A Quick History of Keyboards

Of all the ways to design a keyboard, how did we end up with QWERTY?

Back in the late 1800’s, typewriters had a more conventional “ABCDE” layout of keys. The problem? Pressing two neighboring keys could cause the keys to clash and jam together, ruining the typed paper. This was especially common with certain letter combinations like “st.”

In 1867, Christopher Sholes patented a new layout design specifically to combat this problem in typewriters. The layout, named after the keys in the top row (QWERTY), forced typists to alternate their hands and spaced out commonly used letters. The keys were also rearranged from a grid layout to diagonally slanted rows, to make more room for the levers each key was attached to. This trait, you may notice, is still present in keyboards today, despite there being no levers to make room for.

In 1936, August Dvorak patented a redesigned layout – this keyboard rearranged letters based on how common they were, in order to reduce fatigue and awkward finger motions. While Dvorak claimed his typists were faster (the Guinness World Record holder was one), the layout never took off.

Most computers still offer Dvorak support – try it out for yourself and see if you could make the switch!

Socket Fiber Story: Lori Twillman


Lori Twillman of Calwood, MO was used to bad Internet service. She’d tried several providers, only to be disappointed each time she switched.
“Every time we got a new option, I would try to upgrade, hoping to get better service,” she says.
Lori uses the Internet at home for both work and leisure. She’s able to occasionally work from home, but it seemed that when she really needed to—during a snowstorm, for example—she couldn’t get online.
Scrapbooking was also a challenge. Lori likes to make memory books for her kids and grandkids, but she found herself creating elaborate pages, only to find out she had been disconnected and have to start over again.
So Lori decided (again) to try something new when Socket Fiber came to her rural area. And she found that this time, the switch paid off.
“Socket has certainly relieved a lot of stress,” Lori says. “I don’t have that wait time, and it’s been a very good improvement in our household.”
The construction process went smoothly as well.
“They had to bury a fair amount of cable to bring the fiber to our house, but you would never have noticed that anyone had done anything,” she says. “They thoroughly explained everything to me, and there were no surprises.”
 As an added bonus, Lori’s family bundled their high-speed Internet with home telephone service and ended up saving money. This made the switch even easier, and Lori has finally found an Internet provider she’s happy with.
“Socket is a wonderful company to deal with and the best experience I’ve had.”

Hear Lori's story in this video.

Get Ready for Spring with Cleanup Columbia!

There’s nothing like a little spring cleaning to put the winter season behind us… want to join in?
Socket will again be helping out during the annual Cleanup Columbia event, scheduled for April 12th. Hundreds of volunteers will be tidying up public areas that day, including many of the organizations featured on the Adopt-A-Spot signs you may have seen around town.
We’ll be out on Clark Lane, Socket’s designated Adopt-A-Spot area, but volunteers are still needed for many of the public trails and streams. If you’re interested in helping out, visit the City of Columbia website for information and to sign up. Volunteer before the deadline and you can get a cool t-shirt, too!
Hope to see you out there!

Socket Visits the Missouri Association of School Administrators Conference

Socket recently attended the Missouri Association of School Administrators 2014 Spring Conference, held in Lake Ozark from March 19th – 21st. We got the opportunity to speak to several school districts throughout the state, some of which are already our happy customers.

“I was extremely pleased with the interest we received in Socket’s Hosted PBX phone service.  It really validates our belief that it’s a perfect solution for many school districts that have outdated technology, have limited IT resources and limited budgets," said Melissa Higgins, Socket Representative. "With Socket’s managed service program, we can provide updated technology with a cost effective solution utilizing eRate funding and the assistance the district needs for the ongoing support.”   

Since Socket’s Hosted Phone solution qualifies for E-Rate funding, many schools have turned to us to handle their telecom needs. For more information on Socket’s E-Rate eligible services, contact us at BusinessCenter@socket.net, or give us a call at 1-800-SOCKET-3.

Construction is Back Underway!

