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Good Bye Colemak.. Its Been Fun.

  • Started by knightjp
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As it stands though, if anyone is looking to switch from QWERTY, my 1st suggestion would be Colemak. :)

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Sounds to me like your approach to touch typing is half hearted and you can't help but peek.

One nice thing about choosing a different layout, and not swapping or marking the keys, is that it forces you to blindly type.

Add to that your mix of layouts and it sounds as if your typing has been FUBAR'd!

I err on the side of caution.  I don't recommend either Colemak or Dvorak.  Rather explain some of the ideas, pros and cons.

You should take your impassioned plea about layout portability to the OS and device makers.  I'd suggest to them that they add support for alternative layouts in general, rather than focusing on a select few.

Last edited by pinkyache (07-May-2015 11:47:56)

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@Pinkyache - what you say is true. My touch-typing skills have been messed up completely.

Do I want to touch-type? Yes. I do... But I'm trying to do it on a layout that just isn't (for lack of a better word) ergonomical. After my stints with Colemak I do feel that way that the same finger motion and the other factors that make it quite bad.

I did notice one thing. My usage of different keyboards may have a factor to play. I use a logitech wireless in the office which generally has the same feel of a standard membrane keyboard. At home, I use an apple keyboard. I do like the feel of the apple keyboard and I feel that my typing speed is better and I'm able to touch-type better on it.

When I was trying to learn colemak, I noticed that my typing speed and my ability to touch-type on it grew better when I was using the same exact keyboard both at home and at work. Maybe I need to do that as with QWERTY.

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A year has passed since I decided to stop using Colemak. It has not been pretty. I'm still not able to type a single word or sentence without making a few mistakes. Well, not few... more like hundreds for a single sentence. 'the' is a issue. I always type 'hte', 'alwyas' instead of 'always'. I think you get what I mean. The backspace on my keyboard is pretty much almost worn out. Probably the only muscle memory that I've learned so far is the backspace.

I don't know if anyone here can imagine how frustrating it is to not be able to do something that you could do a year ago. It took me a very long time to get used to Colemak and be able to type on it. Now I'm doing the same thing to reverse the process on a layout that isn't so easy nor as good.
Typing on QWERTY you actually do find out how bad it can be if you are not used to it.

The thing is that I made my decision based on a certain reason. I'm not sure if that reason is valid anymore. I used QWERTY for many years before I started using Colemak. Sure I was not a touch-typist, but I was pretty fast and accurate using my own 'hunt and peck' method. Now it frustrates me that I'm looking at the keyboard and still making mistakes.

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Sorry to hear this. I wish I had some sagely advice to give you. Perhaps you should look into an in-person typing class in your area. My father-in-law was the worst typer that any of us had ever seen. He joked about how terrible he was but that it was too late for him. So for Christmas one year we signed him up for an in-person typing class at a local community college. You could tell he was exactly thrilled, but he had recently transitioned to a new job that had him typing a lot more. He loved the class and now touch types (not crazy fast or anything, but decent). I feel like with all the problems you are having there may be some fundamental mistake you are making that only an in-person teacher might be able to diagnose. A fresh and educated set of eyes on your typing might be what you need.

Good luck!

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I'd give Colemak another go... incidentally, 'the' is much much better with the DH-mod! :-D

*** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
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Thanks for the advice Jonhines.
There aren't really any good typing classes in my town. Well not that I know of. I would have a look though. Maybe a secretarial class would cover it as a module or something.

@DreymaR  - you're such an advocate for Colemak. I imagine if Colemak was a woman, you'd propose in a heartbeat. LOL
Your suggestion is noted. I've thought about it. But I gave Colemak about 1 1/2 to 2 years before I became any good at it. I guess that it would take the same amount of time for me to switch back.

I maybe Stupid or Stubborn, QWERTY is not the best. Will never be. But I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet.

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I'm not married to Colemak, but I can tell you this much: She's caused me much less grief than certain others have... ;-)

*** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
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DreymaR said:

I'm not married to Colemak, but I can tell you this much: She's caused me much less grief than certain others have... ;-)

For me, learning Colemak was quite painful actually. I liked layout and the it felt comfortable in many ways, but I did feel that my long fingers were getting a bit too cramped having to position on them on the home row all the time. So it took me quite a while to learn Colemak. Much more longer than it took me to me to get used to Dvorak.

