[Marc P]: I actually wished the keys had MORE printed symbols. I could never figure out how to make the heart or smiley face characters that many of the games in my dad's computer magazines required! GRRRR!!!
The heart symbol is on the S key. There's no smiley visible though; I don't remember how that was accessed. You can see the keys more clearly here. I don't really buy the "visually confusing" comment either. The main (letter) function of each key was clear - there were just other things it could do too. I'll admit the layout could probably be improved though. [ January 10, 2008: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]
These were dreadful. I've never seen the Atari version, but in 1984 I worked at a factory that manufactured these for someone else.
I still have dreams about working there. On one hand, it was a dismal environment (a lot of temps never returned from lunch on their first day), but on the other hand, there's something to be said for work that's mindless, repetitive, and low-stress.
"We're kind of on the level of crossword puzzle writers... And no one ever goes to them and gives them an award." ~Joe Strummer sscce.org
Originally posted by marc weber: ...in 1984 I worked at a factory that manufactured these for someone else...
One day we produced hundreds of defects destined for the dumpster. I asked if I could take them home because (at the time) I thought these would look cool covering an entire wall. My supervisor asked his supervisor, and someone in the front office decided that wouldn't be a good idea. Probably one of those cases in which I should have just done it without asking.
Anyway, I found one of these on eBay. Apparently the product was a 300 baud terminal that hooked up to a television set. I'm tempted to buy this for the sake of nostalgia and 80's retro-geekness.