The Origin Of QWERTY

There are very few things that are surrounded with as much hearsay and rumor as the origins of the QWERTY layout of typewriters and keyboards. The reason behind the QWERTY layout isn’t as simple as ‘so the bars for each letter don’t collide with each other.’ That’s nonsense – it would make far more sense to improve the mechanism before changing the arrangement of the keyboard around.

That’s not the only fallacious argument for the creation of QWERTY. It’s also been called a marketing ploy; Stephen Jay Gould popularized the idea of the QWERTY keyboard being as it is so a salesman could peck out TYPE WRITER on the top row [1]. This also makes little sense. Why would the top row and not the home row be so privileged as to contain all the letters the make up the name of the machine. For that matter, wouldn’t a sales pitch be more impressive if TYPE WRITER were typed with one hand?

This doesn’t mean there’s not a method behind the madness of QWERTY – it’s just not as simple as jammed typewriter mechanisms or appeasing the wishes of salesmen in the 1870s. QWERTY didn’t come out of thin air, though, but folk tale history of this keyboard layout is sadly deficient.

The First Typewriters

The announcement of a type writing machine in the July 6, 1867 issue of Scientific American

The invention of any keyboard layout begins with the invention of a typewriter, and the excessively arguable inventor of the typewriter is Henry Mill, an English inventor who in 1714 obtained a patent for a device “for impressing or transcribing of letters singly or progressively one after another, so neat and exact as not to be distinguished from print, very useful in settlements and public records”. In other words, a device that would emboss paper with letters. Little other information exists about this device, but if one thing is clear: this device did not mark a piece of paper with ink; carbon paper was not invented until one hundred years later.

The first mention of a machine with keys used to write on a piece of paper with a sheet of carbon paper was in the July 6, 1867 issue of Scientific American. This device, created by John Pratt, used a type plate that moved horizontally and vertically, using a hammer to press one letter at a time into a piece of paper.

The Malling-Hansen Writing Ball, invented in 1865
The Malling-Hansen Writing Ball, invented in 1865

While Pratt’s device used a series of keys arranged in a matrix, it was certainly not what we are accustomed to today. Pratt’s ‘Petrotype’ used seventeen keys to move a metal plate along columns and rows of characters.

One of the first typewriters to use a single key for each character was the Malling-Hansen writing ball, invented in 1865. This device was a dome studded with keys, each one pressing a hammer down on a piece of paper. You could not see the letters as they were typed.

The layout of the keys on the Malling-Hansen writing ball was not random; the most commonly used letters were directly underneath the fastest writing fingers. This was the first typewriter that could produce printed text faster than a human could write by hand.

The Sholes Typewriter

The first commercially successful typewriter was designed by Christopher Lantham Sholes, Carlos Glidden, Samuel W. Soule and James Densmore. The first typewriters designed by Sholes and company would copy an earlier design, the printing telegraph, invented in 1848.

Printing telegraph, c. 1849
Printing telegraph, c. 1849

The printing telegraph used a piano-style keyboard, with each key representing a letter of the alphabet. Sholes’ first keyboard borrowed this idea, producing a keyboard with mechanism not unlike a daisy-wheel printer in 1868. This ‘Type Writing Machine’ was granted patent 7,868 in the United States, however it would not be a commercial success.

The keyboard layout of Sholes’ Type Writing Machine, c. 1868
Sholes' 1870 keyboard
Sholes’ 1870 keyboard

The piano layout quickly gave way, and in 1870, Sholes produced a new typewriter with a keyboard that would appear somewhat modern at first glance. This keyboard consisted of capital letters, numbers 2-9, a hyphen, comma, period, and question mark. The most likely layout for Sholes’ 1870 keyboard layout comes from Koichi and Motoko [2], and retains most of the layout from the piano-inspired printing telegraph. Letters are arranged almost alphabetically, although the vowels have moved to the top row.

Sholes would quickly leave the typewriter business, but not before approaching George Harrington and Daniel H. Craig of the American Telegraph Works. Harrington and Craig promised to purchase several typewriters, but not before several improvements were made, including a change of the keyboard arrangement.

