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wswartzendruber
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

energyman76b wrote:
wrong. It was just one layout among MANY OTHERS. There was no 'the' typewriter. There was healthy competition with lots of typing contests. And QWERTY came out as the winner.

Wrong. QWERTY was developed to prevent typewriter jams. It was the first layout to be mass-marketed to the public. There were no other common layouts. QWERTY itself became common because Remington managed to sell a load of typewriters. Dr. Dvorak didn't come along with his layout until years later. By then, QWERTY was dominant, and nobody wanted to change. His layout is based on almost a decade of research into the use of the English language and the structure of the human hand.
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Bones McCracker
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recall reading years ago that the first keyboard layouts were based on the standard layout of the printsetters' box (the little bins in which movable type blocks were kept) and then modified from there (primarily to prevent jams, but also for ease of use). I also recall that he reason we're stuck with QWERTY is because that just happens to be the layout of the typewriter that first gained real commercial success.

The inventor or engineer who designed that particular device which became successful (there had been various others earlier that did not) came up with an improved keyboard layout that moved some of the most-used keys, but the owner of the company refused to implement it because they had already sold several dozen machines, standardization was a critical selling point, and he didn't want to have to replace or modify the machines already in use.

Standardization is, as luminary Joe Biden would put it, a big fuckin' deal. The trade-off between the immediate cost of re-standardization and the long-term cost of continuing to use sub-optimal, fragmented standards is why, even today, humanity uses hundreds of ate-up languages.

It's also why I'll probably never use anything but QWERTY. I want to be able to sit down at just about any keyboard and use it effectively. So, unless Big Brother gets a hard-on for keyboard layouts and mandates use of Dvorak or something, QWERTY is what we offshoots of the Roman Empire are stuck with (those of us who don't want to carry around our own keyboards and fiddle with settings every time we use a different machine).
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

energyman76b wrote:
really? so when QWERTY was introduced - why was it chosen instead of all the other layouts? And there were a lot in the late 19th century with typing contests and everything. And for some magical reason QWERTY prevailed. Without 'market dominance' - just because it was better.

DVORAK on the other hand has nothing to show. Except two studies manufactured by Dvorak and one which had to be tuned in DVORAK's favour after it failed to produce the 'correct' outcome.


Those studies were for typing speed. Typing speed is not my reason for switching, it's comfort. After hours upon hours of typing in QWERTY, my wrists get sore.

The Dvorak layout does a pretty good job alleviating soreness after typing for a while since the most frequently typed keys are in the home and top row.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:
It's also why I'll probably never use anything but QWERTY. I want to be able to sit down at just about any keyboard and use it effectively. So, unless Big Brother gets a hard-on for keyboard layouts and mandates use of Dvorak or something, QWERTY is what we offshoots of the Roman Empire are stuck with (those of us who don't want to carry around our own keyboards and fiddle with settings every time we use a different machine).

Is that also the reason that you will never learn a foreign language, so it won't interfere with your ability to speak english? :P

I guess everyone saying that you have to 'unlearn' QWERTY is a little misleading. You have to teach your brain that there are more options than the one you currently know.
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Bones McCracker
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I never thought of it that way. I just assumed learning a different keyboard layout would interfere with my ability to use QWERTY.

Are you speaking from experience? I've never tried to learn an alternative keyboard layout, other than being occasionally confounded by things like laptop keyboards, etc.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:
Are you speaking from experience? I've never tried to learn an alternative keyboard layout, other than being occasionally confounded by things like laptop keyboards, etc.

I've been using Neo exclusively since ~2009.

I'm just typing this with QWERTZ and typing speed feels somewhat slower, I have to focus and actually look at the keyboard. It's a bit like typing on one of those smartphone-touchscreen-keyboards. I'd say that im typing roughly at 50-70 letterns per minute, though I've never been a particular fast typist. I guess with 30 or so more minutes I could get to touchtyping QWERTZ again with occasional wait-thats-not-where-that-key-is moments.

I really don't miss QWERTZ though. Almost every linux computer ships with setxkbmap so switching is not a problem. On Windows you have to install the neo driver so if you end up on a computer you don't really have access to I feel its a bit "ugh, do I have to?". Then again how often do you write long texts on a computer that isn't yours?
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dr.Willy wrote:
Then again how often do you write long texts on a computer that isn't yours?

That's true. Although, I do increasingly make use of web-based email on whatever happens to be around. Here in the U.S. almost every keyboard is qwerty. I suppose if I go back to hauling a laptop or equivalent around with me everywhere I might reconsider.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:
Dr.Willy wrote:
Then again how often do you write long texts on a computer that isn't yours?

That's true. Although, I do increasingly make use of web-based email on whatever happens to be around. Here in the U.S. almost every keyboard is qwerty. I suppose if I go back to hauling a laptop or equivalent around with me everywhere I might reconsider.

Seriously? I thought business people like you had their blackberry surgically attached to their palm :P
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Bones McCracker
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dr.Willy wrote:
BoneKracker wrote:
Dr.Willy wrote:
Then again how often do you write long texts on a computer that isn't yours?

That's true. Although, I do increasingly make use of web-based email on whatever happens to be around. Here in the U.S. almost every keyboard is qwerty. I suppose if I go back to hauling a laptop or equivalent around with me everywhere I might reconsider.

Seriously? I thought business people like you had their blackberry surgically attached to their palm :P

I had one for a few years. I don't like to be on a short leash or type with my thumbs. What I need to do is shop around for just the right thing, but it needs to have a real keyboard, be small enough to carry everywhere, and be big enough to do real work on -- I think the intersection of those requirements may be the null set. :lol:
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