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Is it worth the switch?

  • Started by koekjestrommel1
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Hey peeps. A couple of weeks ago I was kinda bored and thought that after 10 years of using a computer I should probably have learned how to type 10 finger blind by now. Not because of the speed, but mainly because typing with 3 fingers isn't the most effective when trying to copy something. So I decided to do some quick classes to get the positions right and stuff like that. I am now able to type 10 finger type qwerty blind, although not as fast as I can type with 3 fingers. Note: I also type with 3 fingers completely blind. I mean copying as in copying a paper laying next to the screen.


This is how quick I can type while only using 3 fingers. Pretty impressive for hunting and pecking I guess. This is on a normal laptop
81_416_0_0_75_2_75.25_196_792.jpg

I can 10 finger type qwerty blind at 60ish WPM now, although if you'd give me some more time I'd be able to do it at 80 as well.

I've started learning Dvorak 3 days ago, and can reach speeds of about 80 characters per minute/15WPM now. I know the location of all the letters now, and it's just a matter of speeding up. I know this isn't the Dvorak forum, but it is as close as it gets, and I'm pretty sure that some people know how to type it over here.

I am Dutch and Dutch is the language I'll be typing most of the time. Letter frequencies are slightly different than the English ones, but are close enough anyways.

Would you reckon I'd be able to go (a lot) faster than I'm currently doing?

Cheers

Note: I am new to this site and haven't read much here. But this being the internet let me please make clear that I do not want a Dvorak-Colemak war. Although things like that are often inevitable. Anyways, Cheers again.

Last edited by koekjestrommel1 (27-Jun-2013 23:02:13)
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I had touch typed in Qwerty 15 years before switching to Colemak, and I think that's worth it. Switching again is not as hard as the first blind typing learning, since you are already prepared.

Have you tried to blindfold yourself, then type? Most people are unconsciously peeking at the keyboard when typing.

Here are the photo of a typing contest in Paris 1940

tumblr_m11zled2E31qh9l7yo1_500.jpg

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The two big reasons for going with colemak are: tarmak (which lets you transition directly from your qwerty touchtyping) and shortcuts.

I have no idea about Dutch, though.  You might want to plug sample text into keyboard layout analyzer (or better yet, carplax, but that's not as easy).  Whether or not an optimized layout is worth it is dependent on the resulting stats (preferably optimized for any ergonomic/utility preferences you may have).

Another layout you may want to consider is Neo.


Edit: tried plugging in some dutch news with ASCII Neo variant.  It didn't score so well.

Last edited by lalop (30-Jun-2013 01:11:36)
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I strongly suggest you switch. The E and R keys on QWERTY are really really broken in their position.

As far as typing with 3 fingers goes, you are really missing out on the comfort of resting your palms when typing. I find this particularly comfortable on my Thinkpad.

Further, you really start  falling in love with typing when you roll over the keys when typing words that have characters next to each other. Typing words like burst is such fun because it actually gets typed as b-u-rst where the last three keys are pressed in one fluid roll. This happens when you use any of th following ar-ra, rs-sr, st-ts, ne-en, ei-ie, oi-io. Yes that covers a lot of words. The effect of alternating between your left and right hands more than you normaly do with QWERTY is fun too. Imagine typing a word like "typing" which goes l-r-l-r-l-r. :D Bliss, right?

That REALLY useless caps-lock becomes a REALLY useful backspace key.

Finally, when you forget to lock-screen when you leave the desk to get a cup of coffee, none of your pesky friends are going to be able to type anything meaningful into your system. :D Imagine their frustration when they wanted to update my FB-status to "I really suck" and all they got was "U pfaiij rlce"

I started out at something around 3wpm. Yes. That slow. At the end of one week, I was at around 10-12 wpm. But by the end of the month I was at 30wpm. Now, I have been using Colemak for over 2 years. I can type at around 75 wpm easily. This is much higher than my old QWERTY speed which was around 60wpm (I used a 3-fingers-on-each-hand technique too).

I do not know whether this is just my mind playing tricks on me, but I also have a much more comfortable experience typing on Colemak. I used to have an ache in my left had with QWERTY and that pesky thing isn't troubling me anymore.