The Beginnings of QWERTY

And so the beginning of the development of the QWERTY keyboard began. The design was not dictated by a sales department, or the limitations of the mechanics of the first typewriters. Instead, the design of the QWERTY keyboard was designed for Morse code, with significant regard given to putting the most frequently used letters on the home row.

The Morse code used in 19th century America was not the Morse code we know today. American Morse code is subtly different from the International Morse used today. American Morse encoded the letter ‘Y’ as (·· ··); two dits, a space, and two dits. ‘Z’ is encoded as (··· ·), and was commonly confused with ‘SE’, especially when appearing as the first letters of a word. Therefore, the ‘S’, ‘E’, and ‘Z’ keys should be close together. For the same reason, C – in Morse, (·· ·) – should be placed near both ‘S’, ‘I’, and ‘E’. There is a reason we don’t use American Morse anymore.

The 1872 keyboard arrangement
The 1872 keyboard arrangement

These efforts culminated in the typewriter that would grace the cover of the August 10, 1872 cover of Scientific American. For the first time, something resembling the modern QWERTY layout was available. It wasn’t perfect – ‘M’ wasn’t next to ‘N’, ‘C’ and ‘X’ were swapped. Characters, numerals, and punctuation were all over the keyboard, but this was what suited the telegraphers and became the basis of the first commercially successful typewriters.

Sholes, Densmore and other investors eventually contacted the E. Remington & Sons company in Ilion, New York. While this company is famous today for producing firearms, in the 1800s, the sewing machine was the prize of Remington’s catalog. Densmore and Remington signed a contract for the manufacture of the Remington No. 1 Typewriter in early 1873, and after a visit by Sholes – who sold his share of the patent for $12,000 – decided the brand name for this device should be the ‘Sholes & Glidden Type-Writer.’

Improvements were made to the Remington No. 1 Sholes & Glidden Type-Writer, including moving the ‘O’ and ‘I’ characters nearer the  ‘9’ numeral. Sholes demanded ‘Y’ be moved to the center, next to the ‘T’.

The Remington No. 2 Typewriter, c. 1882
The Remington No. 2 Typewriter, c. 1882

In 1878, Byron Alden Brooks invented the platen-shift mechanism [3] that would allow the Type-Writer to print two characters with the same key. This idea was sold to Remington & Sons, and in 1882, Remington slightly changed the design of the Type-Writer, in part to evade patents and in part to appease a new market – shorthanders. The design of the Remington No. 2 moved the ‘M’ next to the ‘N’, and interchanged ‘C’ with ‘X’. This is the modern QWERTY layout.

The Keyboard We Know Today

The QWERTY keyboard was not designed to keep a typewriter from jamming. The primary users of the first typewriters were Morse operators who could send and receive at least thirty words per minute. When used by stenographers, the typewriter would be used to record more than one hundred words per minute. There is no indication the mechanics of the typewriter improved when moving to this new consumer market, and the idea that QWERTY ‘stops typewriters from jamming’ can easily be rejected. In any event, the character ‘R’ is used more frequently than a period, and if the design of QWERTY were influenced by jammed mechanisms, it wouldn’t make sense to move the period to the side of the keyboard, with ‘R’ moving to the middle.

The QWERTY keyboard was also not designed to be a marketing device. If putting the brand name of the typewriter on the top row of letters was a priority, why not also include the rest of the brand name, including ‘SHOLES’, and ‘GLIDDEN’? The story of QWERTY being a marketing ploy is merely an aside presented by Stephen Jay Gould when discussing evolution, local minima, and the Dvorak keyboard [4].

The truth is, QWERTY was influenced more by the telegraph, specifically American Morse code, and partly by shorthanders who created a new method of typing.

The Sholes Typewriter, as seen on the August 10, 1872 cover of Scientific American
The Sholes Typewriter, as seen on the August 10, 1872 cover of Scientific American


[1]  Gould, Stephen Jay. Ch. 4 “The Panda’s Thumb of Technology” in Bully for Brontosaurus. New York: Norton, 1991.

[2] Yasuoka, Koichi and Yasuoka, Motoko, “On the Prehistory of QWERTY”, in ZINBUN  vol. 4, 2011.