The only thing about Dvorak was that I was not able to use the normal shortcuts as I would be able to do with Colemak. Yes Dvorak has issues, but when I was learning Colemak, those issues seemed quite less significant at the time. :)

Now however, I'm on the worst known layout of all. I can't say that I'm having a great time with it either. :(

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knightjp said:

The only thing about Dvorak was that I was not able to use the normal shortcuts as I would be able to do with Colemak. Yes Dvorak has issues, but when I was learning Colemak, those issues seemed quite less significant at the time. :)

Now however, I'm on the worst known layout of all. I can't say that I'm having a great time with it either. :(

Sounds like you'll never be happy with Qwerty, having had a taste of something better.

If you like Dvorak but want to keep shortcuts, what about this?
http://www.michaelcapewell.com/projects … dvorak.htm

Using Colemak Mod-DH with some additional ergonomic keyboard mods.

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stevep99 said:

Sounds like you'll never be happy with Qwerty, having had a taste of something better.

If you like Dvorak but want to keep shortcuts, what about this?
http://www.michaelcapewell.com/projects … dvorak.htm

@stevep99.. Great suggestion. And it certainly looks like something great. But there is a flaw in the reasoning. Like I mentioned in the beginning of this thread, my biggest reason for going back to QWERTY was to be able to type on all kinds of machines. Not just my own.

Truthfully there is nothing to stop me from using Colemak or Dvorak. I have my own designated machine in the office. So I can easily just have the layout I want. At home and I use my hackintosh. So there is nothing to stop me there either.
I rarely ever need to type on any machine than my own. But there was the instance where I had to use a computer in an internet cafe, and I was not able to type a single email properly. It took me a longer than I would have had using Colemak.. (I was used to it at the time).

I didn't like the feeling. There were other reasons as well.

In short. Being universally comfortable no matter what computer you use, was a skill that I preferred to have. I'm not intelligent enough to retain two different sets of muscle memory in my head to be proficient in two different layouts. Its only one and unfortunately, its QWERTY.

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Again, maybe a DH mod is for you? Nowadays, when I type the long fingers rest between the middle and upper row while the index fingers rest at the lower edge of the middle row. And the wrists are completely straight. That really makes a difference.

The DH mods could in theory be employed with Dvorak too, but I'm not going to support that so someone else would have to implement it.

You'll never forget QWERTY anyway. I know it well enough, I'm just not fluent in it anymore so I can't blind type in it. That's very rarely an issue, I feel.

*** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
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So anyone who types in an alternative layout will never forget QWERTY? Is QWERTY impossible to forget?

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knightjp said:

@stevep99.. Great suggestion. And it certainly looks like something great. But there is a flaw in the reasoning. Like I mentioned in the beginning of this thread, my biggest reason for going back to QWERTY was to be able to type on all kinds of machines. Not just my own.
...
In short. Being universally comfortable no matter what computer you use, was a skill that I preferred to have. I'm not intelligent enough to retain two different sets of muscle memory in my head to be proficient in two different layouts. Its only one and unfortunately, its QWERTY.

Well I suppose it comes down to how you weigh up those factors. I see your point to a degree, as I had wavered on learning an alternative layout for a couple of years before finally deciding to take the plunge - one of the things holding me back was concern about still having to use other computers. In the end though, I determined that almost all my typing is on my own equipment. As you point out, that means on those rare occasions when I need to use a standard Qwerty keyboard, it will be horrible. Especially in my case as I have intentionally neglected to maintain any Qwerty skills.  My weighing up amounted to this: the much improved experience from >99% of the time when I am free to use Colemak (DH) on my own keyboard far outweighs the extra pain of the <1% of the time I will have to attempt to use Qwerty.

Because Colemak is so vastly better than Qwerty, the gain heavily outweighs the additional pain in my view. And as DreymaR says, with the DH mod that gain is greater still. The few frustrations I felt with my Colemak learning experience have been completely solved with that mod. Well, possibly except the tricky S relocation. Still, I can't imagine how I could ever tolerate going back Qwerty now.

Plus, using a non-Qwerty layout has the minor side benefits of enhancing your geekdom.... and making sure no-one else ever wants to use your computer!

Last edited by stevep99 (20-Aug-2015 14:57:44)

Using Colemak Mod-DH with some additional ergonomic keyboard mods.

