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Tales of Dvorak – Part II

March 13, 2009 Leave a comment

A while ago I posted My Tale of the Switch to the Dvorak Layout. I’ve realised that some things have changed since then.

I just did the KTouch training session where I took 61 seconds to style 228 characters (38 words) which equals 216 characters per minute or 37 words per minute. T I had an accuracy of 97% (6 mistyped characters). Hopefully when I find the other sessions that come with KTouch I will be able to get some more data.

Mostly I can type without looking at the keyboard, hoverer as I’m still learning there are occasions when I needed to look at the keyboard. This is okay, it slows my down but its not bad. The problem is when I’m in the CSE labs I’m typing in Dvorak on a Qwerty keyboard so when I go to look down at the keyboard (as this is a habit I’ve gotten into when I get stuck) I get completely lost. And I end up pressing 5 different keys until I find the one I want.

I have a prac exam in June, so I better either hurry up and get better at Dvorak or go back to qwerty and get familiar with it again. Otherwise my prac exam may not go so well.

A few days ago I would have said that I type by remembering were specific letters are, but typing now it seems that’s not the case and my hand movements just come naturally without thinking too much. So it looks like I’m improving.

I don’t want to try tying in qwerty as that seems to really stuff things up badly for me.

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My Tale of the Switch to the Dvorak Layout

January 15, 2009 1 comment

In the past month or so I have been using the Dvorak keyboard layout along with the Qwerty layout although the ratio of my Dvorak to Qwerty use has increased over this time. I’m nowhere as fast typing on Dvorak than Qwerty so far but I hope to get better. So I went into learning Dvorak with little idea how it would fit in with my existing typing skills and I had a one main question (or perhaps even a worry). Would I be able to type in both layouts much like someone who is bilingual where they can be fluent in both languages where learning a second language would not diminish their fluency in their first language? I have not become experienced enough to answer that question though I can still type in Qwerty but I make more typo’s than I used to. Mostly I seem to sometimes get just one key mixed up. I’ll repost when I have a more definitive answer.

Though there was another main thing I wanted to get across in this post. Using the Qwerty layout I would usually type by remembering not only where keys were but by the sequence of keys for common letter sequences, hence whilst I can type any word I am even faster at particular letter sequences such as the, them, they, etc… any common short word. I’m guessing most people are like this. After you’ve been typing for a while you learn where the keys are, but you also learn key sequences for common words. While I was learning to type in Dvorak I went through several stages. At first I would just look all over the keyboard for the key and then press it. Then gradually I began to know where the common letters were (those being a, o, e, u, i, d, h, t, n, s) so I didn’t always have to look for these ones. This is the stage I am at the moment. Once I can become faster at these common key seqences I should be all set, at the moment I am beginning to notice this for “the” and “rea”. Practices makes perfect, though I will try to not loose all my Qwerty layout skills.

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