FORMER Woodborough father of two David Noakes has reinvented the typewriter and computer keyboard by replacing the traditional QWERTY arrangement with a system that really is as simple as ABC.

Instead of the QWERTY key arrangement his keyboard uses an alphabetic set-out.

But Mr Noakes had to go to America, he said, to be able to market his idea.

He said: "This is a case of the UK business drain.

"Rather than face the nightmare of British and rather European regulations and complex taxation I took the product to an American corporation where there is by comparison no regulation."

Mr Noakes, his wife Lorraine and daughter and son were living at Wessex House in Woodborough when he had the idea of introducing a new computer keyboard.

It's ideal for older people who would find it difficult to adapt to a QWERTY keyboard after a lifetime of using the traditional alphabet and for people with learning difficulties, said Mr Noakes.

He said: "My son Andrew is dyslexic and that was the final spur in making this keyboard.

"He was struggling to learn his ABC and to have presented him with QWERTY when he began to use a computer would have been impossible.

"But he was able to use the ABC keyboard straight away."

Before developing his ABC keyboard and launching it on the market in the USA it was launched in Britain this week Mr Noakes researched why the QWERTY keyboard was invented that way.

He discovered that the very first English designed typewriter in 1714 had an ABC keyboard.

QWERTY, he learned, was devised in Wisconsin in USA by the Remington company the famous gun makers who began making typewriters.

Remington found, said Mr Noakes, that with the ABC layout proficient typists found the keys jamming because the most used ones were close together.

By the time the engineers came up with a system of return springs that enabled keys to go back much quicker the QWERTY system was in general use.

He said: "Like punch cards and paper tape, QWERTY was created by older technology and now it's time to replace it with up to date technology."

Mr Noakes said: "The industry still lives in the past by teaching QWERTY but the wisdom of teaching a technology with so limited a use and finite a future has to be questioned."

The ABC keyboards are available mail order for £20 plus £5 shipping charge from 0800 107 7920 and there is a website: