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Forum title:Typing
Topic title:Question for those who can do Dvorak key
Created by: raine
Created on:2006-10-06 07:09:00
Read times:6816

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raine

Date: 2006-10-06 07:09:00
Edited: 2006-10-06 07:09:45


[reply]
Hey guys! I just registered today. :) sorry if there has already been some old threads about Dvorak keyboard... there's not exactly a search function for the forum.

I finally decided to try switching to Dvorak. Rather than buying a superexpensive dvorak keyboard, I cut up labels and put corresponding Dvorak keyboard letters on to my laptop keyboard.

Just wondering... if you have switched, are you still able to type in Dvorak and QWERTY? are you just able to switch modes mentally?? QWERTY is just so deeply ingrained in my mind... it's hard to imagine having two typing modes.
Also, how much were you able to increase your speed? And how many weeks/months/years did it take you to learn Dvorak?
I am attempting to switch solely to increase my speed. I currently can do 118 WPM max... I know dvorak is supposed to be more comfortable, but I don't really find that QWERTY typing strains my hands at all (or maybe the pain will manifest itself when i get old :-\

anyway, feel free to share your experience switching. :-)

and if anyone is interested in switching... you should check out this site:
http://www.theworldofstuff.com/dvorak/
It has directions on how to add Dvorak keyboard input on your computer (which some of you might know already), so you don't need to buy a Dvorak keyboard. You can switch back and forth from Dvorak and "normal" easily.
dromiceius

Date: 2006-10-06 12:31:54


[reply]
raine wrote:
Hey guys! I just registered today. :) sorry if there has already been some old threads about Dvorak keyboard... there's not exactly a search function for the forum.

There is, however, a Dromiceius, so you might be in luck...
are you still able to type in Dvorak and QWERTY? are you just able to switch modes mentally?

My QWERTY dropped to about 100kpm within a few months of switching. I found it impossible to use DOS, and it was a pain in the ass if I had to use someone else's computer. After much work with some DOS-based programs, my QWERTY is back up to about 400kpm.

It took a lot of practice to teach my brain to distinguish the two at will.
Also, how much were you able to increase your speed? And how many weeks/months/years did it take you to learn Dvorak?

My Dvorak is about even with what my QWERTY was. Somewhere around 500kpm. It took one day to learn all the locations of the keys, and then a couple weeks to get to 60wpm. I'd say my accuracy has increased; my fingers are more "graceful" but not much else.
I know dvorak is supposed to be more comfortable, but I don't really find that QWERTY typing strains my hands at all (or maybe the pain will manifest itself when i get old :-\

I notice the strain now, when I use QWERTY at length. I can tell that there are certain fingers which take more of the load, and there's more awkward reaching. Mildly annoying.
raine

Date: 2006-10-11 21:11:01


[reply]
Thanks for the info, Dromiceius. :)
I guess there are very few others out there that can do Dvorak... seeing how no one else responded. :(

I decided to seriously try to learn Dvorak...(at first i was still on the fence b/c i did not want to have my QWERTY speed deteriorate, and thus not be able to type at a fast rate in either mode)
right now I still tend to switch back to QWERTY when I'm typing under time pressure or when talking notes during a fast paced lecture. My Dvorak typing speed is a dimsal 8WPM. :-\

I also have noticed that my QWERTY speed is reduced... and I tend to make more errors when I'm trying to type fast using QWERTY. I'm hoping that if I keep using QWERTY intermittently, I won't completely lose the ability to type fairly quickly in that mode (hopefully 60WPM isn't too much to ask).

Dromiceius, do you currently only use Dvorak? or both equally?
dromiceius

Date: 2006-10-17 12:58:35


[reply]
raine wrote:
I also have noticed that my QWERTY speed is reduced... and I tend to make more errors when I'm trying to type fast using QWERTY. I'm hoping that if I keep using QWERTY intermittently, I won't completely lose the ability to type fairly quickly in that mode (hopefully 60WPM isn't too much to ask)

That's probably the best way to do it. Your brain will eventually rewire itself to be able to switch back and forth smoothly if you continuously force it to do so.
You might try doing just that using Typing of the Dead, which you can find here:

http://www.the-underdogs.info/game.php?id=4973

Dromiceius, do you currently only use Dvorak? or both equally?

