DVORAK KEYBOARDAnd how to create your own
Introduction | Build Your Own | Dvorak International Driver
a Dvorak keyboard, as almost everyone that uses a latin-based alphabet
uses Qwerty-based layout? I'm glad you ask.
keyboards and their derivants (azerty etc) are one of the MAIN causes
of RSI. Everyone who types a lot on a qwerty keyboard may notice how
your wrists and fingers get painfull over time.
is specially lay-outed to minimize movements from your finger tips. It
is not fantasy, it is a scientific fact. Your fingertips will only
travel about 25% of the distance as when you are using qwerty, pressing
the same amount of keys. Dvorak keyboards are not significally
different than 'plain' keyboards, they just have a more ergonomic
Why everybody still uses Qwerty?I
myself. I would say: do yourself and your kids a favor, and learn how
to use a Dvorak keyboard. Once you got used to it, you will never want
to switch back. I promise you, and so does any other dvorak user. It is
not evangelistic, it is science. And comfort.
Qwerty has its
in the good old times of mechanic typewriters. When typists typed that
fast that the hammers of the mechanic typewriters got stuck. To avoid
this, they placed commonly used key combinations as far apart as
possible, on purpose. With one goal: making you type slower.
than 100 years later, we are still stuck with this custom. Although
modern technology obsoleted the need for qwerty entirely, it is still
almost the one and only available keyboard layout. I live in europe, i
have searched and searched, it is impossible for me to purchase a
Dvorak keyboard over here. I could order one in the US, but including
shipping that'll easily cost me a $100...
it is very very easy to create your own dvorak keyboard. Al you need is
a qwerty keyboard, but with one prerequisite: all keys should be
equally shaped. Unfortunately, 'ergonomic designed' keyboards cannot be
used for the key-swapping method. Neither are (most) notebook
keyboards, be warned! trying to keyswap your notebook probably just
damages it! You could however consider just writing dvorak keys with a
permanent marker, or use little stickers placed on each key and write
with the marker on them, or just learn typing blind. The latter i found
too hard, and don't listen to people that tell you learning dvorak
is the only proper method. We humans use our eyes to coordinate, having
visual aid will help you learning dvorak faster. And in the end, you
will type it blind, just like you probably did with qwerty.
the build-your-own page for photo material.
you live in the US, you have good chances of finding one. Also, i'd be
happy te ship you one, but please read instructions on building your
own first, it is really not that hard!
wired means: the keys are already swapped in the keyboards' internal
processor. Your BIOS and OS will not be aware the keyboard isn't a
qwerty model, they simply won't notice. However, those keyboards are
Soft-wired means: the keyboard conforms to
scan-codes, and the software re-maps the keys. Fortunately, almost any
modern OS supports this, wether you are using windows, linuk, BSD,
solaris, you name it, Dvorak support will be there. This eliminates the
need for expensive hard-wired keyboards.
Wise!Learn your children Dvorak!
is an issue with windows. Although they have developed a nice
US-international layout, allowing us dutch and other europeans using
US-layouted keyboards (i live in holland and we use US
contrary to our neighbours the german, french, belgium etc)
type all this funny characters. For example, i have a french name, to
write it correctly it needs an accent-aigu: 'René'. But
since i used the windows dvorak driver, i saved myself the trouble by
just writing 'Rene'. However, on any mail, forum, etc my dutch will be
imperfect due to the lack of the proper accents, especially the often
used 'ë', ' é' in the dutch language.
this lack of good native windows driver forces germans and french to
use the qwerty or azerty keyboards, simply because their language is
full of those accents.
BUT THIS IS EASILY SOLVED!
custom dvorak driver. I already developed a 'keyhook' application that
converted some keys, unfortunately this was not perfect. Until i
discovered microsoft has released a 'Keyboard Layout Creator', allowing
you to define your own keyboard layout (duh). And so i did.
have been looking for such keyboard driver for quite a while now, i am
sure others did as well. See the driver page for download. Source
available as well, in case you want to adjust.
nerds use DvorakBut you don't have to be a nerd to use
is to throw yourself in the deep, and switch to dvorak 100% on all your
workstations. However, it is a good idea to plan it wisely, as in the
beginning you will be some less productive and maybe even frustrated
because for some weeks that you can't do the things you do as fast as
you were used to. However, after a few weeks, you will already type as
fast as you ever did with qwerty, and this speed will only increase in
the months after. So, the best period to switch may be, for example,
when you have holiday.
1st day - looking for the right keys
all over the place all the time.
3rd day - most keys you'll
automatically find, regularly you will have to look
1 week -
you are reasonable able to type letters etc as you were used to,
incidentally looking for a key to remind yourself.
month - you will type Dvorak easily, as fast as you did with qwerty.
You will start to forget how qwerty looked like. You will be
questioning yourself why people ever used qwerty at all.
months - you type faster and more accurate then ever before. You have
forgotten about qwerty entirely.
setup (yes/no etc), DOS boot floppies, entering passwords etc. Windows
lacks a 'default' system keyboard. This means, when you log on it will
assume you use qwerty. You may have to rewrite your password on paper
with the keys swapped. Linux does not suffer this issue, as you can
define the default keyboard and it will already be mapped on logon time.
games allow you to remap keys. But, as a practical side-note, i didn't
find the need to do so when playing, for example, WoW or filght
simulator. I found it not an issue at all.
find it always fun if people (family etc) calls you because of some
computer issue, and you're the 'guru' who is expected to fix it. You
arrive at their place, look at the system, and sooner or later you will
have to type something. You (the computer guru) will be sitting in
front of their keyboard murmeling 'where is that 'w' key gone...',
typing at 10 chars/minute ;))
Note on this: after the first
months i really forgotten about qwerty, entirely. However, as time goes
by, i noticed qwerty was still somewhere in my head, as long as i
didn't think to much about it. It is a bit like speaking two languages.
However, since my use of qwerty is very very incidental, i don't
bother. If they think you are not the guru they expected because you
are looking for keys on their ancient-layouted antique qwerty keyboard,
it is their problem. After all, they want you to fix their computer, so
let them think. And mention dvorak, of course ;)