While we're all accustomed to using
* as the multiplication symbol (not to mention other esoteric meanings in programming) it is of course not actually the everyday standard symbol for multiplication. And yet, there is no
× key on any normal keyboard.
Given the lack of
× I can see why
* was the next-best choice, but why is it there at all? What did it mean originally and or what use did it have?
Every 'standard' "IBM-PC" type keyboard I can every remember using had this symbol. Possibly some Solaris terminals may or may not have (can't recall). The C64 had it. In any case it seems to go way back to at least the early 80s, I'd bet earlier.
[I searched for "asterisk" on here but didn't find this question already; if I missed a dupe, please point it out.]