Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 14th Jan 2010 11:37 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems It's funny how while software changes so fast, and many hardware components evolve at ridiculously fast paces (processors, memory, hard drives), the keyboard has remained largely unchanged over the years - until recently, that is. Even Lenovo has now buckled under the pressure, switching to a chiclet-style keyboard for ThinkPads - while also removing the SysReq key.
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SysRq on Sun Type 5 keyboard
by Doc Pain on Thu 14th Jan 2010 19:15 UTC
Doc Pain
Member since:
2006-10-08

Thom's article states: "Mac keyboards had no use for the key, and neither did Sun's; my venerable Sun Type 5 doesn't have it." I've checked both my type 5 (de) and 5c (en) keyboards - both do have a SysRq key; it's the alternate function labeled to the Pause key (on the key's front). The same is true for my Sun Type 6 USB keyboard, and I'm sure the type 7 one keep it the same way.

Furthermore: "Wikipedia is sparse on the key's history, but states that it traces its origins back to the operator interrupt key found on IBM 3270-type console keyboards for IBM System/370 mainframes. I'm sure someone in the audience today can provide a more detailed historical note on this one (I'm too young for this)." I've also checked my (pre)historic 3270 keyboard as well as the 5250 I have (and use): The key as initially been labeled "Attn" (de: Abruf) with a second line "SysRq" (de: S-Abf) on it. It was one of the "attention keys" that caused data traffic between the terminal logic and the mainframe host. Its meaning has been depending on the particular program and software installation.

Edited 2010-01-14 19:23 UTC

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