It’s been a month since I switched to Dvorak keyboard layout for once and good. Dvorak is the name of a simplified keyboard that’s been remapped efficiently to ease stress on your hands in typing. It was created by this guy named Dr. August Dvorak, hence the name, who spent countless days researching keyboard layouts. God bless him.
I first heard about this layout back when I was in college. Boy, you get to learn a lot of stuffs in college. Three of my friends were Dvorak typists and they told me it’s better than Qwerty. So I tried to learn but it was too hard and I had to stay catch up with school and homework. I gave up shortly after attempting to switch.
On my first internship off college, I got bored so I thought again about learning how to type in Dvorak and this time, I lasted longer for about two weeks. I still struggled and was typing pretty slow. I gave up again.
Now, I’m in my full-time position as a webmaster for Google, I spend a lot of time typing and my fingers were starting to burden the stress. When I got a Kinesis keyboard, I thought it was a good time to learn Dvorak again and so I did and stuck with it. I’m happy I did and it’s so easy to type urls like google.com, evenly alternating fingers.
With this Dvorak layout, I learned two things about this keyboard. It focuses on alternating both hands wheras with Qwerty, there is a number of words that can be typed with only one hand. When I started to type in Dvorak, that was a bad habit to break as I wasn’t very used to alternate hands on almost every letter. Secondly, it actually uses all of your fingers, from your left pinkie to your right pinkie. I wasn’t used to engaging my pinkies as I used index, middle fingers and thumbs often on Qwerty and I wasn’t really touch-typing, although I could type pretty fast.
One other thing it taught me. My dad isn’t very computer literate and he couldn’t even touch type and would have to hunt and peck at every letter. I used to make fun of him about that as I couldn’t imagine how hard that would be. Touch-typing, that is, feels pretty easy to me, almost like writing. You probably feel the same way. Till you try to teach yourself how to type on Dvorak. And that is exactly the same kind of frustration that my dad feels when it comes down to typing. Computers weren’t around when he was born so I understood that now and I don’t make fun of him anymore.
One of my favorite parts about this keyboard is probably the period that’s above D letter on E letter. It’s so easy to hit that letter instead of awkwardly lifting your hand to reach period on the lower right bottom.
Since 70% of English words can be typed on home row, sometimes, Dvorak layout makes me feel like I’m typing on a piano, using all of my fingers almost equally, hitting most common letters on the home row with occasional reaches to other less frequent letters. Oh yeah, the record for the fastest typist in the world was accomplished with a Dvorak layout. :-) ‘enuff said.
For more reading on this keyboard layout,