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Did you know that modern QWERTY keyboards are inefficient and encourage the onset of repetitive stress injuries 5 Reasons Working With Computers Is Bad For You & How to Stay Healthy 5 Reasons Working With Computers Is Bad For You & How to Stay Healthy Working on the computer may sound like the most relaxed job in the world, but it's quite the contrary. It's very tough on your body, which is not used to this modern type of work.... Read More like carpal tunnel syndrome? QWERTY is over 100 years old. It’s outdated and outclassed by several alternatives, yet it’s still the most popular keyboard layout in the world.

How did we get here? What can we do about it? Let’s take a look at the evolution of the keyboard as well as the pros and cons of QWERTY’s competitors. Before we start, do note that we’re only looking at Latin-based layouts that are optimized for English.

QWERTY

Back in the 1860s, an inventor devised and patented a writing machine that would eventually become the world’s first typewriter. It actually began as an endeavor in curiosity and wasn’t meant to revolutionize the writing industry, yet despite its horrible initial reception and mechanical issues, the practicality of this “typewriter” was impossible to ignore for long.

Contrary to popular belief, QWERTY was not the first keyboard layout, even for typewriters. Prior to it, there was a simpler double-row keyboard that resembled a set of piano keys:

history-keyboard-layouts-pre-qwerty

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Unfortunately, this design was prone to jamming and proved less than ideal, prompting its creator to adapt and improve.

Over several years the keyboard evolved into the QWERTY layout, which began picking up popularity in 1878 with the debut of the Remington No. 2 typewriter. But what was the logic behind it? In what possible world does a QWERTY layout make sense? How did they get there?

In 1868, the double-row keyboard was split into four rows. Numeral digits were brought to the top, vowels were brought to the second row, and the alphabet was dissected with B-M on the third row and N-Z on the fourth:

history-keyboard-layouts-qwerty-v1

In 1873, after Remington purchased rights to the typewriter, several refinements were made to the layout. These refinements helped to minimize jamming by splitting apart commonly paired letters and pushing them to opposite ends of the keyboard, but also added in a few extra symbols for typists:

history-keyboard-layouts-qwerty-v2

A few more refinements and we arrive at the modern QWERTY layout, which has been in use for over a century by now:

history-keyboard-layouts-qwerty-modern

One myth regarding QWERTY is that it was designed to purposely slow down typists. Despite having a basis in truth, minimal jamming was a priority — the designers did not seek to achieve this through forced reduction in typing speed. Instead, they focused on an “alternating hands” design, which improved speed and reduced jamming.

Starting with the era of computer terminals, there have been localized variations to QWERTY, including QWERTZ (common in Central Europe), AZERTY (common in France), and QZERTY (mostly used in Italy). These variations are ultimately minor.

Dvorak

In 1936, decades after QWERTY had become the standard, a professor of education patented a new keyboard layout that he named after himself: Dvorak. It isn’t spelled DVORAK; it’s not an acronym. If you want to shorten it, DSK is proper (which stands for Dvorak Simplified Keyboard).

The goal of the Dvorak keyboard was to identify all of QWERTY’s shortcomings in relation to typing error frequency, suboptimal typing speed, and finger fatigue for typists. After at least 18 years of study and research, the Dvorak layout was born:

history-keyboard-layouts-dvorak-modern

Much of the design’s emphasis was placed on the home row (where the typist’s hands would be “at rest”) due to research that found that home row typing was fastest while bottom row typing was slowest. Thus, common keys are placed along the home row while least used keys are at the bottom.

The result? Dvorak typists require approximately 60% less finger motion when compared against QWERTY typists. Not only is it faster, but Dvorak typists are less prone to repetitive stress injuries Be Lazy: 3 Tips To Reduce The Risk Of RSI By Resting Your Hands Be Lazy: 3 Tips To Reduce The Risk Of RSI By Resting Your Hands Here are three tips that can ease the burden on your hands and make computer or mobile usage slightly more comfortable. Read More caused by typing.

In addition, Dvorak emphasizes two more design aspects. Firstly, “alternating hands” ought to be promoted as much as possible to help create a rhythm when typing, and secondly, the most common keys should be assigned to the right hand because most people are right-handed.

The most notable downside to Dvorak is that it’s too different from QWERTY, making it too much of a hassle to learn for most everyday computer users.

