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Tuesday 13 August 2002

Dvorak (not the composer)

I have moved the keycaps around on my trusty vintage IBM Model M keyboard, and loaded the Dvorak keyboard map. God, is this ever awful. I have already beem five minutes in typing this. I have wore typos because I have to look at the keyboard all the time. And the pips — on F and J — are now in the wrong places.

My hope is that this will reduce that numbness in my hands. The numbness is actually the fault of my chair, I think, but at the moment I cannot afford a new chair.

A amd M are in the same places on both layouts, so that’s a help. I don’t think I can keep this up. And usimg the Dvorak keyboard is the first step to wearing a tinfoil hat and shouting at mailboxes, anyway.

Posted by tino at 17:40 13.08.02
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This is a really facinating debate—your experience seems to be supported by some research done in the early ‘90’s. For a geek-y economic opinion—read on….

There is an interesting article/case proof that states the Qwerty keyboard is at least on par with other keyboard systems. It relates the claimed success of the Dvorak system to some remarkable PR as related by noted authors Liebowitz & Margolis in several sources. The initial arguement, “The Fable of the Keys,” appeared in the Journal of Economics (Oct ‘90).

As they debunk the “Myth of Dvorak,” the authors remark that the initial test results (dating from 1888) have never been reproduced, remain suspect and do not, in fact, bear scrutiny.

For further reading, please refer to Winners, Losers and Microsoft—Chap. 2 “The Fable of the Keys.”

WARNING: While this chapter is compelling and the statistical method information is interesting, the balance of the book is not.

Posted by: cuddlepuff16 at August 28, 2002 11:35 PM