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Adam Griffith

Know Your Keyboard Like Never Before

April 19, 2012 —
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Who says data doesn’t have a lighter side to it?

Here at Wolfram|Alpha we are constantly adding data from the critical domains of science and socioeconomics and making all of it computable in order to provide new insights as well as novel ways of looking at the world we live in.

But once in a while we like to throw in something fun and exciting, and one such new area that we have added is detailed information on over 150 types of keyboards from all over the world. Ever wondered how many keys are on the third row of a US keyboard or what fingers you would use when typing the first six words of the Gettysburg Address, “Four score and seven years ago”, on your keyboard?

"Four score and seven years ago" on my keyboard

With the power of Wolfram|Alpha, these keyboards are at your fingertips. In Wolfram|Alpha, each keyboard is uniquely laid out in both normal and shifted forms with fingering layouts, culminating in the ultimate all-in-one viewing experience. Ask about the layout of an Arabic keyboard. Try checking out the fingering profile for the phrase “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” on a US keyboard. Or here’s something I didn’t know: guess what the shifted keys on a Chinese keyboard are?

Another neat feature of this area is the ability to compare multiple keyboards and identify the differences between them. Imagine that you are about to make a purchase, but need to know what truly makes two keyboards different from one another. Wolfram|Alpha makes viewing those differences visually exciting and fun. For example, just type in “Swedish keyboard versus Norwegian keyboard” and click the Show differences button.

Swedish keyboard versus Norwegian keyboard

This was a lot of information about keyboards—but we’re not done yet. The power of Wolfram|Alpha enables us to seamlessly integrate new domains of knowledge with existing ones, and we have done precisely this with keyboard data as well. We have now added all of the keyboard information to our existing domain of characters. So now if you type “o umlaut” into Wolfram|Alpha, there is additional information showing you all the keyboards containing that character. And clicking the Show key location button brings up a nifty little graphic showing the position of the key on each of the keyboards (including the case where the key is actually shifted, as it is in the case of the Luxembourgish keyboard).

So explore all of the keyboards you’ve owned, want to buy, or just plain have an itch to learn about. Wolfram|Alpha will be there to help every step of the way—or, should we say, every key of the way!


A breakthrough for all of us Dvorak users everywhere!

Posted by David April 19, 2012 at 3:48 pm

You need to add the Colemak keyboard layout!

Posted by Robert April 19, 2012 at 3:49 pm

How about mouses?

Posted by MC May 10, 2012 at 6:03 pm
Posted by Red May 30, 2013 at 6:01 am