On Wed, 05 Oct 2005 18:31:19 -0400, suzmccarth <suzmccarth@...>

> My two closest colleagues, responsable for producing more and longer
> documents than I do, both use hunt and peck.

I won't belabor the point, but the persistence of the qwerty/qwertz/azerty
letter layout is unfortunate, and seems like a good topic for a thesis on

Several years ago, I had been reading Dvorak Dvelopments (sic) as well as
other related docs., and decided to switch. After being the equivalent of
tongue-tied for two or three weeks, (and sending really-concise e-mail
messages!) I developed a strong sense that Dvorak layout "felt right". At
that time, I had installed the quite-nice (really!) Microsoft remapping
utility for DOS.

Along the way, I have encountered passionate zealots of almost religious
faith who defend the commonplace lettter layouts. I don't want to enliven
yet another controversy; there has been lots of discussion, and this
layout "floats my boat".

(I also find that a keyboard with a switchable keymap and dual markings
can be exceptionally useful on some occasions, such as installing Linux
before you define a keymap, or rare situations that have no keymap. Some
of these switchable-keymap kbds. are affordable. DvortyBoards, [tm] of
what is apparently a company no longer doing business, is nevertheless a
useful start.) My present kbd. is a well-worn instance of that trade name,
a custom Adesso Eagle Touch, nothing special. Keys wobble, and the top has
worn smooth near the Delete key. True home row is shinier.

Technicality: Dr. Dvorak rearranged the digits, as well (fairly sure into
odd and even-number groups), so his layout is rarely used in its entirely.
I'm fairly sure that what we generally call the Dvorak layout is actually
an ANSI standard called the American Standard Keyboard (A.S.K.). For that
reason, I try to use the phrase "Dvorak letter layout", which is more
accurate, if not entirely so, because punct. and symbols have also been


Anyhow, I struggled with some typing tutors for Dvorak (Mavis Beacon,
Dvorak option, for the Amiga was seriously "broken", requiring a good
amount of programming knowledge to fix). Tried to find a school in Boston
that would teach Dvorak touch typing --- silly boy!

So far, I sin, not singly, but doubly -- I tend to use mostly index and
middle fingers of both hands, and usually right thumb on the space bar. I
don't hunt at all, because I know well where every key is. But, I also
look at the keyboard! (Major Sin!!). Nevertheless, I still hope to learn
touch-typing on this layout, in part because of speed, but also to relieve
those over-used fingers that start to holler sometimes. (It's Repetitive
Stress Injury, an extremely-political matter in industry...)

Self-teaching with a touch-typing tutor program is akin to learning the
[vi] editor (I'd use vim). Learning curve that takes more self-discipline
than I have, but with great and good returns for having done so. Btw, I'm
not religious about vi or Emacs. (Those two are the most-significant text
editors in the Unix/Linux world, and many religious wars have been fought
by their advocates. In its original form, vi rarely (if ever) required you
to move away from the letter-key area of the keyboard; originally, not
even the cursor arrows worked. Emacs has been repeatedly extended with
features added...)

Kær kvedja,

Nicholas Bodley /*|*\ Waltham, Mass. (Not "MA")
The curious hermit -- autodidact and polymath
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