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History of development and evolution of the keyboard

We all use the keyboard every day, it is difficult to say whether there can be a more important and universal device for entering information into a computer than a keyboard. It is quite possible that in the near future when a person will communicate with his computer through gestures, facial expressions, graphic images, video images and speech, other means of entering information will crowd out the keyboard. However, today, when text and symbols as carriers of valuable information are still so important, the keyboard is necessarily included in the configuration of the supplied personal computers. A computer without a keyboard is a defective computer!

Computer keyboard evolution

Whatever you do at the computer, play or program, print a document or just chat, you use one of the most irreplaceable devices – the keyboard. Like any thing, the keyboard has its own story.

The roots of a modern computer keyboard go far back to the 19th century. It all started with the advent of a simple typewriter. In 1868, Christopher Sholes patented his typewriter. The main key point of this stage was the emergence of the first layout. It looked like a collection of characters arranged in alphabetical order. As it turned out later, this, to put it mildly, is inconvenient, since rarely used symbols were in the most prominent places and vice versa. In 1890, they came up with the QWERTY layout, which we still use when typing in Latin letters. And paradoxically, the Russian keyboard layout was invented in America at the end of the 19th century. Since then, she has not undergone major changes.
The name of the QWERTY layout comes from the first six Latin letters on the keyboard, starting from the upper left corner from left to right.

The key moment in turning the typewriter into a computer keyboard was the invention of the Bodo television press in the late 19th century. This method replaced the telegraph, in which information was encoded using the two-bit method (“dot-dash”, and later “signal presence – signal absence”). In connection with Bodo, a five-bit code was used to encode the letters of the alphabet, with the help of which complex electromechanical devices printed the received text on paper.
The communication was synchronous, and the telegraph operator had to press the button only when receiving a special sound signal. Later, data transfer became asynchronous, and this method of communication was called “teletype” (literally – “printing at a distance”). In the 1920s, teletype was already widely used to transmit financial and political information. Later, the receiving devices became electronic, and in order to save paper, the text was displayed on the screen and printed only if necessary.

The first computer keyboards
The year 1943 was marked by the advent of the ENIAC computer, which made a splash in the world of science. This computer was used by the military for ballistic calculations. He received the initial data through punch cards and teletype tapes. Program control of operations was carried out by switching plugs and typesetting panels.

In 1948, the development of UNIVAC and BINAC computers began, designed not for a single, but for a relatively more mass production. Special attention in these machines was given to input-output devices. Teletypes or punch-tabs served as input-output means for them. BINAC could record information on magnetic tape.

Capacitive keyboard
The year 1960 is a turning point in the history of the development of computer keyboards – an electric typewriter enters the market. She had a capacitive keyboard.
Capacitive keyboard was produced on printed textolite boards. The name of the technology speaks for itself – this type works due to capacitors located in the device. Two pitches of tin and nickel-plated copper, which, incidentally, are not connected to each other in any way, either mechanically or electrically, form each key. Let’s see how it works. We press the key – the distance between the sites decreases, while the electric capacitance changes, which, when pressed, is approximately 2 picofarads, and when not pressed, 20 picofarads.
The decrease in capacity creates a stream of charged particles, which is processed by the keyboard controller, which, in turn, generates the code of the pressed key. It seems a long time, but at the same time such a keyboard allows you to enter text at a speed of up to 300 characters per second.

So, back to our typewriter. Its main advantage was the ease of entering text – now, to print, it was not necessary to put as much effort as, for example, on the classic Scholz typewriter.

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