Monday, October 26, 2020

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Why is the Keyboard Arranged as QWERTY

The first most widely available typewriter was presented by Remington & Sons in 1874. It was called Remington No. 1 or sometimes Sholes and Glidden typewriter. This was designed by Christopher Sholes and used the QWERTY arrangement which we are now familiar with.

This typewriter used a system where the characters were put on the end of a bar. When the user pressed a key, a connection would make the bar swing and hit onto the tape coated with ink. At the point when the character struck the tape, the impression of the character was moved onto the paper, which was located just behind the tape. The initial prototype had a problem. Sometimes the bars collide with each other gets jammed.

According to a popular belief, when it was initially developed, the keys were arranged in alphabetic order, but individuals used to type so fast that the mechanical arm used for character printing got messed up. So to counter this, the keys were haphazardly placed which in turn slowed down the typing speed and at the same time prevented key jams. Later, this irregular arrangement got standard.

Previously the qwerty keyboard was looking something like what is given below

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 – ,

Q W E . T Y I U O P

Z S D F G H J K L M

A X & C V B N ? ; R

In 1874, Remington made some adjustments to that design. For example, he omitted 0 and 1  because they can be produced using other keys (o, l). The “.” was replaced with r which made the keyboard look like what it is looking now. The initial version sold poorly but the updated 1878 version changed this. This version made the product it commercial viable. The modern day keyboards are following the same design and people are accustomed to it.

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