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knightjp said:

So anyone who types in an alternative layout will never forget QWERTY? Is QWERTY impossible to forget?

Like a recurring nightmare!

Using Colemak Mod-DH with some additional ergonomic keyboard mods.

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For people using standard keyboards in Qwerty land, I recommend that you consider Aerf Jio. I have found it to be much more comfortable than the standard method of typing Qwerty. It converts standard and compact keyboards into something ergonomic. It does not modify the keyboard or require special configuration. It's a new way to use your fingers differently on the keyboard. Check it out!

https://forum.colemak.com/viewtopic.php?id=2060

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Well, it is almost 2 years since I decided to take the plunge into QWERTY. I will be honest. I have not been keeping up with my typing skills and so my situation is pretty much the same as it was a year ago. Time sure flies...
What have I been doing?
Well... Traveling, getting drunk & registering on a Russian dating site, etc... You know.. the usual...

To be honest. I just came back to this forum after a very long stint and I am struggling to find a reason to stay with QWERTY. The only thing that keeps me grounded is the fact that I refuse to get a layout beat me. Yes.. I am pretty determined that way.

Colemak is so alluring at the moment. It's comfort is a cool refreshing mirage in the inhospitable desert that is QWERTY. But I still will choose QWERTY for the practical reasons.
I would say that my reasons have been well founded. I did find that my typing was practically useless on all the machines I used.. so its standards to reason that my idea to be universal is working... I think.

I still keep on making silly and useless mistakes.. like typing 'nad' instead of 'and' and interchanging 't' & 'h' in 'the'...

Testing my skills on http://typing-speed-test.aoeu.eu/?lang=en I find that my speed is about 38 wpm if I concentrate.

The most interesting thing is that if I do not lok at the screen or close my eyes. I will be typing a whole lost more faster and to be honest without any mistakes. How is that possible?

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Come to Colemak, Knightjp. We even have USB-2-USB devices now. That's practical. ;-)

Also, I miss you, for what it's worth.

What happens when you close your eyes is that you stop stressing and enter a state of flow. It's the ideal for typing.

Last edited by DreymaR (04-Aug-2016 18:09:20)

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Colemak is very tempting, but it is important for me to be universally proficient. :)

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Universally proficient!  Such lofty ambitions!  Why ever not.

On the plus side: I bet you are loving those Qwerty short-cuts!

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Remember, typing is like riding a bike, which is like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxWnQBbIDgQ

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Physicians deafen our ears with the Honorificabilitudinitatibus of their heavenly Panacaea, their sovereign Guiacum.

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pinkyache said:

Universally proficient!  Such lofty ambitions!  Why ever not.

On the plus side: I bet you are loving those Qwerty short-cuts!

Universally proficient - probably a poor choice of words by myself, but I think that you get the idea. I need to be able to type on whatever computer I am using. :)

Truthfully the shortcuts were probably the only reason I stuck with Colemak rather than Dvorak. Shortcuts are far better on Mac OS X rather than Windows because you use the Cmd instead of Ctrl.

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If you carry a USB-2-USB QUICKIE with you, you'll be able to type the layout of your choice on any computer that accepts USB keyboards, ergo mods and all. And you'll have a little toolbox too, the ever so extricating Extend for instance. Very nifty!

I'm more annoyed at not having Extend than I am at typing QWERTY now.

*** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
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DreymaR said:

I'm more annoyed at not having Extend than I am at typing QWERTY now.

Too right. I was doing an version upgrade of Ubuntu earlier today, and horror of horrors, it failed at one point, dumped me out of X, and I had to login at the console. That meant Qwerty - no extend.  Fortunately I managed to rescue the situation, but it did make me aware how *terrible* life suddenly becomes when I can't use any of the nice keyboard features I've come to rely on. I can just about hunt-and-peck basic qwerty still, but having to use the default backspace key nearly killed me!!

Events like that are so rare that's it's still worth it though.

Last edited by stevep99 (15-Aug-2016 18:05:07)

Using Colemak Mod-DH with some additional ergonomic keyboard mods.

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For events like that, you want a USB-2-USB QUICKIE around! :-D

BTW: Did you see in my topic that I implemented your DH-mod too, for Tarmak and Colemak?

Last edited by DreymaR (15-Aug-2016 20:50:48)

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