[its-hackers] Knight (and SAIL) keyboard replicas

Joseph Oswald josephoswald at gmail.com
Mon Dec 20 19:01:25 CET 2021

Lars: did you mean to point at

https://github.com/larsbrinkhoff/Knight_and_SAIL_keyboard or
https://github.com/osiweb/unified_retro_keyboard/issues/37 ?

I'm a little surprised that you can't find some other keycaps already
manufactured for other replicas. I suspect the vendors of this kind of
thing might already have tooling for things like the SpaceCadet keyboard,
where I suppose most of the SAIL/Knight keyboards are a subset(??)

A random web search led me, for example,
http://www.7bit.info/honeyb/_CADET.html which seems to list a number of caps

There seem to have been multiple "group buys" for this kind of thing,
though I can't follow what process they actually describe. This is all
getting into the kind of ghoulish keyboard cult that cares more about these
unusual keyboards than the machines themselves (which hurts people trying
to actually find them for old Symbolics hardware).

On Mon, Dec 20, 2021 at 12:30 PM Ken Harrenstien <iceklh at gmail.com> wrote:

> Uh, that link doesn't seem to work for me.
> Despite the additional bucky bits, I don't really remember
> any ITS programs that depended on the Knight kbds except perhaps D
> (the circuit drawing program) and some command functions
> specific to the TK TV system.  The keyboard itself was well made
> with nice Cherry switches, although now you can order a bewildering
> variety of them with all kinds of preferences in the way they
> feel and operate and sound and light up.  Also, IIRC the originals
> were physically quite large compared with modern keyboards so
> you'll need plenty of desk space and perhaps a chair height
> adjustment.
> There is an internal mailing list at Google called mechanical-keyboards
> which has a fair bit of discussion amongst the key-crazed.  I almost
> ordered one of the more popular configurations but got
> stuck trying to decide between all the key and keycap varieties,
> and then was overtaken by events.  So I'm somewhat interested but
> have no time.
> --Ken
> On Mon, Dec 20, 2021 at 8:54 AM Lars Brinkhoff <lars at nocrew.org> wrote:
>> Hello,
>> I'm trying to gauge the interest in keyboard replicas.  The ones I have
>> in mind would be modeled on the keyboard for the Knight TV, and the
>> similar SAIL keyboard.  Apparently there's a large start-up cost for
>> making key caps, so the more orders the merrier.
>> The Knight keyboard is useful for running ITS, and the SAIL keyboard
>> would be really good for some of the WAITS applications.
>> More info here:
>> https://github.com/osiweb/unified_retro_keyboard/issues/37--
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