Like most people I own a computer with a keyboard( what do you think about that-hehe), a telephone and a calculator. I’m not a history buff but my guess is that the typewriter came first, then the telephone and then the calculator. My question is why are the numbers arranged differently. On my keyboard-which I assumed was derived from a typewriter has the numbers on the right hand side as follows
My telephone has it
…and my calculator has it like the keyboard.
why are their different?? Isn’t their a standard by now?
I’m totally guessing but thinking logically:
The numeric keypad on a computer keyboard followed the layout of a calculator, and electronic calculators followed the layout set by mechanical adding machines. Why adding machines used this bottom-to-top arrangement I don’t know. Maybe it had something to do with the design of the inners workings of the first mechanical adding machines.
Anyway, touchtone (or pushbutton) telephones did not come about until the 1960s. Because electronic calculators did not become common until the 1970s the only people back then who were used to the bottom-to-top design of adding machines were accountants. So rather than worry about them the phone company rightly chose the more natural top-to-bottom layout for use by the teeming millions.
Or I could be totally wrong…
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Yes, bottom-to-top was used by mechanical calculators for mechanical reasons, and, yes, touch-tone used top-to-bottom because it seemed more “natural” and because few people at the time (early 60’s) used calculators. (The first electronic desk calculator came out in '65 or so, was the size of a typewriter, and cost $10,000.) Also, the old rotary dials were roughly top-to-bottom.
Keypunches (keyboard devices for punching punched cards) also went top-to-bottom, but the keypunch was already dying and calculators were common in 1981, when IBM designed the first version of the modern PC keyboard.
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