Skimming the headlines on Yahoo this morning, Dori Devlin's blog article
about the qwerty keyboard caught my eye.
The keyboard we know and use today was designed back in 1870 to keep the keys on a typewriter from jamming togehter. In addition, it was also supposed to try and increase typing efficiency by having a majority of words typed out by alternating hands--so while one hand was typing in one letter, the other hand could be moving into position to strike the next letter. (More on the keyboard at wikipedia
Then in the 1930s Professor August Dvorak designed what is know as the Dvorak keyboard
. His design placed all of the vowels on the home row and was designed to be even more efficient. And one added benefit is that it's supposed to be more friendly to those who suffer from carpel tunnel syndrome.
Which all of this brings up an interesting question--would it be better to go to the Dvorak keyboard? Apparently you can work some magic
with the settings in Windows to utilize the Dvorak layout, if you want. Of course, if you're like me and used to the qwerty keyboard, this could make life very confusing. Also, it means that those of us who've used the qwerty keyboard since high school would have to learn a whole new typing system.
But the article by Devlin does raise an interesting question--should the education system phase out the old qwerty keyboard and teach today's youth to use the Dvorak keyboard?
I think it's unlikely that this will happen. I have a feeling that the Dvorak keyboard could be to quwerty what Linux is to Windows.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/22/2006 09:58:00 AM