Sunday, 23 September 2012

DHIATENSOR: Time Catches Up with it?

It has been said that the Blickensderfer was so far ahead of its time that time didn’t catch up with it. That’s the typewriter, but what about its keyboard? DHIATENSOR, which is the name of this blog, is the “Scientific” keyboard found on many Blicks. Right now I’m telling you all things that you would already know, but what follows is my notion about this keyboard.

The smartphone: a great invention. Allowing me to do so many things. (For a take on the smart phone I wrote for our student newspaper see here: Yet, the smartphone is sticking with QWERTY, a keyboard designed so typebars don’t jam. Last time I checked there weren’t any typebars on a smartphone.

So, here’s my plan. The DHIATENSOR keyboard would be great for the smartphone. The most commonly used letters are on the bottom row, and the less frequently they’re used the higher they go up. Doesn’t it just sound like something that would be fantastic for those piddly little keyboards on every iPhone and Android known to the world?

For me it sounds like a great idea, but this could be out of ignorance. I don’t really know too much about the Blick and its keyboard. I do know enough to say that they’re very impressive. There are probably drawbacks to using this keyboard, the biggest one is that it is unlikely that anyone would adopt it, and that it would only work on Android; as iOS doesn’t allow users to change their keyboards as far as I know.

In theory it seems like it would all work, but in practise would DHIATENSOR really help the smartphone world?


  1. There are many alternative keyboard layouts, but none have managed to kill the standard QWERTY and its variants. We're just too used to QWERTY, and not even the Dvorak keyboard layout, which at least has DHTNS in the home row, is known to anybody but keyboard historians. And I have to say, having the most often used characters in the middle row seems mroe comfortable to me than having them in the base row. The distance to the space bar seems better to me.

    1. My thinking was that you could use your thumbs on the bottom row on a phone keyboard with DHIATENSOR. For keyboards where you can touch type - typewriters, computers, iPads maybe - I too think that the most common keys should be in the middle. Although, I have seen touch typing methods for QWERTY where they use the bottom row as the home row instead - I gave it a go for a little bit and found that the middle row was far better and more comfortable.

  2. To allow smartphone users to text faster and more often? Unlikely.

  3. I would prefer the FITALY keyboard, used as an aftermarket alternative keyboard on Palm OS PDAs, designed by some egg-headed perfesser as the ideal single-stylus entry keyboard.

    The reason being is that I currently still use FITALY on my Sony Clei PDA. The reason why I still use a PDA is because I have to take notes in a work environment that has secret IP and can't have a smart phone or tablet device with video, still or audio recording capability.

  4. There is a subculture of Dvorak aficionados today. DHIATENSOR aficionados? I don't think so, despite George Blickensderfer's best efforts. Still, your suggestion might make sense. The iPhone has led to a revival of the three-row keyboard, after all.

  5. Different keyboard layouts on different devices? For a mini experience of that, how do like touch-typing on the number pads of adding machines/computers vs. on the telephone. Oh, you don't touch-type on those? Maybe that's the reason. (Can someone explain why the 'phone was laid out differently from the established number pad?)
    == MIchael Höhne

  6. The Dvorak Keyboard would probably be a better choice it has a slightly larger base (almost none compared to the pretty much none) Further many computer operating systems have built in support for Dvorak unlike dhiatensor which would have to be built in.