egypturnash: (Default)
i've gone back to QWERTY. The Dvorak layout is interesting, and I can see that it would be less fatigue-inducing than QWERTY is when touch-typing. But I haven't historically touch-typed. And trying to learn to do that is creating muscle strain - in my back, and more scarily in my right elbow.

Given that most of my typing is original, rather than dictation or duplication, speed is not that important. I could stand to be a bit faster, but I don't type that much slower than I compose and polish sentences. The two reasons to switch to Dvorak are speed and decreased strain compared to touch-typing QWERTY. Well, not touch-typing seems to be less stressful to my body than touch-typing is, period.

Other worries were lingering in the back of my head: being absolutely useless at typing anything for a month or so as I switch, and the loss of years of muscle memory for one-handed keystrokes. I rely on my left hand to switch tools with the keyboard when I do art on the computer; I've worked with my left hand on the keyboard and my right hand on the mouse or stylus since I got into Deluxe Paint on the Amiga. I've suffered some retraining, like going from Amiga to Mac tools, where 'undo' changed from 'u' to 'apple-z', but I'm sitting on top of twenty years of muscle memory I'm reluctant to slow down my art to relearn. Flash makes me swear when it loses the keyboard focus in certain conditions and I have to select a tool by clicking on it; I can't imagine retraining all the muscle associations for every tool in every program. I haven't touched AI during these past couple days of Dvorak for fear of this.

If I was already touch-typing, I think it might be worth it. But I don't. I don't want to train my little and index fingers to type, I don't want to try and create an environment that encourages proper typing posture. That's just not going to happen when your computing environment is a laptop on a bed. I'd like to have a desk again, and maybe I'll try Dvorak again when I do. There was some talk of me grabbing the one in Nick's room once he upgraded to his laptop, but it stayed there when Cyn moved in and is now weighed down with her system. I'm not sure I need a desk that big anyway - I just need space for computer, keyboard, tablet, and scanner, I don't need to accommodate a CRT's depth any more. There isn't room in here for a second large computer desk anyway.

So I'm back to QWERTY. I would have stuck with the Dvorak experiment longer, but pain is not something to ignore...
egypturnash: (Default)
Hmmm. I'm finding that my wrists ache more from typing than they normally do. I suspect it's from trying to hold them so damned rigidly in one cramped place: the hands are at an angle to the forearm. Touch-typing may be faster than my usual method of hands floating across the keys, but it causes pain. I may abandon this Dvorak experiment; this layout does feel like it'd be faster for a touch-typist once learnt, but touch-typing is simply painful in and of itself! "Good" typing posture just moves the strain around - are my arms really meant to be like this for so long? No.

Alternately, I may stick with the Dvorak layout a bit longer, and start to let my hands float across the keyboard more, mostly using the first and second fingers for less time with the wrists so damn bent!
egypturnash: (hiroshima (howarth))
Pangrammatic haiku.

Pangram? A sentence - or haiku, in the case of these - that contains all the letters of the alphabet. The most well-known is probably "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog", but I find its 35 characters to be far less evocative and euphonious than the 29 characters of "judge my vow, sphinx of black quartz". All the "perfect" 26-letter pangrams are utterly incomprehensible.
egypturnash: (geeky)
I did it.

Read more... )

ps. keyboard layout programmatic evolution, crazy touchpad/gesture input keyboard - cool, but no longer available!

oh dear.

Dec. 21st, 2005 07:27 pm
egypturnash: (Default)
I'm typing this in Dvorak. My keys are still laid out in QWERTY. It appears that Powerbook keys are not too hard to lift off and replace, but I'm not brave enough to try it without a specialized tool. switching back to QWERTY-- I suspect the really hard bit will be retraining my muscle memory for Illustrator. I lean heavily on the keyboard shortcuts, and don't think of them as the letters any more - I couldn't tell you what keys to hit for some of the most frequently-used tools. It's a separate problem from learning to touch-type with Dvorak. I semi-touch-type with QWERTY: my hands flutter around the keyboard fairly quickly, but I really only use the first and second fingers of either hand, with the thumb for the space bar and pinky for the occasional stretch to do command-something with one hand. I'm finding that my long nails are a bit of a problem when trying to "properly" touch-type...

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