Have you heard of Dvorak keyboards? Its an alternative to the standard QWERTY keyboard layout, and is supposedly better for people that do a lot of typing because it minimizes the amount of finger motion required in typing. Its supposed to reduce the chances of a typing injury such as carpel tunnel syndrome. I’ve wanted to try it for the past couple of years, but never made the effort. Until yesterday. Work has been manageable lately so I decided to give it a try. I made the switch yesterday morning.
On a QWERTY keyboard I would guess that I can type in the range of 80-90 words per minute. Not necessarily speedy, but fast enough that I don’t notice my typing while I’m at work. At the moment I am much slower. Painfully slow. Yesterday it took me about 15 minutes to type a 4 sentence email. I would guess that I was typing at maybe 5 WPM. It was so frustrating that I had to get up to walk off the tension a few times throughout the day. Today I’m better, maybe 15-20 WPM.
I can already tell that my fingers move less. All 5 vowels are just below my left fingers. The most common consonants like T, H and S are just below my right fingers. The letters you reach for are the ones that are used the least like Q, X and Z.
One funny note, yesterday morning I started with a few panagrams, sentences that contain all 26 letters of the alphabet, to get familiar with the new layout, and I came across some good ones. The most famous one that I know of is “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” There are some much funnier ones though.
- How quickly daft jumping zebras vex.
- The five boxing wizards jump quickly.
- Amazingly few discotheques provide jukeboxes.
- Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs. <– This is my favorite.
For the record, this post was typed entirely with Dvorak, and it took me about an hour, not including time to think about what I’m writing. Thanks for reading my practice typing.