Söderholm
I have no trouble with EDT, it is just that fourth key in the right-most
column on the keypad that I can't remember what it was in EDT.
I haven't use a "DEC keyboard" in 30 years.
"Delete Word". I've never missed it.
Post by Jan-Erik Söderholm
And since my OpenVMS consulting is probably 20% VMS and 80% traditional
PC work, I want a PC keyboard.
Yes. :-) In my case, I needed the same solution for Windows, Linux and
VMS systems, so switching exclusively to a PC keyboard was the obvious
choice, especially given that VMS systems are usually accessed through
one of the first two systems anyway.

Simon.
--
Simon Clubley, ***@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
Walking destinations on a map are further away than they appear.
Chris Townley
2021-11-05 23:13:51 UTC
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Post by Simon Clubley
Post by Jan-Erik Söderholm
Don't know about high quality, and I am maybe not that fuzzy about it.
I simply buy a couple of some cheap BT keyboard/mouse combo, use one
and put the other away as a replacement. Currently using this one.
Mine says K540, not sure about the difference to this MK540...
https://www.logitech.com/en-us/products/combos/mk540-advanced-wireless-keyboard-mouse.920-008671.html
Looks like a nice keyboard (although I prefer wired over wireless).
Post by Jan-Erik Söderholm
I have no trouble with EDT, it is just that fourth key in the right-most
column on the keypad that I can't remember what it was in EDT.
I haven't use a "DEC keyboard" in 30 years.
"Delete Word". I've never missed it.
:dw in Vi - or Vim although I hate them, but have had to use them
--
Chris
chris
2021-11-05 23:33:25 UTC
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Post by Chris Townley
Post by Simon Clubley
Post by Jan-Erik Söderholm
Don't know about high quality, and I am maybe not that fuzzy about it.
I simply buy a couple of some cheap BT keyboard/mouse combo, use one
and put the other away as a replacement. Currently using this one.
Mine says K540, not sure about the difference to this MK540...
https://www.logitech.com/en-us/products/combos/mk540-advanced-wireless-keyboard-mouse.920-008671.html
Looks like a nice keyboard (although I prefer wired over wireless).
Post by Jan-Erik Söderholm
I have no trouble with EDT, it is just that fourth key in the right-most
column on the keypad that I can't remember what it was in EDT.
I haven't use a "DEC keyboard" in 30 years.
"Delete Word". I've never missed it.
:dw in Vi - or Vim although I hate them, but have had to use them
i've been using a Sun layout pc keyboard, with 2 columns of five keys
at the left hand end and 6 x 4 at the keypad end. The computer thinks
is is an Apple Extended Keyboard, but really like the progressive key
response and action. The later usb Sun keyboards all have the same feel.
That after using lk... ps2 kbd on an Alphastation for over 10 years.
Never failed, but crude feel in comparison...

Chris
Hans Bachner
2021-11-06 23:07:38 UTC
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Post by Simon Clubley
Post by Jan-Erik Söderholm
[...]
I have no trouble with EDT, it is just that fourth key in the right-most
column on the keypad that I can't remember what it was in EDT.
I haven't use a "DEC keyboard" in 30 years.
"Delete Word". I've never missed it.
I miss it - sort of - in the sense that I use this functionality regularly.

The two terminal emulators I use most (PuTTY, and the old VT320e from
the Multia era) use <Shift/+ for "delete word", and I got used to this
option.

Don't remember whether this also works with a keyboard directly
connected to an Alpha or to a "real" VT terminal, i.e. whether it's
built into EVE or into the terminal emulators.

Hans.
Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
2021-11-07 11:02:29 UTC
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I miss it badly. The beauty and elegance of the EDT family of editors is
that DEL L, DEL W, DEL C, and DEL SEL, all had their own buffers from
which one could UNDELETE later, anywhere, once, or <GOLD>N times. I
struggle with all other editors to achive this productivity. So, it's
not just about deleting a word, it's that you can then easily reuse it.
Right. And the DEL C buffer is the same as the rubout <×| buffer.
Some editors use Ctrl+T to delete the next word, great, but it's awkward
- I need two hands for this - compared to a dedicated keypad key.
Right. EDT is by far the most efficient editor. And it is much more
than just the EDT keypad.
Lawrence D’Oliveiro
2021-11-07 22:01:23 UTC
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The beauty and elegance of the EDT family of editors is that DEL L, DEL W, DEL C, and
DEL SEL, all had their own buffers from which one could UNDELETE later, anywhere,
once, or <GOLD>N times.
Emacs already works this way. Text-deletion commands with “kill” in their name (e.g. kill-word, backward-kill-word, kill-line, kill-region) put the deleted text into the yank buffer, and CTRL/Y copies this text at the insertion point.

