A Keyboard, which usually is similar to a typewriter , may be part of a personal computer. Not all keyboards are traditional however, a fast food franchise like McDonald's, and Pizza Hut for example, uses keyboards whose keys represent items such as large fries or a Big Mac. Even less traditional is the keyboard which is used to enter Chinese, Arabic, and Urdu characters. The complete layout/Functions/Problems of traditional keyboard is as follows:
Finding your way around a keyboard:
Most personal computer keyboards have three main parts: function keys, the main keyboard in the center, and numeric keys to the right. Extended keyboards, such as the keyboard shown here have additional keys between the main keyboards and the numeric keys and status lights in the upper-right corner.
a. Function keys:
The function keys are an easy way to give certain commands to the computer. What each function does is defined by the particular software your using. Function keys are represented by letter F1, F2,....F12
b. Main Keyboard:
The main keyboard includes the familiar keys found on typewriter keyboard, as will as some special command keys. The command keys have different uses that depend on the software being used. Some of the most common uses are listed here.
The Escape key, Esc, is used in different ways by different programs; often it allows you to "escape" to the previous screen of the program.
The Tab key, allows you to tab across the screen and set tab stops as you would on a typewriter.
When the Caps Lock is pressed, uppercase letters are produced. Numbers and symbols are not affected. The number or symbol shown on the bottom of a key is still produced. When the caps lock keys pressed, the status light under "Caps Lock" lights up.
The Shift key allows you to produce uppercase letters and the upper symbols shown on the keys.
The Control key, Ctrl, is pressed in combination with other keys to initiate commands as specified by the
The Alternate key, Alt, is also used in combination with other keys to initiate commands.
The Backspace key is most often used to delete a character to the left of the cursor, moving the curser back one position. (The cursor is the flashing indicator on the screen that shows where the next character will be inserted.)
The Enter key moves the cursor to the beginning of the next line. It is used at the end of a paragraph, for instance.
The numeric keys serve one of two purpose, depending on the status of the Num Lock key. when the computer is on the Num Lock modes, three keys can be used to enter numeric data and mathematical symbol (for "divided by",*for "multiplied by", -, and +).In the Num Lock mode, the status light under "Num Lock" lights up. When the computer is not in the Num Lock mode, the numeric keys can be used to move the cursor and perform other functions.
The Page Up key, PgUp, backs up to the previous screen while the cursor stays in the same place.
The Insert key, Ins, toggled off causes keyed characters to override existing characters
The Delete key, Del, deletes a character, space, or selected text
At the top of the keyboard, to the right of the function keys are keys that perform additional task. For example:
The Print screen key causes the current screen display
The Scroll Lock key causes lines of text not the cursor to move when cursor keys are used. When the computer is in the Scroll Lock mode, the status light under "Scroll Lock" is lights up.
The Pause key causes the screen to pause when information is appearing on the screen too fast to read.
Keyboard has the following characteristics:
- No intermediate data recording media is required with these devices. They are able to enter data directly in to the computer.
- These devices allow the computer to be used in interactive mode. that is, they allow the user to enter data through the keyboard while the program is running and to get immediate answer from the computer.
The keyboard is too cumbersome for some application, especially those that rely on graphical user interface (DUI) or require the users to point and draw. The effectiveness of GUIs depends on the use's ability to make a rapid selection from a screen full of graphical icons or menus. In these instances the mouse can positions the pointer (graphical cursor) over an icon quickly and efficiently.