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New Standard Keyboard

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the learn-to-type-again dept.

Technology 973

An anonymous reader writes "There are two keyboard standards today - QWERTY and DVORAK. QWERTY, the one we usually have, was used on the first commercially produced typewriter in 1873. Ironically, QWERTY was actually designed to slow down the typist to prevent jamming the keys, and we've been stuck with that layout since. New Standard Keyboards offers new "alphabetical" keyboard. This keyboard has just 53-keys (instead of 101) and offers user-friendly benefits and quick data entry."

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Ironically, that story isn't true (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11464620)

Stop [utdallas.edu] perpetuating [reason.com] myths [utdallas.edu] .

Dvorak made up that story as marketing for the keyboard design he hoped to profit from. And, could they have made that new keyboard any uglier?

Re:Ironically, that story isn't true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11464682)

I like the pretty colors!!

Re:Ironically, that story isn't true (3, Interesting)

Trogre (513942) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464707)

No, it's just a half-truth. The keys were placed such that the hammers were statistically less likely to jam, even if the monks typed at the same speed.

Nobody really denies that Qwerty is an inefficient layout. At least nobody who has done their homework. There are many studies comparing wpm speeds of people proficient in both Qwerty and Dvorak that show the clear advantage of the latter. I'll leave finding them as an exercise to the reader (read: I'm too lazy to look them up right now).

So let's use a keyboard designed for people, not machines, shall we?

(by that I mean Dvorak, not the monstrosity cited in this article)

Re:Ironically, that story isn't true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11464739)

No, there aren't. The only studies that show that have been demonstrated to have been flawed. Real studies show the speed is about the same for both.

Re:Ironically, that story isn't true (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11464811)

Trogre could have all the energy and ambition in the world, and he STILL wouldn't find any studies showing a "clear advantage" to the Dvorak keyboard. That's because such studies do not exist, despite the urban legends to the contrary. The work of Liebowitz and Margolis, cited above, makes this abundantly clear. The two economists thoroughly researched the entire Dvorak saga, and discovered that all of the things people like Trogre have heard about the Dvorak keyboard simply are not true. Most, in fact, have their origins in propaganda from Dvorak himself. No serious objective tests of the two keyboards found any substantial difference between them.

wrong (3, Insightful)

bani (467531) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464829)

studies show neither dvorak nor qwerty have an advantage. in fact they show almost any random arrangement of keys appears to work equally well.

Re:Ironically, that story isn't true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11464737)

Stop perpetuating myths.

Dvorak made up that story as marketing for the keyboard design he hoped to profit from. And, could they have made that new keyboard any uglier?

Ummmmmmm BULLSHIT

If you call it a myth then come up with more than one source for debunking. The three links you give are Economists that also say that it's good that Microsoft is a monopoly!

Re:Ironically, that story isn't true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11464764)

Yes, they debunked the myth, and since then, no one else has tried to argue that they are wrong. It was a bit of a "whoops!" moment for everyone that had been telling the qwerty story.

Re:Ironically, that story isn't true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11464771)

You debunk a myth with proof

SHOW ME THE PROOF!

Re: Two Guys Say It.. So What IS the Truth? (1)

EatingPie (850731) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464748)

The linked articles all refer back to the two original authors, "S. J. LIEBOWITZ and STEPHEN E. MARGOLIS."

So this Dvorak Debunking lies in two people's research. Are there any others who have verified this research?

I've no political interest or affiliation with one story or the other, I would simply like to know the truth!

-Pie

Re:Ironically, that story isn't true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11464769)

Re:Ironically, that story isn't true (2, Interesting)

CodeSniper (744502) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464792)

How can anybody expect to believe you when two of the three links you cited were authored by the same people, and the other link was simply a news article about their work.
Get some real references.

I call bullshit (2, Informative)

hayden (9724) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464837)

All the "evidence" to support that theory comes from a single paper (all three links point to it). If you are will to read a reasoned rebuttal to it then read this [mwbrooks.com] .

Short version. The two authors are economists who don't know crap about typing. Dvorak wrote a 500 page book about just typing of which only a small part was about his alternative keyboard. So, believe the suits or believe somebody who actually knows what he's talking about.

favorite keyboard (5, Interesting)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464623)

is this one [multipledigression.com]

favorite [Chord] keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11464776)

I much prefer the Chord Keyboard [deafandblind.com] . Used by one of the people at Xerox Parc if memory serves?

frost pist! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11464624)

gnaa!

Product won't fly, details scarce (4, Informative)

fname (199759) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464626)

This story needs some more details. The website is a re-hash of the press release and appears to be a naked grab to get some adsense revenue. Not to mention that details on the product itself is scarce, and it takes a lot of digging to figure out that this keyboard doesn't even have dedicated number keys. Nice idea, no story yet.

Here's a close-up picture [newstandardkeyboards.com] .

spacebar (5, Funny)

ArmorFiend (151674) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464770)

Where's the spacebar? Dude, if I can't hit the spacebar reliably with my FOREHEAD, then I'm not interested!

Re:Product won't fly, details scarce (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11464785)

Of course the product won't fly. /.ers have been complaining about 1 less button on the Apple mouse. Imagine the uproar over 48 less keys on a keyboard.

Dvorak (-1, Redundant)

schnits0r (633893) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464627)

Let me be the first to say "Dvorak". look it up if you want information.

Will not work (1)

bryan986 (833912) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464629)

Dvorak has been around for a long long time, it will never catch on because virtually all current keyboards are qwerty, and in a lot of cases these keyboards cannot be switched out or remapped to the users liking

Nevar! (1)

HuckleCom (690630) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464633)

Ironically, the image on that page leads me to believe this keyboard is made for small children, because of the bright colors and the phrase "After 130 years of typing the same way the keyboard has finally grown up." yeah... right, I'll always love my 101 QWERTY! So does this mean I'm on the dark side? Anyways, I dont think this will ever stick.

Re:Nevar! (1)

Rary (566291) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464827)

"Ironically, the image on that page leads me to believe this keyboard is made for small children..."

That's probably quite intentional. They're not going to convince you or me to switch from our trusty QWERTY, but what about a whole new generation of computer users?

Buying a computer for your kids? Get this Fisher Price-esque keyboard that's not only probably easier for them to learn to use, due to it having less keys and all, but could also help them to learn their alphabet as well, since the keys are laid out alphabetically.

I could see elementary schools picking these up. And once kids start growing up with these keyboards, QWERTY will go the way of the DVORAK.

Just a theory.

Firefox Security Flaws Hinder Linux (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11464634)

Multiple Firefox Security Flaws Discovered

Too bad I can't trust Firefox due to the fact that Firefox is full of gaping security holes [getfirefox.com] . Firefox has so many security flaws [getfirefox.com] you could drive a truck through them. These horrible security failures [getfirefox.com] include:

-Installing Firefox requires downloading an unsigned binary from a random web server
-Installing unsigned extensions is the default action in the Extensions dialog
-There is no way to check the signature on downloaded program files
-There is no obvious way to turn off plug-ins once they are installed
-There is an easy way to bypass the "This might be a virus" dialog

For more information on these security flaws [getfirefox.com] , be aware that Firefox has also killed Linux - NOW THAT I HAVE FIREFOX, I HAVE NO NEED FOR LINUX! Yay open sores!

The QWERTY Rumor (5, Informative)

ewithrow (409712) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464635)

From http://www.chicagologic.com/QWERTYrumor.htm --

A long-lived rumor is that typewriter inventor Christopher Sholes arranged the letters in the QWERTY layout to slow down the typist.

If this were true, he would have located popular letters such as "A" and "S" at the far corners of the keyboard and located unpopular letters like "Q", "Z", and "X" under your fingertips, right where you don't need them. Looking at the PC (QWERTY) keyboard shows us that, in fact, the opposite is true.

What really happened was Mr. Sholes varied from his original alphabetic layout* when he placed commonly used pairs of letters such as "sh", "ck", "th", "pr", etc. on alternating sides of the keyboard to reduce jamming of the typewriter's swing-arms.

This design change actually had the bonus effect of speeding up typing by letting the user alternate hands more often - think drum roll.

A 1953 U.S. General Services Administration study of the QWERTY keyboard and it's only serious challenger, the DVORAK keyboard, found no appreciable typing speed difference between the two keyboards. Fingers travel less distance on the DVORAK layout, but additional alternating-hand keystrokes speed up the QWERTY layout. The result - a draw.

The fact is, QWERTY works and it works quite well.

* You can see remnants of Mr. Sholes original alphabetic layout in the QWERTY layout, namely the keys "FGHJKL".

Re: The QWERTY Rumor (2, Interesting)

alaivfc (823276) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464727)

Why is it then that the world's fastest typists' use DVORAK? For instance: http://sominfo.syr.edu/facstaff/dvorak/blackburn.h tml [syr.edu]

Plus, this post misses one of the key advantages of DVORAK: It reduces the various hand/arm injuries typing causes because you don't have to move your fingers as far.

Have you ever tried typing DVORAK? You'll quickly realize that its much, much easier on the hands.

Re: The QWERTY Rumor (2, Interesting)

IO ERROR (128968) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464759)

QWERTY is also the cause of these pains in my left hand.