[3] Byron Alden Brooks, “Improvement in type-writing machines,” US Patent 202923, Apr 30, 1878.

[4] August Dvorak and William L. Dealey, “Typewriter keyboard,” US Patent 2040248, May 12, 1936.

70 thoughts on “The Origin Of QWERTY

  1. “before several improvements were made, including a change of the keyboard accccrrangement.”

    However, stuck keys remain a problem even today! Great article though, I had always heard (and believed) the story about the key arrangement slowing down typists to prevent jamming.

    1. Maybe the story got twisted over time. I have a Remington and will have to look and take a picture if one is not diagrammed on the Googler. I don’t think it was the location of the keys but the location of the type heads. The Remington has the typing heads on long bars and in an arc. The heads come toward the paper from a radius and two heads that are close on the arc can be like two cars side by side going down an alley that gets too narrow. They don’t so much collide from front or back, as side swipe and get stuck. I think the keys can be assigned to any location on the arc by the cross bars and levers of the mechanism so choice of where a letter is on the arc seems more important. Just guessing from seeing how they jamb in my yoot.

      1. Very much this; the bigger problem comes from three or more keys with bars close together, though, since they tend to get tangled up (actually bending the bars and messing with their movement until fixed) instead of just sticking.

  2. I don’t think the qwerty layout really slowed typists down, but it moved the swinging bars of letters frequently typed together, to farther sides of the array so that they were less likely to interfere. However, the qwerty layout is slower than the dvorak layout, it’s been proven. It could be that qwerty is less suitable for typing nowadays because we don’t do the same kind of shorthand they did in telegraph days.

    You know, I don’t really buy that it was telegraph that ensconced qwerty. When telegraph just coming in, the keyboard layout wars were not nearly over. Someone’s going to need to explain the effect of morse code a bit better, what do we have here? Dits and Dahs jamming? The text says that the confusing letters S, E, and Z *should* be close together. Huh? If they are commonly mis-typed it would make sense for them to be put farther apart.

    I’m probably exposing my ignorance, but what do typewriter keyboards have at all to do with morse code? Wasn’t morse code done on a key and sounder?

    1. If you needed a hardcopy of what was sent by morse, you needed a typewriter for neatness sake. People who could receive the code really fast used typewriters, it was the way to keep up.

      I assume that’s the connection, but that part is somewhat muddled.


    2. Picture the person listening to the morse code. When he hears the … the finger goes to S but doesn’t press it. If . comes next at the appropriate time, then the finger slides to Z. If it doesn’t then S is pressed and the fingers prepare for the next character, which could be an E. Thus, it makes sense for the S and Z to be close together. The finger is primed to press by what is heard and can easily change to the corrected letter as more information flows into the ears of the receiver.

      The ideal keyboard taking the sequence of reception into account would cluster letters that started with a dash and letters that started with a dot, then 2 dots, and so on, following the flow of letter recognition.

      American Morse is not subtly different from International Morse code, it is very different. To begin with, the dashes are only twice as long as the dits. The receiving operator listens to the (relay) clicks and not to audio tones based on key down length.

      And then there is CQ Serenade:

      1. I don’t know whether I still have it somewhere, but I actually had a 45RPM of “CQ Serenade”. It was made locally in the fifties, I seem to recall lyrics in both English an French, depending on which side you played. But somebody I knew had some copies in the early seventies, so I ended up with a copy.

        I guess I gave away the record for learning morse code. I never had the Hallicrafters promo record about shortwave radio, though i’s online these days, somewhere.


      2. Maybe, maybe not. When I took my FCC test for 13 wpm and a general amateur license, the examiner told me (sufficiently impressed) that I wasn’t writing by hand as each letter came in. Instead, I was writing from memory several letters behind and even more when I got to the bottom of a page.

        Someone listening to Morse code and typing at a keyboard could—and probably would—do the same. All it takes is enough memory to retain a few letters.

        In fact, I dimly recall a test given to a skilled telegrapher of long ago. The message started in very fast. He wrote nothing down for a full minute, then began to take down the message from the beginning. In a short time he’d caught up and was entering characters as they came in.

