The notion that the QWERTY layout (which dates to 1868) was intended to slow typists down (so that their fast typing didn’t cause the swing-arms to jam together) is widespread, but wrong. The actual intent was indeed to avoid jamming by ensuring that the keys most likely to be struck in close succession (e.g. -sh-, -ck-) approached the type point from opposite sides of the machine. This absence of jams would make typing faster, not slower - although influencing speed, in either direction, was not an explicit objective of the design; touch-typing was not developed until 1888, so speed wasn’t really an issue.
Remnants of the original alphabetically-ordered keyboard remain in the second row of keys on a QWERTY layout: FGH-JKL.
The first novel submitted to a publisher as a type-written document was Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi (1883). The first word-processed one was Len Deighton’s Bomber (1968).
The average keyboard contains 3,295 microbes per square inch.
The Hansen Writing Ball was the first typewriter to be commercially produced. It was invented in 1865 by Rasmus Malling-Hansen, who was a teacher of deaf and dumb people whom he hoped would be able to use his invention to communicate. The keys were arranged around a sphere, and Nietzsche had one which he used as his eyesight lapsed towards the end of his life
The first laptop was made in 1982. It was priced at around $20,000 in today's money and weighed 11 pounds, but it was the keyboard that led to its failure: typing was associated with the secretarial pool – no self-respecting businessman would be seen dead typing on a keyboard.
At any given second the space bar is being hit six million times across the world.
We've heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce The Complete Works of Shakespeare; thanks to the internet, we know this is not true.
Various alternatives to QWERTY, such as the Dvorak layout, have been developed, but none has established a meaningful advantage. Contrary to Professor Dvorak’s own claims, various studies have found that it really doesn't matter much what keyboard you use; good typists type fast, bad typists don't.
National variations abound; e.g. on French keyboards, you have to press the shift key to get a full stop. This isn’t because the French are so verbose that they never end their sentences; the reasoning seems to be that, because a full stop is normally followed by a capital letter, you’re going to be pressing ‘shift’ anyway.
According to a 2013 study, people have warmer feelings toward words that use more letters from the right side of a QWERTY keyboard.
Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.
The world’s population spends 500,000 hours a day typing Internet security codes.
J. R. R. Tolkien typed the 1,200-page manuscript of The Lord of the Rings trilogy with two fingers.