【计算机系统导论】5.1 人机交互的发展

随着计算机的发展,人们使用计算机的方式也出现了巨大的变化。从最初的开关到命令行再到图形界面,我们与计算机的交互方式越来越自然,本节我们就来回顾这一发展历程。


最终还是首先于传感器的精度

  • Kinect
  • Hololence
  • VR
  • AR

Computers have always been good at calculations and data processing. But to evolve from specialized devices to a universal tool required more efficient ways to “talk” to people.

Early computers communicated primarily with coded text. Gradually they learned to use images. The development of graphical interfaces was key to creating powerful hardware and software systems that anyone could use.

People & Machines Communicating: Input and Output

“Human-Computer Interaction” is a two-way street: people talk to computers, and they talk to us. We have been endlessly creative in doing both.

Part of the story is about hardware. But much is about software. Applications and drivers tell devices how to communicate, how to perform the tasks we want. The equation remains, as always: hardware + software = useful tool.

Keyboard “glove”

IBM’s Robert Seibel and Nathaniel Rochester conceived this Cold War device for computer operators flying in “high-acceleration aircraft and missiles,” among other places. They anticipated “wearable computers” by decades.

IBM 2250 graphics station

Part of the System/360 mainframe computer family, this $80,000 graphic terminal displayed vectors starting and ending on points in a 1024-by-1024 grid. If many vectors were displayed, the screen would flicker.

Doug Engelbart’s mouse prototype

The prototype mouse invented at Stanford Research Institute rolled on two sharp wheels facing 90 degrees from each other.

SIG-100 video terminal and mouse

This October 1968 photograph appeared several weeks before Doug Engelbart’s first public demonstration of the SRI mouse. It is unclear whether this “Rollkugel” predates Engelbart’s invention, but it does appear to be the first rolling-ball mouse.

Xerox Alto

Alto I CPU with monitor, mouse, keyboard and 5-key chording keyset

The revolutionary Alto would have been an expensive personal computer if put on sale commercially. Lead engineer Charles Thacker noted that the first one cost Xerox $12,000. As a product, the price tag might have been $40,000.

A mouse. Removable data storage. Networking. A visual user interface. Easy-to-use graphics software. “What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG) printing, with printed documents matching what users saw on screen. E-mail. Alto for the first time combined these and other now-familiar elements in one small computer.

Developed by Xerox as a research system, the Alto marked a radical leap in the evolution of how computers interact with people, leading the way to today’s computers.

By making human-computer communications more intuitive and user friendly, Alto and similar systems opened computing to wide use by non-specialists, including children.

People were able to focus on using the computer as a tool to accomplish a task rather than on learning their computer’s technical details.

Before “Point and Click”

Before the Alto, most people communicated with computers using text. No images, no font choices. Input had to be letter-perfect. With punched cards or paper tape, the lag between input and output ranged from minutes to days.

By the late 1960s, some lucky users communicated through interactive video terminals. Yet terminals were mostly text-based. Graphics was too hard for computers—and computer time was considered too valuable to waste on saving people time. Humans were expected to adapt to their machines.

Computers with graphical interfaces changed the equation, communicating on our terms, not theirs.

A Visual Approach

To make computer use easy, Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) combined a graphics-based display and mouse with software that presented a rich interface of moveable windows and icons.

The graphics, and Alto’s point-and-click selection method, enabled new approaches to word processing—Bravo’s WYSIWYG printing, and Gypsy’s “cut-and-paste” editing—that have become standard.

Moreover, a graphics-based interface didn’t demand human perfection, freeing users from cumbersome, error-prone text commands. It also made it easy to combine images with varied text fonts and layouts—all on a 600 by 800 pixel monochrome monitor.

Xerox PARC

Xerox PARC

Eager to be known as more than a supplier of office copiers, Xerox created the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in 1970. PARC’s modest assignment? Create “the Office of the Future.”

George Pake assembled world-class scientists and engineers—“Architects of Information”—into a hothouse of innovation that flourished for decades. PARC developed laser printing, graphical user interfaces, Ethernet, digital video, word processing, multi-beam solid-state lasers, very large scale integrated circuits (VLSI), and more.

Although many PARC ideas never became successful commercial products, some generated billions of dollars in sales for Xerox.

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” - Alan Kay

The Apple Connection

In 1979, Xerox bought a small stake in Apple. Xerox got a stock certificate. Apple got access to Xerox technology.

Apple engineers, and CEO Steve Jobs, visited Xerox PARC in December 1979 to see the Alto’s graphical interface and look “under the hood.” That visit reinforced similar work already underway at Apple for its Lisa and Macintosh.

Computers Talking to Computers: Networking

Ethernet concept sketch

The original Ethernet report observed, “Just as computer networks have grown across continents and oceans to interconnect major computing facilities…they are now growing down corridors and between buildings to interconnect minicomputers in offices and laboratories.” But Ethernet went beyond just “minicomputers.”

A personal computer is nice. But it’s even nicer when you can exchange files and e-mail, or share access to printers. Xerox designers agreed, connecting Altos into networks.

Inspired by other networks, such as Alohanet, they invented a “local area network” called Ethernet, first described by Bob Metcalfe in 1973.

Video Displays

Pictures are worth a thousand words—and most people more readily “look” than read. Video displays satisfy that instinct. They also let us see and act on information as soon as the computer generates it.

Analog radar displays date from World War II. Video displays for digital computers were developed in the early 1950s for MIT’s Whirlwind computer and for Ferranti Canada’s DATAR multi-ship naval defense computer.

Initially, video was expensive, both in dollars and computing power. For years, only research and the military, where power and cost were secondary concerns, used video.

Keyboards

我们每天都在使用电脑,电脑键盘上的英文字母为什么是现在这样的布局,而不是按照它们自然的排列顺序,或者其他顺序?人们早就研究发现,这样的布局并不是打字最快的排列,但为什么一直沿用至今呢?

