[Photos] DEC VT180 Robin WPS keyboard - It's a legend!

This is a keyboard that came with a DEC VT180 Robin computer that I got some time ago. It is an optional Word Processing System specific keyboard that has the same functionality as a DEC VT100 keyboard but has special legends for Word Processing functionality. The DEC Robin is essentially a VT100 terminal with extra boards to make it a full fledged computer.

If you like legends, you'll like this one. Of note are the multi-coloured key caps with the most upper right key on the numeric keypad being gold. This is known as the "Gold Key" and this one key even has it's own Wikipedia page!. Pressing the Gold key along with a key that had a front legend printed on it would produce the named function.

Another unique feature is that a small number of keys not only have front legends but also "side legends". I'm not sure if this is unique to this keyboard but it's pretty cool and they are quite visible! One of the funny front legends also indicated that there is a "Dead Key" :)

While this looks almost identical to the VT-100 keyboard (the mechanics are essentially the same), this one has a custom mat that is affixed around the keyboard and numpad mechanisms that have helper key top graphics printed in various locations to assist the operator in finding hot keys quickly.

This keyboard consisting of Hi-Tek linear key switches. It is in the Wiki here but here are the pics for your forum viewing pleasure:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
snuci
User avatar
Vintage computer guy

Unread post07 Jan 2017, 21:33

User avatar
X
snuci
Vintage computer guy
 
Posts: 986
Joined: 23 Sep 2015, 13:20
Location: Ontario, Canada
Club member: 0131
 
What a beaut! Side legends...gold key...man keyboard manufacturers are so lousy these days. I want a modern version of these in a triple shot. Nice photos Snuci.
Harshmallow
User avatar

Unread post08 Jan 2017, 04:44

User avatar
X
Harshmallow
 
Posts: 516
Joined: 08 Dec 2016, 01:03
Location: Canada
Main keyboard: Various (Home) / NMB RT-101+ Intel (Work)
Main mouse: Logitech G600 (Home)/Logitech dime-a-dozen (Work)
Favorite switch: 4323423
Club member: 0187
 
Yeah I saw this in the wiki last night, very nice thanks for sharing! Interesting idea with those side legends, never seen that before. I love how DEC placed the disk drives on top of the CRT for the VT180.
seebart
User avatar
Offtopicthority Instigator

Unread post08 Jan 2017, 07:11

User avatar
X
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator
 
Posts: 10055
Joined: 22 Nov 2013, 20:20
Location: Germany
Main keyboard: Rotation
Main mouse: Roccat Kova+
Favorite switch: Beam Spring
Club member: 0061
 
 
Thanks for the photo and info.

During the late 80s or early 90s, my parents had me do data entry for their company at their account's office (so they wouldn't have to pay for the accountant's employee to do it). I entered the data on some variety of DEC machine with a keyboard like that. I don't remember how the keyboard felt, but I do remember being fascinated with all of the functions on the keycaps.

The DEC had an external box holding two 8 inch floppy drives. One drive held the program disk and the other the data disk. The machine was so slow that I was able to type faster than the machine was able to accept input (there was some sort of keyboard buffer, however).
UnFocused

Unread post27 Jan 2017, 17:18

X
UnFocused
 
Posts: 36
Joined: 31 Mar 2016, 17:40
Location: USA
Club member: -
 
Thanks for sharing the photos! I love the shade of red on the del/cut caps. I'm not sure if that is the original color of it has aged to that color but its so rich and lovely.
Engicoder

Unread post27 Jan 2017, 17:27

X
Engicoder
 
Posts: 621
Joined: 24 Oct 2012, 14:44
Location: NC, USA
Main keyboard: Leading Edge DC-2214
Main mouse: Corsair M45
Favorite switch: Hi-Tek Yellow
Club member: 0117
 
Crappy switches, beautiful board. Man, imagine having that on your desk!
Chyros
User avatar

Unread post27 Jan 2017, 17:40

User avatar
X
Chyros
 
Posts: 3417
Joined: 28 Feb 2015, 22:04
Location: The Netherlands
Main keyboard: whatever I'm reviewing next :p
Main mouse: a cheap Logitech
Favorite switch: Alps SKCM Blue
Club member: 0152
 
 
Love those sphericals!
zslane
User avatar

Unread post27 Jan 2017, 17:48

User avatar
X
zslane
 
Posts: 2197
Joined: 22 Jul 2015, 23:54
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
Main keyboard: RealForce RGB
Main mouse: Basic Microsoft USB mouse
Favorite switch: Topre
Club member: -
 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: E3E, Kurplop and 25 guests