Wednesday, 18 July 2012

I'm not the type to touch!

Ever heard of someone called Dvorak? 

I must admit that until recently I had not heard of this individual either. So why should we all know the name Dvorak. What did this person do to that should have made us all remember his or her name?

Back in the 1920's Dr. August Dvorak did some research on the layout of keyboards. In his research he did some analysis of how we type, the frequency of letters and pairs of letters in words. What he did was come up with a keyboard that was ergonomically better and easier to use.

To understand the problem of the "Querty Keyboard" that we all use, you need to know something of its history. The qwerty keyboard was designed by the inventor of the first commercially successful typewriter. The letters were laid out in a way that helped the typewriter to work rather than aid the typist.

I wonder if like me you have ever wondered why the keyboard was laid out the way it was.

The inventor of the typewriter was beset by a very significant problem with the keys jamming. This was caused when more than one key was pressed at the same time. The solution was to move the most frequently used keys on the keyboard away from each other. So the keyboard on your computer was laid out to slow down the typist and to stop the keys from becoming jammed together. Saying that - back in the days when I had a typewriter, I frequently managed to jam the keys anyway! It's a skill that I perfected over time!

Yet computers are still supplied with the Querty Keyboard. The Querty layout is still taught to students in schools. It's been known for years that a significant improvement in speed and a reduction in problems such as RSI can be gained from using the Dvorak keyboard.

The Dvorak Keyboard Layout

I am not a touch typist, I am more of a one finger on each hand pick and peck typist. I do have the occasional burst of two finger typing on each hand for certain combinations of frequent words. But that is just about the end of my "Typing Skills". I remember doing the "Mavis Beacon" bit and valiantly failing to improve my typing skills. But for someone with two left hands which match in exquisite skill the dancing prowess of his two left feet. I soon gave up on that futile venture. 

You can purchase a USB Dvorak keyboard to connect to a USB port on your computer and most computer operating systems are Dvorak compliant. 

However, as I have just purchased a new smartphone. It has voice recognition installed. So now I just create a voice to text message which I then text directly to the computer. 

Here is a sample from Shakespeare:-

Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by this son of York; And all the clouds that low'r'd upon our house In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.

Or as the voice to text wrote...

Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this sum of york and all the clouds that lowered upon our house in the deep boson of the ocean buried.

I wonder if Dvorak has anything for correcting my Yorkshire accent!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please put your name to your comment. Comments without a name may automatically be treated as spam and might not be included.

If you do not wish your comment to be published say so in your comment. If you have a tip or sensitive information you’d prefer to share anonymously, you may do so. I will delete the comment after reading.