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Good Bye Colemak.. Its Been Fun.

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knightjp said:

While it is unusual, it is fact that learning new skills and muscle memory takes twice as long for me as it would a normal person.

You are not alone knightjp. ;)  I suspect that "normal" person posting at this forum is not a common normal person in general. I see a lot of people who do not consider to learn touch-typing at all, or try it and quit saying that it is not for them.

Last edited by ckofy (02-Feb-2017 15:12:39)
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Practice helps, but it shouldn't be teeth-grinding. You don't learn well when tired (contrary to some forms of physical exercise!). Shorter but frequent bouts and varied exercises are preferable.

I've stopped practicing as such, because I don't want to prioritize it any more. So I just type books in Amphetype because it's a pleasant way to train, and I do get slowly better from it. I'm in no hurry, and that's nice.

Last edited by DreymaR (02-Feb-2017 15:18:03)

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knightjp said:

Thanks for your comments MisterW. While it is unusual, it is fact that learning new skills and muscle memory takes twice as long for me as it would a normal person. I do not know why, but it has been that way throughout my life. Reading up on experiences and seeing how easily people advance makes me angry with myself.
I just feel that it extremely frustrating that I have been typing on QWERTY for more than 2 years now and the only bit of muscle memory that I have is pressing the BackSpace.

that mentality is defeatist: that somehow you're not as good a learner as other people. its extremely unlikely that that is true.

whats more likely is that you're just using the wrong practice methods.

typing is all about grouping chunks of characters together and into your memory. grab a list of the most common words and n-grams. 'the', 'and', 'with', 'that', 'tion', 'ing', 'for'. you want to be typing those extremely fast. roll your fingers whenever possible. you want to commit these chunks into memory. you could think of it as, "I'm going to become the best in the world at typing the word 'different'." what would you need to do to accomplish that. you need to practice it until it becomes second nature that you don't even have to think about it. visualization helps. when away from the keyboard, visualize in your mind where the keys are and what fingers you will use to type the word "that" or whatever word you struggle with.



knightjp said:

At the moment, I find that when I keep in doing a certain paragraph on typeracer over and over again, my WPM and accuracy goes down. They say practice makes perfect, but I experience it having the opposite effect.

this is the perfect example of a poor practice method. don't practice full paragraphs that you struggle with. practice small words or phrases, one at a time. so if you want to learn the 'tion' 4-gram, just keep practicing that. then add a leading letter: 'ation', 'etion', 'ition', 'otion', 'ution', 'ption', get fast and comfortable with all of those combinations. then try the full words: 'station', 'motion', 'fruition'. youll notice that the start of those words you haven't practiced, so you will be slow for the first few letters, and then you'll speed through the 'tion' part that you practiced. thats good. practice it every day. if your hands get tired, take a break and freshen your mind by trying a new combination, say 'ent'. then 'went', then 'enter', progressing to 'movement'

you could try one of those 'mavis beacon teaches typing tutors' and things like that. they probably implement things like i described. its been 15+ years since i've used one of them. i think just repeating typeracer is a bad idea.

you're not a poor learner, you just didnt know how to practice properly. you were never taught the proper practice methods. most people weren't. probably the 'natural' typers or people who you think 'learn better' than you, they probably just stumbled upon better practice methods by sheer luck.

you could even record a video of yourself and i'm sure people would help critique your technique. maybe you're doing very bad things such as returning each finger back to the home row after every stroke. it may be unconscious and you dont' realize it

Last edited by misterW (02-Feb-2017 17:20:01)
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With Amphetype, you can generate lessons from a list of words. If you've used it already, it'll give you a list of your "weakest words" that you may use for a start (but edit out any rare and text-specific words in there first – or you may find yourself training words like Cthulhu and Shub-Niggurath a lot!). Or trigrams (but with space included which again may require a little editing to get something really nice). Or use a list of the most common words.

I've used it to train the most common English words. It's fun and useful, and after a while I noticed an increase in overall typing speed and flow.

Amphetype can be employed to implement the excellent suggestion from misterW above! Just use a list like in his examples to generate lessons (say, 4 repetitions of 3 words at a time?). For instance:

io on ion tion ation etion ition otion ution ption nation station fruition gumption tuition completion attention assumption interruption
he the then them they there their they're theirs theme theory therein thermal thematic therefore theology theatrics themselves anathema

etc etc; if you want to be thorough check out lists like http://www.wordfind.com/starts-with/the/ or http://www.morewords.com/starts-with/the/ – but I suppose the most bang-for-buck will be earned by training the most common of those words. :-)

The experts all seem to value the ability to vary your speed! Type well-known words blazingly fast, and slow down a bit for hurdles to avoid mistakes. Mistakes will slow you down more than consciously slowing down will, once you get used to it!

