Re: Dvorak Keyboards.

On Wed, 11 Jan 2012 09:07:44 +0000
Anthony Campbell <ac@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

On 10 Jan 2012, Dan Serban wrote:
That site is down at present.

My question: is it really worth the trouble of learning a new way of
typing, if you are already a moderately competent touch typist on the
QWERTY keyboard?

Well, I hope the site has become available to you again since the
original message. There, you can see the layout that colemak provides,
it's close to Qwerty and provides some pros (maybe some cons) to the
layout. While I do admit that it is quite aggravating to learn a new
layout; IMHO it has paid off for me. I've learned to effectively touch
type, and I feel that my comfort level is certainly higher. I've never
been a speedy typer so I cannot add that to the advantages. Though I do
find that I make much fewer mistakes and my fingers definitely do not
travel as far as I felt that they used to using Qwerty.

I suggest you print out whatever layout you ever decide to go
with, if you so decide.. then at least you will be able to enter your
passwords without too much frustration.

If you feel that you have reasons to switch I suggest you give it a
shot, otherwise, don't simply add a layer of frustration to your daily
routine until you are convinced this is the way to go.

Thank you - and yes, the site is up again now. Your advice about
deciding to change is similar to that given by colemak. I can see the
force of the arguments for changing and if I were younger I'd probably
try, but at nearly 78 I doubt if it is worth it. I don't actually have
RSI or other problems with qwerty. Not that I'm averse to new ideas: I'm
currently making a start on learning a little C.

Well, first of all, I must say that I'm impressed with your drive to use
debian (forgive my candor) "at your age". From my experience, in later
stages of life, people get stuck in their ruts and are adverse to change in
any way. Maybe then you'd be an excellent candidate to try a
different keyboard layout? =) Though I must add that your argument is
fair, if for any reason you find that you're actually looking for reasons to
frustrate the heck out of yourself, then maybe it's not a good idea.

I found that in the end it really didn't take me long to learn a new
layout. Overall, while learning colemak I used to think to myself that I
was having severe difficulty adapting to where the keys are and thought the
others out there making comments about the easy switch were either 12 year
olds or severely more adept at learning new things than I was. My trick was
printing the layout, taping it nicely to my central screen and blindly
learning to touch type. It also helped having a keyboard with blank keys
to erase any and all excuses not to try. I went into it both feet
first and have never really turned back.

I tell you though, the first two weeks were quite tough and my fingers
actually started twitching after hitting the wrong key 4 times in a row.

They do suggest that even if you don't make the switch you should
reprogram CapsLock to give BackSpace. I had long had it giving Escape
(needed frequently in my favourite editor, Vim) but I'm trying it out
as BackSpace now. I find I often hit Return instead of the normal
BackSpace so this may be worth while.

Indeed, I've never found the Caps Lock key very useful. In reality, the
only time I've ever put it to use was to enter my postal code (Canadian
here). Otherwise, useless. I did reprogram it to be a second control key
in my case. My approach was to be more accurate than high-speed, so having
my pinkie try to find the control key at the bottom of the keyboard was
a hassle. I use it all the time for things like tmux, and zsh so I found it
advantageous to have it there.

I've thought about having the keyboard layout swap the tilde/backtick key
with the Esc key as vim is my primary editor as well. Haven't tried to do
that recently because it involved editing files that I did not comprehend.
Fear.... it's a great demotivator!


Apologies to the list for my OT posts and ramblings.

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