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Chapter 6

The Keyboard

The keyboard and the mouse are the two standard sources of user input in Microsoft Windows 98, often complementing each other with some overlap. The mouse is, of course, much more utilized in today's applications than those of a decade ago. We are even accustomed to using the mouse almost exclusively in some applications, such as games, drawing programs, music programs, and Web browsers. Yet while we could probably make do without the mouse, removing the keyboard from the average PC would be disastrous.

Compared with the other components of the personal computer, the keyboard has a positively ancient ancestry beginning with the first Remington typewriter in 1874. Early computer programmers used keyboards to punch holes in Hollerith cards and later used keyboards on dumb terminals to communicate directly with large mainframe computers. The PC has been expanded somewhat to include function keys, cursor positioning keys, and (usually) a separate numeric keypad, but the principles of typing are basically the same.