Remember my article on why vi uses hjkl keys? It got very popular so I thought I'd also do an article about Emacs.
When Stallman and Steele created Emacs, they both worked at MIT's AI lab. The systems they worked on had these funny keyboards with a bunch of extra keys called
Control. Meta was closer to the pinky finger so that's why it was adopted by Emacs. Hyper and Super not so much.
Here is how the full keyboard looked back in the day:
The IBM PC keyboards don't have Super, Hyper, or Meta keys.
Meta key is
Alt on IBM PCs, and
Control is the same
Control. So when you see
M- notation in Emacs documents, it actually means Alt key.
Extra geekiness: TECO and DDT song. TECO was a direct ancestor of Emacs, which was originally implemented in TECO macros.
Until next time!