Minor Experiment with the Dvorak Keyboard

I’ve read lots of good things about Dvorak–how it reduces strain overall, how it might be good for my typing speed. I have to say that I’m satisfied with my current speed, but I wouldn’t mind saying goodbye to the occasional hand cramp.

To be perfectly fair, I didn’t really give the Dvorak keyboard a fair shot. I just read about it a little at work, then decided to pick the keys off my Neo when I got home and then take advantage of Alphasmart’s built-in compliance with the Dvorak layout.

That part was really pretty easy. It was just a matter of changing my keyboard settings in the Control Panel, then snapping the keys in and out.

I’m not saying I’ll never try out the Dvorak setting, but right now, it’s just too close to NaNoWriMo. My typing speed has to be my focus–it’s the only thing that’s going to make it possible for me to reach 50K in a month. Even though Dvorak does seem pretty easy to get used to, I would need at least a few weeks to get fully acclimated. That’s just not something I have time for right now.

Also there’s the issue of being able to type without issue on QWERTY keyboards, which is what I use at work. I’m not sure if that’ll be a huge issue, but it is a slight worry.

My (very) limited experience playing around with the layout gave me the impression that it was fairly comfortable, with less actual “travelling” of my fingers around the keyboard. I’m curious to see how well it will work out when I start to really work on learning Dvorak in earnest, but my first impressions are good. Maybe after NaNo, I’ll give it a go.

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