Experiences from Learning to type in Dvorak

January 19th, 2009 § Comments Off on Experiences from Learning to type in Dvorak § permalink

Screenshot from Linux software Ktouch. An imag...
Image via Wikipedia

It’s over 9 months since I switched my keyboard layout to dvorak and I wanted to write about my experience with it for some time now.
i decided to give it a try after I read a comic book describing it’s benefits – an amazing comic book that is, published to promote this layout in public. dvorak was supposed to be easy to learn, comfortable for typing and heavily undersupported – specially if you require some weird characters for some weird languages like me. Luckily I am using open source operating system so I wasn’t to concerned about this. It took me a day to hack the keyboard layout and adapt the us-dvorak to support all the weirdness I wanted and started learning it.
I started using computers some 15 years ago, and were self-taught but very efficient typist. Often the system was not

John C Dvorak
Image by James the photographer via Flickr

fast enough to support my typing speed anymore. I don’t have this problem anymore.
I felt seriously cripled because all the typing skills gained over the years vanished completely. It took me a day to somewhat memorize the key positions, two weeks to type somewhat comfortably, but still get the “you’re slow” messages on IM, and after 9 months of intensive typing I still can’t say I’m efficient with it. So minus one for hard-to-learn.
It however does feel a bit more natural. It’s really hard to describe, but Dvorak was up to semthing with his idea of alternating hands as much as possible when typing. Plus one here.
Dvorak did make one little mistake – it put the letters ‘k’ and ‘x’ together, and I noticed I mistake them quite often, which I think is due to glimpses towards keyboard even when blind typing. Another interesting observation is increased number of mistakes with typing vowels. They are placed together in the middle row, and it seems the hand is not smart enough to differentiate between them efficiently.
For self-taught typists like myself it’s also important to finally force yourself to learn to use all ten fingers properly. It might be that this alone takes care of the previous benefit.
There is another important set of observations regarding the change – the social impact it has.
First, it’s geeky. I guess that’s positive, since if you didn’t want to be geeky we wouldn’t do such crazy things, and there are not so many geekier things you can do with your computer than changing it’s entire interface.
But, if you are geeky, there are good chances you will be hanging around with other geeks, that will sometimes want to borrow your laptop to do something fun, important or even urgent. While it’s a laugh fun for the first few seconds, if the issue is really important, your exotic layout can account for serious problems. It can be frustrating to watch your friend trying to rescue his web server from a terminal screen desperately looking for a dot.
Lastly, let’s say, that deciding to change the layout and retrain your brain takes courage. And going trough with it despite all the strange looks from others takes determination. So we could say that learning dvorak builds character. 🙂
I can’t recommend it whole-heartedly to anyone really, but I personally don’t want to go back. But I will totally understand anyone who decides to try it. 😉

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Twitter Updates for 2009-01-18

January 18th, 2009 § Comments Off on Twitter Updates for 2009-01-18 § permalink

Powered by Twitter Tools.

Twitter Updates for 2009-01-17

January 17th, 2009 § Comments Off on Twitter Updates for 2009-01-17 § permalink

  • getting ready to head off for #bclj #
  • #bclj starting… Feels like historical moment – everybody here, in one place, getting ready to have fun the geeky way 😉 #

Powered by Twitter Tools.

Twitter Updates for 2009-01-16

January 16th, 2009 § Comments Off on Twitter Updates for 2009-01-16 § permalink

Powered by Twitter Tools.

Twitter Updates for 2009-01-15

January 15th, 2009 § Comments Off on Twitter Updates for 2009-01-15 § permalink

  • Just came to @marandlab party. This shall be fun! #
  • RT @immad heyzap – youtube for flash games launches! Heyzap launches! Go guys. http://tinyurl.com/82obp2 #

Powered by Twitter Tools.

Twitter Updates for 2009-01-14

January 14th, 2009 § Comments Off on Twitter Updates for 2009-01-14 § permalink

  • just heard a piracy quote: “I’m all for supporting musicians, but knowing they don’t get anything from CD sales, it doesn’t feel right…” #
  • the latest niet tracks sound like joy division! #
  • growing my pipeline green again 🙂 #
  • i am obviously tired of writing emails – started to spell words like ‘ahaid’ wrong… #

Powered by Twitter Tools.

Twitter Updates for 2009-01-12

January 12th, 2009 § Comments Off on Twitter Updates for 2009-01-12 § permalink

  • @bpm140 SF for good? 😉 #
  • bad seo: searching for ‘aws09’ only shows user generated stff, so I still don’t know what it means… *sigh* http://tinyurl.com/92c3nn #
  • i_hate_rebooting_my_laptop #
  • rock history by rockers: http://tinyurl.com/386hkm #
  • real wild child is a song by jerry lee lewis? i feel really bad about my rnr knowledge now.. 🙂 #
  • whoa! hot tea! not warm, not iced, hot! in my office! #
  • @prash I’m cutting back on caffeine lately… not healthy. #
  • @klemenrobnik not mad at all – it means you saved money and grew business 😉 #
  • can I buy pro google analytics for my google analytics? 😉 #
  • found a flaw in dvorak keyboard: ‘X’ and ‘K’ shouldn’t be together, as they are to similar and lead to typos – not as blind as supposed. #
  • i don’t like print.css pages, There is no way to print the actual layout then… #
  • @Bandrew sure we would 😉 #
  • @tomazstolfa what’s rocknrolla? sounds like a party… #
  • @tomazstolfa ah, never mind, feel silly and undereducated now… 🙂 #

Powered by Twitter Tools.

Twitter Updates for 2009-01-11

January 11th, 2009 § Comments Off on Twitter Updates for 2009-01-11 § permalink

  • just did ‘rm -rf *’ on the wrong drive… #
  • @gandalfar of course, the loudest 30. I try to keep those to max 5, so that I can read everyone else as well… #

Powered by Twitter Tools.

Reblog from Eric’s Blog: eReader

January 11th, 2009 § Comments Off on Reblog from Eric’s Blog: eReader § permalink

Wow, e-books actually do work. Surprised and happy to hear this – since I live in a part of the world where we still can’t buy them and appropriate readers, I was only guessing that it must feel strange and uncomfortable reading ‘War and Peace’ on a paper-thin one-page-only device. Hope this is how I will feel about it:

Hence I’m the happy owner of an eReader since October this year. After some hours to become used to the UI and the screen, the eReader disappear almost like paper do to let you read. I’m even not enjoying it as a gadget anymore: it has become “a daily tool”. Meaning it works really well! 🙂 I transfer the major part of papers I need to read and read them from it, mostly on the go. And I’ve put some books too.Nuxeo, Eric’s Blog, Jan 2009

You should read the whole article.

Twitter Updates for 2009-01-09

January 9th, 2009 § Comments Off on Twitter Updates for 2009-01-09 § permalink

  • I hate rebooting my laptop. hate it. hated windows for it, starting to hate ubuntu for it. #
  • @brianking partial upgrades – never before has my music player died because of ssl lib being upgraded. #
  • RT @prash What a great idea, especially right after a trade show or conference: http://www.cloudcontacts.com/ – absolutely love it! #

Powered by Twitter Tools.

Where am I?

You are currently viewing the archives for January, 2009 at Rational Idealist.