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    Tarmak Transitional Layout(s) Success Story (Mac Layouts included)

    • Started by ghaz
    • 19 Replies:
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    • Registered: 02-May-2013
    • Posts: 28

    Hi everyone,

    I've tried to switch to Dvorak many times and had resigned myself to typing QWERTY for the rest of my life. After finding out about Colemak, I settled on the DreymaR's Tarmak transitional layouts (https://forum.colemak.com/viewtopic.php?pid=8786#p8786) as they made a LOT of sense and I figured that I could maintain my productivity at work and can always stop at Tarmak 1 or 2 and still get a lot of the benefit.

    I'm coming with around 19 years of QWERTY typing experience with a top ranging from 90-100 WPM.

    My experience has been great, and have transitioned to full Colemak over approximately three weeks. My log over my speeds over this time looks like the following. Errors were fairly stable at around 4-5% but is finally dropping now that I'm not switching additional keys every three days. Note that each step was cold turkey and did not type in QWERTY during this time.

    11/04/2013    30    Tarmak 1
    12/04/2013    42    Tarmak 1
    15/04/2013    32    Tarmak 3
    16/04/2013    38    Tarmak 3
    18/04/2013    41    Tarmak 3
    19/04/2013    39    Tarmak 4
    20/04/2013    48    Tarmak 4
    22/04/2013    29    Colemak
    23/04/2013    39    Colemak
    2/05/2013 49    Colemak

    The transition involved typing at work approximately 5 hours / 8 hour day plus around 30 mins of practice with Master Key. Note that I was holidaying in India from 25/04 to 01/05 and during this time only practiced with Master Key (approx 30 mins / day). Somewhere in between 12/04 - 15/04 I switched to Tarmak 2 but I didn't log my speeds.

    The great thing about Tarmak is that I maintained a lot of my productivity and there was a nice feedback loop as I learned. I found myself actually wanting to move to the next step every few days because I really liked like pushing it and I could really see how each change was cutting down how much my hands were moving.

    If anyone needs Mac keyboard layouts for the Tarmak steps, I've created some and put them here https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/266 … %20Mac.zip . DreymaR, feel free to put them somewhere with the others.

    Thanks DreymaR. I think the layouts and steps are pretty much perfect!

    Cheers

    Last edited by ghaz (03-May-2013 10:31:47)
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    Retested today. Up to 55 WPM, 100% accuracy, 2.8% errors. Feel like I'm progressing quite quickly now that I'm not changing any keys.

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    • Registered: 04-Apr-2013
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    Excellent result, and another testament to the power of "learning one bit at a time".   (I actually think the layouts should be front page, as probably the most powerful tool for switching.  Anyone want to give it a go and post it in the colemak subreddit? Done.)


    ghaz: I think you may mean 2013 :Þ.

    Last edited by lalop (07-May-2013 11:20:42)
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    Yep, I did mean 2013 :o

    The transitional layouts worked really well for me because of the following:

    * High bang for buck in the initial stages.
    * Low risk - still a worthwhile endeavor if I get stuck at a stage for a year.
    * Allowed me to concentrate only on a few keys at a time, and mostly master them before moving on.
    * Low productivity loss
    * The only keys that are moved twice are infrequently used. By moving on to the later stages after a shortish time, their new position had barely been set in my mind.

    I'm actually a bit sad now that there aren't any magical new stages... Oh well, I guess I will have to play with some macros now :P

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
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    WOO HOO! I'm ever so stoked right now. (Yes, I'm a sucker for attention...) ;)

    The next magical stage I'd recommend now is the Extend mod, starting with the navigation keys and building up to a very powerful tool. I wonder if anyone can get that to work on the Mac? Does it use XKB by any chance?

    Last edited by DreymaR (03-May-2013 17:55:45)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
    *** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

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    Thanks again. It really is quite genius... The hardest step was the Colemak step as I had made a lot of changes already and the RS keys were a bitch!

    No XKB for the Mac. I may try something similar using other utilities though. I have already been trying to get the Extend mod working on work (we're all PCs at work). Unfortunately my caps is already bound to ctrl in the registry. I'm also not sure that I want to give control up. I also don't feel like rebooting. I have a Kinesis Advantage which already puts a lot of other keys in very acceptable positions. That said, I like the idea of using the number keys as function keys because the Kinesis function keys suck...

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
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    If you look in the pkl.ini file there's an option there for setting the Extend key. It doesn't have to be Caps if you can think of something that suits you better. You could also comment out any key definitions you don't like in the [extend] section or swap them around. Make sure you choose the right pkl.ini file for a nonwide layout (I use the Wide mod myself).