Spring is finally here, and our fiber construction and installation crews are back to work! Crews have been burying fiber-optic lines to homes and businesses for a couple weeks now, and installations resumed earlier this week.
We're keeping them busy installing customers who signed up over the winter and have been eagerly awaiting service. If you're not already on the list, now's the time to do so.
For a limited time, you can sign up to try Socket Fiber free for 60 days with no strings attached.
As always, give us a call at 1-800-762-5383 with any questions.
Happy Spring!

Jonathan Miller - Socket's You-Make-The-Difference Winner for February 2014!

Jonathan Miller has been named Socket's You-Make-the-Difference Award winner for the month of February!

Jonathan has recently taken on a new role as MIS Administrator, which means when the office computers don't work, the printers are out of ink or we need some new software, he's the guy to call.

The journey to Socket for Jonathan began last year when his neighbor (and now co-worker) Jason V. encouraged him to apply for a position in the Business Center. He says he likes his new role in MIS as well, because it gives him the opportunity to help his fellow Socketeers.

And we appreciate that helpful spirit. Said one co-worker who nominated him for the award, "Jonathan has a can do attitude and his actions speak louder. He has been pleasant and helpful in his new role. Great choice to have a go to person that will get the job done."

Born in Nebraska, Jonathan spent the first few years of his life in the UK. He's currently attending Western Governors University and is about to graduate with a bachelor's degree in IT, specializing in security. He also has several professional certifications.

Jonathan and his wife, Kate, are expecting their first child (a girl!) in June. He also enjoys watching movies, bargain shopping and traveling (his favorites include Ireland, the Smokey Mountains and Las Vegas).

"I have really enjoyed working at Socket because I feel like I have a real place here," he says. "It's neat to be recognized and to know my work has been well received."

Congratulations, Jonathan!

Socket Fiber Story: Kim Harrison of Direct Impaqt/Harrison Valley Farms


Kim Harrison of Millersburg, MO
knows how important it is to have reliable voice and data services at a business. In fact, she's using Socket Fiber at two businesses.
Direct Impaqt, a printing and mailing company, runs a hosted phone system over Socket Fiber at its Millersburg location. One phone system answers for both divisions of the company and can route calls accordingly. Harrison and her employees also enjoy more reliable service and friendly, responsive support since the switch.
Harrison also operates Harrison Valley Farms in Millersburg. The local beef and lamb farm sells meat at retail locations and via a website. The farm is able to fulfill orders quickly and communicate with customers because of high-speed fiber Internet that's now available in the area. 
Hear more of Kim's story in this video.

Want a $20 credit on your Socket Fiber bill?

Fiber yard signIf you're already a Socket Fiber customer, we hope you love your phone and Internet services so much you want to shout it from the rooftops!
While you're welcome to do that, you can also show your enthusiasm by letting us place a snappy little sign in your yard for two weeks. You'll even get a $20 credit on your bill for helping us spread the word.
We’ll take care of putting the sign in your yard and picking it up. You don’t have to do a thing.
Sound good? Just send us a quick email with your A-OK and we'll get one out to you! Or give us a call at 1-800-762-5383.
Thanks so much for your support!

Socket Visits the Columbia Business Showcase

This year’s Columbia Business Showcase, held at the Holiday Inn Executive Center on March 4th, was a ton of fun!

We got to catch up with local businesses and community members, many of whom were already happy customers. While there, our representatives also fielded a lot of questions about the new Fiber network we’re building in Callaway County.

Congratulations to our raffle winner, Marcus F. of Nate’s Computer Repair! He’ll be receiving a $100 Flat Branch gift card - Enjoy!

 If you missed us there, but still had some questions about our Fiber network or Cloud services, don’t fret! We’re happy to help you out – just give us a call at 1-800-SOCKET-3, or visit www.socket.net/quote to request a quote for your business.

Who is Socket

Founded in 1994, Socket is a Missouri-based telephone and Internet service provider with the largest service area in the state.

Socket is a privately held company that provides families and businesses a choice for local and long-distance phone and Internet service. We combine the highest quality customer service with in-depth technical knowledge.

Our network serves more than 20,000 residents and businesses in more than 400 Missouri cities, and our customers enjoy simple billing and quick, friendly service.

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