Monday, December 1, 2014
Over thanksgiving break, I talked to my dad about one of the most important information technologies that he once used during his job. The information technology he had experience using is the typewriter. He first learned it when he graduated from high school in his own initiative. His brother, who is also my uncle, bought a typewriter. His brother also took a typewriting course, so he is pretty skillful at typewriting. Through the typewriting course, my dad’s brother obtained a guide book about typewriting. My dad then borrowed that book and read it. He was really enthusiastic to learn typewriting because he knew it was a really useful technology to master. After reading the book, my dad started to practice typewriting daily and he became reasonably good in a couple weeks. He thought learning it the first time can be challenging, but it got easier with more practice. As typewriting is a valuable skill, my dad could be an asset to his employers. Nowadays, typewriting is less common. Its role has been replaced by computers which makes typing a lot simpler. The computer makes it easier for us to erase mistyped words and also arrange their alignment on the sheet of paper. Unlike the typewriter, the computer requires less effort when typing individual characters. This added convenience makes it possible for us to type at a faster pace. An interesting similarity between computers and typewriters is the keyboard. The layout of their keyboards follow a QWERTY format which is maintained until today. This fact shows the concept of path dependence. Once a technological framework has been put into place, it becomes difficult and expensive to change that framework unless there is a huge technological revolution. The technological framework in this case is the QWERTY keyboard layout.