keyboards/RSI/switching costs (was Looking for a secondhand Datahand Pro II)

Matt Sergeant msergeant at
Wed Oct 21 15:21:42 BST 2009

On Wed, 21 Oct 2009 13:05:28 +0100, James Laver wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 12:31 PM, Chris Jack <chris_jack at> wrote:
>> Before you switch keyboards, I think there is an important question 
>> about how often you are obliged to use a standard qwerty keyboard. I 
>> worked all over Europe for a bit using a large number of the 
>> European variations on qwerty (y and z switched for instance and 
>> punctuation in unusual places). I found the constant switching meant 
>> I was slower on all keyboards - but maybe it was worse because the 
>> keyboards were kind of the same. Maybe it's not such a problem if 
>> you switch between, say, qwerty and colemak.
> A friend of mine in Canada tried it for a few weeks at work only ("I
> figured there was no chance of losing productivity at work") and used
> qwerty at home and seemed to do fine with switching. No subtle
> differences, it's a whole different mode of typing.

Problem then comes with people who need to help you on your computer. I 
often help a tester here who has a "Natural" split keyboard, and find 
it tough, but doable (I used to use a natural years ago, the problem is 
using a Natural from a sideways position or standing position while at 
$co-worker's desk). I can't imagine any way of coping if he had a 
Dvorak layout.


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