1.打字机上出现字母键盘

我们现在使用的字母键盘最早是出现在机械打字机上的。1868年,美国排字工克里斯托夫·拉森·肖尔斯发明了机械打字机,从此人们告别了“活字印刷”时代。机械打字机按键驱动一根根长杆,长杆上带着一个个小小的字锤,字锤隔着色带敲击在纸上,从而留下一个个字母印记。这个神奇的发明马上吸引了大众的目光,工厂纷纷生产,用户与日俱增。

键盘发展历史:盲打成就的键盘布局

起初,肖尔斯把键盘字母键的顺序按照字母表顺序安装,也就是说,键盘左上角的字母顺序是“ABCDEF”。这个排列顺序让打字员打起来飞快,但是相邻两个字母的长杆和字锤可能会卡在一起。为了解决卡键这个难题,肖尔斯请他的妹夫——一位数学家来帮忙。

这位数学家建议肖尔斯把键盘上那些英文字母中最常用的字母分开,以避免故障的发生。肖尔斯采纳了这个建议,将字母重新排列,形成了我们现在看到的“QWERTY”的布局。打字员使用这个键盘的时候,打字速度明显下降,也因此很少发生卡键的情况了。

1971年底的一天,英国工程师雷·汤姆林森在互联网的前身阿帕网上编写了一个程序,经过几次尝试后,程序成功运行了,一段信息呈现在了另一台电脑的屏幕上。汤姆林森当时还没有意识到,这是世界上第一封真正意义上的电子邮件。二十多年后,汤姆林森被问及邮件的内容时,他答道“或许是QWERTYUIOP”。汤姆林森当时只把这封邮件当成一次普通的程序运行尝试,随手输入的正是100年前肖尔斯在字母键盘上布局的第一行的10个字母。

2.盲打确立“QWERTY键盘”霸主地位

发明“QWERTY键盘”布局的肖尔斯告诉公众,打字机键盘上字母顺序这样排列是最科学的,可以加快打字速度。但事实并非如此。

对于英文输入来说,大多数打字员惯用右手,但使用“QWERTY键盘”,左手却负担了57%的工作。两个小指及左手无名指是工作最吃力的手指,却频频要使用它们。排在中列的字母,其使用率仅占整个打字工作的30%左右。而且,为了打一个单词,时常要上上下下移动手指。对于打中文来说,这种问题同样存在。

键盘发展历史:盲打成就的键盘布局

1879年,克兰德尔发明了把字锤安放在圆柱套上的打字机,从而完全避免了卡键问题。卡键问题迎刃而解了,设计更加合理的“IDEAL键盘”出现了,它把构成70%英语单词的字母放在打字机的基准行,也就是三行字母键的中间行。随后,又出现了很多不同字母排列的键盘与“QWERTY键盘”竞争。

1888年7月25日,美国辛辛那提举行了一场打字比赛,来自盐湖城的法庭速记员麦古瑞使用“QWERTY键盘”打字机展示了他的盲打技术。提前背熟了字母位置,合理分配了指法分工,麦古瑞的错误率只有万分之三。这种熟记键盘的盲打方式征服了在场所有人,麦古瑞以绝对的优势获得冠军和500美元的奖金。

这一事件使美国打字机产业在键盘布局这个问题上迅速倒向“QWERTY键盘”。从此以后,很多人效仿这种盲打技术,美国甚至开始有了专门培训打字员的学校,“QWERTY键盘”成了打字机的通用键盘。

3.键盘布局多次改革均未成功

进入20世纪后,键盘布局之争再次兴起。20世纪30年代,华盛顿大学教授奥古斯特·德沃拉克发明了一种新的字母排列方式,可以使左右手能够交替击打更多的单词,这个键盘可缩短训练周期1/2时间,平均速度可以提高35%。

新的键盘布局被称为“DVORAK键盘”。其布局原则有三项:尽量左右手交替击打,避免单手连击;越排击键平均移动距离最小;排在导键(即双手食指放置的键)位置应是最常用的字母。

键盘发展历史:盲打成就的键盘布局

在“DVORAK键盘”的主行排列着“AOEUIDHTNS”,都是字母使用频率表中排在前列的,而最下面一行的那些字母都是较少使用的。按照设计者的解释,70%的按键都可以单单靠敲击主行字母完成,另外22%的按键靠最上面一行,只有8%在最下面一行,可以使手指不用总是上下换来换去,符合人的正常习惯,左右手、各个手指之间的任务量分配也更加合理,右手的平均使用时间超过了左手,符合大多数人的使用习惯。

二战期间,美国海军曾做过一个实验,研究的结论是:用“DVORAK键盘”要比用“QWERTY键盘”培训打字员有效得多。不过,直到1975年德沃拉克去世,“DVORAK键盘”也没有被市场所接受。尽管苹果II型计算机从“QWERTY布局”转向“DVORAK布局”,并且通过商业广告劝说人们放弃“QWERTY键盘”,但这种做法显然没有产生效果。

20世纪70年代,一位叫理连·莫尔特的发明家又对“DVORAK键盘”作了进一步改进,不仅考虑了字母位置的排列,还将键盘做成弯曲的形状,分为左右两部分,分别由两只手控制,这一设计可以使打字员在打字时身体保持舒服的姿势,手腕不容易酸痛和损伤。

这个以发明者名字命名的“MALT键盘”,比“DVORAK键盘”更加合理、高效。它改变了原本交错的字键行列,并使拇指得到更多使用,不仅仅用来敲击“空格键”,同时使“后退键”及其他原本远离键盘中心的键更容易触到。不过,让工程师们不愿意接受的是,“MALT键盘”需要特别的硬件才能安装到电脑上,所以这种键盘也没有得到广泛应用。

4.老式键盘为何难被替代

从人机工程学角度分析,“QWERTY键盘”有很多缺陷。首先,英文26个字母实际使用的频率是不同的,最常见的字母E出现的频率高达12.702%,字母T也有9.056%。与之相比,字母Q出现的频率仅有0.095%,最少出现的Z则只有0.074%。按照键盘打字的指法,在键盘的三行中,中间一行是主行,应该尽量把出现频率较高的字母(如E、T、A、O、I)都放到中间一行。但实际情况是,“QWERTY键盘”在设计时为了故意减慢输入速度,把这些键分散到了上、中、下三行,我们在打字时,手指要不停地上下移动。有人曾做过统计,使用“QWERTY键盘”,一个熟练的打字员8小时内手指移动的距离长达25.7公里!而不经常使用的字母J、K(排在倒数第四、第五位)占据了主行的两个位置,比较经常使用的M、N却设置在了最下面一行不显眼的位置。

