Day#168: The history of copy & paste

Day#168: The history of copy & paste

I was recently watching a colleague (for reference purposes the colleague will be called Joe moving forward) work on their laptop while they were looking for something we were both discussing and I noticed the oddest thing I have ever seen. No it was not any X rated titles on their desktop or the shortcut for Minecraft on their PC, (yes I think that game is the weirdest ever) It was Joe casually going to the top of his screen selecting edit and copying and pasting text in this fashion. My whole world was shattered I had no idea people even do this. I mean I was probably doing this years ago, and I still do lots of other silly things like only type with two index fingers instead of learning how to type properly, but this? No this was out of this world weird!.


The thing was the colleague was not that old for it to be accepted, they were in their 40’s, My burning desire on wanting answers grew that I couldn’t hold my questions in anymore and I asked Joe if he knew how to copy/paste with the shortcuts, he implied that he did and proceeded to doing it again! I asked in the most casual way I could, why he would use the longer process when he could easily just use the shortcuts. To that he replied he was just used to it. Interestingly enough I think it was more similar to my habit of typing with two fingers that I would have liked to admit, I have tried learning to type properly but it took me about four hours to write one blog post as opposed to normal maximum one hour. It also made me think about how copy and paste saves me so much time on a daily basis, I use it for naming conventions, searching for items without having to retype and check my entry, I mean the copy paste function really has so many abilities trying to name them all would take a lifetime. It made me think about how did it become such a norm, when was it invented? And how is it so common, across languages/platforms and software. For this I referred to an article by Unicheck, the article is called Computer history: Who invented Copy and Paste Command? And you best bet I copied that instead of typing out the title..


The man who invented copy and paste was Larry Tesler and he invented it while working for Xerox somewhere between 1973 – 1976. Really where would we all be without Larry Tesler and unlike so many other inventions he is completely forgotten. I tried finding a neat video on the history of copy and paste on YouTube but it seems even YouTube does not have much information on this subject, so no video for you today sorry! Out of interest though try think about other things that you may do out of habit, without thinking about the easier less costly route. I for one distinctly remember taking the longer route by 5 minutes every day to work until I actively forced myself to think about it numerous times on the journey and made a point to change my route after five consecutive days. Happy researching until next time Uxers


Bye for now

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