I use Dvorak pretty much all the time.
dre

Date: 2007-05-11 01:27:31


[reply]
Just a thought:
I never met someone using DVORAK in the "real world". Here I read posts from several people. There must be something about it!

ps: I use QWERTZ since I'm from Germany. I will not change to DVORAK, since it's optimized for english typing.
v..uk

Date: 2007-05-11 06:37:03


[reply]
dre wrote:
Just a thought:
I never met someone using DVORAK in the "real world". Here I read posts from several people. There must be something about it!

ps: I use QWERTZ since I'm from Germany. I will not change to DVORAK, since it's optimized for english typing.


...try it:)

While it is optimized for English, for some odd reason it's more optimized for German. (maybe no intentionally, but it works...and I think there's a Danish version that has the oumlauts).

I'm not using Dvorak now, but I've designed a few layouts, and I noticed along the way that Dvorak (at least by statistics) is the best board for german (for low same finger usage...the travel distance could be decreased by swapping 'u' and 'i' but that might make the ou cumbination less comfortable to type.)
dre

Date: 2007-05-13 17:15:24


[reply]
V..UK wrote:
...try it:)

While it is optimized for English, for some odd reason it's more optimized for German. (maybe no intentionally, but it works...and I think there's a Danish version that has the oumlauts).

I'm not using Dvorak now, but I've designed a few layouts, and I noticed along the way that Dvorak (at least by statistics) is the best board for german (for low same finger usage...the travel distance could be decreased by swapping 'u' and 'i' but that might make the ou cumbination less comfortable to type.)


Thanks for the hint! :) Anyway I now try NEO, a layout created especially for the german language. You can read about it here: http://pebbles.schattenlauf.de/layout/index_us.html
I think since you designed a few layouts for yourself, the site could be interesting for you!

Without testing it, I think DVORAK is definitely way better than QWERTY, and August Dvorak was really ahead of the times when he invented it. Anyway its 70 years old and was intentionally created for mechanic typewriters.

There are other reasons I chose NEO, for excample some characters I need for coding are more comfortable to reach...
v..uk

Date: 2007-05-15 01:31:09
Edited: 2007-05-15 03:45:12


[reply]
dre wrote:
V..UK wrote:
...try it:)

While it is optimized for English, for some odd reason it's more optimized for German. (maybe no intentionally, but it works...and I think there's a Danish version that has the oumlauts).

I'm not using Dvorak now, but I've designed a few layouts, and I noticed along the way that Dvorak (at least by statistics) is the best board for german (for low same finger usage...the travel distance could be decreased by swapping 'u' and 'i' but that might make the ou cumbination less comfortable to type.)


Thanks for the hint! :) Anyway I now try NEO, a layout created especially for the German language. You can read about it here: http://pebbles.schattenlauf.de/layout/index_us.html
I think since you designed a few layouts for yourself, the site could be interesting for you!

Without testing it, I think DVORAK is definitely way better than QWERTY, and August Dvorak was really ahead of the times when he invented it. Anyway its 70 years old and was intentionally created for mechanic typewriters.

There are other reasons I chose NEO, for example some characters I need for coding are more comfortable to reach...


I'm glad I took a look (NEO uses the index fingers a lot, which is encouraging to me as I'm trying the same thing with my current layout...though I'm not sure yet that it's a good idea).

NEO is very different from Dvorak, manly in that it puts more weight on the index fingers and less on the pinky and ring (Dvorak puts much more weight on the right ring finger in German).

Despite it's merits, I think NEO has three failings and a little home row exaggeration.

