sâmbătă, 30 august 2008

Rough changes

I find that it's necessary to challenge yourself from time to time.

I recently wrote about the qwerty layout, it's designed to make your fingers move allot because that's what solved an engineering problem with the typewriter patented by Sholes.
The QWERTY keyboard layout was devised and created in the early 1870s by Christopher Sholes, a newspaper editor and printer who lived in Milwaukee.

With the assistance of his friends Carlos Glidden and Samuel W. Soule he built an early writing machine for which a patent application was filed in October 1867.[3] However, Sholes' "Type Writer" had many defects: the printing point was located beneath the paper carriage, and so was invisible to the operator. Consequently, the tendency of the typebars to clash and jam if struck in rapid succession was a particularly serious problem, in that the mishap would only be discovered when the typist raised the carriage to inspect what had been typed.[4]

Sholes struggled for the next six years to perfect his invention, making many trial-and-error rearrangements of the original machine's alphabetical key arrangement in an effort to reduce the frequency of typebar clashes. Eventually he arrived at a four-row, upper case keyboard approaching the modern QWERTY standard. In 1873 Sholes' backer, James Densmore, succeeded in selling manufacturing rights for the Sholes-Glidden "Type Writer" with E. Remington and Sons and within the following few months the keyboard layout was finalised by Remington's mechanics. Their adjustments included placing the "R" key in the place previously allotted to the period mark, thus enabling salesmen to impress customers by pecking out the brand name "TYPE WRITER" from one keyboard row. Vestiges of the original alphabetical layout remained in the "home row" sequence FGHJKL.[4]

But where does that leave us? Computers don't have this problem. Why did we get stuck with this faulty layout? The reason is very obvious most people got so used with it that they just started demanding it. And where there's demand there is also offer ( a really symbiotic relationship ).

Getting back on track.. since I found Colemak to be the nicest and newest layout I started learning it. After 5 years of only QWERTY you can imagine how hard learning to walk on the keyboard again has been. Plus that I don't look at the keyboard so I had to keep a mental representation of this new keyboard.

But although the mental stress was hard after 2 days I was able to write this post ;) so all in all it was a nice experience. Are you reader up for it ?

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