8 Interesting Facts About Computer Keyboards

A computer keyboard is common and you can see most computers with a QWERTY layout. But there are many more layouts and many users can prefer them over QWERTY. Moreover, bilingual keyboards, Japanese keyboards, and other types look a lot different than you may be used to. So, computer keyboards are a lot more interesting than you think.

They have evolved from a simple typewriter layout to the modern keyboard that we see now. Each key and its size are not random occurrences and most people are used to the layouts. For instance, if you are searching for Cox internet plans, you might be able to type it without even looking at the keyboard. Moreover, there is a reason why the space bar is so big and the keys aren’t in alphabetical order.

This article will talk about keyboards and a few interesting facts you may not know.

#1: The History Behind QWERTY

Christopher Sholes came up with the QWERTY layout in 1872 for a typewriter design as there were no computers back then. You might be thinking about why the layout has all the alphabets jumbled up in order. The ABCDE layout might have been a lot more convenient. And you would be right about that. But there is a reason behind the modern QWERTY layout.

The keyboard’s layout was changed to a random one because ABCDE was too easy. As a result, people started typing too quickly and the typewriters couldn’t handle the speed. So, in an attempt to slow people down, Sholes came up with this layout. This means that QWERTY is not the most efficient layout for typing.

#2: Japanese Space Bars

The space bar is usually the longest key on the keyboard. However, that is not the case in Japan. The Japanese keyboards have a much smaller space bar. This is because they need additional keys right next to it. These keys are usually for shifting between the English alphabet and the Japanese romaji letters. So, there isn’t enough space for the space bar to be as long as other layouts.

#3: The System Request Key

You can still find the System Request (SysRq/Sye Req) key on some new and old keyboards. The key is basically useless now but it had a unique purpose in the past. In the earlier years of the computer, IBM machines used multiple operating systems. So, this key allowed the user to shift between them easily. Now, the key is pretty obsolete and doesn’t have a specific purpose. But some people can still use it for system shortcuts, programming, and software testing.

#4: The Dvorak Layout

In 1932, Professor Dvorak launched a new and improved layout that is now popular by his name. The Dvorak layout is one of the most commonly-used layouts in the world right now. It might not be as popular as QWERTY, but it has its fair share of advantages. For instance, the placement of the keys is designed to make typing a lot quicker and easier.

It keeps the most used consonants and the vowels in the first row (AOEUIDHTNS). The designer claimed that the keyboard is much simpler to use. Most fast typists still use the Dvorak layout for ease. And operating systems such as Windows and Mac give users an option to select which layout they want to use.

#5: The 1984 Model M

The Model M was designed by IBM and Lexmark and it might be the father of all modern computer keyboards. It was the first design that separated the numerical keys, arrow keys, and function keys. The layout of this keyboard is still widely used today in almost all full-scale keyboards.

#6: The Word “Typewriter”

One of the most interesting facts about the QWERTY layout is that you can type the word “typewriter” using the keys on the first row alone. When the design was created, there were no computers – only typewriters. So, this might be one of the most brilliant little details that most people might have missed out on.

#7: The Scroll Lock Key

We all know what the Caps Lock button does. But no one can really tell what the elusive Scroll Lock button is for. Ideally, it was meant to lock scrolling from the arrow buttons on the keyboard but it never worked like that for many people. In most modern computer keyboards, the key doesn’t even exist anymore. And in certain cases, it might only have a use for creating keyboard shortcuts.

Computer Keyboards

Let’s suppose that you are using a QWERTY layout keyboard with your left hand. So, the longest word that you can type with that hand could be stewardesses. However, if you are using your right hand, try typing polyphony. You wouldn’t need to use the other hand because the letters are quite close by.


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