By Wayne Hoover
I have been typing on the dvoark keyboard layout for about three years now- and I haven’t looked back. My speed has gradually increased to well beyond my qwerty days and I rarley get pains from typing. The speedup from qwerty to dvorak is debatable (even though the worlds fastest typer types in dvorak)- but what is fact is that when you switch to dvorak your fingers move a lot less (a quick google turned up this) so its a good layout to get in the habit of using. The qwerty layout was designed so common keys would be away from eachother to stop the old type writers keys from jamming. That was over 100 years ago- its time to break this stupid habit and switch to a modern layout!
Here are some links to changing the layout on your OS. Its usually just as simple as going to the international section or keyboard section and adding the dvoark layout. On windows and mac switching between dvoark and qwerty is as simple as a hot key.
Of course there are the times when I -have- to type in qwerty but they are few and far between these days. Linux- Mac OS- and Windows allow you to change the keyboard mapping.
As an added bonous learning dvorak helped me learn patience. By learning a new layout your typing speed slows way- way down- especially when you can’t look at the keyboard for help (which is really a blessing in disguise).
Most good typying programs teach the dvorak layout. On mac I sude Ten Thumbs- and and master key. Have fun. It will be worth it in the long run.