A keyboard is an input device, partially modeled after the typewriter keyboard.
Keyboards and typing technology have come a long way over the past couple centuries. The
first typing devices were designed and patented in the 1700s while the first manufactured
typing devices came about in the 1870s. These machines featured “blind typing” technology,
where characters were printed on upside-down pages that remained unseen until completion.
Since then, we have seen several updates in design, layout, technology, and function that are
more efficient and user-friendly. The type-writer has changed shape dramatically over the
years, eventually becoming electronic- then practically obsolete as we moved into the age of
computers and the birth of the keyboard. The keyboard is the number one computer interface
used around the world, and an integral object for many of us that most people take for
granted. This paper will explore the history of typing, detailing the innovations across time
that have accumulated into the definition of today’s standard for the ultimate typing
experience. The history of the computer keyboard started way back in 1714 when the first
type writers were manufactured. By then they looked more like sewing machines since they
were designed by Remington which also used to manufacture sewing machines. They were not
used for commercial purpose but to produce legal documents that were neat. 1868 is the year
that Christoper Latham Scholes created the type writer that is common today and was later
mass marketed in 1877.
While typewriters are the definitive ancestor of all key-based text entry devices, the computer
keyboard as a device for electromechanical data entry and communication derives largely
from the utility of two devices: teleprinters (or teletypes) and keypunches. It was through such
devices that modern computer keyboards inherited their layouts.
As early as the 1870s, teleprinter-like devices were used to simultaneously type and transmit
stock market text data from the keyboard across telegraph lines to stock ticker machines to be
immediately copied and displayed onto ticker tape. The teleprinter, in its more contemporary
form, was developed from 1903 to 1910 by American mechanical engineer Charles Krum and
his son Howard, with early contributions by electrical engineer Frank Pearne. Earlier models
were developed separately by individuals such as Royal Earl House and Frederick G. Creed.
Earlier, Herman Hollerith developed the first keypunch devices, which soon evolved to include
keys for text and number entry akin to normal typewriters by the 1930s.
The keyboard on the teleprinter played a strong role in point-to-point and point-to-multipoint
communication for most of the 20th century, while the keyboard on the keypunch device
played a strong role in data entry and storage for just as long. The development of the earliest
computers incorporated electric typewriter keyboards: the development of the ENIAC
computer incorporated a keypunch device as both the input and paper-based output device,
while the BINAC computer also made use of an electromechanically controlled typewriter for
both data entry onto magnetic tape (instead of paper) and data output.
KEYS ON KEYBOARD:
Alphabetical, numeric, and punctuation keys are used in the same fashion as a typewriter keyboard
to enter their respective symbol into a word processing program, text editor, data spreadsheet, or
!, @, #, $, %, ^, &, *, (, ), -, +, =, etc.
Modifier keys are special keys that modify the normal action of another key, when
the two are pressed in combination. For example, <Alt> + <F4> in Microsoft
Windows will close the program in an active window.
The most widely-used modifier keys include the Control key, Shift key and the Alt
A Control key is a modifier key which, when pressed in conjunction with another
key, will perform a special operation.
The Shift key is a modifier key which is used to type capital letters and other
alternate "upper" characters.
The Alt key on a computer keyboard is used to change (alternate) the function of
other pressed keys.
The Space bar, spacebar, or space key, is a key whose main purpose is to
conveniently enter the space, e.g., between words during typing.
The Enter key causes a command line, window form or dialog box to operate its
Navigation & Typing Mode:
Cursor movement keys / Arrow keys are buttons that are
either programmed or designated to move the cursor in a specified direction.
The Page Up&Page Down keys are used to scroll up or down in documents.
The Home key is used to take the control to the start of the document.
The End key is used to take the control to the end of the document.
Tab key on a keyboard is used to advance the cursor to the next tab stop.
The Insert key is used to switch between the two text-entering modes.
The Delete key performs a function which discards the character ahead of the
cursor's position, moving all following characters one position "back" towards the
Backspace is the keyboard key that moves the cursor one position backwards,
deletes the preceding character, and shifts back the text after it by one position.
Scroll Lock is a key meant to lock all scrolling techniques.
Num Lock which is used to convert part of the main keyboard to act as a numeric
keypad rather than letters.
The Caps Lock when pressed will set a keyboard mode in which typed letters are
capitalized by default.
System Command Keys
The Print Screen command used to capture the entire screen and send it to the
printer, but in the present it usually puts a screenshot in the clipboard.
The Escape key (often abbreviated Esc) is used to initiate an escape sequence.
The Menu key /Application key is a key found on Windows-oriented computer
keyboards. It is used launch a context menu with the keyboard rather than with the
usual right mouse button.
NON STANDARD KEYBOARD:
• Chorded Keyboard lets the user type in characters or commands by
pressing a combination of keys.
The chorded keyboard design is typically used for hand-held
computers that cannot accommodate standard-sized keyboards.
Touch Screen Keyboard
Touch screens come with a stylus, a pen-like device that doesn't have ink. This
technology is typically used in products such as iPods and iPhones.
Foldable keyboards, as the name suggests, can be folded and made to fit into
uneven spaces, so they can be very handy during travels.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF KEYBOARD:
There are two types of membrane-based keyboards, flat-panel membrane keyboards and full-travel membrane
Dome-switch keyboards are a hybrid of flat-panel membrane and mechanical keyboards. They bring two circuit board
traces together under a rubber or silicone keypad using either metal "dome" switches or polyester formed domes.
A special case of the computer keyboard dome-switch is the scissor-switch. The keys are attached to the keyboard via
two plastic pieces that interlock in a "scissor"-like fashion, and snap to the keyboard and the key.
Mechanical-switch keyboards use real switches underneath every key. Depending on the construction of the switch,
such keyboards have varying response and travel times. Notable keyboards utilizing this technology include the Apple
A laser projection device approximately the size of a computer mouse projects the outline of keyboard keys onto a flat
surface, such as a table or desk. This type of keyboard is portable enough to be easily used with PDAs and cellphones,
and many models have retractable cords and wireless capabilities.
USES OF KEYBOARD:
In normal usage, the keyboard is used to type text and numbers into a word
processor, text editor or other programs.
In a modern computer, the interpretation of key presses is generally left to the
A computer keyboard distinguishes each physical key from every other and
reports all key presses to the controlling software.
Keyboards are also used for computer gaming, either with regular keyboards or
by using keyboards with special gaming features, which can expedite
frequently used keystroke combinations.
A keyboard is also used to give commands to the operating system of a
computer, such as Windows' Control-Alt-Delete combination, which brings up a
task window or shuts down the machine.
MAINTAINENCE OF KEYBOARD:
STEP1-SHUT DOWN THE COMPUTER AND DETACH THE KEYBOARD CONNECTOR BEFORE ANY
STEP 2-FORA QUICK CLEANING, TURN THE KEYBOARD UPSIDE DOWN AND USE A CAN OF
COMPRESSED AIR TO BLOW OUT FOREIGN MATTER.
STEP 3- CLEAN THE SIDES OF THE KEYS WITH A COTTON SWAB BY USING ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL.