Windows includes a Dvorak keyboard layout but it doesn’t allow you to type accented characters (directly or using dead keys). A guy called Arjen has created a layout which allows you to access all the additional symbols that I can imagine wanting to type. Download the zip archive from his site and run the setup.exe contained in one of the folders. You will need to be admin on your machine. After confirmation, it will automatically add the custom layout to your selection.
The layout is illustrated and described on his website. It’s not quite the same as the Dvorak layouts included with most Linux distributions but it looks quite intuitive.
The recent Ubuntu releases seem to support the university VPN that I sometimes use. Remember that some home modems, access points or routers will need to have the VPN passthrough option enabled before they let you connect.
The remaining problem was that I don’t want all my traffic going via the VPN, only connections to university servers, in particular the mail and web servers. In the VPN configuration, go to the IPV4 Settings tab and click the Routes button at the bottom of the window. Check the Use this connection only for resources on its network box and fill in the address and netmask fields with the details of the private servers you need to access via the VPN. The gateway and metric fields can be left blank. If you just need to access one server with a single IP address, enter it in the address field and then 255.255.255.255 as the netmask. But remember that some services, including webservers, may have multiple IP addresses as they are mirrored across several physical machines for speed and redundancy. You can find all these addresses using
I don’t know how important the other options are. I left Ignore automatically obtained routes unchecked. Back under the IPV4 settings tab, I selected Automatic (VPN) method.