Lnafcbi ,cyd Eprkat

That’s ‘Playing with Dvorak’, typed unthinkingly as though I was using a QWERTY keyboard, but with the computer set to Dvorak. Which I’m trying out now; it’s very slow work. I find the fact the punctuation’s in the wrong places especially un-nerving.

What appeals to me about it is the idea that it’s easier on the hands. No RSI. Not that it seems easier just now. I guess it’s all practice; I’m already getting quicker.

This is all Matt WordPress’s fault, btw.

OK, I’ve gone back to QWERTY for now. One thing that becomes clear is how automatic my QWERTY typing is. I think of myself as a mediocre typist; I certainly don’t touch-type. I’m more of a two-and-a-bit finger typist and tend to watch my fingers. But my fingers clearly do know where the keys are. The question is, how much faith do I have in the long-term benefits of typing with the Dvorak key layout?

At least with a computer it’s easy enough to switch. And the system has a convenient keyboard viewer so I can see what I’m doing.

3 Comments

  1. 1 June 2007 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Huh. It’s biased against southpaws, which I happen to be, so I’m not tempted. I’ve had people listen to me type and then look over my shoulder all aghast that I’m hunting and pecking 100 wpm. My fingers also know where the keys are, and I also usually watch them anyway. But I was never taught to type, and thus usually use only the index fingers for everything.

    I’ve never noticed any trouble with RSI or tendonitis or whathaveyou from typing anyway, unless I use one of those horrible “ergonomic” foam keyboard wrist rests, in which case I get numbness in my palms and fingers. Mousing, too, is bad. But I can type like lightning with two fingers all day long for years, apparently, with no ill effects. Maybe someone should make a backwards Dvorak for lefties.

  2. 1 June 2007 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    I tried to make the switch, but it nearly hurt my brain to try to make the switch. I am a touch typist, but I had heard I could increase my typing speed considerably.

    I switched to a different keyboard and stuck with QWERTY. I might try Dvorak again someday, though.

    I did find that the computer would randomly decide to pop me back into Dvorak, just for fun. Talk about disorienting!

  3. Harry
    2 June 2007 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    It seems at least superficially plausible that RSI is less of a problem for those of us who don’t touch-type properly, since most of the movement around the keyboard is done with the wrists and arms instead of reaching out with the fingers. I don’t know.

    Since I find the bottleneck is usually my thinking speed rather than my typing speed, that aspect of it isn’t a particularly high priority anyway.

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