[multicians] Emacs humor

Johnny Billquist bqt at update.uu.se
Tue Dec 1 19:48:56 CST 2015

On 2015-12-02 02:43, Johnny Billquist wrote:
> Nice.
> But, of course, Emacs was not developed on Lisp machines. TECO was a DEC
> edtior/language, and Emacs came about on PDP-10 machines. I think
> originally with ITS, but it could also be ran on TOPS-20.

I should probably correct myself right away. TECO was developed at MIT. 
DEC included it in pretty much all systems they made, but it did not 
originate with them. I don't know if TECO was ported elsewhere back 
then, but there certainly exists TECO ports to other system nowadays.
But the ITS TECO was/is rather different than most other dialects of 
TECO, so don't expect to be able to run Emacs on any TECO interpreter 
you might have...


> About the cokebottle reference, here's the quote from JARGON.TXT:
> COKEBOTTLE n. Any very unusual character.  MIT people complain about
>     the "control-meta-cokebottle" commands at SAIL, and SAIL people
>     complain about the "altmode-altmode-cokebottle" commands at MIT.
> So that really did not have anything to do with Emacs. But this is all
> ancient history by now, and I'm not surprised history has twisted some
> facts... :-)
>      Johnny
> On 2015-12-02 02:31, jwsmobile wrote:
>> This is a funny cartoon and subsequent discussion thread from the
>> Multics discussion group about emacs.
>> Names and personal info edited out due to archival by unknown parties of
>> the list and that these folks might not want names and certainly not
>> email addresses archived.  Mentioning that not as a criticism, just to
>> explain the format.  I also edited the thread back to bottom posting.
>> Original XKCD cartoon link.
>> https://xkcd.com/378/
>>  >> From: Multicians <snip>
>>  >> Subject: Re: [multicians] Emacs humor
>>  >>
>>  >>>
>>  >>>
>>  >>> Thanks, Gary.  As an emacs diehart, I fully appreciate that.  In
>> fact, there is a silly phrase that many emacs users use, when referring
>> to all the obscure key bindings that you get by default with emacs, or
>> can create.  It.s called:
>>  >>>
>>  >>> Control-Meta-Shift-Cokebottle
>>  >>>
>>  >>> I believe the history (someone can correct me if I.m wrong) is that
>> Emacs was developed at the MIT AI Lab (by Richard Stallman) and
>> initially written in Teco. It was developed on Lisp machines, which
>> sported lots of modification keys on its keyboard. These included
>> Control, Shift, Hyper, Meta, Super (and perhaps more). Naturally, emacs
>> took advantage of some of these . at least those that were available on
>> multiple terminals or could be emulated on lesser terminals. I remember
>> when I worked at MIT LCS (down the hall from MIT AI), we had a key
>> binding on our Lisp Machines that called the elevator to the 8th floor.
>> I don.t remember the key binding, but I.m sure it used a few of these
>> modification keys (and probably .e. for .elevator. as the modified key).
>> In any case, the class of these funky key bindings was referred to as
>> Control-Meta-Shift-Cokebottle.
>>  >>>
>>  >>> I.m sure I.ve gotten some of the facts wrong, but I.m also sure
>> that at least someone on this list will correct me!
>>  >>>
>>  >>> . Eric
>>  >>
>>  >
>>  >
>>  >> On Dec 1, 2015, at 11:30 AM, Ken  <snip>> wrote:
>>  >>
>>  >>
>>  >> I seem to recall that one of the Lisp machine keyboard modifiers was
>> "Top", and that the phrase was therefore
>>  >>
>>  >>> Control-Shift-Meta-Top-Cokebottle
>>  >>>
>>  >> Where, of course, you were typing the "Cokebottle" key with the
>> Control, Shift, Meta, and Top modifier keys depressed.
>>  >>
>>  >> I think the elevator hack involved the AI Lab PDP-6 (or maybe,
>> later, PDP-10), but I wouldn't be surprised if it migrated to the Lisp
>> machines, too  The old -6, especially, had added hardware to enable it
>> to control the various robot devices the AI lab played with.  Some AI
>> Lab hardware guys gained access to the machinery room on the 10th floor
>> and added some extra relay circuitry to one of the elevator controllers,
>> and it wasn't much of a stretch to run the control wires down to the 9th
>> floor machine room. IIRC it took a few years for whatever company was
>> responsible for maintaining the elevators to discover the unauthorized
>> modification and remove it.
>>  >>
>>  >> How long it stayed removed is an entirely different question, of
>> course.
>>  >>
>>  >> Ken
>>  >>   MIT-LCS '72-'80
>>  >>   Multics ARPANET software
>>  >>
>> On 12/1/2015 11:42 AM, Eric  <snip> [multicians] wrote:
>>  >
>>  >
>>  > I just knew I had that facts wrong! Yes, you.re right. I remember the
>> Top key now.
>>  >
>>  > I do know that the elevator hack worked on Lisp machines, but I think
>> you.re right that it also worked on some other interfaces.  I remember
>> getting frustrated when I.d be .ready to leave. (at 2am, or so), and
>> would call the elevator, and then I.d have to fix .one more bug., and by
>> the time I got to the elevator, I actually had to push the boring old
>> button to get the elevator doors to open!  :-)
>>  >
>>  > . Eric

Johnny Billquist                  || "I'm on a bus
                                   ||  on a psychedelic trip
email: bqt at softjar.se             ||  Reading murder books
pdp is alive!                     ||  tryin' to stay hip" - B. Idol

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