What are the parts of a keyboard


The keyboard, also called keyboard (English), is the oldest data input device known in the computer sector. Only the punched tape is older, but it was also used as a data storage device. The keyboard essentially only fulfills the function of data entry and control of the operating system and application programs.
In comparison to the processor, the RAM and the hard drive, the keyboard receives the least attention. Although many computer owners pay a lot of attention to the insides of their computer, to them the keyboard is the least important part of their computer. Above all, with complete computers from the discounter, savings are made on the keyboard. If she is there at all. What many do not know: a computer does not work at all without a keyboard.
Above all, prolific writers should buy a high-quality keyboard that is stable and whose keys have a comfortable pressure point.

Keyboard interfaces

PS / 2 connectionUSB connection

The keyboard has had its own interface since the beginning, which is soldered onto every motherboard and led out of the computer case. IBM-compatible computers were equipped with the PS / 2 interface. It was a serial interface.
Today's keyboards are connected to USB. Computers rarely have a PS / 2 interface. Alternatively, there are wireless keyboards with their own receiver or Bluetooth.

Keyboard layout

The keyboard layout relates to the assignment of the keys. Each country has different key assignments in detail. Each key has a unique code that is sent to the computer when pressed. The keys are classified in ASCII code, which consists of 128 characters (7 bits). 32 of these characters are non-printable control characters.
The German keyboard layout differs in the alphanumeric area with other countries. The German key assignment is called QWERTZ, the international one as QWERTY. The name originates from the first 6 letters of the second row of the alphanumeric keypad.
There are various deviations in Switzerland in German-speaking countries. This takes into account the languages ‚Äč‚ÄčItalian and French.

Keyboards at a glance

The keyboard has not changed much since computers have existed. The changes are in the details. With each new generation of keyboard, new keys with new functions have been added.

  • XT keyboard
  • AT keyboard
  • MF2 keyboard
  • MF2 Win95 keyboard

XT keyboard

The XT keyboard is the keyboard that was used in the first personal computers. It has 83 keys.

AT keyboard

The AT keyboard is the successor to the XT keyboard. The AT keyboard has some improvements over the XT keyboard. The division of the three functional areas is optically separated from one another. The shift, return and enter keys have been enlarged. This makes it much more convenient to use. Another improvement are the three LEDs that are located above the number pad. The status of the keyboard is displayed there, as some keys have double functions.

MF2 keyboard (multifunction)

The MF2 keyboard is a standard keyboard with 102 keys, hence the name 102-MF keyboard. The term "extended AT keyboard" is also common.
The MF2 keyboard is an integrated processor, which is supposed to relieve the main processor of the computer. It controls the LEDs, the operating mode of the numeric keypad, the repetition of long-pressed keys and the data transfer to the computer.

The MF2 keyboard comprises 4 functional areas:
  • Function keys (F1 to F12)
  • alphanumeric keypad
  • Number pad
  • Cursor block

For the first time, the function keys are arranged above the alphanumeric key block. An additional cursor and function key block was added for the free space.

MF2 Win95 keyboard

The Win95 keyboard corresponds to an MF2 keyboard with 3 additional keys. These keys are required for operation from Windows 95 in full screen mode. Most operators are unlikely to be able to do anything with these keys.
The key on the left between CTRL and ALT and next to the ALT GR key has a Windows symbol. This key can be used to call up the start menu. The key next to CTRL on the right-hand side calls up the context menu of the respective application that is currently active on the screen. These keys are only supported by Windows and have no meaning in other operating systems.

Description of the keypads on a Windows keyboard

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