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    Aerf Jio - a method of typing comfortably on standard Qwerty keyboards

    • Started by karl
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    • Registered: 05-Apr-2014
    • Posts: 27

    Let me present a method of typing that converts a compact Qwerty keyboard into an ergonomic keyboard. This is accomplished by modifying hand position and finger usage.

    The home row consists of the keys A E R F  J I O ; (thus the name Aerf Jio). The right hand fingers have different home positions while maintaining the same duties as for standard touch typing. The big change is with the left hand, which is angled to substantially reduce wrist strain. See the diagram below:

        q   w /(e)/(r)/ t \ y   u \(i)\(o)\ p
         (a)/ s / d /(f)  g \ h  (j)\ k \ l \(;)
    shift / z / x / c   v   b \ n   m \ , \ . \ /

    / and \ show the separations between fingers
    () shows the home finger locations

    Angling the left hand makes typing much more comfortable at the expense of a more finger travel in a comfortable direction. The home row finger positions are more comfortable than the standard home row. In addition, these fingers are over more commonly used keys, further reducing finger motion.

    I have been using this typing method for a year and a half and it feels fantastic compared to the standard method of typing Qwerty. It works especially well on laptops and compact keyboards.

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    Please note: I'm not saying that Aerf Jio is better than Colemak. If you have managed to learn Colemak, and have a way of working with it, then that is fantastic! That said, it is also a lot of work to learn Colemak and it can be tricky to setup every computer for it.

    I developed this technique because it is not practical to setup every computer I use for Colemak. I work on several different computers each day, including multiple virtual machines. I also do a lot of work in the terminal on under-powered embedded devices. I don't want to haul around a special keyboard with me. I want to rock it out on whatever keyboard is available. This technique makes those keyboards more comfortable.

    Last edited by karl (31-Aug-2015 19:32:19)
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    • From: Oslo, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
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    It's probably a good idea for someone who doesn't want to change the physical/software layout! I've no idea whether bigrams get better this way but they couldn't get much worse I suppose. :-)

    Fixing the wrist angle problem is a great benefit.

    Also: Kudos for good thinking, again! :-)

    Last edited by DreymaR (25-Aug-2015 09:13:39)

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

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    • From: UK
    • Registered: 14-Apr-2014
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    Is feels a bit weird to have your hands in that position, but you're probably right, for a Qwerty user it may well be better than the traditional method. One disadvantage is that the bottom row is now further away, and I would anticipate this making N in particular quite troublesome. 

    Also, if you were also willing to do an N-J swap, and maybe a T-F swap for good measure, you'd have a very good home row with only 4 changes.

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

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    Thanks DreymaR!

    Hey Steve:
    For me as a programmer, I find it beneficial to have my hands centered on the keyboard. It makes the numbers easier to reach.

    I find that N is close and easy. I find the biggest challenge in stretching down to C and X, but these are not tremendously common letters.

    The nastiest bigram is likely E-S. One way to deal with this is to use alternate fingering for that bigram. I'm considering training myself to use my pinky on the S whenever the E-S bigram shows up. For now, my comfort is good enough.

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    • Registered: 14-Dec-2012
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    This is interesting. However it feels a little awkward on my left hand.

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    No doubt, it felt a bit awkward at first, but it feels very comfortable now. I've been using this method for over 2 years.

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