Colemak

In 2006, a programmer named Shai Coleman released an alternative keyboard layout called Colemak (a portmanteau of Coleman and Dvorak). Despite the name, it isn’t a direct descendant of the Dvorak layout. In fact, Colemak can be thought of as a compromise between the two.

Just as Dvorak was a response to QWERTY’s shortcomings, Colemak addresses the failures of Dvorak but does so in a way that doesn’t alienate current QWERTY users. The intended result is a layout that aims for speed, efficiency, minimal repetitive stress injuries, and an easy learning curve for QWERTY typists.

history-keyboard-layouts-colemak-modern

The beauty of Colemak is that there are only 17 differences in key placement between it and QWERTY, yet those 17 differences are more than enough to create a radically improved typing environment. All other keys remain the same. As such, QWERTY users should not be afraid to learn Colemak.

How does it improve on Dvorak?

Colemak eliminates virtually all cases of frequent letters in “stretched finger” locations. For example, Dvorak places ‘L’ in the QWERTY ‘P’ spot, which requires frequent stretching of the pinky. The positions of other keys have also been optimized with Colemak, such as moving the high-frequency ‘R’ and ‘I’ keys to the home row.

We love Colemak and think it’s worth the effort to learn it. Here’s how to make the process of learning Colemak Curious About Colemak? Learn The Best Keyboard Layout Easily Curious About Colemak? Learn The Best Keyboard Layout Easily Your keyboard sucks. There, I said it. Don't take it personally -- you're not the one who invented the QWERTY layout. Read More quick and easy.

Other Layouts

QWERTY, Dvorak, and Colemak are the “Big Three” keyboard layouts, but they aren’t the only ones. Three other notable but less-recognized layouts are Workman, Qwpr, and Minimak, though these are more proofs-of-concept than actual layouts intended for everyday use.

QWERTY vs. The Rest

So, should you switch away from QWERTY? That depends. If you spend most of your day typing on a computer, it’s worth looking into. The speed gains and injury reductions are real and they do add up over time. However, there are some caveats that you’ll want to keep in mind.

You’ll experience a big drop in typing speed while learning a new layout. How long will it take? A fast learner might only need a week, especially with an easy-to-learn layout like Colemak, but others may need upwards of a month or more. However, with the help of typing tutors Learn To Type Really Fast With The Intelligent Touch Typing Tutor TIPP10 [Cross Platform] Learn To Type Really Fast With The Intelligent Touch Typing Tutor TIPP10 [Cross Platform] Learning to type fast is almost a survival skill in the Darwinian digital jungle. It’s directly related to saving time you put into a work and improving your productivity. You just need to be methodical... Read More , this problem will only be temporary.

Also, keyboard shortcuts can be an inconvenience. Due to Dvorak’s drastically different layout, shortcuts like CTRL+X/C/V can be a pain. Colemak is less of a pain due to its similarities to QWERTY, but the differences still exist and you may find yourself frustrated from time to time when you accidentally hit the wrong shortcut keys.

Lastly, other computers will still be QWERTY. This isn’t a big deal if you’re always using your own computer, but it can be problematic if you switch computers a lot, or if other people use your computer. A program like Portable Keyboard Layout Learn A Better Keyboard Layout & Take It Everywhere With You Using Portable Keyboard Layout Learn A Better Keyboard Layout & Take It Everywhere With You Using Portable Keyboard Layout As some of you guys may know, I have been using an alternative keyboard layout for years. It is called Colemak, and it is brilliant. But using such a layout puts me in an awkward... Read More can really help here, but it may not always be an option.

For me, Colemak comes out as a huge winner. It ought to be adopted as the keyboard of our modern age, and considering how young it is when compared to both QWERTY and Dvorak, there’s still a lot of time for it to drum up hype and popularity.

Will you stick with QWERTY or switch to an alternative? Or maybe you’ve already switched? Tell us what you think in the comments below!

Image credits: old typewriter Via Shutterstock, Typewriter built by Peter Mitterhofer at the Technisches Museum in Vienna

  1. Ron Sonso
    October 30, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    Actually, most windows installations come with alternate keyboard layouts including DVORAK. I don't see COLMAK on Win 8.0.

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/add-or-change-an-input-language
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/change-keyboard-layout#1TC=windows-7

    So, you can make a simple control panel change to easily be able to toggle between DVORAK and QWERTY layouts on pretty much any Windows computer (using mouse or keyboard shortcuts). Turn on DVORAK when you work and turn it off when you finish so no one else is inconvenienced. Of course, you won't have the correct keycaps, but for a touch typist, that is not an issue.

  2. Michael J. Tobias
    October 29, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Question: Is it difficult to learn say, Colemak and switch between that and QWERTY? I share computers at work and I can only imagine the chaos. I'd like to try Colemak with my laptop but retain my awesome QWERTY skills ;) But I'm afraid I'd get confused. Is it like speaking another language?

    • Joel Lee
      October 29, 2015 at 12:44 pm

      Hey Michael. During the learning phase (probably a few weeks) it will probably be frustrating, but I think of it like muscle memory: once you have both QWERTY and Colemak engrained into your hands, switching between them should be effortless. Getting to that point is the challenge.

  3. JwAlstrom
    March 13, 2015 at 2:10 am

    .
    TrackBalls - by FAR the BEST/Easiest way to navigate around a screen.
    ======= I have used one for years,
    .
    I use an old USB wired LogiTech on my under-desk computer, and
    a USB wireless hand-held one when using my notebook computer.
    . ( a Y10/dp/B00EHJFOOW - ~$20 to $30 on eBay or Amazon)
    ,
    I find the notebook touchpad to be completely UNacceptable, and only use a convenrtional 'mouse' when I am away from home & have no choice.
    .
    No way would I go back to a mouse - & certainly NOT a touchpad.
    .

    • Brenda Young
      December 29, 2015 at 2:09 pm

      Agreed, Joel. I have been using a Logitech trackball since Win95 came out and would not trade it in for anything. It is the best and most accurate pointing device out there. Add in the customizable buttons and sensitivity settings, it is perfect for drawing and using with Photoshop and graphic designing.

  4. drachenchen
    March 8, 2015 at 8:34 am

    Interesting article. If I can break loose some time, I may try Colemak, even if it is a compromise, _after_ I've gone all-in. But I wanted to share my experiences.

    Many years ago, I decided I needed to learn to touch-type. I already had early-onset arthritis in my hands by then, brought on from being a metal-worker. I had only learned to type on QWERTY, hunt-and-peck style. Several times, long sessions of typing had given me flare-ups.

    I had heard about the Dvorak layout. Several authors that I respected, used it, even back in the days of manual typewriters. They had to really want it, too, as in, pay for a dedicated Dvorak typewriter. I also found out that Steve Wozniak used Dvorak, and claimed it was better than QWERTY. So, I thought I would use learning to touch type, for a comparison.

    I found a typing tutor program for my Mac SE, and devoted equal amounts of time to trying to learn to touch-type on both keyboards. Note that I had already been using a QWERTY keyboard for many years, and was tolerably competent with it, just not a touch-typist.

    After a few weeks, I didn't notice much difference in my average typing speed, but after that, my speed on Dvorak started pulling ahead. I still kept putting in equal time on both, but when I passed 40 WPM on Dvorak, and still hadn't hit 25 WPM on QWERTY, it really started looking like a waste of time to keep on with QWERTY. So, I dropped it. Haven't missed it one little bit. I have NEVER had an arthritis flare-up from typing since dropping QWERTY, even after typing for many hours straight. Come to think of it, I don't miss having dropped Windows in favor of Linux, either, for much the same reason. Two less pieces of clunky, slow, painful technology in my life.

    Since then, I have had plenty of push-back from the horse-and-buggy crowd, who just can't understand why I won't use "the keyboard that everybody uses". I would like to point out that Christopher Sholes, the inventor of the typewriter and the QWERTY keyboard, later tried to interest Remington in an improved layout, but they were making plenty of money with QWERTY, and changes to an industrial process were more expensive in those days, so it didn't happen.

    There is no gainsaying the fact that QWERTY was a 19th-Century hardware hack. It was to try to improve a lever-operated typing system that NO LONGER EXISTS. It was also layed out so that the traveling salesmen for this newfangled device, who were usually not typists themselves, could peck out the word "typewriter" using only the top row of keys. So that's a computer-age, high-tech design parameter. QWERTY's time has passed. It is a relic, kept in place by nothing but institutional inertia.

    While I have no experience of Colmak, I do have to wonder why anyone would try to create a "compromise" with any keyboard layout that is as obsolete as QWERTY. Why not just start over, like Dvorak did?

    But my favorite argument in favor of Dvorak over QWERTY, is this: World Record for typing in English -- Barbara Blackburn, 212 WPM, on a Dvorak keyboard.

    • Joel
      March 10, 2015 at 4:20 am

      Thanks for sharing. Dvorak is pretty good, certainly better than QWERTY. I think the need for a "compromise" arises from the fact that a huge majority of the world is engrained with QWERTY muscle memory; it's harder to sell a complete layout change than it is to sell a new layout with just a few keys changed.

  5. Roger E.
    January 7, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    I learned QWERTY 15+ years ago and haven't even considered changing to a different layout. Thank you for writing this post, and the other related posts!
    Here's my challenges:
    Personal laptop that is shared with family, any random computer at my university that I happen to sit at, tablet and phone (both android), programming code on all of the above.

    Due to this post, I'm going to dive into Colemak and make the switch over time. I'll be going about it the same way you did... 1 or 2 key moves/changes at a time.

    • Joel
      March 10, 2015 at 4:18 am

      Use the Portable Keyboard Layout program and you can quickly toggle between QWERTY/Colemak, so that should take care of the sharing problem and the University computer problem. There are keyboard apps that support Colemak on Android, too! Good luck! :)

  6. Joe
    November 29, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    There is also the BEPO keyboard and I wonder if it is better are not.

    • Joel
      March 10, 2015 at 4:17 am

      Unfortunately I don't know French so I can't offer any guidance on whether or not it's a good layout. Sorry!

  7. Paul A Haggerty
    November 8, 2014 at 2:39 am

    Choice is not a problem for me for one who first sat in front of a keyboard at the age of sixty-four. So I'm sticking to the use of the index fingers on each hand.

    • Sebastien
      November 19, 2014 at 4:24 am

      Paul A Haggerty - you're awesome! keep typing however you like!

  8. Maryon Jeane
    November 7, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    I've tried a lot of different layouts an keyboards in my time, particularly after I started working from home and the problem of having to deal with a variety of keyboards disappeared. I quite liked Dvorak but, in the end, came to the conclusion that the main problems with using a keyboard lay with the actual keyboard and with the sheer amount of typing one has to do.

    The answer, for me, was to find the best keyboard in ergonomic terms and to use a text expander. After many, many keyboards I finally came across the Truly Ergonomic one (which I have fitted with Cherry MX blue switches as I started with manual typewriters) and developed a shorthand system so that I can type the minimum of keystrokes. (I use Breevy now, although I've fairly recently migrated to this from ShortKeys.) Now I have comfort and speed (around 110 wpm) and, despite spending all day and every day during th week at the keyboard, no worries about RSI.

    • Joel Lee
      November 12, 2014 at 8:07 pm

      Ergonomics are definitely more important than keyboard layout as far as RSI goes. Are you still using Dvorak with your ergonomic keyboard? Or have you gone back to QWERTY?

    • Maryon Jeane
      November 13, 2014 at 5:54 pm

      I've gone back to QWERTY, Joel. It was some time ago now that I tried Dvorak, with a Maltron, but there were too many problems in porting the Dvorak layout to another keyboard after I decided against the Maltron and I still hadn't, at that point, found 'the' keyboard, so I had to revert to QWERTY and a fairly standard keyboard (a version of the Cherry).

      By the way, please don't take the typo in my original post as indicative - I was using my netbook as my desktop was temporarily hors de combat!

  9. John Williams
    November 6, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    As a life long 2 finger typist I would love to be able to type with 2 thumbs like I do on my phone. Anyone ever seen a PC keyboard like that?
    I also dislike full QUERTY on smartphones, even on a 4 inch screen they are too annoying to use.
    Finally, back illuminated keyboards are fantastic for 2 finger typists when the only light in the room is a teh laptop screen.

    • Joel Lee
      November 12, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      I haven't heard of a miniature thumbs-only keyboard for PC use. Interesting that you prefer that! Most people I know would completely give up thumb-typing if they could (which is now possible thanks to swipe-typing). :P

  10. Xavier
    November 6, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Several years ago I came across with Dvorak keyboard, and decided to give it a try. I learned touchtyping with Dvorak, something I never did with QWERTY, and it was amazingly easy. Now I can't live without a Dvorak keyboard.

    As mentioned above, the big issue is the lack of support for other languages (Spanish and Catalan, in my case). Although there are some non official specifications for Spanish Dvorak keyboards (as far as I know, there are at least 2), Windows doesn't include any of them, so I had to create my own Spanish Dvorak keyboard (there are apps like Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator for that). Portable Keyboard Layout and a USB pen where my best frends when I had to use somebody else's computer.

    Fortunately other OSs, like Ubuntu (and I guess other Linux-based systems too), do have a Spanish Dvorak keyboard, and here creating/modifing a keyboard to fit your needs is as easy as editting a text file.

    The fact that everybody does something doen't make it good for me. In my oppinion any other keyboard (Dvorak, Colemak or whatever suits you) is better than QWERTY, the problem is in their availability. But if nobody gives them a try, if nobody asks for alternatives, the big ones won't ever bother to include them on their OSs.

    • Joel Lee
      November 6, 2014 at 4:11 pm

      I agree wholeheartedly. Good on Linux-based systems for including niche keyboard layouts! I think everyone would benefit if we standardized all English keyboards with Colemak, but that may not happen for a while. Colemak is still pretty young.

      I wonder if there's anything we can start a social trend amongst the younger generation, making Colemak the keyboard layout for "cool kids"? If the next generation grows up using Colemak, hopefully that would be enough of a catalyst to start Colemak's takeover of QWERTY. :P

    • Nikhil
      November 6, 2014 at 5:34 pm

      One advantage of using colemak is that everyone dreads using my phone or keyboard ( I rearranged all keys of my keyboard >:) ) Lol.

  11. Jitendra Adhikari
    November 6, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Informative article. Thinking of trying out the Colemak layout soon.

    • Joel Lee
      November 6, 2014 at 4:07 pm

      Awesome! Do let us know what you think of it. I have a feeling your experiences will lean towards positive. :)

  12. Sam Le Marnais
    November 4, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    T.Q.M: The French DVORAK or COLMAK alternative is BEPO.
    Indeed, every languages should have their own DVORAK like approach! This approach, is to study the frequence of appearance of each letter in a language. French is not the same as English and it's obvious that the result will again be different for Vietnamese.
    So, you need your own DVORAK like keyboard layout.
    For your question about what happen in an French Internet café if you only know COLMAK layout... well... 4 answers:
    1) You will probably always know QWERTY anyway, because you will be surrounded by this layout. 2) You can still look at you fingers, you're not obliged to blindtype. 3) you can switch keyboard layout in windows (probably also in other OS's) 4) if you only know QWERTY, as in a French Internet café it will be an AZERTY layout, you'll be in the same situation as if you only know COLMAK :)

    IMO: This is a very common problem I find in your articles: you often forget that your articles are not only read by american or even everyday english speakers! You should consider your other readers. I obviously don't expect you to enumerate all the possibilities for all the existing languages, but reading your article sounds like there are no other keyboard layout than QWERTY now a day. Don't forget that in many countries, QWERTY is unknown. In French, it's AZERTY, in Luxembourg it's QWERTZ, in Belgium QWERTY, etc., etc. (I hope I didn't make a mistake or I'll be in trouble ;) )

    Anyway, I dream to learn COLMAK or BEPO (for French) but I can't afford a 1 month lost of productivity... :( and... I'm probably a bit lazy to learn a new layout... :P
    But, if I had a child, I would probably make the effort, just to be able to teach him a better layout. This to provider him/her a better way of learning computers!

    Thanks for this almost (I would like you to mention other countries) great article :)

    • Joel Lee
      November 6, 2014 at 4:06 pm

      Hey Sam. Great comment! Regarding the lack of internationality in this article, I did make a note in the introduction that I'd only be focusing on Latin-based English keyboard layouts. Why? Simply because that's what I'm familiar with. I have no experience with non-Latin keyboards so it's a bit out of my depth.

      That being said, we (MakeUseOf) do recognize that we have an international audience and we try to keep that in mind at all times. If you'd like to see a similar article for keyboard layouts around the world, perhaps we can arrange it. Either way, thanks for sharing your concerns. We appreciate it. :)

  13. dragonmouth
    November 4, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    The reason for using QWERTY is the same as for using Windows, everyone is using it.

