This post was originally published at on 27 March 2006.

I prefer Dvorak keyboards to QWERTY, which confounds my work colleagues no end :-)

I've been typing on Dvorak for about 3 years now [ed: That is, since 2003]. The main reason I use the Dvorak keyboard layout is because, after 15 years of six-finger typing on QWERTY, I decided to learn to touch-type, and Dvorak is very easy to learn (I learnt it in 2 weeks, back to my old typing speed after a month).

I don't believe Dvorak makes me a faster typist inherently (though I am faster now that I can touch-type), but it's much more comfortable and the shooting pains in my arms have gone.

My home keyboard is an A4 KBS23 wireless, very similar to thisAt home, I use a slightly older model of the A4 KB(S)-2350ZRP (pictured). I chose this keyboard over more radical designs that I like, because the A4 2350 is not too different from a standard typewriter layout — so it plays nice with other people in the family. The A-shaped keys help a lot with my lower-arm pains too, but not so much as the Dvorak layout, since most of the time I'm typing at work on a standard Dell SK-8125.

Making up strong passwords with this keyboard layout is much easier now. Think of a fairly good password (fee1bo7ch, for instance) and then type it on Dvorak as-if you were typing on QWERTY (becomes u..1xr7jd).

I'm thinking about teaching my left hand to type one-handed dvorak too, to improve my mousing experience.

Issues I've encountered with Dvorak

There are some minor annoyances when you switch away from QWERTY. Anybody in a minority group (such as left-handed people) will identify with some of these. None of these issues have been serious enough to cause me to switch back to QWERTY though, as the benefits I've gained (typing speed, no more pain) far outweigh any of them, even all considered together.