从左右手的工作量来看,57%的击键由左手完成,而大多数人并不习惯经常使用左手。同时,每只手各个手指的工作量分配也不尽合理,与手指的力量和灵活性不匹配,例如并不灵活的小指承担的负荷过大。

尽管“DVORAK键盘”和“MALT键盘”在易学性、输入速度、人体保健等方面都优于“QWERTY键盘”,当时人们也认为它们很快会取代那个字母齿牙交错分布的旧产品,但是实际情况却是,时至今日,计算机使用的仍然是“QWERTY键盘”,“DVORAK键盘”和“MALT键盘”始终没有被市场接受。

人们普遍认为,“QWERTY键盘”作为过时的东西仍然活跃在舞台上的原因,主要在于它的先入为主,尽管存在种种缺陷,但是成千上万的使用者已经熟练使用它,加上产品已经成型,电脑从业者也不希望为了引入一个新的键盘而改变与键盘相关的各种硬件软件。

键盘的输入方式和我们传统的手写输入方式存在着巨大的差别,人们在学习使用打字机的时候,需要付出一定的努力和时间来记熟键位布局,从而提高打字速度,这也就是所谓的“学习成本”。对于打字员来说,对某种键位布局越熟悉,转换到其他不同键位布局的成本也就越高。对于复杂的计算机来说,一个键盘字母布局的改变,不仅仅需要数以亿计的使用者重新学习,同时需要对海量的软件硬件进行重新设计,而换取的只是提高打字速度。两相比较之下,“QWERTY键盘”也就不让人感觉那么难用了

With so many new elements to create, computer designers were happy not to re-invent text-based input and output. They used existing teletypes and automatic typewriters—including the established QWERTY keyboard.

Contrary to urban legend, QWERTY was designed to speed, not slow, typing. Patented in 1878, it limited interference between keys commonly struck in sequence.

QWERTY keyboard

Despite its ergonomic shortcomings, and claims that a well-trained typist can work faster with other layouts, the QWERTY keyboard remains the most widespread for users of Roman

Cabinet of Keyboard Curiosities

Designers have been creative, brilliant, playful, and sometimes misguided in devising ways for computers and humans to communicate with computers.

Some devices, such as mice, illustrate the evolution of solutions common today. Some represent technological or marketing dead ends. Others are niche devices for specific needs.

Do some look weird? What we use today may look equally quaint 100 years from now.

The Evolution of the Typewriter

To begin exploration of the first keyboards, we must first examine the origins of typing and the first typing devices. What did the first typing machines look like? The first manufactured typewriters resembled sewing machines more than what most people imagine when they think “typewriter.” Remington, who manufactured the first typewriters, were also manufacturing sewing machines at the time, leading to this initial design atheistic. The first Remington typewriters, created by Sholes, Glidden, and Soule even came with a foot pedal (like a sewing machine) to control carriage returns. So how did we get to where we are now, in the high-tech age of computers and plastics? To move forward, its important to first move backwards in time and see how these first commercially successful type-writers came to be.

Remington’s First Sholes & Glidden Type-Writer 1867

Image source: from the Early Office Museum

Technically the first documented typing devices predate the Remington’s Sholes & Glidden typewriter, though none of them were manufactured for commercial use. In 1714, the first patent for a typing machine was issued in London, England to Henry Mill. Though there is no evidence that the machine was in fact constructed, or sold, all we know is that this typing device was intended to prepare legal documents in a manner that was neat, legible, and in a standardized format. Fast forward to 1808, another typing machine was patented to Pellegrino Turri in Italy. His machine was intended to allow the blind to “write.” With Pellegrino Turri’s typing device, also came the first Carbon Copy. Pellegrino’s invention of the carbon copy has made a lasting impact on the modern office (carbon copies are still regularly used on triplicate forms, phone message and memo pads, sales receipts etc.). In 1829 William Austin Burt also created a writing mechanism, a “Typowriter” that instead of keys, used dials to print characters, making this process slower than handwriting to produce words on a page, but it was a way to print legible, uniform text. The typowriter was also created with the intended use for the blind. A later model of the typowriter, created by John Jones in 1852 is pictured below. None of these devices gained much public interest, or commercial success.

1852 John Jones’ Mechanical Typographer

Image source: Life photo archive

From 1829 up until 1870 there were many other typing devices that were patented along with the ones mentioned above, and like the previous devices none of them went into commercial production, or mainstream use. The only ones worth mentioning, for the sake of being extraordinary were Father Francisco Jaâo de Azevado’s “homemade” typewriter made from wood and knives in Brasil (1861), and Denmark’s Hansen Writing Ball (1865), both pictured below. Father Azevado’s typewriter is arguably the first “typewriter” as the mechanism is the most similar to the commercial models that followed its inception. It was completely constructed of household materials which makes it particularly interesting and impressive. Brazilians argue that his invention should be credited as the First Typewriter. Moving across the globe to Denmark just a few years later, The Hansen Writing Ball was invented by Reverend Rasmus Malling-Hansen, in 1865. The half-sphere shape of the ball is unlike any other typing device before or after it, and regardless of visual appeal, The Hansen Writing Ball actually gained quite a bit of attention in Europe and England as a fully functional typing device. It is documented that Hansen Writing Balls could be found in operation up until 1909 in many offices and businesses in England and Europe. Because of the relative success of this product, Malling-Hansen released a few different versions of this invention. His first Writing Ball began as an electric device, but later he released the “Tall Model” in 1875- where no electricity was needed. The fact that it no longer required electricity resulted in a broader range of consumers in various rural and urban locales.

1870 Hansen Writing Ball. Created by Reverend Rasmus Malling-Hansen in Denmark. © 2011 by AUCTION TEAM BREKER, Cologne, Germany (www.Breker.com)

Click this link to view additional images of the Hansen Writing Ball

Soon after the the Hansen Writing Ball’s creation, Sholes (an Inventor), Glidden (a Mechanic), and with the help of Soule (a Printer) came along with their 1867 type-writer that changed the world of typing as we know it. It is this “Type-Writer” that gave us the word typewriter, and is the model that is referred to as “The First Typewriter.” Interestingly enough, though this was the most successful typing device of that time, Sholes and Glidden were too frustrated by slow sales so they sold their patent to Densmore and Yost for $12,000. Machinist and clock-maker Matthais Schwalbach made the Sholes and Glidden typewriter in Milwaukee, and had Remington manufacture and sell it. Soon after this sewing-machine-like model was created and sold, the foot pedal was removed with carriage returns being controlled on the typewriter itself. Following this change, a slightly smaller, desk-top version of the typewriter came to be (though still extremely heavy and full of metal), losing the sewing machine look and defining its own look as a typewriter. By 1910 all typewriters were more or less standardized, sharing very similar resemblances across the board, until the IBM Selectric was introduced in 1961.

