Alternative keyboard layouts

  ade.h 20:34 26 Jul 2005

A while ago, I saw a keyboard (from the USA I think) that used an alternative key arrangement. It was designed for easier typing and is much more natural and logical than the out-moded querty system. It places the most used letters together rather than spacing them out.

Can anyone suggest where I can get such a keyboard in the UK? I can't remember the manufacturer (Cherry possibly?) The ideal solution would be this click here but it won't be available for quite some time yet.

  Stuartli 23:03 26 Jul 2005

These keyboards come and go but, in the end, the QUERTY has stood the test of time over many, many decades, from typewriters to computer keyboards...:-)

It was originally conceived to prevent the original typewriter type bars from sticking together as they moved through approximately 90 degrees up and back again; the principle was exactly the same in that it kept the most used keys apart.

Christopher Latham Sholes, the inventer of the typewriter, devised the method a little while after the first typewriter hit the market from Remington in 1873.

He rearranged the keyboard from an alphabetic arrangement to one in which the most common pairs of letters were spaced reasonably far apart on the keyboard, thus preventing a type bar catching/locking up with another one.

As I said, it's stood the test of time.

  Kate B 01:07 27 Jul 2005

I could never use another layout! I touch-type and couldn't possibly unlearn that, it's pretty much hard-wired into my brain now. So much so, in fact, that when a while ago I tried to use my mouse in my left hand (was having some RSI-type trouble) the switch affected my ability to type as my poor old brain was confused.

  Jdoki 16:24 27 Jul 2005

Best check your keyboard Stuartli - seems someones switched your W and U keys!!! :)

To the OP - I believe there is a hugely expensive keyboard available where you can stick the keys exactly where you want them on a baseplate, and define which function/letter etc works with each key.

I'll try and find the review and post the link, if only for others interest - it was pretty cool!

  Pesala 16:39 27 Jul 2005

There is no need to buy a dedicated DVORAK keyboard. You can change the language setting in Control Panel, Keyboard to United States (Dvorak). If you like the new arrangement, it is worth buying a dedicated dvorak keyboard as moving the key caps won't be perfect. However, unless you're very determined, it is hard to change.

Realistically, if you're already a touch typist, you could retrain your fingers in about 24 hours with Mavis Beacon. If you really want to, you will soon adapt to the new method.

I learnt at one time when I was doing a lot of copy typing, and it is definitely faster and less strain on the fingers, but doing typing exercises with a regular QWERTY layout will probably increase your typing speed and accuracy just as much. Since I don't always do a lot of copy typing, I find it easier to use the standard QWERTYY arrangement.

  Jdoki 16:40 27 Jul 2005

Found it! Ergodex DX1...

click here

click here

  Stuartli 16:57 27 Jul 2005

>>if you're already a touch typist, you could retrain your fingers in about 24 hours with Mavis Beacon>>

Not after 52 years of touch typing...:-)

Any way, Mavis might object...:-)

  ade.h 20:05 27 Jul 2005

Thanks for the responses. At least I now know the name of the layout in question; that will make finding one a bit easier. I don't really want to try pulling keys around on my current keyboard!

If I get to try one I'll let you know how I get on.

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