Basically, anything you might want to do, Emacs either already does it, or can be made to do it. ;)
Lawrence D’Oliveiro
2021-11-08 00:07:10 UTC
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For anybody brought up on VMS Ctrl-Y is hardly the best to recover...
The fun doesn’t stop there: how about CTRL/S for forward search, CTRL/Q to literally enter the next character, CTRL/X as a prefix for multi-keystroke commands, CTRL/C as a prefix reserved for user-defined commands, CTRL/O to break a line, CTRL/U to enter a numeric argument ...
Slo
2021-11-08 22:41:00 UTC
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Post by Lawrence D’Oliveiro
For anybody brought up on VMS Ctrl-Y is hardly the best to recover...
The fun doesn’t stop there: how about CTRL/S for forward search, CTRL/Q to literally enter the next character, CTRL/X as a prefix for multi-keystroke commands, CTRL/C as a prefix reserved for user-defined commands, CTRL/O to break a line, CTRL/U to enter a numeric argument ...
I'm aware of Emac's power, but how does it manage to grab all those
CTRL combos from the terminal driver? Can't check now, does SET TERMINAL /PASSTHRU
exist? It's been a long time...
Way before Emacs, I was in love with Wordstar on CP/M and it's "cross" made
from CTRL+
QWER
ASDF
ZXC
(Gamers today use the same keys, but without CTRL, of course.)
That was extremly productive -- using the main keyboard for input
an total control. This layout was an option in many other tools at the
time. Sadly, the IDIOTS who designed the IBM PC
keyboard moved the CTRL key to the bottom left, making it
barely usable only for ^X ^C ^V ^D, most other commands now
require two hands.
At that point, I stopped using Wordstar on Windows; for some time, folks
would remap the Caps Lock key to CTRL, but eventually all software
using the cross died away -- because of some idiot keyboard designer,
who never touch-typed or programmed.
Lawrence D’Oliveiro
2021-11-08 23:23:57 UTC
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Post by Slo
I'm aware of Emac's power, but how does it manage to grab all those
CTRL combos from the terminal driver?
cfmakeraw, I guess <https://manpages.debian.org/bullseye/manpages-dev/termios.3.en.html>.

And it does better than that: I just tried running it as a non-GUI app via an SSH session to a remote machine, and it was able to pick up the alt and meta key modifiers as well.
Post by Slo
That was extremly productive -- using the main keyboard for input
an total control.
I like the fact that we have more keys available nowadays. For example, I have “+” and “-” on the numeric keypad defined to jump forward and backward between section-header comments.

What’s a section-header comment? Well, back in my early student days, I was exposed to a fair amount of PDP-11 assembly code which used “;+” and ”;-” to demarcate blocks of comments at the start of sections of code. I liked the idea so much, I use the convention to this day. In languages where the line-comment initiator is “#” (like Python or bash) I use “#+” and “#-”. But Emacs being Emacs, I can define a single pair of commands which will cope with all these possibilities (and others).
Post by Slo
... for some time, folks would remap the Caps Lock key to CTRL, but eventually all
software using the cross died away -- because of some idiot keyboard designer,
who never touch-typed or programmed.
Don’t most editors allow you to remap key bindings, like Emacs does?
Arne Vajhøj
2021-11-09 00:35:25 UTC
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Post by Lawrence D’Oliveiro
Post by Slo
... for some time, folks would remap the Caps Lock key to CTRL, but eventually all
software using the cross died away -- because of some idiot keyboard designer,
who never touch-typed or programmed.
Don’t most editors allow you to remap key bindings, like Emacs does?
It is a common feature.

But there are some limitations when using VT terminal (emulation)
compared to local application running on PC.

