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Computer Keyboards

In terms of interacting (interfacing) with computers, the keyboard is the most important peripheral (device) on the computer. It is used for programming, word processing, and controlling the computers Operating System (OS).

There are typically 101 keys on a keyboard in the U.S., Windows specific keyboard may use 104 keys, and international keyboards sometimes include 105 keys. Computer keyboards are most commonly set up with the QWERTY configuration of keys.

The QWERTY is named for the first five alpha characters on a keyboard. It is the same system that was used to create paper based typewriter systems that were used heavily before computer processing became a normal business process. This well known configuration allowed for the easy transition of typewriting skills to be translated to the use of computers. In prior years, a typewriter was used to create documents, write books, and create business letters. Today word processors are used in the place of typewriters to create these same documents with the keyboard being the most important piece of the computer for this process. The computer and the use of keyboarding have taken over the business world in terms of creating documents, spreadsheets, ledgers, and complex calculation. Can you think of a business or home of the current generation that still relies on typewriters, calculators, and white out?

It is worth noting that there is another keyboard configuration that exists. It is called the DVORAK configuration. It is said to improve efficiency and word comfort with typing helping with fatigue and lessen repetitive movements. I have never become adept the DVORAK configuration so I can not offer any more insight into the matter, however there are ways to switch your keyboard to a DVORAK based configuration as well as training modules available online.

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