Whereas instead, I type on a keyboard that looks like this:
Ever since January, I have been on a crusade to change the way I type, and safe to say, I have succeeded with my ventures.
I can now type as fast as I used to using the former when I still was using the latter keyboard.
But what, you may ask, is this supposed blog to be? A public service announcement on the scourge of computing that is commonly known as the Qwerty Keyboard.
"But that's what I type on all the time, so it's gotta be good. Why you gotta hate on keyboards?"
That's the thing. The Qwerty keyboard was originally designed for typewriters so that jamming of the typewriter keys cannot happen. When the dawn of computers came about, it just stuck.
In other words, Qwerty was designed to make you type slow, making typing inefficient.
Historically, a person by the name of August Dvorak (No, we're not talking about the musician) created the most well-known alternative to the Qwerty: The Dvorak Keyboard.
I'll direct you to a site that has more info on this, but this is where I'll be referencing some of my info. http://mkweb.bcgsc.ca/carpalx/?dvorak
On the Dvorak keyboard, 70% of all typing is focused on the home row, which on a Qwerty, is the row of keys that reads ASDFGHJKL. How many words can you make with those letters? Only a few hundred. Whereas with Dvorak, which is AOEUIDHTNS, that number is in the thousands.
What does that mean? Your fingers don't even need to travel that far to reach what's effectively the most commonly used letters in the entire English Language.
There was a book that was written without using one particular letter: The letter E. Did you know that there are 12 E tiles in Scrabble? Wanna know why? Because that's the most used letter. Wanna know where the E is on the Qwerty? Next to the W and the R, right at the hard-to-reach top row. Where does that translate to the Dvorak? Right under your middle finger of your left hand.
Dr. Dvorak designed his keyboard so that, as I stated, 70% of all typing is done on the home row, with 22% of the typing on the top row, and 8% on the bottom row, where all of the least-used letters in the English Alphabet are used at. Compared to the Qwerty, those numbers are in the neighbourhood of 32% on the home row, 52% on the top row, and 16% on the bottom row.
There are some interesting notes about this as well, including the fact that Dvorak is so efficient, bad stuff like Carpal Tunnel and Repetitive Stress Injury can not only be mitigated, but eliminated and prevented. http://en.wikipedia...._Dvorak_layouts
Oh, and the world's fastest typist used a Dvorak. That same person failed her typing class, because they used Qwerty.
A more recent alternative, and this is my cup of joe, is the Colemak Keyboard. It's marginally better than Dvorak, but because I had such a hard time switching to Dvorak, I said to myself, "Screw it, I'm going to Colemak". And within several months, I can officially diagnose myself with ASDF Deficiency: I cannot type on a Qwerty anymore.
There is a wiki devoted to the Colemak, as well as a download to switch from Qwerty to Colemak. There's also an interesting online app that compares which keyboard layout is best using only what you type into it. For example, I'll use this entire document in the end to see which layout is best.
So what does that mean? ANY keyboard is better than Qwerty, but personally, I prefer Colemak. I'll explain why:
I grew up, as with most of you, with using the Qwerty keyboard. As I progressed with my computer classes in high school (as with struggled how to type), I eventually learned how to type on what I now see as the worst keyboard ever. I've only heard small slivers of information about the Dvorak, but when I started my college courses in computer science, I heard the full dirt on Qwerty and Dvorak.
That was January 2012, so you could say that doing away with Qwerty was my New Year's Resolution. It wasn't easy, but it took less time than putting up with Qwerty.
The moment I heard the truth behind Qwerty, I immediately switched the layout of my keyboard to Dvorak, but after about a few months, I had to switch back. Through my research on Dvorak, I stumbled on a keyboard called the Colemak, made by a person with the uneventful name of Shai Coleman.
There were a lot of ups and downs in my life between March and now, and those who know me well will know what I mean, but one of the biggest factors behind that was that I literally couldn't type. And the best part of all this: For my Microsoft Office class, I chose this to be my exact topic I wanted to talk about for my PowerPoint project, all because of one trivial fact about Qwerty.
Someone once asked my why I would ever switch keyboards. I responded with the goal of efficiency. Some of you guys may know what I'm actually gawking about, and some of you guys are just boggled out of your heads and some of you guys -- HEY, COME BACK HERE!!! -- don't even wanna read this giant blurb of words.
I'm gonna post a poll up top about this.
So suppose you wanted to switch keyboards. What would I recommend? Colemak. Why? Because the position of half of the keys on a Colemak are unchanged between it and the Qwerty. No keys ever switch hands, except for P and E. It means if you wanna write "Pee", instead of using your left hand for E and your right hand for P, it's the other way around. All of the other keys on a Colemak don't even switch hands.
Compared to Dvorak, only the A and M keys are unchanged. Then again, that's just my preference, and what I learnt with. If you're on a Dvorak and are OK with it, just stick with it. Once again, there are online resources on all three keyboards, and if I've actually persuaded you about what's what, then I've done my job right.