My keyboard — Robin Wils's website

Last modified: Mon, Aug 15, 2022

Table of Contents

Why would anyone use this layout?

The keyboard layout which I use is the Dvorak layout.

A picture of the Dvorak keyboard layout.

Figure 1: Picture of the Dvorak layout - CC0 licensed.

People got used to the QWERTY layout, since people created that for typewriters. 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 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.

Security

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.

ErgoDox EZ

Why ErgoDox?

I own an ErgoDox EZ keyboard. It is expensive, but it is worth it. 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. The ErgoDox is not perfect though.

Possible problems

Thumb keys and legs

The thumb keys are not easy to press with small hands. A problem which I have is that the legs aren’t that stable, but that might be because I don’t have the official ones. The pictures of the keyboard usually show it tilted to the incorrect side, when it comes to ergonomics. The keyboard should tilt downwards, not up.

Keys

This keyboard does not have that many keys, so you will likely work with layers. Layers require more keypresses, and are ergonomically worse.

More about keyboards

Xah Lee has written a lot of stuff about keyboards. I recommend reading his keyboard guide or/and to watch his videos.

Kinesis Advantage 2

I do have the Kinesis Advantage 2 keyboard as well. I prefer it over the ErgoDox. No weak legs and a row for function keys. Function keys are essential in my opinion. I disliked not having those on the ErgoDox. Read Xah Lee’s Why Function Keys Are Useful page for more information about function keys.

I will likely still use the ErgoDox keyboard for additional shortcuts. I use Xah Lee’s keyboard configuration for my keyboard. I would recommend this version over the new Advantage360 keyboard. The split is nice, but function keys are just essential.

Keys

The keys are programmable, and there is a default button to switch to Dvorak/QWERTY. Additional layouts can be added. It is the best ergonomic keyboard on the market at the moment in my opinion.