And here is some nice debunking of other myths about Dvorak [mwbrooks.com] , including that GSA study you cited.

Re: The QWERTY Rumor (2, Interesting)

trh (20778) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464772)

Read this article (specifically, looking at the graphs) before you say anything. Then, determine if "... additional alternating-hand keystrokes speed up the QWERTY layout." I think you'll find that this is simply not the case. Once I show people this article and specifically, the charts, they know why I use Dvorak...

http://infohost.nmt.edu/~shipman/ergo/parkinson. ht ml

Re: The QWERTY Rumor (2, Insightful)

pHatidic (163975) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464802)

Yes the submitter definetly fell out of the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down. Not only is what what he said about QWERTY wrong, but he gives no reason for why to use the new keyboard over Dvorak. I have been using Dvorak for years now and would never go back, let alone try some shitty patented keyboard designed for hunt-n-peck folks.

Origins of the new keyboard (5, Funny)

Indy Media Watch (823624) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464636)

The new keyboard layout was designed such that computer salesmen of poor typing skills could type TUBGIRL with one hand, all along the same row of letters.

Unfortunately this did not stop the keys getting sticky.

Difficulty of change (4, Interesting)

Staplerh (806722) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464637)

The problem with new keyboards is the pervasiveness of the QWERTY system. One has to run a cost/benefit analysis of replacing QWERTY keyboards - be it with the DVORAK or this new alphabetical version. Many computer users are experts with the QWERTY layout, and can have a high amount of wpm (words per minute). Perhaps, if one switches, the benefit will result in a higher wpm achieved - but there will be quite the learning curve.

You'd have to institute it with people starting to use computers, because it'd be organizational suicide to replace QWERTY w/ DVORAK/alphabetical due to the steep learning curve and the resistance to change.

Personally, I'm great with a QWERTY keyboard, even knowing that it is designed to be an inefficient system and would never change to an alphanumerical keyboard, despite the ultimate benefits. Shortsighted perhaps, but I don't see the benefit to the steep learning curve. I'm willing to bet that many organizations won't be willing to make that step either.

Re:Difficulty of change (1)

IO ERROR (128968) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464731)

It takes about a month [mwbrooks.com] to retrain, and employers can easily recoup this cost in fewer workers compensation and health insurance claims.

Re:Difficulty of change (2, Interesting)

notsoclever (748131) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464799)

I tried switching to Dvorak a few years ago to help with my carpal tunnel. It just gave me headaches to have to keep on remapping my brain (particularly when using other peoples' keyboards), and as soon as I got up to 35WPM or so my wrist pains just came back anyway.

Re:Difficulty of change (1)

Temporal (96070) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464756)

Actually, in the 1940's, the US Navy studied the cost of switching to Dvorak and found that it could be made up quite quickly. I use Dvorak myself, and it only took me about two weeks to switch from Qwerty to Dvorak and get mystelf up to decent typing speed. It really does not take long to learn a new layout. You should try it.

Re:Difficulty of change (4, Interesting)

cgenman (325138) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464778)

To replace the QWERTY keyboard, one must offer something not only substantially better, but substantially better by an order of magnitude. Voice input might be it, once it's faster and all of the bugs are ironed out. Thought input might be faster still. You could also just moniter the nerves in a particular complex, like the inpulses through the arms to the fingers, and register that. All of these would be an order of magnitude faster, and perhaps more intuitive.

Just another keyboard layout, however, won't cut it. I learned Dvorak in college, and actually got as good typing Dvorak as I had been typing Qwerty. However, no matter where I went I was constantly running into Qwerty keyboards, and while I was learning Dvorak my Qwerty speeds went down significantly. Even if I could master Dvorak, it would bring my overall average typing speed down because everyone has a Qwerty. I switched back, and my typing speeds went back up.

Offer a truly revolutionary interface paradigm, or give up your illusions about changing the world.

Re:Difficulty of change (1, Redundant)

zhiwenchong (155773) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464821)

The other problem with switching over to Dvorak is most common keyboard shortcuts aren't so convenient anymore.
Imagine stretching your fingers over the keyboard to do a Ctrl-C Ctrl-V (or Cmd-C Cmd-V).

Most shortcuts are hard coded for QWERTY and would not make sense on a keyboard layout that is radically different from it.

where's the space bar? (3, Funny)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464639)

Have you seen this thing? Since when did FisherPrice start making keyboards?

And where's the space bar?!

Re:where's the space bar? (1)

Photon Ghoul (14932) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464823)

Have you seen this thing? Since when did FisherPrice start making keyboards?

