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WebDragon (1204)

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Macintosh owner/user since 1987
Perl hacker since 2000
Linux (Redhat/Fedora) user since 2001

Journal of WebDragon (1204)

Wednesday April 09, 2003
11:54 PM


[ #11566 ]

*sigh* I wonder how much longer this will go on...

I mean, the standard QWERTY keyboard layout was originally designed for old-fashioned typewriters in order to make people type *as slow as possible* to prevent the typewriter keys from sticking together. It's small wonder that people are coming up with carpal tunnel syndrome when they spend lots of time in front of a keyboard.

The DVORAK layout has been available for some time, and yet they are *incredibly* hard to find as sold directly by computer manufacturers. Usually one must buy an *additional* DVORAK keyboard from some other source than the people who manufacture and sell computer systems. Even your local computer reseller will likely not prep their salespeople to 'prefer' DVORAK layout keyboards when recommending systems to clients.

Personally I think the DVORAK layout keyboard should be the *default* keyboard sold with modern computers and if you absolutely HAVE TO have a QWERTY keyboard, then you should have to specify a different SKU in order to have one.

They aren't *that* hard to get used to, and can save you loads of time typing and much stress on your hands. A good typing tutor program can help you 'reprogram' your hands in short order.

I don't care HOW used to QWERTY you are; DVORAK is a better tool for the same job, AND is likely better for your health.

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  • Be sure to read the article from the Economist [].

    From the article:

    In 1956 a carefully designed study by the General Services Administration found that QWERTY typists were about as fast as Dvorak typists, or faster. Interest in Dvorak among companies and government agencies had lately been increasing, but it came to an end with that finding. Since then, as "The Fable of the Keys" explains, there have been a variety of other experiments and studies. They find that neither design of keyboard has a clear adv

    • Randal L. Schwartz
    • Stonehenge
    • In about 1992 I switched my Apple IIGs and my Mac Plus to Dvorak. It was easy on the Gs; it was built in. For the Mac I painstakingly built my own Dvorak layout with ResEdit. I pasted paper key labels onto the keyboard.

      I was retrained in about a day and went nuts when I went back to qwerty. Apparently not nuts enough to do it again, though, although I occasionally toy with the idea.

      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
      • I've never had the luxury of only using one computer day in and day out. I try to do this, actually, by using a 'desktop replacement' laptop whenever possible with/without docking, but I've often had to work at client sites on their workstations, at system consoles, with loaner or demo setup laptops on the road at various times, etc. etc. etc.

        I can see going for dvorak if it were the default. Otherwise, I would be hobbled trying to work in odd environments. Unacceptable. I simply cannot stand looking f

        • This has to be the most cohesive reason I've seen so far, barring subjective issues regarding the superiority of one over the other.

          I really appreciate everyone taking the time to follow up and help me correct some of my misconceptions on this.

          Notwithstanding, I still plan on *trying* one for a while if I can get my hands on one for a while to see how well it works for me.

          Insofar as retraining is concerned, Personally I don't thinK i'd have many problems switching back and forth. It might be disconcertin
          • I use QWERTY on flat keyboards, but the Maltron layout on my Maltron ergo keyboard (which is very comfortable). The Maltron can switch easily back and forth between QWERTY and the Maltron layout, but I can't. At all. My fingers 'know' that when the keyboard is shaped like a Maltron, then the keys are laid out one way and when it's flat, they're layed out in QWERTY, and that's just the way it is. In conversation with the chaps at Maltron, they reckoned that they knew of about three people who could switch ba
  • Try some research. QWERTY was actually designed
    *for* speed, the layout is intended to minimize
    collisions of the type when typing English rapidly.
    Were that I say, pancakes?
  • Changing to Dvorak years ago completely stopped my then quite-serious RSI. If not for switching to Dvorak, I'd probably be unable to use keyboards by now.

    I've had no problem with Dvorak support on various OSs. As to physical support, I just get keyboards and pop the keys caps off (like from and put them back on in Dvorak order. When I can't do that, I just the Dvorak values on the keys with a silver marker.

    Try it! [] But note that you can't try it for a day -- you have to try it for about

  • Heh, found this journal entry with Google. I'm spamming all sorts of sites that have something to do with Dvorak today :)

    I hadn't expected to post the spam on use.perl, though...

    Anyway, here goes: at, I sell used keyboards with the dvorak layout and there's a free typing course. Have fun!