Arne
Bob Eager
2021-11-09 01:07:55 UTC
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Post by Lawrence D’Oliveiro
Post by Slo
I'm aware of Emac's power, but how does it manage to grab all those
CTRL combos from the terminal driver?
cfmakeraw, I guess
<https://manpages.debian.org/bullseye/manpages-dev/termios.3.en.html>.
And it does better than that: I just tried running it as a non-GUI app
via an SSH session to a remote machine, and it was able to pick up the
alt and meta key modifiers as well.
On VMS?
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Lawrence D’Oliveiro
2021-11-09 01:21:30 UTC
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Post by Bob Eager
On VMS?
No.

Unless you want to revive my proposal for how to implement a VMS-compatible layer on top of Linux ...
Bob Eager
2021-11-09 09:38:18 UTC
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Post by Lawrence D’Oliveiro
Post by Bob Eager
On VMS?
No.
Unless you want to revive my proposal for how to implement a
VMS-compatible layer on top of Linux ...
The question was about how raw terminal input is done on VMS.

Or perhaps you didn't read that bit.
--
My posts are my copyright and if @diy_forums or Home Owners' Hub
wish to copy them they can pay me £1 a message.
Use the BIG mirror service in the UK: http://www.mirrorservice.org
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Slo
2021-11-09 10:01:52 UTC
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Post by Bob Eager
Post by Lawrence D’Oliveiro
Post by Bob Eager
On VMS?
No.
Unless you want to revive my proposal for how to implement a
VMS-compatible layer on top of Linux ...
The question was about how raw terminal input is done on VMS.
Or perhaps you didn't read that bit.
In my DEC days, we were using VMS workstations and EDT/EVE/LSE, but
somebody switched to Emacs and raved about it. But it ran in DECwindows
GUI, not on VTs. That's why I never switched to it -- on VMS. It may be
fun to do it on Windows/Linux, but, as they say, you learn only 1.01
editors in your life, so I would never be as productive as I am now.
Yes, the question is still, how does one circumvent those legacy
CTRL strokes that are limiting keyboard features which are no
problem on other platforms.
Just checked, SET TERMINAL/PASTHRU and /NOTTSYNC exist.
Any examples where this is put to good use?
Bob Eager
2021-11-09 10:12:00 UTC
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Post by Slo
Post by Bob Eager
Post by Lawrence D’Oliveiro
Post by Bob Eager
On VMS?
No.
Unless you want to revive my proposal for how to implement a
VMS-compatible layer on top of Linux ...
The question was about how raw terminal input is done on VMS.
Or perhaps you didn't read that bit.
In my DEC days, we were using VMS workstations and EDT/EVE/LSE, but
somebody switched to Emacs and raved about it. But it ran in DECwindows
GUI, not on VTs. That's why I never switched to it -- on VMS. It may be
fun to do it on Windows/Linux, but, as they say, you learn only 1.01
editors in your life, so I would never be as productive as I am now.
I agree! I learned 'ed' on UNIX in 1975. Used variants of that for years,
but got a small EMACS clone that came with my first PC. Still using
EMACS...
--
My posts are my copyright and if @diy_forums or Home Owners' Hub
wish to copy them they can pay me £1 a message.
Use the BIG mirror service in the UK: http://www.mirrorservice.org
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Arne Vajhøj
2021-11-09 13:32:38 UTC
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Post by Slo
Post by Bob Eager
Post by Lawrence D’Oliveiro
Post by Bob Eager
On VMS?
No.
Unless you want to revive my proposal for how to implement a
VMS-compatible layer on top of Linux ...
The question was about how raw terminal input is done on VMS.
Or perhaps you didn't read that bit.
In my DEC days, we were using VMS workstations and EDT/EVE/LSE, but
somebody switched to Emacs and raved about it. But it ran in DECwindows
GUI, not on VTs. That's why I never switched to it -- on VMS.
I am pretty sure that emacs did run (not well but) text mode on VMS
late 80's.

I recall having to first run it once to compile all the Lisp stuff,
dump it to a disk file and then startup on that.

Anybody else remember?

Arne
Simon Clubley
2021-11-09 18:52:54 UTC
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Post by Slo
Just checked, SET TERMINAL/PASTHRU and /NOTTSYNC exist.
Any examples where this is put to good use?
File transfers over a serial port.

Simon.
--
Simon Clubley, ***@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
Walking destinations on a map are further away than they appear.
Lawrence D’Oliveiro
2021-11-09 21:17:19 UTC
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Post by Simon Clubley
Post by Slo
Just checked, SET TERMINAL/PASTHRU and /NOTTSYNC exist.
Any examples where this is put to good use?
File transfers over a serial port.
Actually, I think Kermit manages that with minimal reliance on non-printable characters.

