The computer age made it easy to switch the keyboard layout to Dvorak Simplified Keyboard without any hardware modifications, and also made it possible for anyone to swap a few individual letters or all of them. One such recent creation of a complete keyboard is the Colemak layout, named after its author Shai Coleman who released it in 2006.
One thing that children do very well is asking questions. “What is this?” “What is that?” The most difficult and important questions start with ‘Why.’ “Why are the letters on the keyboard arranged like this?”
Glad you asked. There are many detailed accounts of the history of the typewriter and its keyboard layout, and at least as many myths. The typewriter that became wildly used was invented by Christopher Latham Sholes in 1867.
My Grandma worked in a sugar factory that stood at the end of my village. Part of the year was always filled with the constant noise of tractors hauling beet from the fields to be transformed into refined sugar cubes that would later be served with tea or coffee in nice porcelain cups.
I have never been an athletic guy – I lack the talent and the passion – but for a couple of months now I have found myself hooked on running.
A big obstacle in doing something good for ourselves is time. Life is throwing many things at us and this can sometimes build up stress faster than what can be taken away during the little time we spend relaxing. So without reclaiming some of that time, there is not much that can be done.
A few thoughts came to my mind as I was drinking coffee and watching myself and seven out of ten other visitors of a café: all at our phones or laptops, looking up things on the web. No sound of keyboards, the people not writing but not talking either; most of them being on their own, spending time in the virtual world. It is perhaps only a step from reading a book, but still it changes the atmosphere.
I believe there exists an ideal length for a given book, song or movie. That does not mean that the same theme cannot be recreated in a more minimalist or expansive way but then it is a different work. Take Annie Hall as an example of a film which feels just right at an hour and a half.
Successful authors often produce more complex and expansive works as their skills grow. But the success can also inflate the egos, and then the length grows as any output seems suddenly worthy of preservation. The results are Metallica’s St. Anger full of endless yet uninspired songs, the Harry Potter series which even some fans admit does not need to be 40% longer (When I saw the Order of the Phoenix in a bookstore I thought it was a ‘cumulative’ edition. When I realized the mistake, I decided to wait until Rowling edits the heptalogy to be shorter than War and Peace.) than the Bible, and extended versions of movies. The popular culture, and especially Hollywood, is influenced by the dogma that bigger is better.