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    More interesting lessons

    • Started by praxiq
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    • Registered: 16-May-2015
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    I've tried to learn Dvorak before, and one of the things that held me back was how fantastically boring the lessons were. Typing random sequences of meaningless words gets old quick. Now I'm interested in Colemak - much more than I was in Dvorak, but I'm starting to feel the same way. I tried to come up with some creative sentences using only the 8 home-position letters, ARST NEIO, that were more interesting than some of the other ones out there.

    Here's my favorite bit so far:

    A riot asserts its interests, its intents, in a torrent. Tension, noise, stress: a rain in streets roars, rises in earnest to a sea, terror, no restraint. State tries to arrest, to restrain, in error - a torn nation resents, resists. An artist tastes satire in iron or stone. A transition. Soon, a restoration season.

    Most of it is rather sillier, like these alliterative phrases:

    Aaron is an artist. As Aaron's aria asserts attention in Asia, Anne assassinates Aaron's assistant Antonio in an arena! Anastasia arrests Anne.

    Sinister Satan soon sneers, snares sinners on stairs. Stern seinior state senators in session sit in seats. Sara's sister stares at serene satin seas. Stone streets start at stations, sir.

    What do you think? Is there demand for more like this? If anyone would be interested in helping out, I can share some of the tools I'm using to spark my (limited) creativity in building these sentences.

    (I know that most typing lessons shy away from using lots of punctuation. That makes sense when teaching from scratch, but since these lessons are meant for people who already type well on QWERTY but are trying to learn Colemak, I go ahead and use any punctuation that hasn't moved.)

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    • Registered: 21-Apr-2010
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    I like these.  I used to practice occasionally with alphebetical sentences.  They are unnatural, but tend to give a good workout.  Going back to 'regular' text after a hard exercise can make them feel easier.  I know you need to practice punctuation, but too many initial caps really used to bother me.  I'd practice by copying text from books, and they felt overloaded with punctuation.  Amphetype never gave me meaningful stats as my errors were largely detected at the start of sentences.  Punctuation's a drag.  Some of it could be auto-calculated in your editor.  I still hate simultaneous key presses.

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

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
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    Wow, nice! Have you seen Shai's old contribution in that field? He used the whole home row though. Maybe if we get his attention, he could add your favorite? :-)

    https://colemak.com/Fun

    Assertion as a strain trainer artist is stress strait at first!

    Last edited by DreymaR (17-May-2015 07:41:33)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
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    Ooh, that's a lot of fun, thanks for pointing it out!

    I've been thinking about teaching strategies, too. Most lessons seem to start with the index and middle fingers (STNE) and then add ring and pinky.

    I've been building my own lessons, which I'll share if they seem to work - I started instead with the left hand (ARST) and then add the right-hand one letter at a time. My rationale is that starting with four fingers of one hand feels really easy. It feels more like a game, and you don't need to think about ergonomics. It's lazy and casual. So it makes a good first online lesson for someone thinking, "I don't know if I really care enough to commit to this." By the time the second hand comes in and you actually have to sit in a proper touch-typing position, you're already committed. So the mental barrier to getting started just feels lower to me.

    However, I'm already thinking about an alternate approach: start instead with the right hand (NEIO), plus all the letters that haven't moved from their QWERTY locations. That means that by the end of the very first lesson, users can type half the alphabet! Of course, it's mostly the less popular half - but you get to complete sentences much faster - you can type phrases like "View a moon above an ocean in New Mexico" in the very first lesson! 3 lessons later you've brought in the whole left hand home row, and now 3/4 of the letters in English, by frequency, are done! And the remaining letters aren't "leftovers" like Z and X, they're common letters, so even though you're getting bored and losing steam, the later lessons each feel like a worthwhile accomplishment.

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
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    I like the idea of the non-moved letters. Some will come to Colemak without knowing touch typing I guess, but most will know QWERTY touch typing beforehand and they could have much fun with your method.

    Of course, there's the Tarmak approach as well for keeping up your speed and possibilities... ;-) One advantage of that is that you don't need lessons and can simply type whatever you feel like!

    Last edited by DreymaR (17-May-2015 07:44:17)

    *** 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: Poland, birthday 8 №v 2004
    • Registered: 02-May-2015
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    What about ASETNIOP? http://asetniop.com/
    Only 10 buttons, one for each finger. ASET Shift Space NIOP. Shift+Space=Enter. Other letters are pressed with combinations. Ex: N+I=H.

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    • Registered: 16-May-2015
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    Piotr, what about it? It's a neat idea. I'd love to have two handheld 5-key keyboards with the ASET layout so I could type with my hands at my sides, perhaps on an eyeglass display, while sitting on the beach or even walking down the street. But I don't see any real benefit to using it on my laptop. Chord typing just seems much less intuitive, and I can't imagine reaching the same speeds I expect on Colemak.

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    pinkyache said:

    I like these.  I used to practice occasionally with alphebetical sentences.  They are unnatural, but tend to give a good workout.  Going back to 'regular' text after a hard exercise can make them feel easier.  I know you need to practice punctuation, but too many initial caps really used to bother me.  I'd practice by copying text from books, and they felt overloaded with punctuation.  Amphetype never gave me meaningful stats as my errors were largely detected at the start of sentences.  Punctuation's a drag.  Some of it could be auto-calculated in your editor.  I still hate simultaneous key presses.

    That's why my amphetype fork has options to ignore case and automatically fill in punctuation.

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
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    It'll make for some more focused practice options, but I contest that punctuation and case are as important as anything and if they trip you up then that's exactly where you should put in some practice! It's easier to improve your efficiency by training your weak points than your strong points, and typing real text is as meaningful to me as anything.

    Amphetype's stats are in fact the only stats I really care about these days. I don't pay much heed to single screens, but to the overall averaged result.

    Last edited by DreymaR (19-May-2015 15:53:15)

    *** 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: Poland, birthday 8 №v 2004
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    praxiq said:

    I've been thinking about teaching strategies, too. Most lessons seem to start with the index and middle fingers (STNE) and then add ring and pinky.

    I've been building my own lessons, which I'll share if they seem to work - I started instead with the left hand (ARST) and then add the right-hand one letter at a time.

    Asset lessons start as you proposed. Home row is ASET DH NIOR, and first lesson uses ASET to form words: "assets sat at seats. a seat sets state estates at sea. stats assess as tests at ease.". Then it adds D. Sometimes it may remove some letters. http://millikeys.sourceforge.net/asset/demo.html

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