I think NEO would be better if it was on a straight keyboard (no typewriter row shift). I find the suggestion of sticking to the skewed (standard) layout especially odd because NEO claims to make a clean break from the limitations of the QWERTY-mechanical-typewriter-optimized layout.

The left shift is a bit of a reach (I think it might haven been better to put the left shift where the left alt is).

And it has a high (compared to other layouts) occurrence of using the same finger twice in a row for different characters(4.5), lower than QWERTY(7.5) or QWERTZ (see QWERTY), but more than twice as high as Dvorak(1.5)*, and higher than my layout too(2.5)*.

NEO has a good home row for German. But the 'S' and 'O' are a bit deceptive (and for English the 'Y' as a little finger stretch is especially deceptive) because they are not resting positions and offer marginal benefit over placement on the top or bottom row.

BUT having 'S' on the index finger, even as a stretch, may be better than having S on a ring (as in QWERTY) or pinky (as in Dvorak) because the index finger seems faster (33% for me when repeating the same character about 30 times in a row).

The real maker or breaker is the use of the index fingers. If using the index fingers more is good than NEO is one of the best layouts I've seen (next to mine), but if an even load is desirable then it's one of the worst (next to mine).

I hope it works for you...NEO definitely blows QWERTZ out of the pool.

* layout modified to include , and .

For the programming characters, consider modifying the AltGR map on your NEO layout to include them (as suggested by Andrei Stanescu of www.siteuri.ro ). I find this more comfortable than reaching to the number row or the top right corner. (I think NEO already does this for the @ sign.)
dre

Date: 2007-05-16 18:01:44


[reply]
V..UK wrote:
I'm glad I took a look (NEO uses the index fingers a lot, which is encouraging to me as I'm trying the same thing with my current layout...though I'm not sure yet that it's a good idea).

NEO is very different from Dvorak, manly in that it puts more weight on the index fingers and less on the pinky and ring (Dvorak puts much more weight on the right ring finger in German).

Thats difficult! For my personal valuation the index is the strongest finger, but on the homerow it's imho more comfortable to use middle- or ringfinger. I don't know. I don't think it's that much of a difference at all. However, if you want the perfect weighting of the keys, you need to weight every key for itself I think. For excample the QWERTY-"Y" is very uncomfortable to reach.

Despite it's merits, I think NEO has three failings and a little home row exaggeration.

I think NEO would be better if it was on a straight keyboard (no typewriter row shift). I find the suggestion of sticking to the skewed (standard) layout especially odd because NEO claims to make a clean break from the limitations of the QWERTY-mechanical-typewriter-optimized layout.


NEO is layout, not hardware. Apart from that I totally agree with you, I hate this unergonomic shift from 200 Years ago! (Ok, almost ;))

The left shift is a bit of a reach (I think it might haven been better to put the left shift where the left alt is).


I don't have problems reaching shift :)

And it has a high (compared to other layouts) occurrence of using the same finger twice in a row for different characters(4.5), lower than QWERTY(7.5) or QWERTZ (see QWERTY), but more than twice as high as Dvorak(1.5)*, and higher than my layout too(2.5)*.


Really? Where have you got that numbers?

NEO has a good home row for German. But the 'S' and 'O' are a bit deceptive (and for English the 'Y' as a little finger stretch is especially deceptive) because they are not resting positions and offer marginal benefit over placement on the top or bottom row.

BUT having 'S' on the index finger, even as a stretch, may be better than having S on a ring (as in QWERTY) or pinky (as in Dvorak) because the index finger seems faster (33% for me when repeating the same character about 30 times in a row).

The real maker or breaker is the use of the index fingers. If using the index fingers more is good than NEO is one of the best layouts I've seen (next to mine), but if an even load is desirable then it's one of the worst (next to mine).


As I said, I personally think the index is the strongest finger except for QWERTY "Y" and "B". So NEO is one of the best layouts (next to yours of course ;)).

I hope it works for you...NEO definitely blows QWERTZ out of the pool.

