Sunday, February 04, 2007

Call to Arms for Dvorak Users Everywhere!

Having come clean about my activist status, I might as well encourage others in it as well :). About three years ago, my parents gave me a Palm with a Belkin wireless keyboard. I've gotten extensive use out of it for critting and writing in that time, but one tiny aspect annoys me. They don't offer a Dvorak driver.

I spoke to them about this lack when I first got it and didn't get much of a response. However, I thought maybe after so much time had passed, I would see if they'd finally done something. Umm, nope.

So I wrote tech support, pointing out once again the advantages of the Dvorak layout and that many people have turned to it to avoid or survive repetitive stress injuries.

Something got through because they redirected me to QA (quality assurance), who then told me it wasn't in the plans. I asked if it could be requested, reiterating my logic, and the gentlemen said he'd put in a feature request.

Now general rule of thumb is that for every one person who speaks up, there are 10-40 people who either don't buy the product or suffer in silence. Since PDAs are a common writer's tool, especially with folding keyboards, and more writers are discovering Dvorak every day, it would be to the advantage of many if Belkin (who puts out a very good keyboard that is compatible with many PDA types) were to wake up and smell the roses.

So, if you're a PDA user who types in Dvorak and either has a Belkin keyboard or would be interested in one that does Dvorak, could you drop them a line at their website (link below). The more people who request it, the more likely we'll be steaming along at full speed on our PDAs in the near future :).


tmr said...

I agree. We should have a simple motto --- no Dvorak, no Deal.


Margaret said...

Eh, I wouldn't go that far, cause I'm not into cutting off my nose to spite my face ;), but it would be grand if keyboard manufacturers could recognize the value in it.

Redfox said...

I found your call to arms whilst Googling for Palm dvorak layouts - small world, huh?

I tried the same with Think Outside, but they were very slow to bring out new drivers that actually worked properly with the latest Palms, never mind alternative layouts! I'll try hassling Belkin (even though I prefer Palm's own keyboard), so we'll see...

Margaret said...

Sigh. Yeah, well, I really think they're missing something. Just think of the marketing they could do at writing conventions and on writing sites.

Thanks for the Belkin nudge. With the exception of the dvorak issue, my Belkin keyboard has served me well and it has the advantage that if I upgrade, its base is flexible enough to support more than one Palm body, something the Palm keyboards didn't offer when I last checked on them.


Margaret said...

My most wonderful sister gave me this link. It's a hack and I haven't installed it yet, but...

I told the Belkin folks remapping the keys is straightforward but :p.