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The Key(board) to Your Computer Kingdom

One type of computer repair Los Angeles residents may be familiar with is that of fixing their computer keyboards. The keyboard is our primary means of operating most of our computers. Even though our tablets and smartphones respond to touch on their screens, they still also frequently use virtual keyboards for communication purposes.

MacBook laptop keyboard and screen repair Culver City

How the Keyboard Developed

Most people are aware that the keyboard they are familiar with on their computers and laptop was developed from the layout of the letter keys for the early manual typewriters. For the single finger hunt-and-peck typists, the QWERTY layout may be a mystery that they simply suffer with. But it was developed for pragmatic reasons.

One story assumes that the placement of the various letters was designed to slow down typists who worked too fast. However, the reality was that the mechanical design of the keys and the letter forms that struck the inked ribbon to make the imprint on the paper was such that if two letters that were placed beside each other were pressed in too close a sequence, the armatures of the letters would jam.

Christopher Latham Sholes spent over five years developing the QWERTY layout. He constantly revised the sequence, to accommodate the speed of typists while trying to avoid jams of the type bars. That was the primary concern he wrestled with, but it is likely that he also received advice and suggestions from telegraph operators. About the time he was working on the typewriter arrangement, various devices similar to teleprinters or teletypes were appearing. They were used to transmit information from the stock market via the telegraph.

All these technological advances in the late 1800s led to making the keyboard layout we are now familiar with.

Desktop and Laptop Keyboards

In the 21st century, we no longer have to worry about the type bars jamming and stopping our ability to communicate. But other aspects of keyboards now become concerns. There are two factors in particular that affect users: one is the size of the keyboard itself, and the other is general maintenance of the keyboard.

For most all desktop computers, the keyboard is a peripheral device that is not melded to the body of the computer. It usual connects via a cord and a USB port of some sort. This allows for many factors that benefit the user. The keyboard size can be larger, giving the user’s hands more space to work in. There are even ergo-dynamic keyboards where each half of the keyboard is split and set at an angle for greater comfort in use.  The keyboard can be placed at a height level that the user finds comfortable as well.

Both types of keyboards, however do need general maintenance. Dust and debris easily gets between the keys and can affect the connectivity of the keyboard. When a letter or number or function key is depressed, it connects with a circuit that speaks to the computer and generates the image we see on our screens. If anything disrupts that, we all realize there are going to be problems.

Damage to Keyboards

Users can damage their keyboards in any number of ways. Dropping electronic equipment of any sort will of course be a problem, for it can dislodge those all-important circuits. Many users have also developed the not-so-good habit of eating and/or drinking while working on their computers and laptops, so food crumbs (that may have sticky substances on them) or liquids can fall onto the keyboard. And of course, general wear can cause individual keys to break in one fashion or another.

Desktop keyboards can easily be replaced, if the owner does not want to go to the trouble of having specific damage repaired. But because the keyboard is part of the chassis of the laptop, repairing or replacing it can be more difficult.

Repairs for Keyboards

Keyboard repair is an issue mainly with laptop computers, because, as was mentioned, desktop keyboards can be far more easily and inexpensively be replaced. For a laptop computer, it is not usually practical to replace single keys that are broken. Most frequently, when the keyboard of a laptop is damaged, the whole keyboard is replaced. The keyboard assembly is taken out of the case, and an identical model is inserted. This way the circuitry of the board is not tampered with and everything is taken care of in one brief repair job.

Because of the care needed when opening up any laptop case, it is best to consult a computer repair expert. The job need not be very expensive, for it is a familiar problem to the technician. Taking care of the keys of your computer will unlock all the usefulness of your machine.


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