  14. WinDork
    November 4, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Great article!

  15. matthew dickinson
    November 4, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    QWERTY is the best for one reason. Every One Uses It!!! meaning if you use someone else's computer, or get a new one, you can still type without staring at your hands. if i changed my keyboard layout my productivity would go down the drain.

    • Joel Lee
      November 6, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      Yeah, that's the big issue. Getting everyone to switch from QWERTY would be like trying to get America to switch to metric. By now, it's so pervasive that it'd be practically impossible. What a shame. :(

    • william
      November 25, 2014 at 2:20 am

      Unless they're still running an ancient operating system too, that's a non-issue. It takes all of 5 seconds to switch the keyboard layout in windows 7, and if you set a keyboard shortcut (like I did on all my family members' computers since I'm constantly fixing them for them hah) it takes about 1 second to switch the layout.

      The only problem cases for me have been:
      Public computers locked down by incompetent IT guys... which for me is just the ones at the library, but I only use those to print stuff off anyways.
      Phones with pullout keyboards... but those are too small for touch typing anyways so it doesn't make a difference. Tablets can switch but I just left mine as qwerty since I can't touch type well on it anyways.

  16. Nick
    November 4, 2014 at 6:08 am

    Using colemak on mobile and and laptop for almost a quarter of year. Love it!

    • Joel Lee
      November 6, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      Colemak on mobile? Nice! Is that a built-in option or do you use an app? If an app, which one?

    • Nikhil
      November 6, 2014 at 5:28 pm

      Well google keyboard has it by default or atleast the one I'm using does (ported from android L), additionally swiftkey and fleksy keyboard support colemak too
      P.S. How to set custom picture next to name instead on tilted G? :P

  17. T. Q. M.
    November 4, 2014 at 4:19 am

    Nice article. IMO these layouts won't dominate English-speaking countries in the future. Why?
    The Dvorak and Colemak layouts were invented specifically for the English language, obviously. In my mother-tongue Vietnamese, the most frequently used letters are N, H, C, and T, with an average appearance frequency of roughly 8%. Among those 4 most used letters, 2 are found at the bottom of the QWERTY, 1 is found on top row of the Dvorak, and 1 at the bottom of the Colemak layout. It may seem reasonable to start using Dvorak or Colemak, but I haven't included the vowels, which are 11 in total. The transition of the fingers from the 5 basic vowels A, E, I, O, U, which are mostly located on the middle row of these layouts, to the keys on top row that change those letters into diacritical ones like ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, really is a pain. That said, countries that use alternative layouts in the future would prove to be difficult in many different aspects. Imagine an Italian businessman forgetting his QWERTY laptop typing on an American Colemak layout, or a Dvorak New Yorker sitting down in a QWERTY internet café somewhere in France.

    • Joel Lee
      November 6, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      That's a great point. I wonder if there are any pursuits for optimizing keyboard layouts in non-English languages? Particularly for languages that use an alphabet that's radically non-Latin, such as most Asian languages. Having to switch layouts from country to country would be a real pain!

  18. Doc
    November 4, 2014 at 2:08 am

    You can have my QWERTY keyboard when you pry it out of my cold, dead fingers. Same with my trackball - I hate having to "row" a mouse across the desk.

    • CityguyUSA
      November 6, 2014 at 1:30 am

      I'm with you!

    • Joel Lee
      November 6, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      Wow, it's been a while since I've seen mention of a trackball. I didn't know they were still in production. Not that I have anything against them. :)

    • Doc
      November 7, 2014 at 12:41 am

      @Joel: I've used several Logitech trackballs, from an original Trackman, a couple wired Trackman Wheels, and my latest, a Logitech M570 ($28 refurbished from Amazon). Given the choice, I'd never use a mouse again. :)

  19. Luis Arean
    November 3, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Very good entry. Just a minor correction: AZERTY, QWERTZ and the like existed before computer terminals. The famous ENIGMA machine featured a QWERTZ keyboard, created in order to make Z more reachable than Y, which is virtually unused in German.

    • Joel Lee
      November 6, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      Ah, my mistake. Thanks Luis. :)

  20. Terry Murray
    November 3, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Not switching after nearly 50 years of using QWERTY - my fingers know that keyboard!

    • Joel Lee
      November 6, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      I have to admit, muscle memory and familiarity are really strong arguments in favor of QWERTY. I'm at 15 years of QWERTY and it's hard for me to get it out of my system; I can't imagine what 50 years would feel like!

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