The Development of the Computer Keyboard

While typewriters were widely used throughout the 1950s to the 1970s, computers were starting to emerge as a consumer friendly product, beginning the age of the computer keyboard as a primary input device. To understand the development of the computer keyboard, its important to understand the development and evolution of the computer. In 1946, the first computer, ENIAC was constructed and teletype was used to input data. As you can see below, the ENIAC computer took up an entire room, hundreds of times larger than the modern computer laptop. What was teletype and how is it different from from modern computer keyboard input?

Teletype and ENIAC computers used cards (similar in shape to index cards) that were inserted into the Teletype while a series of holes called keypunches would be punched into the cards according to which keys were pressed on the teletype machine. After the cards were keypunched by the computer, they were brought over to a card-reader that would analyze the deck of cards as data (tangible memory).

Early Computer Punch card. Courtesy of the Computer History Museum.

1960 Keypunch Reader Courtesy of the Computer History Museum

In 1948 the BINAC computer used a different input/output method, with an electromagnetically controlled teletype to input data and print results. The BINAC is what paved the way for the shape of computers and computer keyboards to come, though it would still take a few more decades to move away from the teletype/punchcard computers. Another punchcard computer popular at the time, was the UNIVAC I, produced in 1951 is also pictured below.

In 1948 the BINAC computer used a different input/output method, with an electromagnetically controlled teletype to input data and print results. The BINAC is what paved the way for the shape of computers and computer keyboards to come, though it would still take a few more decades to move away from the teletype/punchcard computers. Another punchcard computer popular at the time, was the UNIVAC I, produced in 1951 is also pictured below.

1940s ENIAC Keypunch Printer and Card Sorter in operation. Image Courtesy of the Computer History Museum

1960s UNIVAC Computer in Operation. Notice the Teletype Input Device to his left. Courtesy of the Computer History Museum

In 1964, Bell Labs and M.I.T. created the MULTICS computer, a time-sharing, multi-user system with VDT, a video display terminal. Text was instantly visible on the screen as it was typed, which made communicating commands, programs, and controls to computers more efficient than previous teletype methods of input. By the late 1970s all computers used VDT and electric keyboards. It was simply the most straight-forward and user-friendly method of interacting with computers (no stack of cards to punch holes in and keep organized).
The first keyboards that were sold in the 1970s were all built from scratch, piece by piece, and were heavy as they were fully mechanical. Since so much time and effort was needed to create these keyboards, and since the target market was primarily computer programmers and engineers, they were built for function and not for visual aesthetics. This meant there wasn’t a keyboard cover or cabinet, making the keyboard more or less exposed.

n 1964, Bell Labs and M.I.T. created the MULTICS computer, a time-sharing, multi-user system with VDT, a video display terminal. Text was instantly visible on the screen as it was typed, which made communicating commands, programs, and controls to computers more efficient than previous teletype methods of input. By the late 1970s all computers used VDT and electric keyboards. It was simply the most straight-forward and user-friendly method of interacting with computers (no stack of cards to punch holes in and keep organized).
The first keyboards that were sold in the 1970s were all built from scratch, piece by piece, and were heavy as they were fully mechanical. Since so much time and effort was needed to create these keyboards, and since the target market was primarily computer programmers and engineers, they were built for function and not for visual aesthetics. This meant there wasn’t a keyboard cover or cabinet, making the keyboard more or less exposed.

1970s Altiar Computer with Exposed Keyboard Courtesy of the Computer History Museum

There were also keyboards that were built into personal computers at the time. In the mid-1970s Imsai and Altair created the first small PCs for consumer use, generally referred to as the S100 computer systems. These machines were built piece by piece, and provided the bare essentials. There were no hard drives or floppy discs on these first machines, so there was no way to save data on them. The keyboard was located on the front panel of the computer, as a set of key switches. If users wanted a standard keyboard, IBM sold a converted electric typewriter, but as supplies were limited and the product wasn’t in high demand many users had to convert their own electric typewriters if they wanted an easier to use keyboard to enter programming code. Additionally, a second keyboard had to be connected for data entry. It wasn’t provided with purchase, requiring that users had to build their own.

There were also keyboards that were built into personal computers at the time. In the mid-1970s Imsai and Altair created the first small PCs for consumer use, generally referred to as the S100 computer systems. These machines were built piece by piece, and provided the bare essentials. There were no hard drives or floppy discs on these first machines, so there was no way to save data on them. The keyboard was located on the front panel of the computer, as a set of key switches. If users wanted a standard keyboard, IBM sold a converted electric typewriter, but as supplies were limited and the product wasn’t in high demand many users had to convert their own electric typewriters if they wanted an easier to use keyboard to enter programming code. Additionally, a second keyboard had to be connected for data entry. It wasn’t provided with purchase, requiring that users had to build their own.

In 1981, IBM released their first PC. In 1986, it came equipped with the Model M keyboard. This computer keyboard was wildly successful because it was so easy to use, users didn’t have to convert their typewriters or provide their own build of keyboard to use as an input device for their computers. The Model M was a mechanical keyboard, and used the highest quality construction, giving typists the satisfaction of tactile feedback, acute accuracy and comfort. The only draw backs on this keyboard was that the “Shift” and “Enter” keys were reportedly too small for the majority of user’s preferences. Because of this, IBM made and sold “Keytop Expanders” which fit over the shift and enter key-switches to expand the keys. All of the keyboards at this time were limited in that they were only offered in two colors: beige and grey, until the late 1980s when black was introduced as an option.

In the 1990s membrane switches began to replace the mechanical key switch, as it was quieter, weighed less, and suited the needs of the new laptop generation. This was also an advantage for the manufactures because membrane keyboards were much cheaper to produce. Unfortunately the quality of the keyboard significantly dropped as these superficial keyboard aesthetics dominated (slimmer, quieter, lighter weight, easier to be mobile with). The technology and mechanics of these keyboards will be detailed in future chapters, and mechanical keyboard information can be found here: on our Mechanical Keyboard Guide. Here’s a photo showing the dramatic difference between early Apple mechanical keyboards (1983), and decades later the modern non-mechanical Apple keyboards (2010).

