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Games, Diversions & Perl Culture by Jon Orwant

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Chapter 24. Simulating Typos with Perl

Sean M. Burke

Quoth the raven, “Nwvermpre!”

About two years ago, I switched to typing on the Dvorak keymap. That meant going from the Sholes “QWERTY” keymap:

` 1 2 3 4 5 6       7 8 9 0 - = \
   q w e r t       y u i o p [ ]
    a s d f g       h j k l ; '
     z x c v b       n m , . /

to August Dvorak’s more efficiency-minded keymap:

` 1 2 3 4 5 6       7 8 9 0 [ ] \
   ' , . p y       f g c r l / =
    a o e u i       d h t n s -
     ; q j k x       b m w v z

It was just a matter of switching the keymap preferences on whatever computers I had to type on, and then a few days of acclimating to all the keys having moved. This had the two desired effects: my hands would no longer ache after marathon coding sessions, and no one ever touched my computer again.

But there was one side effect I hadn’t anticipated: a different keymap means different kinds of typos. This became evident to me first on IRC. Since IRC is a medium characterized by people typing faster than they can think, typos abound:

<Wuglife> I hear it's out on video now
me> I know, I sow it a wook age.
<Wuglife> sow?
<Koolmodey> wook age?
<Mugsy> GWAWRR! BEWARE THE AGE OF THE WOOK!
me> I mean I sAw it a wEEk agO.
<Koolmodey> guh, how do you manage to aim for
            'e' and hit 'o' instead?  they're on
            different sides of the keyboard
me> They're right next to eachother on mine.
    I use a Dvorak keyboard.  The middle row
    goes: "aoeuidhtns".
<Koolmodey> that's because you're a communist
me> columnist
<Koolmodey> yea like dvorak
me> different Dvorak.  August, not John.

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