VOGONS


First post, by hejluxom

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

I'm looking at and old hardware that has 10 function keys, and not 12. Does anyone knows when we started to use 12? What was the turning point? Trying to pinpoint the hardware in time, due to there is know info and bad pictures about it. 😁

Reply 1 of 8, by Anonymous Coward

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Probably 1985, possibly 1986. I believe that was when IBM introduced the model M as an option for the AT (model 339) and XT (model 086). They probably lingered on through the rest of the 80s, and there were people who preferred their function keys on the left side rather than on top, so you could still buy keyboards like that new, but they usually had 12 function keys as far as I remember.

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 2 of 8, by hejluxom

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
Anonymous Coward wrote on 2020-09-17, 13:07:

Probably 1985, possibly 1986. I believe that was when IBM introduced the model M as an option for the AT (model 339) and XT (model 086). They probably lingered on through the rest of the 80s, and there were people who preferred their function keys on the left side rather than on top, so you could still buy keyboards like that new, but they usually had 12 function keys as far as I remember.

I'm totally lost in this topic, just found some really old Toshiba laptops from around 1985, and they had only 10 functions keys... I was hoping it can be connected to some version of DOS or so...

Reply 4 of 8, by rmay635703

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Some of the very old PCs used for terminals had 24 function keys One of my AT/XT keyboards with this layout is dated 1985

Not really sure outside financials when the function keys got much use

Usually
F1 help
F2 Menu
F3 Print
F4 fold/tab
F12 (don’t remember but it seemed to be used a lot)
F24 clear screen

The rest of the keys didn’t seem to see much use from what I can remember unless you were running JDE or some other nonsense

Reply 6 of 8, by radiounix

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

The IBM PC/XT and AT shipped with what are now known as 83/84 key layout keyboards. The PC/XT keyboards are electronically incompatible with anything but an XT class machine, but the AT keyboards should be compatible with any AT keyboard controller -- even if the computer uses a PS/2 socket. You can tell them apart because XT keyboards have no indicator lights whereas AT keyboards have three status lights on the upper right corner. In 1986, IBM introduced a 101 key deluxe Model M keyboardfor the IBM AT which came to define their later IBM PS/2 line. The Model M and all newer keyboards are known as 101 key keyboards. Microsoft introduced the Windows key in 1995 for Windows 95, and keyboards with it are known as 104 key keyboards. That's the modern kind.

Generally, a keyboard with the function keys on the side and no directional keys will be from the mid or late 1980s. This was the original layout. IBM introduced the PS/2 connector in 1987, but many Taiwanese clone computers used the full AT DIN plug into the Pentium era and so many keyboards used that socket into the late 90s. Brand names such as Packard Bell and HP usually switched to the PS/2 connector for their 386s and late-era 286s, and a OEM keyboard with a full AT DIN plug is very old. AT/XT compatibility switches were a fad in the late 80s and early 90s and soon died out as XT class hardware got thrown out. Windows keys pretty much took over the market in 1995/1996, as Windows 95 was a huuuuge deal, so if a keyboard lacks a Windows key, it was probably made before then. Seems like rubber membrane domes edged out rubber dome and slider, foam and mechanical switch technologies that used individual keyswitches bolted to a PCB around this time.

Reply 7 of 8, by Jo22

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

This reminds me of the 90s and the early Linux days.
From what I remember, the Win95 keys were not very popular among *nix fans in general.
For a while, Linux users were after "clean" keyboards without extra keys from "evil" MS corp.
Later on, things calmed down. Linux people even thougt about giving USB a chance. 😉
Anyway, back to topic. The Win95 keys were also called "Super keys", according to the web..
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_key ... rd_button)

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 8 of 8, by Anonymous Coward

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

I always hated the windows keys, and I still do. I held out a *really* long time. I think I finally got one in 2010 or so when I bought my first PC laptop.

I had a friend who was really into the 84-key AT keyboard. He originally had one on an 5170 AT, and he carried it over to a 10MHz Everex 286, and then a 12MHz version....then later to his 386DX-40. I can't remember if he stopped using it because it broke or because there were games he couldn't run, but I think it disappeared somewhere between the DX2-66 and the P120. I used to give him a pretty hard time about it, but now that I think about it, it was actually kind of cool.

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium