What is the name of the back arrow key on top left corner of the C64 Keyboard?
Is it escape or back? Also I don't recall using this key. What was the intended usage of it?
Retrocomputing Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for vintage-computer hobbyists interested in restoring, preserving, and using the classic computer and gaming systems of yesteryear. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
According to this source, which seems to have been written with visibility of ANSI X3.4-1963, the original ASCII standard, it's simply "a left-pointing arrow. This character was used as an assignment operator in some programming languages."
The character lives on in unicode as U+2190 where it has the formal name "LEFTWARDS ARROW".
It's unlikely to have been an influence on Commodore, but ← continued to serve as an assignment operator at least as late as Smalltalk-80:
It actually typed a left-pointing arrow. It's from an early version of ASCII (1963 rather than the "modern" 1967 version) that was used for the basis of PETSCII; in the 1967 version of ASCII we know and love today, this character was replaced with an underscore. I don't recall if it has a name; it's probably just "left-arrow" or something.
I only recall it as being referred to as 'left arrow' but I think it also had a function when used with the Control key, as some of the other keys did. For example in programming you might type: PRINT "Q" (was that the clear screen command, does anyone remember?) or PRINT " <-" There were different CTRL- combinations that moved the cursor around, cleared the screen and so on...