    The biggest risk with this is that if you start using it in Windows you'll eventually be annoyed you don't have it on the Mac. I had it that way with Linux at first – so I had to sit down and devise a way to make an Extend layer for Linux. It's not 100 % functional (still missing the on-the-fly modifiers that are ever so nice) but it's nice enough to avoid annoyance now. :)

    Last edited by DreymaR (03-May-2013 19:21:00)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
    *** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
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    @Lalop: Thanks for the Reddit plug! :)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
    *** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

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    Nice reddit plug :). My skill is definitely getting better, thought any improvements from this point count as a colemak success story! :)

    As for VIM, I eventually gave in and I'm using a vanilla layout without remapping hjkl.

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    • Registered: 02-May-2013
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    Quick update: 22/05/2013 66-69 WPM 3-4.3% error rate

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
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    Nice! That's a good speed in only a good month's time.

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
    *** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

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    Yep, really happy with it. Those speeds are over 10 minute sessions in Master Key, so it's not just burst speeds. I'm working on slowing things down and improving accuracy from here.

    Thanks again for Tarmak. I don't think I could've switched without it!

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    Type racer has me at 78 WPM average (consistently). 10 minute sessions in Master Key would be closer to 73-74, but I get some arm/wrist pain when typing that long (due to past long term damage to my wrist/arm/shoulder - I'm no longer making it any worse), so I don't think it's representative of my actual speed.

    Very happy, given that it's taken about 3 months. I'm definitely plateauing but I hope to hit around 100 WPM again in the next 6-9 months. That extra 20 WPM isn't so important to me compared to the comfort, and I'll get there anyway.

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    • Registered: 24-Jun-2014
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    I started my Tarmak project on Friday the 13th (nice omen!), June, 2014, with a plan to step up each Friday after work.  I made the final transition on Monday, 14 July, as I took a long weekend mini-vacation that weekend.  It's been just over a week and I've timed out in Amphetype twice at over 50 wpm / 97% accuracy, though my average is still only in the 40's.  Each week I was able to fairly easily climb back from the instant "hit" to reliably over 40 wpm / 97% accuracy before the next step.  I've hit my goal already for July, and I'm optimistic about my odds of hitting my "final" goal of 70 wpm by Halloween.

    I typed on Qwerty for over 30 years.  DreymaR's Tarmak method finally gave me the gradual methodology I needed to move to a better keyboard layout.  Although Dvorak may be better established, and other new-comers may be technically (marginally) superior, Colemak represents to me the sweet spot.  Better than Dvorak and only (IMO) insignificantly improved upon by others, Colemak keeps my geek CTRL-keys where they belong (all the ones I regularly use, anyway), it's better supported than ever before (even rivaling Dvorak), and (for me the final piece of the puzzle) the Tarmak transition method puts it truly within reach of people who actually have to keep getting work done while working on the transition.

    Thank you again, Shai Coleman, DreymaR, ghaz and lalop for all the contributions along the way that made this possible!

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
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    Welcome to Colemak! I'm glad that you're happy with it and with Tarmak, and I'll take the liberty of quoting you in the Tarmak topic. ;)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
    *** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

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    ghaz said:

    Type racer has me at 78 WPM average (consistently). 10 minute sessions in Master Key would be closer to 73-74, but I get some arm/wrist pain when typing that long (due to past long term damage to my wrist/arm/shoulder - I'm no longer making it any worse), so I don't think it's representative of my actual speed.

    Very happy, given that it's taken about 3 months. I'm definitely plateauing but I hope to hit around 100 WPM again in the next 6-9 months. That extra 20 WPM isn't so important to me compared to the comfort, and I'll get there anyway.

    That's good progress ghaz. What was your wpm when you started? I'm just getting started now and I hope to get to 100 wpm soon.

    Last edited by ShmeeBoard (12-Feb-2020 12:59:04)
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    Is this thread dead? Did "ghaz" leave Colemac? Anyone know?

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
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    Threads in this forum aren't generally hyperactive. The "dead" term usually doesn't quite work here. And why would you ask whether GHen has left?

    Ghaz happily types Colemak still, as far as I know. He's only moderately active in this forum (which would count as pretty inactive in some other forums, I guess).

    He's a contributor, having made a Russian Colemak (Rulemak) and having done development on MessagEase layouts. Great guy! :-)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
    *** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

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    I'm happily a Colemak user, having used Tarmak successfully, and fully transitioned to  Colemak and typing at over 100 wpm (not sure what the exact figure is though).

    DreymaR is thinking of another ghaz though! I wish I knew Russian!

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
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    Indeed, I'm confused. I was thinking of Ghen, being a big hasty and preoccupied. Sorry, Ghaz!

    Last edited by DreymaR (27-Aug-2016 15:32:39)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
    *** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

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