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Das Keyboard Model S Ultimate

On Thu, 2011-01-20 at 19:32 +0000, jc-8FIgwK2HfyJMuWfdjsoA/w at wrote:

> (Actually, that's an easy question to answer: When people  are  dying
> of cancer, heart disease, malaria and AIDS by the millions, why would
> we spend our limited human and financial resources studying something
> so  inconsequential  as  a  keyboard  layout?  So only people with an
> interest in the Dvorak layout have a motive to study the topic.  ;-)

Well, it may be inconsequential to researchers responsible for providing
solutions to those (admittedly serious) problems, but that's not the
day-to-day stuff of business, where managers must concern themselves
with increasing their firms' profitability to the point where those
companies can afford to contribute to research for cures of disease. The
tools available to businessmen, unlike those in research laboratories,
are the prosaic ones of Operations Research, so let's do a little
back-of-the-envelope analysis:

An "average" typing speed is 30 Words per minute, or 7200 words per day
in an eight-hour-shift, assuming a 50% mix of typing and other tasks.

For an environment where the "loaded" cost of each employee is $100.00,
an eight hour shift costs $800. That equates to a cost-per-word of
$0.056. If the Dvorak layout increased typing speed by 10%, then the
cost per word goes down to $0.05. This is, of course, a simplistic
comparison, but my point is that when a company is paying $100/hour,
small changes add up. 

The question, then, is whether Dvorak is more efficient to a degree that
would justify altering our childrens' keyboards so that they grow up
with it, and having computers instead of mechanical typewriters gives us
the chance to find out.  It doesn't take that many people, and there may
already be a sufficienctly large sample of Dvorak users available to
settle the question: if not, we can train some children on Dvorak
without affecting their job prospects or employability in any
significant way.



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