There was a topic a while back with a recipe for these lessons; see below.

And as mentioned elsewhere: If you can get hold of Typing Of The Dead, it's a bundle of fun and very varied training (and only a little QWERTY-centric all in all).

Last edited by DreymaR (03-Feb-2017 11:58:04)

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Yay, found it!

Check out my new topic on Amphetype training.

I hope it's okay that I quoted your insights there, misterW!

Last edited by DreymaR (03-Feb-2017 11:58:50)

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DreymaR said:

I hope it's okay that I quoted your insights there, misterW!

yes sir. thats a great thread you made. it perfectly illustrates my point: that guy has developed better practice methods. you quoted him as saying that he's reached 50wpm on over 20 different layouts. there's no way that he's "special". he just has developed better methods for learning, and once we use his methods, we (or the OP) likely can achieve similar results if we wanted

and great sites wordfind and morewords, i may use them. right now i'm just using google's 10,000 most common and filtering by the n-gram i want

https://github.com/first20hours/google-10000-english

Last edited by misterW (03-Feb-2017 15:45:48)
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You know how proponents of alternative layouts always talk about QWERTY designed to slow down typing.? QWERTY typists claim it just a stupid myth, but I'm starting to think its true as I see my score on 10fastfingers.com go lower and lower.

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knightjp said:

You know how proponents of alternative layouts always talk about QWERTY designed to slow down typing.? QWERTY typists claim it just a stupid myth, but I'm starting to think its true as I see my score on 10fastfingers.com go lower and lower.

"Slow down typing" is exaggeration for sure, just because at that time the usability of layout was secondary task, and the first task was to resolve mechanical issues (jamming).
Look to the Neil Kay's paper The QWERTY Problem, it describes the reasons in qwerty design very well.
QWERTY was a superior solution for it's time to actually speed up typing, because it eliminates jammings, which otherwise slow down typist a lot.
The same paper discusses the Dvorak design, which is in turn the product of typewriters era and is superior for jamming prevention, while it is also having a great ergonomics. Colemak with its adjacent keys for highly used bigrams and trigrams would probably not satisfy no-jamming criteria, while it was never considered to use in mechanical typewriters.

Last edited by ckofy (12-Feb-2017 17:53:44)
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It's interesting to note it talks about the sequence of typebars ended up being:

QA2ZWS3XED4CRF5VTG6BYH7NUJ8MIK9,OL0.P

Which obviously has frequent pairings, with some of these corresponding to the well-known Qwerty same-finger bigrams like DE and LO!

Makes me wonder how much better Colemak would have been  even on a old fashioned typewriter?

Last edited by stevep99 (12-Feb-2017 18:37:36)

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

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stevep99 said:

It's interesting to note it talks about the sequence of typebars ended up being:

QA2ZWS3XED4CRF5VTG6BYH7NUJ8MIK9,OL0.P

Which obviously has frequent pairings, with some of these corresponding to the well-known Qwerty same-finger bigrams like DE and LO!

Makes me wonder how much better Colemak would have been  even on a old fashioned typewriter?

It may be easily verified by creating the typebasket sequence for Colemak.
Also keep in mind that QWERTY was originally designed for up-stroke typewriters with circular basket, and for this one no "ED" and "LO" exists (see figure 1 in the Neil's paper). At the moment of appearing the front-stroke typewriters with  the arch typebasket, the QWERTY was already "locked-in" as universal standard and must be adopted by the new typewriters.

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I'm still trying to figure out what is making me slow down when practicing on 10fastfingers.com

Every time my score is lower and lower.. From 47 down to 37 wpm... it frustrating.

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Been a few months since I posted something on here. I'm still struggling to break the 40WPM mark... The picture shows my recent practice and the number of mistakes I make. Not good at all really. I keep having to use the backspace a whole lot.. Thank God for autocorrect.

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knightjp said:

Been a few months since I posted something on here. I'm still struggling to break the 40WPM mark... The picture shows my recent practice and the number of mistakes I make. Not good at all really. I keep having to use the backspace a whole lot.. Thank God for autocorrect.

May it be that 40WPM is just your speed? In my opinion, typing speed depends of the individual's nervous system more than of anything else. Do you know that many people are never try to learn touch-typing or they try and refuse to continue, telling that "this is not for me"? Looking around in my office (software company) I see not so many people who are doing fast touch-typing (I can count them on one hand), majority of colleagues are just brisk hunt-and-peckers, they are glancing to the keyboard for every third letter they type.

Last edited by ckofy (01-Aug-2017 15:29:31)
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How do I stop typing dislexically?

You know 'hte' instead of 'the'.. etc... It seems that most of my trouble stems from that.

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In my experience, typing a lot of text/books with Amphetype improves the flow. And then you can extract the most troublesome words and drill those.

