If you’ve ever used a computer, you’ve probably seen it: A grid of numbers and mathematical operators on the far-right side of a keyboard. It’s a numeric keypad—but how did it get there, and why is it laid out the way it is? Let’s explore its origins. It’s All About the Math Computers have numeric keypads because they make repetitive data entry easier. They allow you to type numbers and perform mathematical operations rapidly, with only one hand. The modern design of numeric keypads may seem obvious today, but it is the product of decades of refinement in adding machine technology, most of which took place over 100 years ago. The modern numeric keypad layout—sometimes called a “tenkey” layout—can trace its roots back to David Sundstrand, whose company released the first commercial tenkey mechanical adding machine in 1914. In Sundstrand’s adding machine key layout, you can see the rudiments of now-standard setup: ten numeral keys, arranged in three rows of three with the … [Read more...] about Where Did the Numeric Keypads on PC Keyboards Come From?
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When it comes to smartphone cameras, it’s not all about the hardware anymore. Modern smartphones automatically use “computational photography” techniques to improve every single photo you take. Using Software to Improve Your Smartphone Camera Computational photography is a broad term for loads of different techniques that use software to enhance or extend the capabilities of a digital camera . Crucially, computational photography starts with a photo and ends with something that still looks like a photo (even if it could never be taken with a regular camera.) How Traditional Photography Works Before going any deeper, let’s quickly go over what happens when you take a photo with an old film camera. Something like the SLR you (or your parents) used back in the ’80s. When you click the shutter-release button, the shutter opens for a fraction of a second and lets light hit the film. All the light is focused by a physical lens that determines how everything in the photo will … [Read more...] about How Computational Photography Improves Smartphone Photos