A one-of-a-kind book about the history of typing
Shift Happens tells the story of keyboards like no book ever before: 150 years of keys, from the early typewriters to the pixellated keyboards in our pockets.
It’s a book about people: Frank McGurrin competing with Mae Orr during the Shift Wars of 1880s; Jef Raskin and Steve Jobs fighting over the future of computers a century later; young Mergenthaler sneaking into a clock tower dreaming of printing; Soviet agents listening to American embassy keystrokes; women pouring into offices eager to do more than typing and re-typing; people wanting to make the best mechanical keyboard today.
It’s also book of surprising connections and unintended consequences.
What does Ctrl have to do with JFK’s assassination?
Why is Scroll Lock one of the most important keys on your keyboard?
Was touch typing a fraud? Was Mr. Dvorak? QWERTY?
Why was the worst keyboard ever made actually one of the best ones?
Is the best one overrated?
This is the only book that connects the world of typewriters to the universe of computers.
It will have something for you whether you’re into vintage typewriters, classic clicky IBM keyboards, or modern mechanical wonders. Are you none of these? Get ready to become a keyboard nerd, and look at an everyday boring QWERTY slab with newfound respect.