For me, 'th' and 'wh' aren't so nice. Among my most damaging words are "with which this that their them whom daughter they when mother where other earth those". If you add 'the', you have a nice little list to generate drills from there.

Most of my mistakes are transpositions I think. I believe that the best way of getting rid of common transposition mistakes is to type those words a lot. One tip though: Using Extend, I try to always delete the whole word when I mistype. It's quite pleasant actually, not having to mash Backspace. And you get to retype the whole word correctly, which may aid proper learning.

Last edited by DreymaR (04-Aug-2017 09:23:10)

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Well... over 3 years with QWERTY and this all I have to show for it. Why is the best solution not feel like it?

Sometimes I feel that I'm fighting my fingers rather than having them work for me. For instance, I need to type E... I know that it is on the middle finger of my left hand. So why does my Right hand type L instead.
Sometimes I feel like Dr. Octopus at the end of Spiderman 2; "Listen to me now.... "

Last edited by knightjp (05-Oct-2017 07:01:31)
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You need to come back to the dork side! Feel the typing flow in you, feel it make you powerful, good, good...! :-þ

We have a Big Bag! We have joy and goodness! You have doubts. Make the right choice, my friend.

BTW: Image attachments are bad. img tags are good. ;-)

Last edited by DreymaR (06-Oct-2017 08:53:14)

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wow... a new low.

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DreymaR said:

You need to come back to the dork side! Feel the typing flow in you, feel it make you powerful, good, good...! :-þ

We have a Big Bag! We have joy and goodness! You have doubts. Make the right choice, my friend.

BTW: Image attachments are bad. img tags are good. ;-)

Can't seem to get my head around the fact that I'm being beaten by a keyboard layout. Although I will say that the only layout that I never struggled with was Dvorak. My accuracy was really good with it and so my speed as well.

I like the way that QWERTY is a bit left hand biased. I'm left handed but it does not seem to be making much of an impact on my current position.

Last edited by knightjp (08-Oct-2017 10:51:58)
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FWIW, I'm left handed too (to paraphrase The Princess Bride, heh). Not sure it affects a lot, apart from probably making me a potentially stronger typist since I'm more ambidextrous. If I only weren't so naturally slow and deliberating... ;-)

Last edited by DreymaR (09-Oct-2017 08:33:27)

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At that point. I'd blame my tools!

I've worn out another Thinkpad keyboard, and a couple of keys now require a hard key-press and that's damaging both in terms of speed and my shoulder.  Could it be your keyboard/physical setup?

As others have said: concentrate on popular words and n-grams.   Simplify your practice and build up from the basics.  Even try going through a typing tutorial.  After that you'll be relieved to do 'normal' typing.

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

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Reading up on health issues, I am interested in the idea of preventing RSI and any other form of injury. I asked a question on quora,
https://www.quora.com/Which-is-better-f … c-keyboard
There really no evidence that QWERTY typing is the cause of RSI, etc.
If no such evidence exists, I have to wonder, how August Dvorak came up with the idea that the standard keyboard layout needed improving. Hence the need for Dvorak. Unless there were some serious real world complaints with the standard layout, no one would take the time and effort to do the research, develop and market an alternative.

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knightjp said:

Unless there were some serious real world complaints with the standard layout, no one would take the time and effort to do the research, develop and market an alternative.

I'm agree to that 100%. What is especially sad is no efforts for research.
But regarding the QWERTY typing causing the RSI, I would say there is not enough statistical information regarding the alternative layouts. If everybody would use Dvorak or Colemak, then who knows, may be we would not know about typing related RSI at all. Let me the analogy, if a car is driving twice more, it's tires wear out twice faster and it needs oil change two times more often. It is the fact that qwerty typists have higher "mileage".

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ckofy said:
knightjp said:

Unless there were some serious real world complaints with the standard layout, no one would take the time and effort to do the research, develop and market an alternative.

I'm agree to that 100%. What is especially sad is no efforts for research.
But regarding the QWERTY typing causing the RSI, I would say there is not enough statistical information regarding the alternative layouts. If everybody would use Dvorak or Colemak, then who knows, may be we would not know about typing related RSI at all. Let me the analogy, if a car is driving twice more, it's tires wear out twice faster and it needs oil change two times more often. It is the fact that qwerty typists have higher "mileage".

I don't know, I have more the feel that mouse use is a way higher contributor to RSI than what a keyboard is.

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sotolf said:

I don't know, I have more the feel that mouse use is a way higher contributor to RSI than what a keyboard is.

This is true also. AFAIK, users of old typewriters had less RSI issues than the users of modern computers. Their hands had great physical exercise every day, and there were no mice.
Tons of mouse alternatives exists - vertical mouse, trackball, touchpad, Contour roller mouse.
It is not a big challenge to master in alternative mouse for a person who committed to learn Colemak. ;)

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