Switching to Dvorak (Mar 12, 2009)



Why? I might as well learn to touchtype, and Dvorak is a sort of unofficial standard among cubers.

Here’s what got me to switch:

  • A wiki link in an
    arbitrary post
    led me to
    Macky’s familiar site.
  • I decided to peruse his Dvorak page.
  • He linked to the Dvorak Zine. I was still
    unsure, so I decided to read it. If it didn’t convince me, I would just forget about switching.
  • It was enough. :-)
  • March 11, 2009, 20:35:33PM, #rubik on irc.ircstorm.net:

    “lgarron: shellie: This is the first sentence I’ve written in Dvorak. :-)”

    Forgot to ;tell, but who cares? Further lines from my first Dvorak conversation (selected, related lines from others in parentheses):

     20:36:48 <%lgarron> This is going to be messy for a while. :-/
    (20:36:29 <+Ethan_Rosen> lgarron, keep going)
    (20:36:34 <+Ethan_Rosen> never look back)
     20:37:24 <%lgarron> Ethan_Rosen: Tryingv
    (20:37:32 <+Dene> lgarron: YAY!)
    (20:37:38 <+Dene> JOIN US!)
    (20:37:49 <+Dene> Oh man all us dvorakers are such a good influence)
     20:38:55 <%lgarron> Hmm, keyboard shortcuts are going to be annoying.
     20:40:33 <%lgarron> The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
     20:41:04 <%lgarron> "The" is fun. :-)
    (20:41:30 < qq> it's like you make a mistake every time you type a word)
     20:42:26 <%lgarron> qq: I'm doing that right now. :-P

I haven’t looked back. I use “Dvorak – Qwerty ⌘”, which preserves he arrangement of shortcut keys like copy/paste.
I used Keyboard Viewer for a while, but since I’d memoed the Dvorak layout, I eventually dropped it
(I began this page as my first blind touch-typing practice). For encouragement, I also got two friends to switch.

I almost got sick of typing too slow, but to prevent myself from ever reverting (even temporarily), I decided to switch my keys around physically (see picture).
I can now cheat by looking at the keyboard, but at least I can get used to it before I gain actual speed.
I’m also trying Caps Lock for Delete,
especially because of frequent learning errors.

Most credit definitely goes to the Dvorak Zine for simple, entertaining inspiration.


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