I was reading up on a story the other day and I saw this comment or something like it: “I want to try the Dvorak Keyboard, but…”. I thought what the heck is the “Dvorak Keyboard?
For those that don’t know, the traditional keyboard layout that we use is called QWERTY. The whole idea of this layout had nothing to do with ease of use. It had to do with typewriters. Originally typewriters had hammers which were prone to jamming at the best of times. So the QWERTY layout was designed so that successive keystrokes had less of a chance of jamming by alternating from one side to the other. It has been suggested that the design was also used to slow typing speeds. So the damn thing is not designed for ease of use in any way (no kidding). With the dawn of the computer age the design became irrelevant.
The Dvorak Simplified Keyboard was patented in 1936 by Dr August Dvorak. He studied letter frequencies and physiology and came up with a set of design principles upon which the Dvorak layout is based. So basically he created a keyboard that is easier to use. In addition he also designed keyboards that are designed for use with one hand. They come in a right and left handed version.
Looking at it, I am not that sure just how much easier it would be to adapt to. Especially considering the length of time I have used a QWERTY. But if you were new to computers or blogging or were willing to stick at it, there might be the chance that it is better and easier to use.
For more Information:
- Dvorak Simplified Keyboard on Wikipedia
- Introducing the Dvorak Keyboard (lots of links to chase)
- Dvorak Simplified Keyboard – How to use it by someone who doe, wiki style page
- The DVzine – A site that uses Comics to promote the Dvorak Layout)