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What is Keyboard?

A computer keyboard is an input device that allows a person to enter letters, numbers, and other symbols (these are called characters) into a computer. It is one of the most used input devices for computers. Using a keyboard to enter lots of data is called typing.

A computer keyboard is one of the primary input devices used with a computer that looks similar to those found on electric typewriters, but with some additional keys. Keyboards allow you to input letters, numbers, and other symbols into a computer that can serve as commands or be used to type text.

 On most computers, a keyboard is the primary text input device. The keyboard also contains certain standard function keys, such as the Escape key, tab and cursor movement keys, shift and control keys, and sometimes other manufacturer-customized keys.


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History of Keyboard:-

As early as the 1870s, teleprinter-like devices were used to simultaneously type and transmit stock market text data from the keyboard across telegraph lines to stock ticker machines to be immediately copied and displayed onto ticker tape. The teleprinter, in its more contemporary form, was developed from 1907 to 1910 by American mechanical engineer Charles Krum and his son Howard, with early contributions by electrical engineer Frank Pearne. Earlier models were developed separately by individuals such as Royal Earl House and Frederick G. Creed.

Earlier, Herman Hollerith developed the first keypunch devices, which soon evolved to include keys for text and number entry akin to normal typewriters by the 1930s.

The keyboard on the tele printer played a strong role in point-to-point and point-to-multipoint communication for most of the 20th century, while the keyboard on the keypunch device played a strong role in data entry and storage for just as long. The development of the earliest computers incorporated electric typewriter keyboards: the development of the ENIAC computer incorporated a keypunch device as both the input and paper-based output device, while the BINAC computer also made use of an electromechanically controlled typewriter for both data entry onto magnetic tape (instead of paper) and data output.

From the 1940s until the late 1960s, typewriters were the main means of data entry and output for computing, becoming integrated into what were known as computer terminals. Because of the limitations of terminals based upon printed text in comparison to the growth in data storage, processing and transmission, a general move toward video-based computer terminals was affected by the 1970s, starting with the Data point 3300 in 1967.

The keyboard remained the primary, most integrated computer peripheral well into the era of personal computing until the introduction of the mouse as a consumer device in 1984. By this time, text-only user interfaces with sparse graphics gave way to comparatively graphics-rich icons on screen. However, keyboards remain central to human-computer interaction to the present, even as mobile personal computing devices such as smartphones and tablets adapt the keyboard as an optional virtual, touchscreen-based means of data entry.


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Type of Keyboard:-

Standard:- Standard alphanumeric keyboards have keys that are on three-quarter inch centres (0.750 inches, 19.05 mm), and have a key travel of at least 0.150 inches (3.81 mm). Desktop computer keyboards, such as the 101-key US traditional keyboards or the 104-key Windows keyboards, include alphabetic characters, punctuation symbols, numbers and a variety of function keys.

Laptop-size:-Keyboards on laptops and notebook computers usually have a shorter travel distance for the keystroke, shorter over travel distance, and a reduced set of keys. They may not have a numerical keypad, and the function keys may be placed in locations that differ from their placement on a standard, full-sized keyboard. The switch mechanism for a laptop keyboard is more likely to be a scissor switch than a rubber dome; this is opposite the trend for full-size keyboards.

Flexible keyboards:-A flexible keyboard is a keyboard usually made of soft silicone that is highly portable and attaches to a computer through a USB connection or serial port. The keyboards can act as replacement keyboards if an original keyboard gets damaged. They can also be quite durable; in some ways even more durable than a traditional keyboard.

Handheld:-Handheld ergonomic keyboards are designed to be held like a game controller, and can be used as such, instead of laid out flat on top of a table surface. Handheld keyboards allow the user the ability to move around a room or to lean back on a chair while also being able to type in front or away from the computer. Some variations of handheld ergonomic keyboards also include a trackball mouse that allows mouse movement and typing included in one handheld device.

Multifunctional:-The Multifunction Keyboard (MFK) is an avionics sub-system through which the pilot interacts to configure mission related parameters like flight plan, airfield database and communication equipment during initialization and operation flight phase of mission.


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