Apple-Keyboard-1983-vs-2010

Other changes in keyboard design, whether or not improving upon function, have included the folding keyboard, the water-proof (and washable) keyboard, the keyboard that also functions as a mouse, thumb-sized keyboards (for mobile devices and travel) and virtual touch-screen keyboards.

The History and Evolution of Keyboard Layouts

The most widely used keyboard layout is QWERTY, named as such for the positioning of the keys in the top left row. Christopher Latham Sholes and Carlos Glidden produced the first typewriter featuring the QWERTY layout in 1874 and though there have been minor changes over the past centuries, for the most part it has remained consistent. One of the differences of the original QWERTY layout from the current version was its lack of a “1” key, and consequently “!” key. Instead of typing the numeral one, typists would use the lower-case L (l). To type an exclamation mark, typists would use a period (.), hit backspace, then type an apostrophe (‘) above it. Another key added in later versions was the “=” and “+” key. These symbols were used very infrequently on typewriters as it was generally assumed that Adding Machines were used to do all the mathematical notation. If typists wanted to produce a plus-sign, they would type a hyphen (-), hit backspace, then type a colon (:). When they wanted to type an equal sign, they would type a hyphen (-), hit backspace, and then type an underscore (_). At the start of the QWERTY layout, typewriters were only able to print UPPER CASE letters, as the “shift key” had not yet been introduced. At the end of the 19th century in 1894, The Duplex full keyboard brought lower case letters to the typewriter by featuring separate keys for lower case and UPPER CASE letters. There were twice as many keys with this design which eventually lead to the invention of the “shift key.” The shift key allowed for a consolidated keyboard similar to the first models that only typed capital letters, as well as the use of both lower and uppercase characters with the same key. Additionally, having a shift key allowed the numerical keys to be shared with special characters such as the ampersand (&) and percent (%) signs for further keyboard consolidation. One problem that arose after the shift key was added was that holding down the shift key to type more than one letter at a time was particularly difficult on early typewriters. This lead to the “SHIFT LOCK” key, later to be renamed “CAPS LOCK” by modern typists. Shift lock allowed typists to switch back and forth between lower and upper case characters, as well as numerical andspecial characters with ease.

1897, Jewett 4 Duplex typewriter – Courtesy of the Martin Howard Collection at antiquetypewriters.com

QWERTY layouts were developed as a means to slow typists down. In the beginning stages of the typewriter, people typed so quickly, that they often jammed the keys as they flew up to hit the typewriter ribbon. To prevent this, QWERTY was born to decrease typing efficiency and speed. This is why, rather than placing the most commonly used letters in convenient, central, finger placements, they are instead found in awkward locations, like the “A” key under the left pinkie finger. Likewise, the less commonly used letters are placed in the prime areas of the layout. Notice, for example how the “J” and “K” keys are under the right pointer and middle fingers. With these inconvenient placements, more than 50% of keystrokes take place on the top row, and roughly 30% take place on the bottom row. That means that less than 20% of all keystrokes actually occur where your fingers are centrally placed, the row commonly referred to as “home row.” So if this layout is so inefficient and awkward, why are we still using it today? The QWERTY layout has stuck with us for the past century for two reasons: it was the first established layout that everyone grew accustomed to and accepted; and when computers began to come into play, the leaders in the computer keyboard industry opted to keep the QWERTY layout on their manufactured keyboards- effectively binding generations of typists to an inefficient layout. When IBM and the other major manufacturers chose to stick with QWERTY, everyone else followed their lead. Thus they established the standard in layout design for decades to come- regardless of how inefficient and outdated.

Dvorak Simplified Layouts:

The QWERTY model keyboard is still used today by some of the world’s fastest typists, but imagine how much faster and more efficient typing could be if the keys we use most often were under the strongest of our fingers in the easiest to access areas. That’s where Dvorak comes in. The Dvorak simplified layout was introduced in 1936 by Dr. August Dvorak, and offers a keyboard layout that is more intuitive and efficient for modern typists. Dr. Dvorak conducted extensive research on the English language (and other languages using the Roman alphabet), and studied the physiology of the hand. Dr. Dvorak’s research brought forth not only the Dvorak layout, but also two additional keyboard layouts designed for people with one hand: one keyboard for those with only one right hand, and the other for those with only a left.

The Mouse

Prototype Engelbart mouse (replica)

SRI engineer Bill English built the first Engelbart mouse prototype, which used knife-edge wheels and had space for only one button.

Trackballs, light pens, and other clever pointing devices were widespread. Then the mouse was invented. Twice. (Well, at least twice.)

Doug Engelbart reportedly conceived the mouse during a conference lecture in 1961. His first design, in 1963, used rolling wheels inspired by mechanical area-measuring devices called planimeters invented in the 1800s.

Engineers at Germany’s Telefunken also invented a mouse in the mid-1960s. First described in 1968, their version used a rolling ball—essentially a small, upside-down trackball—which became the standard for decades.

Who Named the Mouse?

When asked who named his most famous invention, Doug Engelbart recalled, “No one can remember. It just looked like a mouse with a tail, and we all called it that.” The wire “tail” originally came out under the user’s wrist.

A Menagerie of Mice

The basic idea of the mouse is simple, but there are many variations on the theme. Engineers have experimented with different shapes, numbers of buttons, internal mechanisms, and aesthetics – as well as with the part of the human body that activates it.

