My keyboard — Robin Wils's website
Last modified: Wed, Feb 3, 2021
Weird keyboard layout
The keyboard layout which I use is the Dvorak layout. People have taken a picture of my keyboard and posted it on 9gag. They did this without asking because it looks weird. Yes, I know 9gag… a closed source website which contains internet jokes.
Why would anyone use this layout?
Picture of the Dvorak layout - CC0 licensed.
Well, look at it like this. We use QWERTY since people created that for typewriters so people knew the layout already. A typewriter needed a special layout like QWERTY since typewriters work with metal arms and those could jam.
People created the Dvorak layout to replace QWERTY. That layout claims to require less finger movement which is also why many people claim that your typing speed increases when you use Dvorak. I find the Dvorak layout very comfortable to type on. I don’t use it to improve my typing speed. I do touch type though.
Not everyone knows how to type on a Dvorak keyboard layout. This means that some cybercriminals also don’t know the layout. It is not a lot of extra security, but everything that helps, helps.
World’s fastest typist
The world’s current fastest typist is Barbara Blackburn. She broke the world record by using a Dvorak keyboard.
Possible Dvorak problems
Many people who use Dvorak (including me) forget how to type on their other keyboard layout (QWERTY for example).
This isn’t always a problem. I recommend getting an external keyboard which can emulate Dvorak and QWERTY. It makes life easier for your colleagues and also for you when you have to work on other people their machines.
I am a proud owner of an ErgoDox EZ keyboard. It is expensive, but it is worth it.
The problem that I have with this keyboard is that I love it too much. Typing on a non-ergonomic keyboard like the keyboard which my laptop has is not as comfortable. I also miss my keyboard shortcuts and layers on other keyboards.
The ErgoDox EZ keyboard can emulate other layouts, so I can emulate QWERTY. This is very useful when I have to use a virtual machine.
Some virtual machines are preconfigured with the QWERTY layout. I can use this keyboard to emulate QWERTY so that I can easily change the default keyboard layout of the virtual machine to Dvorak.
Keep in mind that the ErgoDox is not perfect. The thumb keys are not easy to press with small hands. A problem which I personally have is that the legs aren’t that stable, but that is possibly because I don’t have the official ones.
I recommend the kinesis advantage 2 keyboard if you do want great thumb keys. They are a bit better. Still, not perfect, but better reachable.
Xah Lee has written a lot of stuff about keyboards. I recommend reading his keyboard guide or/and to watch his videos.