Adventures In Dvorak

Many of you know that the qwerty keyboard was made intentionally to be slow. The letters were placed so that commonly used letters would be typed with “weak” fingers or common combinations be widely separated in so that fast typists would be less likely to jam mechanical keyboards. Gee – somehow, I found a way to do that, regardless. But I digress. The Dvorak layout was an attempt to correct that by using a more ergonomic letter placement. Some say that once you master it, typing speed increases.

What you may not be aware of is that you can change the configuration of your keyboard right now to the Dvorak standard (for Windows users, look in the Control Panel under Keyboard). This layout hasn’t succeeded in replacing the older standard, but because of the ubiquity of personal computers, there’s been a (slight) increase in interest in anything that might make typing more comfortable.

Now, I’ve been typing for over 40 years on the qwerty, and maybe switching layouts at this stage in my life was merely a masochistic exercise. But I did it. Yes, I went through this tutorial and after practising for under an hour a day for about 10 days, I made the switch. It makes the brain go SPROOOOONNNGGGGG!, and it’s very good at inducing headaches. But after 10 or 11 days I made the switch permanent and haven’t looked back.

No, I’m not typing faster, and in fact, I’m pretty sure that I’m typing more slowly than before (but I was never a remarkably fast typist to begin with). Worse, if I was to go back to the old layout, I’d probably be slower than I was.

But after a month, I must admit that it’s more comfortable. My brain is no longer going SPROOOOONNNGGGGG! and the headaches have stopped. – Oh, Okay – I jest.

Why did I do this, you ask? I just wanted to know that I still could.

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