Here ya go!!! [logicalexpressions.com]

Oh great... (1, Troll)

eobanb (823187) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464641)

I JUST switched to Dvorak about two weeks ago. I recommend giving it a try. This design looks like BS though. Note the "New Standard Keyboards debuted a patented USB-interface computer keyboard at CES 2005"...this patent-encumbered keyboard won't get that far.

Article text - the spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11464645)

After 130 years of typing the same way the keyboard has finally grown up. New Standard Keyboards of Santa Maria, California announced "alphabetical" keyboard that offers user-friendly benefits and quick data entry for any level user. New Standard Keyboards debuted a patented USB-interface computer keyboard at CES 2005. This keyboard has just 53-keys and offers many advances over QWERTY and DVORAK designs.

The New Standard Keyboard is a bold departure from current designs and will compete directly with standard QWERTY models as a replacement keyboard for users who value user-friendliness over arbitrary standardization. The keyboard has only 53 keys instead of 101 or more, which places them all within easy reach of the home position. It also takes up much less desk space, measuring just 12.5-inches wide x 5 inches deep x 1-inch thick.

Still Driving a "Horse-Drawn" Computer?

The New Standard Keyboard solves all the problems associated with QWERTY, which was used on the first commercially produced typewriter in 1873. Ironically, QWERTY was actually designed to slow down the typist to prevent jamming the keys, and we've been stuck with that layout since. While QWERTY was great in its day, it's not relevant on a computer. Computer keys can be placed in any order desired. After 130 years most people still use a keyboard layout specifically designed to be as inefficient as possible. New Standard Keyboards is changing that.

Many have attempted to build a better keyboard. The Dvorak keyboard of the 1930's is the most famous. It never caught on because the demand was for user-friendliness (it still is). People want instant gratification. Dvorak's jumbled letters look no better than QWERTY, and no-one wants to buy anything that has a significant learning curve just to reach a low level of hunt and peck! Dvorak also overlooked ergonomics and his design retained the crippling key layout that forces the left wrist into a grossly unnatural position.

Those who value user-friendliness over standardization and demand attention to ergonomics will love the New Standard Keyboard...

A Keyboard Designed for Any User

This 53-key alphabetical-oriented keyboard with USB support for IBM-compatible systems is a long-awaited solution to the QWERTY keyboard problem, which has confounded typists for 130 years, according to New Standard Keyboards.

The keyboard is the invention of John Parkinson, an electrical engineer who also holds a degree in psychology with an emphasis on industrial psychology and ergonomics. Parkinson set up training programs in a typewriter factory prior to branching off to develop the New Standard Keyboard, which has earned patents in the USA and UK.

The keys are arranged alphabetically so there is no learning curve for hunt and peck typists as well as senior citizens who have never had a computer because they are challenged by the difficult basic keyboard. The keyboard can be learned at a glance, and differs from other manufacturers attempts at alphabetical-based designs because it is also efficient for high speed typing.

The New Standard Keyboard has several functional and ergonomic advantages over QWERTY keyboards, which Parkinson believes will make it a desired accessory for new system buyers and those wishing to upgrade or update their keyboard.

The advantages include: the alignment of the keys with natural movements of fingers to insure proper posture while typing; alphabetical letters can be easily found and keys are color-coded; all keys can be easily reached from the home position; shift keys are centralized and shift characters can be easily typed one-handed; editing keys are integrated; the keyboard has a smaller footprint, which allows the mouse to be placed right next to the typing keys; and there are only half as many keys to learn.

The New Standard Keyboard also eliminates the "typing on concrete" feel experienced on many laptops and the "mushy" feel of some desktop keyboards. Parkinson's design uses a new, short-travel key (2mm) that has its snap point very early in the travel distance to produce a positive click action with minimal finger movement while still providing a softer feel.

The New Standard Keyboard will be sold to distributors and resellers and has a suggested retail price of $69.95. It is compatible with all systems running Microsoft Windows 95 and above. It will ship in April 2005.

From the article (2, Funny)

bdesham (533897) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464651)

After 130 years of typing the same way the keyboard has finally grown up.
Which is why it looks like it was designed by Fisher-Price [physorg.com] ?

keyboard "standards" (3, Interesting)

mschaffer (97223) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464652)

There is only one "standard" keyboard (QWERTY) and everything else.

And until there is something that is easy enough to learn without any practice, I doubt that anything will replace QWERTY.

The myth of Free (1)

nsaneinside (831846) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464735)

If you want to learn something without practicing at ALL, you won't learn much. No pain...

Re:keyboard "standards" (1)

wintermute1974 (596184) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464774)

There is only one "standard" keyboard (QWERTY) and everything else.
Hear hear!