鼠标是一种很常见及常用的电脑输入设备,它可以对当前屏幕上的游标进行定位,并通过按键和滚轮装置对游标所经过位置的屏幕元素进行操作。鼠标的鼻祖于1968年出现。美国科学家道格拉斯·恩格尔巴特(Douglas Englebart)在加利福尼亚制作了第一只鼠标。

968年,鼠标的原型诞生;
1968年12月9日,世界上的第一个鼠标诞生于美国斯坦福大学。它的发明者是道格拉斯·恩格尔巴特博士。这只鼠标的设计目的,是为了用鼠标来代替键盘那繁琐的指令,从而使计算机的操作更加简便。这只鼠标的外形是一只小木头盒子,其工作原理是由它底部的小球带动枢轴转动,继而带动变阻器改变阻值来产生位移信号,并将信号传至主机。
1980年代初,出现了第一代的光电鼠标,这类光电鼠标具有比机械鼠标更高的精确度。但是它必须工作在特殊的印有细微格栅的光电鼠标垫上。这种鼠标过高的成本限制了其使用范围。
1981年,第一只商业化鼠标诞生。(最早于Mac广泛应用)
1983年,罗技发明了第一只光电机械式鼠标,也就是我们今天所说的机械鼠标。这种鼠标结构成为了事实上的行业标准。
1999年,安捷伦公司(Agilent,后改组为安华高, Avago)发布了IntelliEye光电引擎,继而市场上出现了不需要专用鼠标垫的光电鼠标,光电鼠标的普及由此开始。
2003年,罗技与微软分别推出以蓝牙为通讯协定的蓝牙鼠标。
2005年,罗技与安华高合作推出第一款激光鼠标(无线,可充电, Logitech MX1000)。
2006年,第一只克服玻璃障碍的有线激光鼠标问世(DEXIN, ML45)。
2006年,蓝牙激光鼠标问世(Acrox)。
2008年,微软推出采用Blue Track技术的蓝光鼠标,几乎兼容所有界面(Microsoft SideWinder X8)。
2009年,罗技推出DarkField激光追踪技术。此技术基本上仍是采用激光辨识,结合运用在实验室的“暗视野(Darkfield)”显微镜技术,让鼠标也能看到透明材质中的小瑕疵、灰尘、微粒等微小物质,并借此提供辨识定位资讯。(Logitech M905、M950)[1]
2009年,苹果公司推出新鼠标Magic Mouse,采用承袭自iPhone、iPod Touch、MacBook的多点触控技术,把所有鼠标按键、滚轮都拿掉,只以一整片多点触控板,就能提供等同一般鼠标的左、右键,以及360度滚轮功能,并能以两指操作更多手势功能。[2]

Laser Printers

Dover laser printer

The Dover was a prototype for Xerox’s first commercial laser printer, the 9700, which printed 120 pages per minute on standard paper.

Xerox physicist Gary Starkweather realized in 1967 that exposing a copy machine’s light-sensitive drum to a paper original wasn’t the only way to create an image. A computer could “write” it with a laser instead.

Xerox wasn’t interested. So in 1971, Starkweather transferred to Xerox PARC, away from corporate oversight. Within a year, he had built the world’s first laser printer, launched a new era in computer printing…and earning billions for Xerox.

Unlike the company’s Xerography process, however, Xerox had to share the laser printer market. IBM and Canon soon developed competing products.

Input Devices: Sometimes Clever, Sometimes Strange

Input Cabinet of Curiosities

Designers have been playfully creative in finding ways for humans to talk to machines. They’ve given us keyboards, mice, trackballs, joysticks, tablets, switches, gloves, light pens, microphones, cameras, and more. Each is best for a particular application.

It is still an active area for innovation, so watch for even more creative ideas in the future. Brain wave analysis, maybe?

Tablet, Stylus, Eye-tracking, trackball, Joystick, scanner, vr gloves

The Diversity of Output Devices

The Sword of Damocles: Early head-mounted display

Harvard computer science professor Ivan Sutherland created this virtual reality head-mounted display, jokingly referred to as “The Sword of Damocles” because of the large overhead beam required to support its weight. His student Bob Sproull assisted with the design. An early application showed a three-dimensional wire-frame virtual room that users like this man could explore by moving their heads.

Whether with a realtime display or a permanent printed record, many computers need to communicate visually with humans to be useful. Hundreds of mostly clever – but sometimes silly – devices have been invented to do that.

The cycle of innovation and competition is fierce. Even popular mainstays like the daisy-wheel printer quickly become museum pieces as they are displaced by the next great idea.