        It’s amazing what the human mind can learn to do with a little practice.

      3. “Picture the person listening to the morse code. When he hears the … the finger goes to S but doesn’t press it. If . comes next at the appropriate time, then the finger slides to Z. If it doesn’t then S is pressed and the fingers prepare for the next character …”
        Thanks, now it makes sense. This explanation should be in the text.

      4. A late gentleman of my acquaintance, I would call him a fellow ham, but he was far, far better than I at decoding Morse, used to sit around the club shack on Saturday mornings, chewing the fat with the other club members. One day, he made a comment that was totally out of left field. Had nothing to do with the conversation. We stopped talking and looked at him. He repeated his comment, and clarified that it was something he had heard in the Morse that one of the other members was listening to on the HF rig. He had been copying the CW while chatting with us.
        To say that I was impressed would be a gross understatement.

        RIP Ed Weiss, W1NXC. Engineer, teacher, WWII Merchant Mariner and a heck of a nice guy. Ed earned his ham ticket in December 1941, received his license in 1945. Radioman on Atlantic convoys in the interval. We miss you, Ed.

    3. >”However, the qwerty layout is slower than the dvorak layout, it’s been proven.”

      Hardly. Except maybe by mr. Dvorak himself.

      The issue with the argument is twofold: a) efficiency depends on the language/vocabulary you’re typing, b) men typically have relatively short index fingers, putting their fingertips more in an arc than with women.

      When you lay your hand on a regular keyboard, if you are male, the ring and middle fingers naturally touch the upper row as the index finger is placed on the marked keys. On my QWERTY keyboard, the neutral position for my fingers are AWEF and JIO: which roughly corresponds with the most frequent letters. For example, the most used letter E in the english language is right under my middle finger. It’s rather that the age-old touch typing practice of keeping your fingers default on the middle row is artifical.

      So at best the dvorak keyboard can be faster for those who speak English, are female, and who are accustomed to the standard way of touch typing on a large keyboard with wide key spacing. Basically, secretaries in the 1950’s.

  3. Interesting article!

    I think you could have gone a little further, though. For example, who thought it was a good idea to change QWERTY in QWERTZ and AZERTY? Not to mention Dvorak and FITALY/JUMPX layouts.

    Another thing I’m interested in is how in the late 1970s and early 1980s, keyboard layouts on terminals and computers were subtly different from what most of us use nowadays: many of them had the parentheses above 8 and 9 instead of 9 and 0, for example, and the double quote was above the 2. The IBM PC standardized keyboards into what we know today. With the CAPS LOCK at the bottom right, and 10 function keys on the left… Oh wait… :-)

      1. I used to test Point of Sale (POS) “checkout lanes” in a former job. We sold/shipped internationally. I REALLY hoped some of the foreign (to me) keyboards would have been defective, so I could have asked to take them home
        (and possibly repair them- some of the US layout keyboards that failed had a solder bridge).
        Alas and alack, none failed…
        We had Slavic or Cyrillic, as well as Spanish, German, Polish, Italian, French customers, as well as British.

    1. The old layout (with the parentheses above 8 and 9) was based on the Teletype keyboard arrangement. The reason for the non-alphabetic characters being where they were was that that it made the logic of shifting characters easier – a shifted “2” – ASCII code 011 0010 was code 010 0010, which was the double-quote, for example. This held throghout the keyboard, in that the shift key had the same effect on all keys, and the control key had the same (different) effect. This made the mechanical keyboards and printers much simpler than they would be if they used the standard typewriter shifted character arrangement, and this carried over into making digital keyboards (before they had their own dedicated microcontrollers. This was fine for hobbyists who cared mostly about the cost/complexity of their homemade and kit computers, while IBM’s focus was on developing keyboards that made their customers more productive.

      1. I used to repair model 33 Teletypes. Perhaps some of the shift characters were placed to make encoding easier, but it basically didn’t matter — the keyboard code bars could be cut however they needed to be cut, and there was some pretty fancy mechanical logic going on under those keys — and a heck of a hassle to get the trim panel back on if the plastic nubs broke off and it lifted off the keytops!

