There's no longer any reason NOT to learn DvorakColin Reynolds writes "We're in an era of constant upgrades.
Yet the one thing that an increasing number of the general population use for which there has, for decades, been an upgrade available is: the humble computer keyboard.
ANSI declared the Dvorak Simplified keyboard layout a standard in 1985. Their standard neglected the needs of an entire nation of English speakers by omitting the '£' sign — a failing that is now correctable courtesy of http://keyboards.jargon-file.org/ — the United Kingodom-Dvorak (sic) layout includes this essential character.
Windows and Unix systems have, for years, been easily switchable between the universal Sholes ('QWERTY') layout and Dvorak. But few people are aware of this.
The arguments against adoption of an ergonomic keyboard layout have all been overcome, save one: it takes some effort to learn a new layout; even though this investment is soon repaid, many times over, it seems, perversely, that people are still reluctant to make this change, even though they rush to adopt new systems in other areas.
Children — some as young as three — are now being urged to learn the archaic QWERTY layout, which is well known to cause fatigue, and is a contributor to RSI/Carpal Tunnel problems. Don't we owe it to them to upgrade to a better system, to reduce the risk of their suffering health problems in later life?
I've set up an on-line petition to the (UK) Prime Minister requesting that this issue be investigated. If you live in the UK, please consider signing it. The deadline is 18 April 2008."
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