[OT] QWERTY key layout (was Re: BigApache for Windows -
Whydoesn't BSD have an installerpackage like this ???)
Henrik W Lund
henrik.w.lund at broadpark.no
Sun Aug 1 14:55:28 PDT 2004
Bill Moran wrote:
>Matthew Seaman <m.seaman at infracaninophile.co.uk> wrote:
>>On Sun, Aug 01, 2004 at 04:36:57PM -0700, Henrik W Lund wrote:
>>>The command to use is umount, not unmount.
>>>Don't ask me why they left out the first 'n' there.
>>Because typing the sequence u-n-m at speed is really quite difficult.
>>It's also the reason that it's perl and not pearl.
>>Same as it's hard to type t-h-e correctly all teh time, nad typing
>>a-n-d is a bit of a pain too. Anyone would think that the qwerty
>>keyboard layout was designed to slow down your typing speed...
>I don't remember where, but I read somewhere that the qwerty layout
>was not designed for raw speed (as some people think) but was designed
>for speed on _mechanical_ typewriters. i.e. part of it's design is
>to maximize the possibility that you'll alternate left-hand/right-hand,
>thus minimizing the possibility that the hammers that fly up and strike
>the paper won't jam. (probably most of you have never used a truely
>_manual_ typewriter, and thus don't understand the mechanics ...
>manual typewriters use hammers, much like a piano, that have the embossed
>letters on them, and you have to hit the key hard enough to cause the
>hammer to fly up and strike through the ink ribbon and put the image of
>the letter on the paper. You also had the possibility that if you tried
>to type too fast, the next hammer would hit the first hammer as it was
>on its way down, thus jamming the typewriter and requiring you to stick
>your hand in the mechanism and unjam it, which meant you probably got
>ink on your hands ... _unlike_ a piano, all the hammers with the letters
>on them were angled to strike the ribbon/paper at exactly the same
>location, thus the possibility of collission was very high.)
>Anyway ... the fact that the qwerty layout was adopted for electric
>typerwriters, and later keyboards that don't have the same restrictions as
>manual typewriters is an unfortunate consequence of "let's use something
>that everyone already knows." It would have been better if the folks who
>developed the electric typewriter had used the Dvorak layout, but it's
>unlikely at this point that the world will switch.
>If you've never seen a mechanical typewriter, it's an interesting history
>lesson. It will explain a lot about why the keyboards we use today function
>they way they do. Just wait until you learn how the SHIFT key used to
>function! ... I wonder if I still have that old cheapo typerwriter in
>the attic somewhere ...
I remember those!! I used to love hammering as many keys at the same
time as I could. My parents would spend ages "unjamming" it afterwards. :-D
-Henrik W Lund
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