[CS-FSLUG] Dvorak Keyboards

Chris Brault gginorio at sbcglobal.net
Wed Feb 8 18:44:32 CST 2006

I had an itch to learn something new and unusual. It's
in my nature: I learned to type the summer before last
using Tux Type. I learned some new songs this
Christmas. Sometimes I just decided to do something
and I do it.

Well, my latest urge is the Dvorak keyboard. The one I
ordered should arrive by Friday. Here is what I know:

1) The modern keyboard was designed back in the days
of hammer based typewriters. It was designed to slow
typists down (to prevent the hammers from colliding
and sticking).

2) When the age of hammer typewriters was waning (in
favor of electric ones) Dvorak spent 13 years
redesigning the keyboard to make it as comfortable,
efficient and user friendly as possible.

3) His design didn't catch on because, according to
the accounts I've read, there was a vested interest in
the existing design.

4) There are places selling Dvorak keyboards today (I
just got one, so I know they exist) in right-handed,
left-handed, standard and split deisgns (coolness, the
best of both worlds).

5) The use of Dvorak keyboards supposedly ends
repetitive stress injuries and carpal tunnel that
eminate from the intentionally stressful design of the
modern keyboard.

6) The Dvorak keyboards can come hardwired, with
conversion software or as conversion software with
stickers for converting your existing keyboard (I
don't think you'll need that with Xorg though, just
change the xkb to "dvorak").

7) Supposedly these keyboards should work with
Windows, Mac, Unix and Linux.

8) If you leave the qwerty design completely, it takes
about a month to get back up to typing speed
(according to a wiki I read about it). Otherwise it
takes about 3 months.


Okay now, do you any of you know anyone using the
Dvorak keyboard?

What are your thoughts on the claims made about it
(fewer injuries, higher comfort level and a shallow
learning curve for current keyboardists).

I'll let you know if the keyboard works with Ubuntu
and how the configuration worked. Maybe we'll start
something here.

Gabe Ginorio

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