Why QWERTY?! WHY?!

December 17th, 2009 Categories: Procrastination

Have you ever looked at your keyboard and thought “What the what the..?!”
Maybe not! But maybe you should be!

I just had a discussion about keyboards.
The QWERTY keyboard is 131 years old. The reason why it exists boggles my mind. Maybe you know this already….
It was invented to slow down typing!
C. L. Sholes didn’t want his typists to get those hammers all clogged together with nimble typing so he made the keyboard as counter productive and counter intuitive as he could.
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/18193170@N00/ by This one is Bob

Imagine trying to change the way we type today….what would it take to eradicate this archaic system? It’s been tried many times by many people insisting that their way is more intuitive. They probably were but QWERTY remains.

Will it remain until voice, pens or touch screens (not a touch screen QWERTY keyboard!!) finally takes over? 

Do companies like Apple not gamble enough when thinking out their text input on their revolutionary products (iPhone/iTouch)?
Maybe the carnage of tried and failed products who dared to remove QWERTY is a stark reminder to them all. The collective switching costs are to0 much of a gamble on what could be an otherwise sure fire money spinner.

Back in reality and in the field we are still teaching our kids to type more efficiently using QWERTY. I sometimes ask myself why? Well, its because it dominates the market and because our students will most likely have QWERTY in their lives at least until something radical comes along and gets us to change our input methods at the grassroots level.

The moral of the story is to question why we are still learning, using and teaching a method that was created in the first place to stop us from inputting data efficiently and effectively…

funny dog pictures

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