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On Key

The Typewriter, invented in 1872 by Christopher Sholes,
was significantly flawed: when typists worked up any speed
the keys would jam.

To remedy, Sholes repositioned keys:
frequently used letter combinations were placed as far from one another as possible.
He also assigned disproportionate workloads to the weakest fingers.

These "improvements" slowed keyboardists
but eliminated the key-jamming glitch.
This is why the computer keyboard's top lettered line reads:


Since then, many tried to introduce more convenient
keyboards but none have gained acceptance.
University of Washington professor, August Dvorak,
reworked it in 1932 and claimed his refinements could speed
typing by 35% but it never replaced the standard used today.

This is the early word processor I learned to keyboard on,
Word Smithin'
now it sits on the floor of my walk-in closet
with 'Instructions - for Operation of the
LC Smith & Corona Typewriters Inc., Model 8'. 
I no longer need the warranty but, it is a HEAVY black monster
that doesn't even have the number one (1) because they figured
you could just use the lower case "L"
(no, I don't want an exchange).  It took effort for
an eight year old to operate: now, younger co-workers
crane to see why you, when rapt in writing,
bang/clank rather than click/clack
on your pc keyboard.

The shift key had a great percussive 'ping' feel: similar to what you get
off that cue ball stroked-click, which addicts you to playing pool.

Vanity Fair's editor Graydon Carter in his 'The Look of the New'
letter to us (2/00) discussed the "third stage of a very subtle, four-step redesign"
which began more than three years ago: a tweaked typeface, redesigned font,
integration of VF Sans and VF Sans Condensed...
-is this just too, too boring for words?" he asked.
No, Mr. Carter for those of us compulsive with attention to detail,
it's not.  You may so charm us that we could soon
forget that [press-bed] hopping but lovable, Tina Brown.

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