        I do like the idea of the key layout being driven by telegraphers. Western Union was dying to get rid of the slow, talkative and high priced telegraphers and go to teleprinters. So it would make sense if the keyboard layout preferred by telegraphers drove the design of the teleprinter keyboard, which, in turn, would drive the typewriter market. There’s some great history of telegraph, stock ticker and teleprinter on the web. Here’s a good starting point:

    2. ” parentheses above 8 and 9 instead of 9 and 0, for example, and the double quote was above the 2″ – that’s exactly how the keys on my keyboard are arranged. And it is only three years old – it just LOOKS much older as several letters are not legible any more. Shitty print. And it is a good idea, that it has QWERTZ key arrangement as the “y” is rarely used.

    1. You can laugh, but I’ve seen many older typewriters that had no One key – you just had to use the lower-case L. And even some that had no exclamation point – you were supposed to type a single-quote, backspace, then period. Seriously.

      1. Yes, I am old.
        I learned to type on some of those “older” typewriters, using lower case “L” for number One, and building an exclamation point from an apostrophe and a period.
        Many times I had to throw out a Resume or Cover Letter because I made ONE mistake on the page.
        (Correction paper or fluid, i.e. White Out, erasures, carbon copies, were Not Acceptable!)

        Now git off’n my lawn!

        1. I’ve seen people use upper-case i as a 1, but this is awkward for example when you’re typing outlines, where capital i is used at one level and numeric 1 is used on another. Whose brilliant idea was it to use nearly identical symbols for numbers and letters? I don’t know how many times I’ve seen eBay ads for the Heathkit IO-10 (eye-oh-ten), listed as everything from “10-10” to any other permutation you can imagine. And then there are fonts LIKE THIS ONE, that have only one pixel difference between I and l (that’s upper-case i and lower case L). IlIlIl No, not even one pixel, I see.

  4. Another issue rarely mentioned when this discussion come up is that while the QWERTY layout is not optimized for English, many are working in different languages and while I might invest the time to learn Dvorak, if all I was typing was English, I’ll be damned if I had to learn the Bépo layout to work in French, which I do a lot, to say nothing of the skill of switching back and forth between them. The standard layout has that going for it: it sucks equally between languages.

    1. The specifics of each language differ, but lots of patterns (like alternating vowels and consonants, or using “D” more than “Q”) are pretty universal.

      I find that I can type Japanese more quickly on a hiragana-in-Dvorak layout than a “native” hiragana layout, for example. In fact, I haven’t yet found a language where QWERTY is more efficient than Dvorak. Certainly not French!

      1. Certainly not, but then would you care to type English on a BÉPO layout regularly? The point being that I can switch back and forth without thinking on my French-Canadian QWERTY layout, something I couldn’t do, either with a native Dvorak or a native BÉPO. Good enough is the enemy of better.

        1. Yes you can, that’s what I’m doing right now. I’ve been using BÉPO for 5 years now and I type every day french and english. Also I’m programming all day with the same layout.
          The BÉPO layout is optimized for the french language but has been created with European languages (and programming) in mind so it’s far better than any QWERTY layout to type english for example. This can be easily seen on a tool like

          So for me, BÉPO is the only layout I really need to know :)

      2. I second that japanese phonetic and pinyin input on dvorak are also better than on qwerty. French is a different story though, they make pretty extensive use of accents; I also generally need to use an IME for converting x-sistemo to unicode for Esperanto (though esperanto is still better on dvorak).

        Of course, you could generally make better layouts for those languages individually. I generally spend most of my time typing english, so I prefer Dvorak.

        On the topic of switching keyboard layouts frequently, I actually don’t mind typing on QWERTY all that much. I prefer Dvorak, but I can also touch type on QWERTY just fine.

          1. WTF? Fluent esperanto speakers (including native ones) are estimated to be between 500k to 2 million, while fluent Klingon speakers are estimated to be between 20 and 30 people. |You are just some orders of magnitude off. I also don`t know where the “still” came from in your question.

