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Thread: "Bell Key"

  1. #1
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    Default "Bell Key"

    I have a query why do original Apple ]['s and ][+'s have a bell key? Does it serve a purpose of did the keyboard Jobs and Woz source designed for another machine that used the bell key. My guides is that the bell key does something in basic to activate the speaker yt? That is just a stupid guess. If anyone can help thanks!

  2. #2
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    Lots of old computer keyboards have the Bell Key. Pretty sure the Kaypro and Osborne 1 did as well.
    When in terminal Mode Control -G would make the Bell tone. It was a way of making sure the remote operator would come back to their terminal to continue a task or send a file. Back in the 90's My friends and I would send Warez to each other. We would use the Bell tone so alert the other side the file was done copying. I am sure it had other uses, but that was the use for me.

  3. #3

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    I'd hazard a guess that the original keyboards were probably a generic TTY/terminal keyboard adapted for the purpose (IIRC, isn't it actually a full-fledged separate ASCII keyboard under the hood?) So the "BELL" mark is on the G key for the reason VERAULT specified (Control-G in the ASCII set is the BEL control character,) whether or not the Apple II's BASIC interpreter recognized and responded to it. By the time they got around to later models, they were more design-conscious and in a better position to have somebody create a custom-styled alternative part that didn't have the generic elements.
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    Quote Originally Posted by abruno17 View Post
    I have a query why do original Apple ]['s and ][+'s have a bell key?
    Because the keyboard manufacturer put a bell key there. Woz or Apple didn't design the keyboard. You could ask a similar question: why were the slots originally green? Because that's the color the manufacturer produced them in.

    The only substantial hardware that was original to the Apple II was the power supply.

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=commodorejohn;622708 whether or not the Apple II's BASIC interpreter recognized and responded to it. [/QUOTE]

    The Bell Tone (when CTRL and G are pressed together) has worked on every apple II I have ever tried. I think it may work on the IIgs but I dont remember off hand.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by DFinnigan View Post
    Because the keyboard manufacturer put a bell key there. Woz or Apple didn't design the keyboard. You could ask a similar question: why were the slots originally green? Because that's the color the manufacturer produced them in.

    The only substantial hardware that was original to the Apple II was the power supply.
    I don't agree whatsoever. Yes, Datanetics developed the Apple II's keyboard. But, the keyboards were developed under the guidance of Apple. The CTRL-G isn't hard-coded into the key switch. It is merely printed on the key cap, and the keyboard encoder maps an ASCII code of 7 to that switch's X/Y position. Apple had total control of the keyboard encoder (which is why no MM5740 encoder's key matrix is like Apple's version of it,) as well as the key caps, including the selection of colors and font. If Apple really didn't want the "BELL" printed, Woz and Jobs would have said so.

    Regarding substantial hardware, LOL you just ripped every point of Woz's legacy in one sentence, and completely destroyed the biographies of the man ever written.

  7. #7
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    Long live the Woz. That man is still my hero.. Even if his autobiography "iWOZ" wasnt particularly good.

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by abruno17 View Post
    I have a query why do original Apple ]['s and ][+'s have a bell key? Does it serve a purpose of did the keyboard Jobs and Woz source designed for another machine that used the bell key. My guides is that the bell key does something in basic to activate the speaker yt? That is just a stupid guess. If anyone can help thanks!
    The original Apple II keyboard is a slightly modified Datanetics keyboard, very similar to the Datanetics, rev D keyboard that was used with some Apple 1 computers. That keyboard includes the same "BELL" lettering as early Apple II keyboards. Type Control-G and any of these keyboards will send an ASCII BELL character to the Apple II keyboard input. If you take a look, the key cap legends resemble a teletype keyboard to a surprising degree.

    See my early Apple II keyboard page for some discussion of these early keyboards. Note that tooling for two part keycaps as were used on these keyboards is rather more expensive than you would think, so changes would not be made without some thought.

    http://www.willegal.net/appleii/early-a2-keyboards.htm

    regards,
    Mike Willegal

  9. #9
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    Pardon the intrusion, but your mention of the key construction brings to mind a question that I've asked a couple of keyboard vendors: Does anyone make double-shot key caps anymore?


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