So it’s been just over a week since I switched to Dvorak on my laptop. I still use QWERTY on some other systems, so I’m trying to maintain both.
I have to say that the Dvorak layout is MUCH more comfortable and logical. QWERTY feels completely arbitrary and distinctly unbalanced to the left in comparison. I may have lost 5 wpm on my (considerable) QWERTY speed in the last week, but I’m up to 39wpm on Dvorak already. My accuracy is a bit low (~75%) at the moment, but it will improve. I estimate a month to be fully up to speed, perhaps a bit more.
Overall, I can already say that the Dvorak layout is worth the initial frustration. Your hands definitely appreciate not doing the frantic, left-heavy tarantella of QWERTY. And switching back and forth from QWERTY to Dvorak on the fly isn’t nearly as difficult as some people have made it out to be. If you have some patience and a slow week, it’s worth a try.
I should mention that I am using a plain old QWERTY keyboard, and I haven’t re-labelled my keys. I think this has actually sped up the learning process, as I couldn’t cheat and look at the keys so I’ve touch-typed Dvorak from Day 1. It makes the first day or two more painful, but I think it’s worth considering.
(Typed on Dvorak, in considerably less time than last week’s post.)