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Quirky Qwerty Keyboard

I’ve started writing a lot of what I’ve learned down in a book. Which is a fascinating process for me as I never really considered the quirky qwerty keyboard as I write, to face a blank page and think where to start?

I began to reflect, of all the schooling (13 years and then a three-year BComm.). I think the best value (return on time investment) program I did was to learn to touch type.

When I finished university (whilst waiting for my results and just before I headed to New York to take up a marketing internship with IBM). My Father paid for my sister and me to do a touch typing course. We used big old manual typewriters that clunked and if you put your fingers on the wrong keys there was no delete key. (In fact, the liquid paper was considered extravagant in those days.)

Claire (in our office) asked the other day ‘Why is a keyboard laid out as it is?’ She was incredulous when I explained the Qwerty keyboard was designed to reduce the sticking of arms when typing quickly because the letters were scientifically placed to be spaced apart. I’m not sure she has ever seen a manual typewriter.

How quirky, someone has written a book on the Qwerty.

The question is what is going to be the essential skills needed for the next 20 years – is it typing or will speech recognition finally become viable? What are they teaching in schools?

I worked at Apple 15 years ago – and at some point in my three years, there speech recognition was launched as part of the Mac operating system. Where is it now?

What are the essential communication tools that my children need to learn?


Reader Interactions


  1. Naomi, your experiences with a manual typrwriter bring back fond memories of being the only male in a class of women learning to type, some 20 years ago.

    Now, as part of my two girls homework requirements (11 & 12yr olds) I get them to do half an hour of typing lessons 3 days a week. I rate it as important as learning your multiplication tables.

    And Yes, I did come first in the class in my typing course 😉

  2. Hey Naomi

    I TOTALLY agree! touch typing was the best thing I invested in too – and on the same course that I learned how to touch type, I learned what the inside of a computer looked like, and understood more about computers than I did during my two years of programming at University!

    The basics aye??"?

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