3d display, print chain, glasses

显示器

曲折艰难中不断前进!液晶显示器发展史回顾

球面显像管
现在我们已经很难看到最早的采用绿显、单显显像管的显示器,就连初期的14”彩色显示器也很少见到。当时这些显示器都是阴极射线管(CRT)显示器,采用的是孔状荫罩,其显像管断面基本上都是球面的,因此被称做球面显像管,这种显示器的屏幕在水平和垂直方向上都是弯曲的,这种弯曲的屏幕造成了图像失真及反光现象,也使实际的显示面积较小。
在此阶段,对屏幕图像的调整也由于受操作系统(主要是DOS系统)的限制,而只能采用电位器模拟调节,也就是显示器下方的一排旋钮,通过这些旋钮可以对显示效果进行简单的调整(包括亮度、对比度以及屏幕大小及方向),这种方法缺乏直观的控制度量,在进行模式转换时容易造成图像显示不正常出现故障的几率也比较大。
台式显示器
台式显示器
随着显示器技术和软件技术的发展,这种采用电位器对显示器进行模拟调节的技术也将慢慢被淘汰。
平面直角显像管
随着电脑整体水平的进步,人们对显示器的要求也越来越高。到了1994年,为了减小球屏四角的失真和反光,新一代的“平面直角”显像管诞生了。当然,它并不是真正意义上的平面,只是其球面曲率半径大于2000毫米,四角为直角。它使反光和四角失真程度都减轻不少,再加上屏幕涂层技术的应用,使画面质量有了很大的提高。因此,各个显示器厂商都迅速推出了使用“平面直角”显像管的显示器,并逐渐取代了采用球面显像管的显示器。近几年的14英寸和大多数的15、17英寸及以上的显示器都采用了这种“平面直角”显像管。
在此之后,日本索尼公司开发出了柱面显像管,采用了条栅荫罩技术,即特丽珑(Trinitron)技术的出现,三菱公司也紧随其后,开发出钻石珑(Diamondtron)技术,这使得屏幕在垂直方向实现完全的笔直,只在水平方向仍略有弧度,另外加上栅状荫罩的设计,使显示质量大幅度上升。各大厂商纷纷采用这些新技术推出新一代产品。
从1998底开始,一种崭新的完全平面显示器出现了,它使CRT显示器达到了一个新的高度。这种显示器的屏幕在水平和垂直方向上都是笔直的,图像的失真和屏幕的反光都被降低到最小的限度。例如LG公司推出的采用Flatron显像管的“未来窗”显示器,它的荫罩是点栅状的,使显示效果更出众。与LG的Flatron性能类似的还有SamSung的丹娜(DynaFlat)显像管。另外,ViewSonic、Philips等也推出了自己的完全平面显示器。
纵观CRT显示器的发展趋势,由于人们对完美显示效果的不断追求,今后的CRT显示器也将会更高的高度迈进。
这一段时间内,由于WINDOWS操作系统的发展,特别是WINDOWS95、98的成熟,VESA的DDC协议允许显示器和主机间通过数据通道进行信息交换,从而出现了数控调节。这时的显示器内部带有专用的微处理器,可记忆显示模式,切换时无须调整,量化调节更精确,按钮为轻触型。所有的这些优点,使得显示器的寿命更长,故障率降低,因而数控调节技术得以迅速推广,其操控方式也从普通的按键式变成新颖的单键飞梭。菜单控制(OSD)是一种新出现的屏幕调控技术,它通过和按键的结合以量化的方式将屏幕的调节情况直观的显示出来,具有较强的易用性,使用舒适,符合人体工程学,更贴近用户。
CRT显示器历经发展,显示质量越来越好,但显像管要求电子枪发出的电子束从一侧偏向另一侧的角度不能大于90度,这使得显示器的厚度要与屏幕的对角线一样长,对于具有更大可视面积的显示器来说,就意味着更厚的机身和更大的体积。
为了使大屏幕显示器更为普及,厂商又开发出广角偏转线圈技术,它能使电子束的最大偏转角度达到100度或更高一点,这样在较短的距离内就可以实现电子束的完全覆盖,从而缩短显像管以至机身的厚度2英寸左右。还有一种办法就是采用短颈显像管,在显像管的电子枪末端使用更小的部件,这也可以使机身的厚度减少1英寸左右。
液晶显示器编辑
现在市场上已出现了不少短管显示器,例如Philips的19”109B和17”107B,ADI的19”MicroScanG66,ViewSonic的19”PS790、17”PS775、17”GS771等,都是采用广角偏转线圈技术的,由于使用了短管技术,加之对显示器内部进行了结构优化,19”显示器的厚度与15”的差不多,17”显示器的厚度则与14”的很接近。由于CRT显示器物理结构的限制和电磁辐射的弱点,人们开始寻找更新的显示媒体–液晶显示器,它无辐射、全平面、无闪烁、无失真、可视面积大、体积重量小、抗干扰能力强,而视角太小、亮度和对比度不够大等缺陷也随着技术的提高有了相当的进步,例如新产品TFT-LCD显示器。
目前限制液晶显示器普及的唯一原因,是昂贵的石英基板和不高的良品率造成的高价位。随着新近的低温多结晶Si-TFT技术的成熟和大规模生产带来的低成本,TFT-LCD有望在2000年后占领CRT显示器一半以上的市场。但是液晶显示器的图像色彩和饱和度不够完善,而且其响应时间太长,一旦出现画面的剧烈更新,它的弱点就表露无异。
在液晶显示器不断发展的同时,其它平面显示器也在进步中,如等离子显示器、场致显示器、发光聚合体显示器。
各类标准编辑
在显示器的发展过程中,由于对显示器的辐射、节电、环保等方面的要求,显示器的认证标准也应运而生。1987年,瑞典技术认可局就电磁放射对人体健康的影响提出了一个标准,即MPR-1。到了1990年,MPR-1进一步扩展成MPR-2,更详细的列出了21项显示器标准,包括闪烁度、跳动、线性、光亮度、反光度、字体大小等,对超低频和更低频辐射提出了最大限制,成为一种比较严格的电磁辐射标准。随着时间的推移,人们对健康投入了更多的关注,如今MPR-2已经成为显示器最基本的低辐射标准,现在市场上的显示器基本上都通过了该标准。
1992年,瑞典专业雇员联盟(TCO)在MPR-2的基础上对节能、辐射提出了更高的环保要求,即TCO92标准。TCO标准经过不断扩充和改进,逐渐演变成现在通用的世界性标准:TCO92包括了对显示器的电磁辐射、自动电源关闭、耗电量、防火及用电安全、TCO验证证明这五个方面的标准;TCO95又加入了对环保和人体工程学的要求,范围扩大到整个微机系统;TCO99则提出了更全面、更严格的环保及用户舒适度的标准。当然通过TCO认证的显示器的售价也有所提高,但是物有所值。
LE显示器
LE显示器
在这些严格的认证标准的控制下,显示器对健康的影响也会越来越小。现在的显示器除了提高显示质量外,在其它方面也做着各种改进和革新,其中包括了USB接口技术的应用。它是由Compaq、Digital、IBM、Intel、Microsoft、NEC和NT七家公司共同开发的外设连接技术:标准化的接口规范、方便的连接、对多设备的支持、真正的即插即用,它支持等时传送模式,实时处理多媒体数据,保证图像显示不间断,提高画面质量。
大多数显示器厂商都在新型号的显示器产品上内置了USB接口或者预留了升级到USB接口的余地。随着WIN98等操作系统及应用软件对USB更完善的支持,USB接口技术也将给电脑的使用者带来更大的方便。
总结编辑
显示器的发展走到今天,从单色到彩色,从模糊到清晰,从小到大,历经无数的变化。各个厂商不断的改进和完善显示器的生产技术,以求其产品能够适应消费者日趋变化的消费心理和消费行为。
总之,更多的产品形式、更高的产品质量、更全的产品性能将是未来显示器发展的必然趋势,让我们拭目以待,继续关注显示器的发展历程。
显示器大概分类如下:
1、CRT显示器
是一种使用阴极射线管(Cathode Ray Tube)的显示器,阴极射线管主要有五部分组成:电子枪(Electron Gun),偏转线圈(Deflection coils),荫罩(Shadow mask),荧光粉层(Phosphor)及玻璃外壳。它是目前应用最广泛的显示器之一,CRT纯平显示器具有可视角度大、无坏点、色彩还原度高、色度均匀、可调节的多分辨率模式、响应时间极短等LCD显示器难以超过的优点,而且现在的CRT显示器价格要比LCD显示器便宜不少。按照不同的标准,CRT显示器可划分为不同的类型。
2、LED显示器
LED就是light emitting diode ,发光二极管的英文缩写,简称LED。它是一种通过控制半导体发光二极管的显示方式,用来显示文字、图形、图像、动画、行情、视频、录像信号等各种信息的显示屏幕。
3、LCD显示器
LCD显示器 即液晶显示器,优点是机身薄,占地小,辐射小,给人以一种健康产品的形象。但实际情况并非如此,使用液晶显示屏不一定可以保护到眼睛,这需要看各人使用计算机的习惯,。
4、3D显示器
3D显示器一直被公认为显示技术发展的终极梦想,多年来有许多企业和研究机构从事这方面的研究。日本、欧美、韩国等发达国家和地区早于20世纪80年代就纷纷涉足立体显示技术的研发,于90年代开始陆续获得不同程度的研究成果,现已开发出需佩戴立体眼镜和不需佩戴立体眼镜的两大立体显示技术体系。传统的3D电影在荧幕上有两组图像(来源于在拍摄时的互成角度的两台摄影机),观众必须戴上偏光镜才能消除重影(让一只眼只受一组图像),形成视差(parallax),产生立体感。

