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Me, I usually go with "Flail a lot, complain, and make jokes about how all the choices suck" - Lindsey Kuper [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Lindsey Kuper

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Me, I usually go with "Flail a lot, complain, and make jokes about how all the choices suck" [Apr. 10th, 2007|04:22 pm]
Lindsey Kuper
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Imagine if, when you first learned how to type, you learned Dvorak. And then you went out into the world and they gave you an old QWERTY typewriter to use.

What do you do?

  • Learn QWERTY, or
  • Build something onto the typewriter that makes it so you can type your way and it'll come out right, which you have no idea how to do yet, or
  • Build a whole new typewriter, which you also don't know how to do?
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: royhuggins
2007-04-11 12:56 am (UTC)
Learning QWERTY sounds like the least work.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2007-04-11 03:17 am (UTC)
Yeah -- but it sucks long-term, because now all your typing is slower and you'll develop an RSI!

(This is just for the sake of analogy, by the way. I'm a QWERTY girl, myself.)
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[User Picture]From: royhuggins
2007-04-11 05:08 am (UTC)
Oh, dear. Hadn't thought of the RSI. :)
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[User Picture]From: idealisms
2007-04-12 04:35 pm (UTC)
My understanding is that there hasn't been any conclusive studies to show that dvorak is faster than qwerty [1]. I had never considered RSI, but since most ergo keyboards a shaped differently, I would be skeptical if it helps in that area.

Anyway, it's all about the kinesis keyboard.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2007-04-14 01:06 am (UTC)
Man. Okay, fine. Note to self: next time you pick something to analogize to programming, pick something that programmers won't know so much about.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2007-04-11 08:50 pm (UTC)
Wow. Those things had an actual physical button to push for that. Man. Wow.
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[User Picture]From: oniugnip
2007-04-11 01:30 am (UTC)
Mm, within the analogy, learning QWERTY would probably be helpful later on when you come up against future typewriters and keyboard-y things. Figuring out how to mod your current typewriter would be pretty brain-stretchy, though!

(are we working with the idea that Dvorak is definitely a Better Way To Do Things than qwerty? And are you facing a situation that this maps onto?)
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2007-04-11 03:14 am (UTC)

Yes to both. Oh, I forgot one choice:

  • Go to the people who gave you the typewriter and say, "This is all wrong! We need to do it different!" Refuse to do anything until they change.
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[User Picture]From: oniugnip
2007-04-11 03:49 am (UTC)
*laughs!* ... so will youtell us what the situation is, or do we keep thinking about it in terms of the analogy?

The right thing kinda depends on how long it would take to mod your typewriter or learn to build them, yes? Or whether you can make your employers give you a new one? Or whether you can just walk away from the job and find one that uses Dvorak typewriters, like all right-thinking people do?
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2007-04-14 01:13 am (UTC)

so will youtell us what the situation is, or do we keep thinking about it in terms of the analogy?

I think we stick with the analogy for a while and see where it takes us. Ooh, ooh! Forgot another good one:

  • Explain the situation to your superior, who will say, "Obviously, typing is the wrong approach here."
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[User Picture]From: stingmeyer
2007-04-11 01:51 am (UTC)
I learned QWERTY in high school, then switched to Dvorak in the mid-90's. I've always remapped the keys with software. O~
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2007-04-11 03:15 am (UTC)
We are assuming that you can't remap the keys.
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[User Picture]From: stingmeyer
2007-04-11 06:30 am (UTC)
What are the relative expected costs of implementing the three solutions?

What are the expected relative benefits of knowledge gained from implementing the three solutions?

Is the large ratio between numbers of QWERTY and Dvorak users an issue?

Would knowing QWERTY improve your chances for future employment?

How much easier is it to learn QWERTY given that you already know Dvorak, compared to learning QWERTY from scratch?

Is QWERTY really that much worse than Dvorak?
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2007-04-14 01:18 am (UTC)
Good points. And it's now occurred to me that to implement solutions 2 or 3, you probably* have to more or less learn QWERTY anyway. So maybe you suck it up and just learn it right away?

* Unless you're better at this than I am.
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[User Picture]From: keturn
2007-04-11 04:03 am (UTC)
I think a good mathematician would pick option #2. It's all good if you can find a way to reduce the problem to a known one.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2007-04-14 01:24 am (UTC)
My thoughts run similarly. But say option #2 also makes your typewriter ugly and hard to move around, and whenever other people see it, they back away in disgust. Also it breaks sometimes.
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[User Picture]From: cerulicante
2007-04-11 04:05 am (UTC)
I poke type quickly. I don't care where the letters are.


Solution #4 is: get a speech-to-text program and charge it to the company!
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[User Picture]From: mediaboy
2007-04-11 08:01 am (UTC)
The missing variable -- for how long will I have to use the QWERTY typewriter?

If it's less than a month, I learn QWERTY. More than that, I start working on plans to build something onto the typewriter.

And damn, I wish someone would give me a Dvorak keyboard so I could be forced into learning it. It's almost enough to make me want the Optimus keyboard.
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[User Picture]From: mediaboy
2007-04-12 03:05 pm (UTC)
Yeah, if it weren't for the fact that I'm on two shared keyboards at work, it would be a great idea... I can't imagine what my cow-orkers would do if they sat down and saw a Dvorak layout. They'd probably think it was an april fool's joke.
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[User Picture]From: gawm
2007-04-11 12:54 pm (UTC)
D - Calmly explain to the saps that your way is a better, faster, more efficient way (bosses love efficiency) and that if they'd like to get a more efficient worker out of you, they better damn well give you a Dvorak keyboard... er, a [insert piece of ware this is actually about here].
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2007-04-14 01:18 am (UTC)
Hey, who said anything about "bosses" or "worker"?

*whistles*
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[User Picture]From: glowing_fish
2007-04-17 08:34 pm (UTC)
I actually met this guy. And his answer was "come to Free Geek and look for a Dvorak keyboard"
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