Once you actually learn how to touch type, it becomes an extension of your hands. Typing moves from your conscious mind into your muscle memory, and there it stays, forever at your beck and call. Typing becomes like breathing, automatic.

Just as you would have to learn to type with a QWERTY keyboard, you would have to learn to type on an alphabetical keyboard.

In fact, I would argue that this keyboard would actually hinder learning to type properly, as it rewards people for row scanning, using the Columbus technique (where every letter is a new discovery).

So, for the benefit of making the first fifteen minutes in front of a keyboard easier for the clueless neophyte, someone wants to inconvenience the rest of us? I don't think so.

Re:keyboard "standards" (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464797)

"There is only one "standard" keyboard (QWERTY) and everything else."

I believe that's called 'de-facto'. I figured I'd mention it because a lot of people on Slashdot don't realize that some standards are actually defined by the end users and not by deals signed with underground deities.

Typewriter Keyboards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11464658)

They weren't designed to slow typists down. That would be stupid.

In reality, the placed keys which were likely to be struck consecutively (like Q and U) away from each other, so the hammers wouldn't jam when struck too quickly.

Friggin' new keyboard.... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11464659)

I hdte thes naw kayboud leyoit

What is this, PR-Newswire-Blog? (4, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464660)

Why does the "Tech-Blog" have no author and read exactly like a corporate press release, trying to cram down my throat why I NEED this keyboard?

It's probably some of the most blatant advertising copy I've read in quite a while. At least have some subtlety to get your product "reviewed" by one of the tech magazines or something...

I use Dvorak (1)

omey (717285) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464665)

I don't see how this layout is better than dvorak. The Dvorak layout has the most used keys on the home row and was designed to help typer type fast and without errors. Here is the home row: AOEU ID HTNS I love dvorak. How can an alphabetical keyboard speed things up? Its only useful for old people.

What's dvorek ?? (0)

Lacrymator (842893) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464667)

Whats dvorek?? I am just getting used to the qwerty keyboards.. after years and years of use... go figure.. Irony has its merits though. The layout (querty) really works. It may be set up to slow one down but I feel that there won't ever be a layout to replace. The microphone might keep our hands off of the keyboard more and more, but it'll be there for quite a while longer. 53 keys.. neat

Re:What's dvorek ?? (1)

eobanb (823187) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464711)

THIS [google.com] is the Dvorak keyboard. And learn to spell.

Re:What's dvorek ?? (1)

Lacrymator (842893) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464763)

Hey I spelled that from memory after reading the article. I was close. The question, however, was rhetorical. Thanks for the tip though.

Re:What's dvorek ?? (1)

zobier (585066) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464832)

The only thing they spelled incorrectly was Dvorak (so they missed a ' in what's) and it's not like it's a common word, Arse.

what a nonsense... (1)

g_braad (105535) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464668)

Dvorak should be the standard!

this is almost as making the mobile phone keyboard the standard :S. why not the frog usb keyboards?!? why not the blah bla... settle with qwerty or dvorak; we dont need another keyboard layout!

Re:what a nonsense... (1)

omey (717285) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464694)

I agree!

Tried Dvorak once... (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464670)

...for a month. Unfortunately, at the time, I was working on a lot of different systems, not all of which permitted me to change keyboard settings. Switching back and forth drove me crazy and removed all the gains of using D.

Now I'm working on fewer systems on a given day; perhaps it might be worth trying something new again. Oh, whoops... one of my main computers is a laptop. Unless I'm thinking of carting this thing around, there go those gains again!

No thanks (4, Insightful)

Skidge (316075) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464671)

From the article: After 130 years of typing the same way the keyboard has finally grown up.

Alphabetizing the keys and giving it a garish Fisher-Price color scheme does not make a keyboard grown up. One of the benefits of a QWERTY keyboard is that a good deal of typing is done with keystrokes alternating between the hands, speeding things up quite a bit. Alphabetical keys may make it easier for "hunt and peck typists as well as senior citizens who have never had a computer because they are challenged by the difficult basic keyboard," but it is far from becoming a standard, since the layout is very inefficient for a touch typist.

This article really reads like a marketing press release.

Re:No thanks (2, Informative)

La Camiseta (59684) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464715)

Maybe because it is [newstandardkeyboards.com] .

Re:No thanks (1)

Skidge (316075) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464749)

Hmm. Someone deserves a nice, sound slashdotting over this.

Keyboard layout not slowing me down. (4, Insightful)

shitdrummer (523404) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464673)

I find it's not the keyboard layout that slows me down, but rather the speed of my fingers. I can type pretty fast, but until someone comes up with a keyboard layout that includes multiple letter keys (e.g. qu, the, to etc) then I can't see how I would be able to type any faster.