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Of course when you type with your ten fingers the chance of injury is much less than with only three.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repetitive_strain_injury

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It's worth it! But if speed is your *only* concern you may be frustrated. You'll be slow for a while (even using Tarmak), and your end speed may be 10 WPM faster but maybe you could've achieved that on QWERTY if you put in the same amount of training?

For me Colemak is more about comfort/ergonomics and flow. It feels good to type on. I'm faster with Colemak than I was with QWERTY, but I don't think it's only because of layout magic. ;)

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

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@koekjestrommel1, You say you blind type with three fingers, then say that you are hunting and pecking - which is it?

If you do hunt and peck at that speed that's pretty impressive.  And if you've picked up 60wpm in a short space of time, then it seems you won't have much of a problem adapting to ten finger typing.

So I guess your question is: whether it's worth switching to Colemak, carry on with Dvorak - or stick with Qwerty for speed gains?

Do read the boards, most of these questions have been asked before.  There's a wealth of information here, if you are prepared to dig a little.

Sadly I don't think it's an easy choice for one thing or another, so you'll just have to weigh up the options and the practicalities.

Last edited by pinkyache (29-Jun-2013 13:06:35)

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pinkyache said:

@koekjestrommel1, You say you blind type with three fingers, then say that you are hunting and pecking - which is it?

If you do hunt and peck at that speed that's pretty impressive.  And if you've picked up 60wpm in a short space of time, then it seems you won't have much of a problem adapting to ten finger typing.

So I guess your question is: whether it's worth switching to Colemak, carry on with Dvorak - or stick with Qwerty for speed gains?

Do read the boards, most of these questions have been asked before.  There's a wealth of information here, if you are prepared to dig a little.

Sadly I don't think it's an easy choice for one thing or another, so you'll just have to weigh up the options and the practicalities.

Thanks for all the replies. Normally I would write an exclamation mark here, but sadly i can't find it. I type blind with three fingers, so I don't hunt and peck. I use my right middle and indexfinger and my left inderfinger. I am able to type at about 90 characters per minute in Dvorak now and the change is actually easier than expected. I like typing in dvorak better than typing qwerty, so I guess I'll continue using Dvorak till I am up to my old speed again.

Haven't changed the location of the keys yet, and don't think I will. I really like not being able to try to sneak at the keys when typing.

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thought about it and decided that I'll go for Colemak anyways. It's mainly that in the Dutch language the r and l and used a lot and are in pretty crappy locations. I managed to get over 100 characters per minute in the end when typing Dvorak, and it's a bit of shame to give it up, but colemak seems to have a better layout for Dutch.

I'll keep a day to day blog here with posts speeds and stuff like that, from the day I start.

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koekjestrommel1 said:

I'll keep a day to day blog here with posts speeds and stuff like that, from the day I start.

You should consider transitioning (from your 60wpm qwerty touchtyping) via tarmak.  We need more guinea pigs! ;)

http://www.reddit.com/r/Colemak/comment … ng_qwerty/

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naw man cold turkey all the way.

I started yesterday and these are my result so far. Please note that I only used the pc for an hour a day in the last two days.

I am really satisfied with the results so far. The less you think the better you seem to be doing.

All tests were done on 10fastfingers.

day 1
test 1 - 27 CPM
test 2 - 36 CPM
test 3 - 56 CPM
test 4 - 41 CPM
test 5 - 41 CPM

day 2
test 1 - 42 CPM
test 2 - 57 CPM
test 3 - 50 CPM
test 4 - 71 CPM
test 5 - 57 CPM
test 6 - 56 CPM
test 7 - 64 CPM

I tend to make more dvorak related mistakes than qwerty related mistakes though

I might update tomorrow again, we will see how it goes.

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Wow. It's very good start. Hopefully you can endure this for 3 weeks, after that the switching transition will be much better.

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after today i just hit the 100 CPM mark, woohoo! Again only have been typing for about 30 minutes today.

