Re: keyboards

On Monday 12 October 2009 22:20 in comp.os.linux.hardware, somebody
identifying as notbob wrote...

[...] Besides, the last I heard, some guy on an typewriter (don't
recall if it was mech or elect) was doing 240 wpm on a the old
non-dvorak layout. Apparently, there's no speed problem
with qwerty.

I take it you would be talking of Billy Meier, a Swiss farmer now in his
seventies, who is best known - whether legitimately or falsely - as the
main contactee of a species of human-looking extraterrestrials from the
Pleiadean system - he himself refers to them as "Plejarans".

A number of years ago, Billy Meier lost his left arm (from the shoulder
down) in a car accident, and there is a video on YouTube of him typing
a regular computer keyboard with a Swiss QWERTY layout - not a
typewriter though - at approximately 240 words per minute, using only
his right hand. I've watched it, and it's quite incredible, UFO
contactee or not. ;-)

P.S. with regard to keyboard layouts: I myself reside in Belgium, and
although this is officially a trilingual country, the Belgian keyboard
layout is AZERTY, which is a layout that comes from the French-speaking
world - apart from Belgium, it is solely used in France and a number of
the (former) French colonies. The Belgian layout differs from the
French layout only in a few characters.

What's quite different between AZERTY and QWERTY (and QWERTZ) however is
that on QWERTY, the "M" is positioned to the right of the "N", whereas
on AZERTY, it's positioned to the right of the "L", and the second main
difference is that the number keys on the alphanumeric section of the
keyboard require being used in combination with the /Shift/ key, which
in my case prompts me to simply reach for the numeric keypad whenever I
have to type numbers. Without the /Shift/ key, the number keys on the
alphanumeric section of the keyboard are for a few accented characters,
single and double quotes, exclamation mark, parentheses and accolades,
and a few extra characters - more of those even in combination with
the /AltGr/ key.

In the Netherlands however, which is Dutch-spoken just like over here in
The Flanders, where I myself reside, they use a QWERTY keyboard, and I
have already heard from quite a few Dutch people living and working in
Belgium that QWERTY is actually a lot faster and easier to use
than "our" AZERTY layout.

I do have a QWERTY keyboard sitting here in a box somewhere but as I'm a
touch-typist accustomed to AZERTY, it is of course hard for me to
evaluate that claim. Yet, I also do have the impression that QWERTY is
indeed far more logically laid out, and Dvorak seems, well, peculiar
and bizarre at best. I can't possibly imagine how a Dvorak layout
would be any more comfortable or any more efficient. But then maybe
that's just me. ;-)

(registered GNU/Linux user #223157)