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urban-er urban legend
Authored by: gshenaut on Dec 29, '04 10:01:23PM
I agree that this is a tangent, but I can't resist adding my 2ยข.

During the time I was finishing my masters thesis, my hands were dying from too much typing, and so in an attempt to find relief, I special-ordered an electric typewriter with a Dvorak keyboard (this was in 1972). I practiced for a month or so and was astounded at how much difference it made to my hands once I became proficient with it. I could spend a whole day typing and my hands felt very relaxed, unlike what they had been like before.

BUT: shortly after that, I started using computers, and all of the terminals at my school were IBM selectrics, none of which were Dvorak. This was way before there could be any significant customizing of keyboards--I was working on an IBM 360 and was lucky to be using a terminal instead of punched cards. So, just as I was mastering the Dvorak keyboard, I was basically forced to give it up and go back to qwerty. It was at least 10 times as hard going back, plus, I also went back to the sore left hand syndrome I had avoided during those few happy months on the Dvorak. I've never gone back again--life's too short to keep changing things like that. However, while the Dvorak may not be the maximally efficient layout, in my mind there is no question that for typing English text, it is much more efficient than qwerty.

Greg Shenaut

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