* layout modified to include , and .

For the programming characters, consider modifying the AltGR map on your NEO layout to include them (as suggested by Andrei Stanescu of www.siteuri.ro ). I find this more comfortable than reaching to the number row or the top right corner. (I think NEO already does this for the @ sign.)


At last the most important link:
https://neo.eigenheimstrasse.de/svn/grafik/
I'm using version 2beta of NEO. It has a few enhancements, for excaple the programming characters are very easy to reach now :)
Take a look! I has two new AltGr keys!!! ^^
v..uk

Date: 2007-05-17 06:02:45


[reply]
dre wrote:
V..UK wrote:
The left shift is a bit of a reach (I think it might haven been better to put the left shift where the left alt is).


I don't have problems reaching shift :)

But you might enjoy using your thumb instead.
Becides, if you put the left alt where the left shift was, you'll be able to reach it ;)

And it has a high (compared to other layouts) occurrence of using the same finger twice in a row for different characters(4.5), lower than QWERTY(7.5) or QWERTZ (see QWERTY), but more than twice as high as Dvorak(1.5)*, and higher than my layout too(2.5)*.


Really? Where have you got that numbers?

A Java applet by Jon A. Maxwell endited by Michael Capewell at http://www.geocities.com/smozoma/projects/keyboard/compare_applet.htm? 200716

Is not perfect, espesially for fingerweights (an error margin of about 2%), but I think it's fairly accurate for the samefinger stat and distance stat.

But a 5% samefinger rate isn't bad by itself (only one out of twenty key strokes on average). It's only troble if its on a weak finger or jumps the home row. At a glance most of NEO's samefinger digraphs seem well placed (l-a, c-e, w-o and n-s are on strong fingers and close together, s-h and w-e at diagonals are the only trouble makers I see and that might be an English only problem).

NEO has a good home row for German. But the 'S' and 'O' are a bit deceptive (and for English the 'Y' as a little finger stretch is especially deceptive) because they are not resting positions and offer marginal benefit over placement on the top or bottom row.

BUT having 'S' on the index finger, even as a stretch, may be better than having S on a ring (as in QWERTY) or pinky (as in Dvorak) because the index finger seems faster (33% for me when repeating the same character about 30 times in a row).

The real maker or breaker is the use of the index fingers. If using the index fingers more is good than NEO is one of the best layouts I've seen (next to mine), but if an even load is desirable then it's one of the worst (next to mine).


As I said, I personally think the index is the strongest finger except for QWERTY "Y" and "B". So NEO is one of the best layouts (next to yours of course ;)).

I appreciate your confidence xD
But, what concerns me is that if two fingers do half the typing, they must type at two to three times the speed of eight fingers sharing a more even load.

And then there's always too much of a good thing (like sunlight one meter from the source). I think in Spanish my right index does 33% of the typing.


At last the most important link:
https://neo.eigenheimstrasse.de/svn/grafik/
I'm using version 2beta of NEO. It has a few enhancements, for example the programming characters are very easy to reach now :)
Take a look! I has two new AltGr keys!!! ^^


The AutoHotkey files *.ahk for NOE are very impressive. And NEO makes good use of AltGR, and CAPSLOCK.

But I tried the number pad overly on my first layout and found that on the arcane-typebar-shifted boards, rows of five work better than rows of three.
Example:
09876
12345
*+=-/

But aside from that I think NEO's AltGR layout is excellent.

I prefer to leave the caps area unassigned because it's a great place for a second character set such as Arabic, Greek or Russian.

И вент витх Руссиан бечаусе ит лоокс гоод! Ежен иг И дон'т ьаже а члев абоут влат И'м тыпинг:) (Can't read English typed with Russian characterc displayed as html codes? ЛЕАРН ТО РЕАД!!!)

The only components NEO lacks are live keys and zombie keys.

