Quirky Keyboards

Sholes typewriter, 1873. Museum, Buffalo and E...
Sholes typewriter, 1873. Museum, Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quirky Keyboards

A new keyboard layout has been designed to increase the speed of typing.  It’s called the “KALQ” keyboard.  The most commonly used letters have been moved closer together to make it easier to type at speed.  The inventors claim it is far better than the standard QWERTY keyboard – which is no doubt true because the QWERTY keyboard was never designed for speed.  It was designed by Christopher Sholes in 1875 to slow down typing so the keys didn’t get stuck in old-fashioned typewriters.  At the time the idea was a good one – as jammed keys had to be forced apart with a crow bar before the typist could continue – but the QWERTY keyboard should have been phased out when computers arrived.  The ABCDEF keyboard is a much faster layout.  It isn’t perfect – but it is faster to use.

The QWERTY keyboard is the most illogical arrangement of keys imaginable.  Every day I make typos, tarnopsing letters that are near to each othre.

I once bought a new computer with an £100 “ergonomic” keyboard that was supposed to reduce the chances of Repetitive Strain Injury. The keyboard was split into two sections – that’s probably where the “ERGH!” in “ergonomic” came from because my left and right hands were in different time zones.  I felt like a concert pianist whenever I sat down to type.  After trying to use it for a year – hating it for every second – I replaced it with a normal QWERTY costing £1.99.  Best two quid ever spent!

 I’d like to see a new keyboard designed for making writing much quicker.  My keyboard would have “THE”, “AND”, “WAS” and “THAT” keys.  I’d probably add a few more word keys like “COULD” and “SHOULD” at the top to save extra time.  “Q” and “U” would be all combined into the “QU” key.  Speech marks and apostrophes would not require the use of the “SHIFT” key.  The “SHIFT” key would not be next to the “CTRL” key so I’d never accidentally reformat or delete a document.  The space-bar would be nice and big.  The function keys would have actual words on them to explain their functions instead of baffling icons. There would be an “ANY” key so that if the message “PRESS ANY KEY” appears on my screen I would have something to press.  Numbers would have their own keys so they didn’t have to share space with !”£$%^&*().  I’d probably like a row of emoticons too – so I’d know how to make them so people would know when I’m joking:)

My ideal keyboard would also automatically clean trapped gunk and dust, never have letters wear off through heavy use, and it would not have removable keys that could be swapped around as a joke.

 Alas, until someone invents my ideal keyboard, I’ll have to make do with my very QUIRKY one.

John Moralee (C) 2013

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Author: John Moralee

John Moralee writes crime, horror and science fiction.

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