Archive for the 'Dvorak' Category

Dvorak Tract

Friday, October 13th, 2006

Free the keys! The Dvorak Zine is a handy introduction to the One True Keyboard Layout. Your wrists will thank you…


Sunday, March 21st, 2004

Since my Dvorak typing is only slowly improving, I thought I’d get more practice by importing a nicer lesson set into gtypist. Dan Wood of ABCD fame let me use his lessons, and once I found the gtypist manual and especially the emacs mode, making a new .typ file was easy.

I’m not sure how to handle distribution yet, but feel free to email me at webmaster [at] if you want a copy.

Death by Dvorak

Friday, March 5th, 2004

/. of the day: The Disposable Computer - the comments are in rare form.

My typing is only getting worse, despite the best advice no money can buy. To reassure myself that it’s all worthwhile, I’ve been reading random Dvorak pages. I even found one with up-to-date switching info.

You know what they say: those who can’t write, edit. So despite the late start, I’ve decided to do NaNoEdMo. I do like my NaNoNovel and the theme (a society fracturing over irreconcilable differences) seems even more timely than it did in November. Paper and pencil sounds good right now.

Just as an aside, never try to use Earthlink’s chat support option. The people at the other end (India?) are useless, and it spontaneously disconnects in Safari (FireFox is fine).

Still Typing Very Slowly

Thursday, March 4th, 2004

Quote of the day: It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. –Thomas Jefferson

I’m still typing slowly on the Dvorak keyboard, but I did have one breakthrough. My text editor emacs uses lots of control characters which moved around with the rest of my scrambled keys and are now harder to reach. I could just use the standard mac keys instead, but the command key isn’t all that well-placed, either.

Oh for the days when I had my own (abandoned) sun sparc with the control key where the caps lock usually is! There’s a useless key taking up far too much real estate on non-Suns. SHOUTING IS NEVER NECESSARY.

But then I remembed that all things are possible to those who use macs. The answer to misplaced control keys is uControl. My keyboard is now optimally configured; it’s just the typist who’s behind the times.

[P.S.] I ended up doing the mac keys as well, and they’re very convenient. Finally, command-C and command-V in emacs, not to mention command-W and command-Z! The full instructions are at webweavertech.

Typing Very Slowly

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2004

Secession of the day: Killington, Vermont

Here it is, my first Dvorak entry, for which I’m typing very slowly. I tested myself on QWERTY before the big switch and my speed was 80-90 wpm. According to gtypist, I’m already roaring along at 20 wpm on the Dvorak keyboard. Somehow it doesn’t feel anywhere near as fast as 1/4 my normal speed.

So typing like the tortoise gives me plenty of time to contemplate why I’m torturing myself this way. Though the fastest typist ever reached a top speed of 212 wpm (with a 150-170 cruising speed, all on the Dvorak keyboard, of course), I think 80 wpm is reasonable for us mere mortals. I’m more concerned with reducing my typo rate and saving my endangered carpal tunnel than with increasing speed. And it just seems wrong and unmac-like to use a keyboard designed for inefficiency when a better one is just a click away.

State of Jemima

Sunday, February 29th, 2004

Free software of the day: GNU typist

Late last week I figured out that tomorrow, and not today, was the first of March, meaning that I had the whole weekend to finish a couple of sci-fi contest entries due then. The stories are more or less done, though my revisions were interrupted when I re-read the rules and realized that I needed to get my name off the submission. That little technical hurdle has now been jumped.

NaNoEdMo starts tomorrow, and I’m not ready to face my November Disaster yet. It’s only an hour a day, though, so maybe I’ll do it this year. Last NaNoEdMo was a complete wash for me.

On the Stargate side, I finally saw “Chimera” and enjoyed it, though, again, there wasn’t nearly enough Jack. I don’t know why everyone was upset about Sam telling all to Pete - obviously she wouldn’t give out classified information without clearance right in the infirmary under the security cameras. Pete was cuter than the screenshots led me to believe, although still kind of chubby in the suit. Was it just me, or did Sam look guilty when he said “It’s nice to know that people still stay together no matter what, isn’t it?” I certainly felt guilty on her hussy behalf, although otherwise they were just too happy together for me to feel the typical Ex-JetCer In The Hands Of The Cruel PTB anger. I almost feel guilty plotting to break them up in fanfic…almost.

I’ve decided to go back to the Dvorak keyboard, since my typing is only getting worse in my old age. I need a keyboard that was designed to help people type fast, not impede them. Most sites about it are too old to cover MacOS X, for which there are two Dvorak keyboard options available from the International System Preferences pane under the Input Menu tab. Be sure to check the box for “Show input menu in menu bar” so you can switch back and forth easily. For a typing tutor, I downloaded and built gtypist (link above) without any difficulty, though it’s possible you might have to grab ncurses with fink if you don’t have it installed already. I’ll make a note of it when the first Dvorak-typed blog entry appears.

Jade was having IE problems, so I downloaded FireFox in solidarity with her. I noticed it colors my XML links as html links, wiping out the pretty colors from my XML CSS stylesheet. I hope the new Camino, coming soon, doesn’t do the same. I really wish Safari could handle XML links, no matter how it colored them.

Jade also complained about my dark salmon background, so I added a style shutoff at the top of the sidebar: Turn Style Off. It’s a javascript link that I’d like to include on all my pages, but I’m not sure where I’d put it. At the moment it isn’t persistent, either - you’ll have to turn the style off whenever you visit, if you want it off. The function itself (OffCSS) is simple; you can get the code by viewing the source for this page.