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The Dvorak Keyboard With the Mouse on the Left-hand Side


I’m nearly a month into my transition to the Dvorak keyboard layout. I am typing at a very sustainable speed so this has not slowed down my work. For me, it is significantly more comfortable than typing QWERTY for 8-12 hours per day.

One of the interesting aspects of this keyboard layout is that the Z, C, and V have moved from the left to the right-hand side of the keyboard. The X is in the center and can be pressed with either hand. While Mac OS X has a mode that preserves the locations of these hot keys when the Command button is pressed, I have intentionally chosen to use the proper Dvorak key locations for shortcuts as well.

Therefore, the challenge became to find the best method to easily press the Copy, Cut, and Paste keyboard commands while using simultaneously the mouse. One solution is to press these keys with my left hand while using the mouse on the right hand side. Even though I am very much right-hand dominant, I decided to move my trackpad to the left hand side of the Unicomp buckling-spring keyboard. The setup looks like this photo below:

My desktop setup with the trackpad on the left

I found that I already had the manual dexterity in my left hand to accurately manipulate the pointer. Within a couple of days, this became a very comfortable setup. An added bonus is that I do not have to jump the number pad with my right hand to access the mouse.

You may notice also that the main portion of the keyboard is placed directly in front of my main monitor. I find that this makes it easier to touch type while focusing on the screen and sitting in a natural position with my feet firmly on the floor.

I am really liking this new setup.

About Frank Rietta

Frank Rietta's photo

Frank Rietta is specialized in working with startups, new Internet businesses, and in developing with the Ruby on Rails platform to build scalable businesses. He is a computer scientist with a Masters in Information Security from the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He teaches about security topics and is a contributor to the security chapter of the 7th edition of the "Fundamentals of Database Systems" textbook published by Addison-Wesley.