Friday, 28 October 2011

Switch To Dvorak

Baba Gyani Triviani said:
"I don't want a claw for a hand"

Every time I think about the long hours of time spent by a programmer on the computer, I am reminded of the Chandler (from Friends) after playing Pacman (or Ms Chomp) where his hand becomes like a claw. RSI (Repetitive Stress Injury) and Carpel Tunnels Syndrome are two scary after effects of keyboard overuse. I had heard of the Dvorak keyboard quite a long time back, and I thought it is about time I use this. I know a couple of people who use Dvorak and I thought, I think it is time for me to try it out as well.

How to proceed? One is to purchase a Dvorak keyboard. But I am not sure if I will be comfortable replacing the Qwerty. I mean, what if I lose interest after a few days? So, it is better to experiment with the existing keyboard and then if I like it, maybe buy one. So, I thought I should share whatever I found out with you guys to facilitate a switch. If you have some more info, let me know so that I can update my post.

On Windows XP

  1. Open Control Panel, and open Regional and Language Options
  2. Click on the Languages tab.
  3. Click on Details
  4. In the Keyboard section in the Installed services, you will most likely have US. Click on the Add button.
  5. From the Add menu, choose United States-Dvorak
  6. Click on the Key Settings button in the main menu again, and set two short cut keys to switch between the keyboards.
  7. That's it, you are done! Now you can switch between them. Enjoy
On Ubuntu (11.10)
I am using 11.10, but I think it will be similar in the previous ones as well.
  1. Go to System settings. (Choose from menu that appears on clicking on user name on top right)
  2. Select Keyboard Layout from Personal
  3. Click on the Layouts tab
  4. Click on the plus symbol to add a new layout. Choose English (Dvorak)
  5. Click on Options in the same pane
  6. Click on Key(s) to change layout
  7. Choose whatever hotkey(s) you prefer. I went for Scroll Lock since I never use that button.
  8. That's it, you are done!

Other operating systems
When I try on others, I will let you know. Stay tuned. If you find out, let me know so that I can update this post as well.


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