Sunday, January 15, 2012

Use Disuse Use - Keyboards

I had a previous post about parts of the computer that have fell by the wayside. What I realized the other day is that the keyboard has a more interesting story.

Here it is:

Once upon a time, the keyboard was created. Apparently, there are many possible stories about the layout of the keyboard and why the QWERTY configuration was chosen. However, the most accepted theory seems to be the fact that early models would frequently jam and this configuration would prevent jamming (since it is less efficient, slows down the person typing, and separates common keys from one another). I welcome comments about why you think this is not the most accepted theory...

Anyways, with the creation of the computer, the keyboard layout clearly transferred over. And I don't know about you but I don't fear internal jamming from my computer because of the keyboard layout. I welcome comments about the connection between your computer jamming, and your keyboard layout...?

Obviously, the reasoning for the keyboard layout was no longer important; and subsequently, it became a part of the computer that fell by the wayside!

But whats more? I think that the keyboard layout has made a comeback! With the creation of on-screen keyboards on small smartphones, companies had to create software to "predict" the probability of the next key pressed - since smaller keys mean smaller phone, and while keys can get smaller, people's fingers can't.

Bringing it all back - what a coincidence that the more likely keys are less likely to be near each other from the original design of the keyboard for typewriters! Therefore, it would be easier for software to predict what key the user really meant to type. So you see: From "Use" to "Disuse" and back to "Use" again.

The End.

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