A letter to a sys-admin arguing for the addition of a dvorak keyboard option:

You said that you prefer to not put the Dvorak keyboard into the Local system because it is something that will only benefit a few people. But I wonder how you can know how many people will benefit from it if it is something that has never been tried.

I wonder also that you would so easily disregard this benefit or deny this benefit even to the few who would want it, considering that the cost of providing the benefit is so low. The cost is very close to zero, as I understand. When we decide whether to do things or not, the test is whether the benefits outweigh the costs, not whether the benefits are large or small. In this case, it seems to me, even if the benefits are small, as you judge, the costs are so very small that you ought to allow the benefit. The old keyboard was specifically designed to be difficult to use. The new one, which I am using now, was designed to be easy to use. Having an alternative keyboard pattern does not place an undue burden on the computer system.

The failure of individuals to adjust and adapt the systems that they manage to more efficient, more rational modes of operation is what gives bureaucracy a bad name. I do hope you will reconsider your policy regarding the Dvorak keyboard option.

End of quote

The dvorak keyboard is an improvement over QWERTY, which was designed to be slow and difficult to use, (so as to reduce typing speed, and prevent jamming of the mechanism in older typewriters). QWERTY also allowed typewriter salesmen to type 'TYPEWRITER' from the top row, without having to hunt around for letters.

The Dvorak, or 'Simplified' keyboard puts the most often-used letters on the home keys:

       AOEU--HTNS

  1. Dvorak programs, history
  2. Dvorak International
  3. Convert MSDOS to Dvorak
  4. Mac Dvorak
  5. dvorak page
  6. more Dvorak
  7. Dvorak course

    John Champagne

    1996 jchampag@lonestar.utsa.edu

    Walter Cronkite for President!
    Franklin Thomas for President!

    Pass it on.
    They would do it if we ask.

    Cronkite and Thomas together
    would make a great team.


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