          2. Your numbers seem a bit generous for native Esperanto speakers. According to Wikipedia: Native Esperanto speakers are people who have acquired Esperanto as one of their native languages. As of 1996, there were 350 or so attested cases of families with native Esperanto speakers. Estimates from associations indicate that there are currently around 1,000 Esperanto-speaking families, involving perhaps 2,000 children. In all known cases, speakers are natively bilingual, or multilingual, raised in both Esperanto and either the local national language or the native language of their parents. In all but a handful of cases, it was the father who used Esperanto with the child. In the majority of such families, the parents had the same native language, though in many the parents had different native languages, and only Esperanto in common.


            Benjamin Bergen (2001), “Nativization processes in L1 Esperanto”, Journal of Child Language 28:575–595 doi:10.1017/S0305000901004779

            Jouko Lindstedt (January 2006). “Native Esperanto as a Test Case for Natural Language” University of Helsinki – Department of Slavonic and Baltic Languages and Literatures.

          3. I said fluent (not necessarily perfect) and native (not necessarily perfect either), not only native. And in Esperanto it doesn’t matter much being a native speaker, their speak is not normative. Anyway, even counting only native speakers it is still one or two orders of magnitude more than klingon fluent speakers.

          4. Well if you want to set the term ‘fluency’ at an arbitrary level you can make any argument you want about the number of speakers of any language. At any rate I suspect the original statement was made as hyperbole, as in the end neither of these languages has much in the way of real utility except in the minds of those that support them.

  5. I’ve wondered about the older Apple keyboards having bumps on the D and K buttons as opposed to F and J on others.

    Typing up essays back in HS was annoying, having mostly Apple computers and some Intel computers with Windows 98.

  6. well, typewriters surely focused on prose text which is one aspect when switching layouts – daily switching layouts I mean.
    Now be a systems engineer + tester as myself, in any random european country, and have to work on multiple systems concurrently: ASCII keyboards on VT-220s hooked to serial console ports of embedded systems, some PCs + workstations with localised keyboards (own country) at the own test facility, then customers systems getting ready befor shippin them out the factory barn with keyboards localised to the customers destination country.
    The letter characters are a minor aspect as they change “a little”, but all the punctuation characters you need when tweaking configuration script files become hard. Skim through your bash command history an get a feeling for how many non-letter chars you rely on during an average day.
    Waking up after some nights, I can’t tell you in which layout I dreamed…

    1. I don’t dream in keyboards :-) But yes I know it is REALLY annoying if the keys do not provide the letters which are printed on them. Like some friends use English keyboard layout for programming on a German keyboard. Or you play with any fruit Pi computer and the keyboard driver is not yet loaded.

  7. No one who can read Morse code beyond a basic level “listens to the first three dots” of a letter or number. They listen to the sound of a word or even a phrase. Thinking that they would listen to the first part of a letter and then move their fingers close to the group of letters is very far fetched and way too slow. Not to mention that the first group of users of the typewriter we mostly telegraphers seams far fetched as well, surly they were secretaries. Professional Morse code receivers not to mention typists don’t even think on a conscious level what the letters and numbers they are receiving or typing are.

  8. I’m calling BS on this whole premise. FAIL. Look at the original American Morse code (aka Railroad Morse) here: I’ve done some of the work here:

    Letters starting with dit-dit: C H I P Q S U V Y Z
    Letters starting with dit-dah: A F W X
    Letters starting with dah-dah: G M
    Letters starting with dah-dit: B D J K N W X

    There is absolutely no correlation between similar American Morse codes and positions on the QWERTY keyboard. They’re all over the place.

    Even if you look at the most easily confused combinations:
    dit-dit-dah – U
    dit-dah-dah – W
    dah-dah-dit – G
    They aren’t close to each other.

    Similarly, codes that are reversed (start to finish) from one another:
    dit-dah – A
    dah-dit – N

    dit-dit-dah-dit – Q
    dit-dah-dit-dit – X

    Nowhere close to each other.

    Your claim is utter nonsense. Try again. I’ll stick with the typebar-interference story.

    1. BrightBleJim is 100% correct. The keys are arranged in a way that makes it much harder to type than it should be. Anyone who types knows that all the main keys are a reach or are placed near weak fingers and not where they should be. The idea presented here is just made up.

