[multicians] Emacs humor

jwsmobile jws at jwsss.com
Tue Dec 1 19:59:42 CST 2015

On 12/1/2015 5:43 PM, 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.
> 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... :-)
It is emacs, if you read other discussions of emacs.  The evolution of 
various OS, input methods and terminals and the many homes for versions 
of emacs lead to these terms being deeply embedded in the editor.  Just 
hitting a key and having the cursor move back was once a difficult 
feat.  Then having the character there erased by a space (and accurately 
have both motions accurately reflected in the buffer) was another event.

Emacs truly went crazy expanding the editing and keyboard motions.

I don't have an article to point to, and am not an emacs expert / fan.  
I sent this thread on to another friend who is a very old time user as 
my usual aggravation.


>     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

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