A live key acts like a shift key but it sends a character if it is released before pressing another key. And a zombie key (BRAINZZZ) is a dead key that reinstates itself if it's still depressed after a following key is modified.

The comma and semicolon are perfect for zombie keys because they are (BRAINZZZZ) always followed by (MORE BRAINNNZ) a space, number or quotation mark.
wapz

Date: 2007-05-18 00:25:21


[reply]
Hey raine:

I typed in QWERTY since young (about 5), and tried dvorak for 1.5 years in college. From my experience, it's not worth switching.

It took me about 3 months of typing everyday in Dvorak (not like practicing, just practical email/chatting), to reach about 65 wpm. From that point on, I found my speed to cap out. After about 6-8 months, I was still at about 80 wpm. As a guess, I would say you need to spend several years to get your Dvorak up to 118+ wpm (your current speed), and much more to improve it past that point.

If you think you've capped out at 118WPM, here's a few things I've done to improve my speed past that. Try new keyboards.. I ended up sticking with an old logitech 1997 or so keyboard. I've tried at least 7 for over 2 weeks each. Play the piano or something that can warm your fingers up and keep them active. Scales are great =)

To me, it didn't affect my QWERTY at all.. or at least from what I can tell. Before typing in Dvorak I was at about 700 kpm max (640-650 avg), and I am still about the same.

In addition, dvorak is very difficult for certain applications/utilities (say, when you're programming, or playing computer games that use key-bound commands). In addition, I also type in Japanese which makes dvorak not worth improving.

BTW, I haven't had dvorak as my primary type-set for over 3 years now, and I can still type at 60 wpm in dvorak. It's kinda riding a bike, you don't forget =)
dre

Date: 2007-05-18 14:27:31


[reply]
V..UK wrote:
But you might enjoy using your thumb instead.
Becides, if you put the left alt where the left shift was, you'll be able to reach it ;)

Hm, we're talking about different keys I think...
And it has a high (compared to other layouts) occurrence of using the same finger twice in a row for different characters(4.5), lower than QWERTY(7.5) or QWERTZ (see QWERTY), but more than twice as high as Dvorak(1.5)*, and higher than my layout too(2.5)*.

Strange! That is exactly the opposite from what the NEO-page says. NEO is based on commonly used bi- and trigrams in german language and designed to avoid using the same finger twice. I use it for a few days now and think it works!
A Java applet by Jon A. Maxwell endited by Michael Capewell at http://www.geocities.com/smozoma/projects/keyboard/compare_applet.htm? 200716

Nice app! However, which text did you use?
I appreciate your confidence xD
But, what concerns me is that if two fingers do half the typing, they must type at two to three times the speed of eight fingers sharing a more even load.

I don't think thats a problem, as long as the same index isn't used twice in succession.
And then there's always too much of a good thing (like sunlight one meter from the source). I think in Spanish my right index does 33% of the typing.

If you want to optimize a layout, you have to choose a language. Otherwise you need to make compromises. I don't want too much compromises.
The only components NEO lacks are live keys and zombie keys.

Another component it doesn't have are macro-keys, like your layout. (for, the, and etc. with AltGr+Key) Another proof you can't design a perfect layout to fit several languages at once.
olego

Date: 2007-05-25 22:27:02


[reply]
dre wrote:
I never met someone using DVORAK in the "real world". Here I read posts from several people. There must be something about it!
Just saying Hi, because I'm also currently using the Dvorak keyboard, and have been using it now for about 3 years. :-)
shawnmccool

Date: 2007-12-16 03:23:40


[reply]
I've been using dvorak for over a year. Typing with it requires less work. I was typing at about 125wpm on qwerty (i'm down to like.. 60 on qwerty now, and have to look at the keys for the first few hours of qwerty typing, then i start to pick up speed) and am up to about 105wpm on dvorak according to the default english test on this site. If I was typing out of my thoughts I could probably type about 140wpm.

I am a computer programmer and i find that the dvorak layout is better for me due to the position of the punctuation.

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