    2. There was more to it than that, supposedly, according to the research paper this is based on ( … I got the link from this Atlantic article … According to that paper, it was a combination of things: “shorthanders” not telegraphers doing transcribing of Morse, and repositioning letters based on things like what you were pointing out (vowels, confused combos, etc).

  9. Type barjaming or otherwise – my mother could (probably still can) tyoe faster on her mechanical typewriter than I can on my computer…..

    as an aside when I was in high school – there was a typing class (I never did it) I dont recall my daughter ever doing a typing class – is it now just assumed that people are born with the ability to type….

    1. Owned a XT in 6th grade. In 9th gave a pirate copy of Mavis Beacon typing tutor to my “Typing Class teacher.” I… I think I got a C-” for not doing anything.

      I wasn’t allowed on the 5 donated Apple IIe’s in the Plexiglass window lab. (We had 20 in grade school 6th grade. Once every two weeks “lab”. “Oregon trail – I need to shoot moar bears for food. (Also “guns bad, bear is on our state flage.” “yes but bears give most food per bullet kill” In HS they had a rainbow wizard there at that time. I didn’t know rainbow wizards existed. I think after 2 conversations he woke up to the fact this wasn’t a pretty boi but a honest to goodness H-ero freak. Then again he showed off his nambla card and explanation and I said “that’s gross”,”why”,”cuz, it’s like being an unmarried scout master who is also a catholic priest…” Ahhh…. 80’s-90’s Xalifornia.

      Flash forward 15 years I’m mashing *nix (Solaris 2.6) commands with tab key at 150-200 per minute to a audience of 40 seniors plus 4 managers on a projector. It was a good carreer while it lasted. Knowledge work wasn’t outsourced.

      I wasn’t an elegant typer/typist, I didn’t do full file paths. Brute force was my forte. Strange, now I can’t stand my blue scissor switch keyboard and miss the quiet dome keys. Still have two MS Natural PS2 Keyboards stashed away.

      Also, Just because LOLO Millieums and Libertine type lady friends f’in my life up. I’m voting for Trump, no reason just because, I wanna see it all burn. Better then Socialism and better then Arkansas hicks fistiing the poor and middle class. Have you visited those Casinos? NICE!

    2. @[saabman] – Sorry to original reply Google spits out a bunch of pro-Jihad name correction Arab noise. Bar JamMing gives me better hits regarding bars that have good Reggae music. Maybe it was a local cultural thing in your Mother’s workplace? (fyi, “It aint rocket science” was NEVER spoken, joked or mentioned about in her work place.) My Mother’s workplace was in the deep foothills of San Jose she revision checked Mechanical designs from Solid State Rocket Engineers. (Yes, Localized 0.7 quakes when it fired. Yes, Anti-Science and Math Den Cookie Agenda Mothers protested en-mass.)

  10. Why does the 1870 layout have a U key but the 1872 layout does not have a U key. I think that must be a mistake, unless they went all Latin/ Roman and just used the V.

  11. If I remember my old typing class (Yes, I’m old). When we studied the origin of the qwerty keyboard I do remember it starting with morse code. But more importantly, the gentleman who developed it, actually did a study of the alphabet. And in doing so, designed the keyboard using statistics. Something to the effect of ….. E’ is used X amount of times in a sentence, A, B, C, etc. Once he had the statistical data, I believe he then arranged the keys according to the statisical outcome. starting from the ‘Power’ fingers (Most people are right handed, and the index finger being the most useful) it does the most work. The keys mostly used, therefore are near the power finger/hand….. etc.

    Has anyone else heard / read that story ???

    That is what I remember.


    1. Interesting article, except that it lacks the one thing it so desperately needs, which is the slightest shred of evidence, and consequently it is as reliable as any of the stories and theories behind why the letters were arranged as they were. The fact is that no one knows and all we can do is guess. This theory may make sense to you, but it does not convince me as the reason behind the letter arrangement, especially since there is no precedence for it. And at no point an objection was made when the letters were moved, to explain the brilliant idea behind it, and why certain letters needed to be grouped together. For all we know, it could have been a random arrangement, as the previous ones in alphabet order were not successful.

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