耳机

從最早幾乎無法想像在何時何地都能夠享受音樂的年代,到現在隨處都可以見到有人帶著耳機在街上聆聽音樂,聆聽音樂的方式和過往有顯著的轉變,隨著科技的進步和娛樂媒體的發展,音樂漸漸成為大家生活所不可分離一部分。音樂播放裝置的體積越來越輕巧,這也驅使著最末端的發聲元件產生劇烈變化,從只能定點聆聽音樂的喇叭,進化到今日幾乎每個人都擁的耳機,音樂的聆聽方式有了多樣化的選擇,但其中最便利的聆聽音樂方式就屬耳機莫屬。

耳機普及始自Sony

耳機的普及化很大一部分功勞要算在Sony身上,在1979年出現的第一台價格合理且輕便的隨身播放器Walkman TPS-L2,就此敲開隨身耳機進入消費級市場的大門,使得耳機產品大舉進入大眾的生活中。但是耳機的起源遠早於1979年,就如同今日多數的消費級電子產品,現在常見的耳機是源自於軍事需求,並不是為了讓一般大眾聆聽音樂而設計。

隨著耳機不斷的演進,多種不同的內部驅動單體也隨之發展出來,雖然基礎原理方面並沒有重大的變化,實際達成發聲的構造卻有很大的不同,並且每種類型都有其發展的背景,同時也擁有其自身的優缺點。

對於耳機有研究的玩家,一定對耳機的發展和起源有著濃厚的興趣,並且應該也希望能夠更了解不同驅動單體的差異,底下我們先來閒聊一下耳機的歷史和起源,和淺談耳機內部驅動單體的演化。

Sony開創了隨身音樂世代,Walkman至今仍然深深烙印在許多人心中。(圖片來源:網路資源)

耳機起源已超越100年

耳機的歷史到現在已經有一百多年,從開始的特殊用途,到後來成為個人聆聽音樂的工具,中間經過非常大的轉變,我們底下將先介紹耳機概念的起源和演化史。

耳機前身因概念而異

如果不限於音樂聆聽用途,最早的擁有耳機概念的產品始於1881年,由Ezra Gilliland所發表的一種利用支架放在肩上,包含通訊設備和單邊耳罩接收系統的Gilliand harness,主要用途是給19世紀的電話操作員使用,雖然並非是用來聆聽音樂用的工具,但已經具備耳機基本的概念。

如果將耳機的概念限於個人聆聽音樂的工具,西元1881年在Scientific American期刊上由Clément Ader所發表的歌劇院立體聲聆聽系統(Théâtrophone),聆聽者手持兩個發生單體放在兩側耳朵旁,用來模擬一個立體聲的聲樂系統,可能算是最早用來聆聽音樂的耳機系統。

雖然Théâtrophone已經擁有耳機系統該有的原型,但如果再將耳機更侷限到家用音樂聆聽系統,並且主要是聆聽回放音樂的用途,那西元1895年出現的Electrophone家用音樂聆聽系統,可能就更接近現代耳機的原型,Electrophone系統的聽筒是由手持支架的方式來放置在耳邊,和現在的耳機還是有不小差距,在當時是中產階級以上的家庭才有機會擁有。

頭戴式耳機起源

而第一款頭戴式耳機的出現基本上是眾說紛紜,不同的品牌都宣稱自己是最早的耳機發明始祖,像是美國品牌Koss就提到第一款立體聲頭戴式耳機,是由John C. Koss在西元1958年所發明,或是Beyerdynamic宣稱西元1937年出現的Beyerdynamic DT48,是人類歷史上第一對頭戴式動圈(dynamic driver)耳機。

但這些均是在有條件下的第一,如果要追朔到初始的頭戴式耳機,不少文獻指出頭戴式耳機的起源,應該是西元1910由Nathaniel Baldwin所製造的第一款頭戴式耳機。如同我們上面說的,耳機起源是由軍事用途來的,這款耳機是Baldwin在自家的廚房中設計出來,主要是販售給美國海軍監聽無線電使用的耳機。

入耳式耳機起源

比較有趣的是,如果將現在還在流通的各種類型耳機都考慮進去,就文獻可以找到的資料,第一款擁有現代隨身耳機概念的創造物,是由法國巴黎的工程師Ernest Mercadier,在西元1891註冊專利的產品(美國專利號U.S. Patent No. 454,138)。裡面提到發明了一種可以輕便攜帶使用,體積大小大約一又四分之三吋,適合放入耳道內配戴的電話聽筒,這基本上就是現在所常見入耳式耳機的樣式,非常意外的是第一款擁有現代耳機概念的產品,居然是入耳式耳機!

左圖Mercadier註冊的入耳式耳機聽筒(美國專利號U.S. Patent No. 454,138),右圖Mercadier免持式入耳式聽筒使用示意圖(圖片來源:Vintage Telephones of the World)。

近代耳機和驅動單體演化史

近代耳機的外型基礎,從最初的Baldwin耳機到現在,頭戴式耳機在基本構造上已經沒有非常顯著的變化,但是在後續的演化過程中,內部的驅動單體卻有著不斷的改進和突破。在驅動單體的轉變中,使用的發聲原理大致上大異其趣,但是實際達成方式又有著根本上的不同處

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