Even number entry is very quick and easy. I just can't see how a new keyboard layout would change typing speed dramatically.

Shitdrummer.

Misconceptions about qwerty (1)

Blutarsky (580739) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464674)

"ironically, QWERTY was actually designed to slow down the typist to prevent jamming the keys, and we've been stuck with that layout since." This is a myth that has been around for a while and it just isn't true. C. L. Sholes was the guy behind the first commercial typewriter, and eventually qwerty. qwerty was not intended to slow down a typist, but rather to speed up typing by eliminating jams. The first typewriter was sluggish and it did clash and jam when someone tried to type with it. But Sholes was able to figure out a way around the problem by rearranging the letters. The first typewriter had its letters on the end of rods called "typebars." The typebars hung in a circle. The roller which held the paper sat over this circle, and when a key was pressed, a typebar would swing up to hit the paper from underneath. If two typebars were near each other in the circle, they would tend to clash into each other when typed in succession. So, Sholes figured he had to take the most common letter pairs such as "TH" and make sure their typebars hung at safe distances.

QWERTY slows down typist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11464675)

Ironically, QWERTY was actually designed to slow down the typist to prevent jamming the keys, and we've been stuck with that layout since.

I was always told that the Qwerty design was to prevent key jams, based on the frequency of the letters, not slowing the typist down... Besides, I'm still getting 70-80 WPM, and I've heard people going 100 before, so how slow is that?

Horrible, just horrible (4, Interesting)

Trogre (513942) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464680)

Current keyboards do have problems, but this *ahem* example just throws out the baby with the bathwater.

One of the biggest problems with the current AT-keyboard layout is the ordering
of digits on the numeric keypad.

I mean, damn near every other keypad in existance begins with 1 at the top left and works its way down to 9 at the bottom right (think telephone, ATM, eftpos terminal, security keypad).

But for some unfathomable reason the AT keyboard standard has transposed the top and bottom rows, so you get 1 at the bottom left and 9 at the top right, making it much more difficult to master data entry.

Which of these looks more familiar:

1 2 3 7 8 9
4 5 6 4 5 6
7 8 9 1 2 3
0 . 0 .

I'm betting most will pick the former, since the pattern in the latter is much less recognizable if it's not shown in the context of a computer keyboard.

Re:Horrible, just horrible (4, Funny)

Skidge (316075) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464725)

Heh, I had a problem one day where I had to type in my ATM PIN using an AT-keyboard style number pad that was on a card swiper. I could not for the life of me remember what the PIN was, because the number pad was upside down compared to the one on the ATM. My PIN seemed to be stored in muscle memory rather than brain memory. My friends were disappointed when I came out of the liquor store empty handed. :)

Dumbass (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11464741)

You've obviously never used a 10-key calculator...

Re:Horrible, just horrible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11464745)

Two Words: Calculator.

Re:Horrible, just horrible (1)

a.koepke (688359) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464816)

Erm... news flash for you, thats only one word.

Re:Horrible, just horrible (5, Insightful)

quacking duck (607555) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464780)

But for some unfathomable reason the AT keyboard standard has transposed the top and bottom rows...

Unfathomable? Take one look at a calculator and it instantly becomes obvious. I can't say for certain since it predates my time, but I'll bet tape calculators used by accountants existed for some time before the numeric keypad was standard on keyboards.

Once that happened, it was far more logical to model the keypad after the calculator pad, since you're more likely to be punching in numbers in a spreadsheet, than punching in phone numbers into the computer.

Re:Horrible, just horrible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11464801)

I mean, damn near every other keypad in existance begins with 1 at the top left and works its way down to 9 at the bottom right (think telephone, ATM, eftpos terminal, security keypad).
...adding machine [hpmuseum.org] ?

Re:Horrible, just horrible (1)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464818)

But for some unfathomable reason the AT keyboard standard has transposed the top and bottom rows, so you get 1 at the bottom left and 9 at the top right, making it much more difficult to master data entry.

Don't you think that it happened the other way around - the number pad was borrowed from data entry machines?

I can't speak for very old equipment, but all of the proof machines and encoders I've seen (granted that they're just NCR and Burroughs machines) have the number pad for data entry arranged like you would find on a computer keyboard. Same goes for adding machines.

Like I said, I'm not sure how long that's been - I've seen some very old adding machines that were just rows of number in different digits, but I've not seen the number pad arranged any other way than how it's found on the AT keyboard.