A better example might be something like PPP, which I think makes more use of all eight bits of each byte.
Lawrence D’Oliveiro
2021-11-09 21:10:49 UTC
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... as they say, you learn only 1.01 editors in your life ...
I have learned more than that. I previously mentioned VTED, our local TECO-based editor back in my first/second-year days. I even implemented a similar editor, in Pascal, for a third-year programming project. Then EDT on the VAX (spit). Then TPU/EVE (yay). There was something called VEW on a Wicat, or was it CTOS, system at my first post-graduation job (see how little I remember of it). MPW on the Macintosh, which I preferred to CodeWarrior. Then vi, because that was the only thing you could be sure would be present on every proprietary Unix system. Then when Unix was pushed aside by Linux, and I could be sure Emacs would always be available, I switched to that.
Lawrence D’Oliveiro
2021-11-09 21:15:24 UTC
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Post by Slo
In my DEC days, we were using VMS workstations and EDT/EVE/LSE, but
somebody switched to Emacs and raved about it. But it ran in DECwindows
GUI, not on VTs.
That surprises me, considering Emacs was born on text terminals, not on GUIs, and only received GUI capabilities later.

In fact, disagreement over how to add the GUI support was a core factor in the schism between GNU Emacs and Lucid Emacs/XEmacs. But that didn’t happen until the 1990s sometime, as I recall.
Lawrence D’Oliveiro
2021-11-09 21:06:01 UTC
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Post by Bob Eager
Post by Lawrence D’Oliveiro
Post by Bob Eager
On VMS?
No.
Unless you want to revive my proposal for how to implement a
VMS-compatible layer on top of Linux ...
The question was about how raw terminal input is done on VMS.
Or perhaps you didn't read that bit.
Only to wonder why, if Linux can do it, why not VMS ...
Dave Froble
2021-11-10 00:21:07 UTC
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Post by Lawrence D’Oliveiro
Post by Bob Eager
Post by Lawrence D’Oliveiro
Post by Bob Eager
On VMS?
No.
Unless you want to revive my proposal for how to implement a
VMS-compatible layer on top of Linux ...
The question was about how raw terminal input is done on VMS.
Or perhaps you didn't read that bit.
Only to wonder why, if Linux can do it, why not VMS ...
Few things are impossible. The real questions are cost and value.
--
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Dave Froble Enterprises, Inc. E-Mail: ***@tsoft-inc.com
DFE Ultralights, Inc.
170 Grimplin Road
Vanderbilt, PA 15486
Lawrence D’Oliveiro
2021-11-10 04:48:51 UTC
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Post by Lawrence D’Oliveiro
Only to wonder why, if Linux can do it, why not VMS ...
Few things are impossible. The real questions are cost and value.
The cost and value of reinventing the wheel? Of bringing something to VMS that Linux already has?

Versus the cost of bringing VMS (in some form) to Linux, where all these things come as standard?
Lawrence D’Oliveiro
2021-11-09 21:05:09 UTC
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Post by Lawrence D’Oliveiro
And it does better than that: I just tried running it as a non-GUI app via an SSH
session to a remote machine, and it was able to pick up the alt and meta key
modifiers as well.
Of course, “alt” and “meta” are the same thing. That should have been “pick up the alt/meta and super key modifiers as well”.
John H. Reinhardt
2021-11-04 22:10:34 UTC
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I ran across this keyboard
https://3dconnexion.com/us/product/keyboard-pro-with-numpad/
and am considering buying it (it's 129$) as a replacement for my LK464 keyboard that I use with Linux for EDT on OpenVMS. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with it.
Jeff Coffield
www.digitalsynergyinc.com
It's not cheap, but this is an excellent keyboard with a nearly perfect VT220 layout.

Loading Image...

Amazon - $139 US https://www.amazon.com/Matias-Tactile-Pro-Keyboard-Mac/dp/B003N3HFI6

It's labeled for the Mac but will work on Windows PC. They have a Windows PC version but the keypad is missing the "+" key like all PC keyboard. Only the Mac version has the full size keypad.

There is a Win/Mac aluminum keyboard which has the right layout, but I don't like the flat, thin keys. http://matias.ca/aluminum/wireless/
--
John H. Reinhardt
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