Keyboard Builders' Digest
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Keyboard Builders' Digest / Keyboard Spotting


The IBM Lighted Program Function Keyboard (LPFK) was used as an extra input device when doing computer aided design on the IBM RS/6000 series of machines. Posted by epearl-tv.
Published October 15, 2021

So this nice piece of computer history was posted by epearl-tv but the virtual trophy for the real contribution goes to mika_vs_the_USA who actually worked with this sick vintage macropad back in the Golden Age.

According to this page the IBM Lighted Program Function Keyboard (LPFK) was originally used as an extra input device when doing computer aided design on the IBM RS/6000 series of machines. It connected to the machine by a special port or by the serial port. IBM also made an attachment kit so that you could connect it to the serial port of a generic PC.

I was in Drafting and mechanical design back in the 90's at Boeing and we used the CATIA Product to make parts (Computer Aided, Three Dimensional, Interactive Application) or something like that. We had a 4-button puck with a crosshair and tablet board to move it around on, and this device you posted is called a LPFK (Lighted Programmable Function Keypad). You would select the function you wanted, like a circle to make holes in a part, then type in the radius/diameter. We also had a stand up device with 8 knobs on it, to spin the parts around. Spent many hours designing 737-x and 777 parts on these for the flightdeck area. Wow, flashback! – mika_vs_the_USA

Published on Fri 15th Oct 2021. Featured in KBD #48 (source).

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