View Full Version : Converting To DVORAK

December 2nd, 2006, 06:06 PM
I've literally just converted to DVORAK (using bits of Post It Note!)... Anyone got any advice? Where in the UK can I get proper stickers to convert my laptop keyboard? (So... slow...)

December 2nd, 2006, 07:05 PM
Well done, I'm thinking of converting but I would like some stickers to learn with. So anyone?

December 2nd, 2006, 07:13 PM
I've just pulled all the keys off and put them back on. Only problem was the J and U keys overlapping, so with aid of Tippex and black marker I swapped them. My J (New U) key cracked a bit though :( Typing is painfully slow...

December 2nd, 2006, 07:37 PM
Well done, I'm thinking of converting but I would like some stickers to learn with. So anyone?

Okay, let me play Mr. Hardcore with you for a minute.

You should not use stickers.

I am not kidding. Nobody should use stickers for learning dvorak. You let yourself depend on them then. Don't use stickers. Put blank stickers over the current keys if you need to look at the keyboard, but I think even that provides a disadvantage.

A very good way to learn dvorak (without stickers)

Here's what I recommend, what I did, and what I'm glad I did. Print out a chart of the dvorak keyboard. Don't worry about the appearance of your keyboard. Just switch to dvorak. It's going to be incredibly hard at first. You're going to need to be looking at that chart all the time (if you want some practice "A Basic Course in Dvorak (http://gigliwood.com/abcd/abcd.html)" is very useful. Takes a while, but is useful as hell.) Even if you do a lot of practice (like four hours over two days or whatever) you're still going to need to check that chart often. The body just isn't able to pick up things that fast.

You won't be able to type at anything acceptable until a week in. It'll take you about two weeks after you start (if you type often) to get to just about to a reasonable, everyday typing speed. Another two weeks and you'll be going pretty fast, and will have probably reached about your maximum typing speed in dvorak. It may not be faster than ascii, it may even be just a little slower than ascii for you. But it'll be a hell of a lot more comfortable when typing in English.

Why not use stickers? (Answer: so you learn to touchtype)

I know what you're saying, "I should use stickers so I can type fine in that first week!" No. You shouldn't. To begin with, stickers or a dvorak will hurt you. Without stickers, you really make yourself learn it. If you have to look at a chart every time you forget the keys, you'll want to make damn sure you don't forget keys, because it'll be annoying to have to check out that chart all the time. You'll have to learn to type by the position of your finger, instead of just searching around for that 'f' key on the board below and pushing it.

Body memory lasts a long time, and as a result, you'll remember dvorak for years afterwards, even if you just used it for a month (I did). Also, you'll be a lot faster at typing if you force yourself to memorize the positions by heart early on instead of just sorta-knowing them. You know why we have so many hunt-and-peck typists who have to look at the keyboard while typing? Because they've never made the effort to fully learn the keyboard. They'd save themselves weeks of work and be bucketloads faster if they just took the effort to get the keys down, but that would require a few hours of practice, so they don't want to do that. Really, touchtyping is incredibly useful, and not that hard to learn. If you let yourself be lazy and do hunt-and-peck, you're only hurting yourself.

Trust me. You'll thank yourself later when you can touchtype in dvorak. Go without key stickers or anything. You can and should use a chart, so you can visualize the keyboard; but after the first few days, make the chart hard to use. Put it in a drawer or something. Make it hard to be lazy in your typing and you'll get it down a lot faster and harder. It will be very frustrating the first week, as if you're trying to get by with a new language. It's very frustrating when you have something to say and it feels impossible to say. But that's exactly why you're learning to touchtype, so a few weeks later, you'll be able to express yourself quickly and fluidly.

"But I can't give up typing well for a week! I need to use stickers!"

Don't kid yourself. If you're learning dvorak, you will essentially be unable to type for the first week anyway. If this week is that important, stay with ASCII this week. However, if you depend on stickers, it means you'll be able to type a little faster a for the first three days, but for the few weeks after that, and probably years after that, you'll just be slowed down.

December 2nd, 2006, 08:11 PM
sudo apt-get install dvorak7min

'tis very good.

December 2nd, 2006, 09:49 PM
You should not use stickers.

True. I printed out a chart and put it next to my keyboard and just switched keyboard layout. Hard in the beginning but I don't regret it.

I think the greatest (short term at least) is that I learnt proper finger positioning and to not look at the keyboard when typing.

December 2nd, 2006, 11:11 PM
sudo apt-get install dvorak7min

'tis very good.

Hmm, I just tried that, the app is quite nice indeed, but it's so hard ;)
I had a hard times trying to learn the 8 finger keys, and I'm far for knowing them. I was typing one letter every 5 sec, and making many mistakes :)
But I'm not sure if it's a good idea to start learning dvorak, since I already don't know how to use azerty (very close to qwerty) correctly. I know where each letters are, but I can't use all my fingers, only a few of them.

December 3rd, 2006, 12:00 AM
Thanks, I'm guna get learning :D