Tay Ray Chuan home archive

the Dvorak keyboard

Mon, 26 Aug 2013 02:22:40 +0800 | Filed under sharpening the saw

It's been close to 3 months since I started using the Dvorak keyboard layout - that is, since the summer vacation began, where I could set aside enough time both for practice and for real use despite a low wpm. I now use it for both long-form and coding, and I'm getting a good speed/accuracy at it - it's no longer the rate-limiting factor in input, it's now back to my rusty speed of thought.

I like how my fingers are almost always on the "home row" - but then, I never did practise the Qwerty layout as much as I did with the Dvorak layout (I was hitting this practice site alot - thanks!)

While I did approach Dvorak hoping that it would alleviate the likelihood of RSI, I suspect its impact on this to be minimal - I still felt strain on my left hand (probably due to hammering out many key combinations involving Caps Lock and Shift), and I still had some wrist tingling (adjusting hand/wrist posture helped to ease this).

You might be worried that learning a new layout would mess with your input speed when you are use another terminal with good 'ol Qwerty. (It might be more likely than you think.) A solution might be to carry with you a Dvorak keyboard; a better one would be to not worry at all. Indeed, the initial keystrokes might be awkward, but Qwerty's fistful dominance has been long and tight over you, so you should be able to switch back to Qwerty without a hitch.

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