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On Mon, Jun 06, 2005 at 09:57:30PM -0400, Hal Vaughan wrote:
> Questions for you and others now using Dvorak: I could change my own keyboard 
> to whatever I want, but I know I'll still have to use other keyboards, and 
> I've been using QWERTY for close to 30 years.  So:
> 1) How hard is it to change over?, 

It took me about a week for the layout to not feel really awkward, and
about a month until I was near my original speed with QWERTY.

> 2) Once you've changed over, how hard is it if you have to use Qwerty on 
> someone else's computer?, 

If you exclusively use Dvorak, I found it very hard to go back to
QWERTY.  Eventually, I purposely made the layout on my laptop QWERTY and
the layout on my desktop Dvorak so that I could train myself to easily
switch between the two.

> 3) Does anyone know if it reduces problems like RSI or CT for one's wrists?

This was the primary motivation for the switch, and I found it did help
to an extent.  For typing prose, I found it significantly reduced strain
in my wrists.  However, for coding, especially in C-like languages where
; and {} characters are very frequently used, I found Dvorak less
optimal than QWERTY.

Since currently ~80% of my typing is C++ code, I dropped Dvorak
altogether because it was not providing any benefit.  However, if in the
future I (God forbid) go into upper management and cease heavy
programming, I will most likely switch back to Dvorak.

> 4) I use a natural keyboard, which helps a lot.  Does that make a difference 
> with Dvorak?

If you wish to maintain your proficiency with QWERTY while switching to
Dvorak, I suggest only using Dvorak on your natural keyboard and only
QWERTY on keyboards with standard layouts.  That way, you'll train your
hands to immediately recognize the natural keyboard and instinctively
type in Dvorak.  Otherwise you'll probably find your hands switching
layouts in mgh ;dlkdlid (mid sentence).

Society is never going to make any progress until we all learn to
pretend to like each other.

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