Low learning curve == low usability (1)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464683)

The reason QWERTY was designed was not to slow down typists. The problem was that each key was directly tied to the type head, so when certain letters were typed quickly, the heads would cross over each other and jam. The QWERTY keyboard is designed to move frequently-combo'd keys away from each other so that even if they do cross over each other, they will not jam.

Now, of course, there is no need for such a system seeing as how there are no type heads to jam. Even older ballhead typewriters didn't suffer from this problem. So we can finally move away from this design.

However, the research has shown that the speed of typing has very little to do with the layout of the keys. A person can type just as fast on a QWERTY layout as they can on a Dvorak layout. What matters is the proximity of certain keys to each other. Some layouts will be faster than others (the alphabetical being probably one of the worst ), because it is faster to type using alternating hands than alternating fingers, which is faster than using the same finger twice in a row.

This low learning curve keyboard is not going to have much usability. Anything, really, that has a low learning curve is so because features have been removed from it. Look at Linux, which has a very steep learning curve. Compared with Windows, it is much more difficult to learn, however, in the end it is much more powerful than Windows is.

FEWER keys??? (1)

davidbrit2 (775091) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464686)

Madness! I demand MORE keys! I won't be satisfied until my keyboard has 7 different shifting keys and an Alt Lock, damn it! Though I suppose the caps might get a bit small cramming all that into my iBook's keyboard space... The Space Cadet Keyboard [std.com]

More info (4, Informative)

IO ERROR (128968) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464687)

More info about this keyboard:

Original press release [yahoo.com]
Engadget reivew [engadget.com]
From the CES show [cesweb.org]

My problem with this so far is that the alphabetical layout is about as bad for your wrists as QWERTY. And I type too many numbers and symbols to seriously consider this type of keyboard.

Not to mention it has a Windows XP ^W^W Fisher Price theme.

Our kids future! (1)

PiratSS (737645) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464688)

Now you don't just teach your kids the Alphabet, but also how to use a computer keyboard. "Now remember son, 53 keys..."

Re:Our kids future! (1)

davidbrit2 (775091) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464701)

It's only a matter of time before The Alphabet Song includes punctuation and "backspace", I guess.

Re:Our kids future! (1)

yack0 (2832) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464791)

http://ifaq.wap.org/computers/unixpoetry.html

Almost... it's poetry, at least.

And there's.... (4, Informative)

sepluv (641107) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464693)

the PLUM keyboard [www.plum.bz] (similar idea).

Fewer keys a step back in useability for many (3, Interesting)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464696)

For many, including me, having to use a keyboard with fewer keys would actually be a step backwards. I like to have a lot of extra keys that I can map to do interesting things and special function keys, these are great timesavers. I often look for keyboards that have more keys, not less, Ive had a keyboard from Gateway 2000 from years ago which allowed you to remap the keys on the keyboard and had several extra keys which I found quite useful. Often it is nice to be able to map macros to certian keys so when they are pressed they can reproduce several characters These can actually save time.

New layout (1)

DOS-5 (852324) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464703)

Well ok, maybe over time it would help, but I can type pretty well as it is, and when I'm programming I don't need to go blazing fast either since I still need time to think about things. Another problem that a new keyboard layout won't fix: People who look and peck at their keyboards. We would need keyboards without the symbols printed over the keys to do something about that. And I do find it particualrly discouraging to see professionals who use a keyboard daily over years do this.

Qwerty and dvorak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11464709)

Qwerty was designed to keep typewriters hammers from jamming together -- At neast that was the intent...

I personally like the Dvorak layout, not for speed, but for the fact that it requires less finger movement (And who knows, I certainly dont, It might even be better for all those people with corpal tunnel (and friends) thay those ugly weird 'ergonomic' split keyboards)

What!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11464713)

No internet button... This one goes directly to the trash heap of history

Break out the bullshit detector (1, Redundant)

yack0 (2832) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464716)

In 'not a whole lot of googling' effort. Not that anyone would check a story on slashdot... That's what comments are for, to bitch about the facts....

"[Inventor C. L. Sholes, who put together the prototypes of the first commercial typewriter in a Milwaukee machine shop back in the 1860's, designed the QWERTY keyboard] using a study of letter-pair frequency prepared by educator Amos Densmore, brother of James Densmore, who was Sholes' chief financial backer. The QWERTY keyboard itself was determined by the existing mechanical linkages of the typebars inside the machine to the keys on the outside. Sholes' solution did not eliminate the problem completely, but it was greatly reduced. The keyboard arrangement was considered important enough to be included on Sholes' patent granted in 1878 (see drawing), some years after the machine was into production. QWERTY's effect, by reducing those annoying clashes, was to speed up typing rather than slow it down."