20_100_0_0_20_0_13.99_541_629.jpg

Day three:
test 1 - 70 CPM
test 2 - 63 CPM
test 3 - 72 CPM
test 4 - 74 CPM
test 5 - 92 CPM
test 6 - 85 CPM
test 7 - 100 CPM

My max ever on dvorak was 104 (which took me 5 days), lets see if i can beat that.

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My current top is about 125 CPM and avging about 100 CPM. If I'd be able to keep going like this I'd be really satisfied. Also added a home made paint to keep things interesting.

JxhD8e1.png

Keyboard layout is pretty good for Dutch language.
Top 9 most frequent used all on home row and EN roll is extremely common. Only complaint is location of the J key. And KLN BHJ is too much for one finger in Dutch.

Edit... just tried to see how my qwerty speed was doing. Managed 81 WPM(!),100% accuracy with three fingers on first try. Switched back to colemak, and did not notice any decline. Just a normal 22 WPM. Interesting..

Last edited by koekjestrommel1 (03-Jul-2013 22:41:29)
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Just from first glance (i.e. not really thinking the caveats through), you might consider switching y and z.  They've essentially switched roles as far as Dutch and English are concerned, and colemak-y is prime position.

Another possibility is j -> y -> z -> j, putting the slightly more common j on the y position.

A digraph count would probably tell you much more about which keys to avoid putting where.  That's not really my area, though.

Last edited by lalop (03-Jul-2013 23:00:34)
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Problem is that about 60% off all J's used is used in the IJ combo so switching with the Y slows down because its the same finger. I'll think of some other possibilities.

BTW, over 74% of Dutch is typed on home row, even more than English!

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31_154_0_0_27_0_13.2_539_621.jpg

So far so good! Getting better every day!

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6 July
0hg2YHS.png

7 July
6k3e1Kv.png

8 July, just started typing for today.
kKEVrsi.png

These are my maximums, not my averages. Avg is a couple of WPM lower.

Note to self, July is a shitty word to type.

don't feel the need to return to qwerty anymore! I'm sure I did the hardest part.

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8 july max:
fXzedFg.png


9 july max:
lVoWdfk.png

56 was my max when typing qwerty blind. On 75% of that speed within 10 days is just great!

still loving it! Just a shame that the community isn't bigger.

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Just a shame that the community isn't bigger.

--> I think that's not shameful at all. Switching is quite tough for most of us, and not all people type so much in their work in order to justify for going through such hellish experience. Only the brave and strong have to apply.

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It's only hellish without tarmak (I'd hypothesize).  With a patient switching of only 4 letters at a time, it ought to be manageable.  The main limitation, in this case, is lack of knowledge about tarmak.

Last edited by lalop (13-Jul-2013 00:09:13)
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I really don't think it's that bad not using tarmak. I have read about it before starting to learn codemak and I decided to do it cold turkey nontheless. At around 40 WPM it isn't annoyingly slow anymore, and from there on you can use it on a day to day basis.

I do notice though that typing in Enlish is quite a lot slower than Dutch. Maybe because they have different combo's and a different letter frequency.

Anyways, the results of the last two days:

I didn't use the computer at all on 10 and eleven, so no results for those days.

12 July
WIyqswZ.png

13 July
JFPjOmZ.png

The position of the J still really bothers me though. I might replace it with the : or the q.

Just placed it on q, feels really good now.

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jezus. The q - j switch was noticable within 30 minutes.

49_246_0_0_46_0_47.32_462_877.jpg

edit: my pinky didn't like it though, might change it back.

Last edited by koekjestrommel1 (13-Jul-2013 21:54:41)
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I think the q position is one of the worse spots (which is why I'm thankful it's used by a rare character).

The good spots are probably the green ones in the workman diagram:

Sjq7h9vl.png

as well as the two middle keys (which I'm not sure why workman dislikes, but whatever).

Last edited by lalop (14-Jul-2013 04:34:41)
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yeah yeah I know. It's just that there aren't enough good spots on the keyboard in general.

The Y spot would be perfect apart from the fact that 60% of the J's used in Dutch is in the IJ combo. Which is kind of a bummer to type with one finger.

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