Gamers? (1)

L3on (610722) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464722)

What about using the keyboard as a gaming input device. First off, those arrowkeys in the middle, just wont work. Secondly, wwe would have to retire WASD, and I love WASD! Finally, as someone else already pointed out, where the hell is the spacebar! How can I jump without a spacebar!?

Um...why? (1)

SamMichaels (213605) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464726)

The colors look stupid. The world is used to QWERTY. You'll keep pressing the caps/numlock everytime you go to type.

This is a dumb concept, a dumb implementation and a dumb product. Someone must have been bribed to allow this into production.

Reason (1)

eobanb (823187) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464758)

There's a reason that regular keyboards have so many keys. It's because there are so many symbols you can and may NEED to type. I have to wonder what sort of crazy combinations you'd need to do to type a $ or % or @ or €.

The Dvorak Layout (2, Insightful)

Sirex (819182) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464760)

Regarding the content of the post, dvorak is far from a standard. I say this primarily from my own experience of having been denied a data entry job because I used the dvorak layout and they didn't want to accommodate me. Even in the modern day, qwerty is the accepted standard in America. I suspect that being able to use any other keymap will be difficult for a while since: 1. The majority of computers that one would use while not at home are probably windows. 2. If I recall correctly, all windows platforms, with exception of XP, require the install disc to be present to change to a keymap that the system hasn't loaded. 3. Even in XP, if you are at a terminal that is not yours, the computer that you are using may very well have restricted access to keyboard settings. About dvorak itself, I've found it to be more fluid than qwerty (certainly less gangly). I never bothered taking typing tests with it but I feel confident that my speed was improved. Unfortunately, my denial of a job and other factors have made me reluctantly switch back to qwerty.

And (1)

IanBevan (213109) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464761)

this article brought to you by the server 'too slow' and the letters K-A-B-O-O-M.

Misleading (1)

curb (239121) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464767)

Really, it's a new keyboard from a company called "New Standard Keyboards." So yes, it's a New Standard Keyboard, but not really a new, standard keyboard.

Also, doesn't it look like a Fisher-Price?

This submission is why... (2, Insightful)

gkuz (706134) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464768)

we should be able to mod articles as well as comments. Start with a half-true myth about QWERTY, then lead right into a naked press release. Puh-leez. What a piece of crap, just like the stupid keyboard that "anonymous" (no wonder) is shilling for.

Re:This submission is why... (1)

oneiron (716313) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464819)

They just need to fire samzenpus. Every 5th article he posts is like this...and the rest are mostly mediocre.

It must not reach the market! (1)

pieisgood (841871) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464773)

We need a way to stop this, if things become more "user friendly" more and more "slow" people will be given the chance to ruin the internet!

Just Imagine (1)

gnarlin (696263) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464783)

Just imagine a beowolf clust erm... nevermind.

Forget DVORAK and QWERTY... (0, Redundant)

weeboo0104 (644849) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464788)

I g07 m3 4 1337 k3y8047d. Dvorak 4nd qwerty 4r3 teh sux.

this will not fly (1)

e**(i pi)-1 (462311) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464795)

> After 130 years of typing the same way the keyboard has finally grown up.

It actually looks like a keyboard for kids in Toys R Us.

> The New Standard Keyboard is a bold departure from current designs

The slightest change (i.e. switching Y and Z in European keyboads) is difficult to adapt to.

> The keys are arranged alphabetically, so there is no learning
> curve for hunt and peck typists

You anyway have to learn the QWERTY keyboard because most laptops will
not offer this keyboard.

> It is compatible with all systems running Microsoft Windows 95 and above.
And this is called "Standard Keyboard"?

Tech Repair (1)

Omniscientist (806841) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464805)

Wow, I cannot wait to service someone's computer that has one of these keyboards. I guess I'll have to start bringing my own keyboard with me between jobs, otherwise the customer will be forced to do all the typing.

I still manage to type my /. replies in 20 secon (2, Funny)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464808)

Maybe I'm typing slower on a QWERTY keyboard, but I still manage to type my /. replies in less than 20 seconds ... and get hit by Malda's spamtrap.
-russ

Elaborate April Fools' Joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11464812)

Check the date when the keyboard will be available. It's probably just an elaborate April Fools' joke...

speaking of qwerty (1)

confusion (14388) | more than 8 years ago | (#11464815)

I was watching "Modern Marvels" recently about IBM or something of the sort, and they showed several typewriters from the early part of the century. They made no note about it at all in the show, but the typewriters had the Y and Z keys swapped from their current positions, making it a QWERTZ. Any historical significance to that?

Jerry
http://www.syslog.org
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