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    Guy in Japan Colemak Experience

    • Started by derek1022
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    • From: Japan
    • Registered: 06-Oct-2015
    • Posts: 14

    Colemak is better suited for touch typing in English. Most Qwerty typists don’t truly touch type. I didn’t. You probably don’t either. We have to use all kinds of hacks to accommodate for the layout’s shortcomings—not so with Colemak. The biggest difference I noticed was I feel calmer and more focused when using Colemak. There is less finger travel. Try going back to Qwerty? You'll feel it's a mess!

    So far, I’m still faster on Qwerty, but it feels like chaos to me. My fingers are all over the place. It’s a weird stressor. Colemak is a more comfortable typing experience. The speed on Colemak is something I expect to come with time. I've typed on Qwerty for over 25 years. I’ve only been using Colemak for two months. I love how the caps lock key is now backspace, and how my fingers do most of the work on the homebar.

    PS, I prefer Qwerty on touch screens. It's hard to take advantage of Colemak's design with only one thumb/finger on a small surface.

    Last edited by derek1022 (18-Feb-2016 08:01:52)
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    Good review, thanks for sharing.

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    • From: Viken, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
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    On a mobile device you shouldn't use either Colemak or QWERTY! My favourite for touch screens is MessagEase (with my "Colemakoid" mappings – see sig).

    For typing one-handed you might want to look into mirrored keyboarding (again, see my sig topics) which is available with Colemak. It's a lot slower than 2-handed typing but quite fascinating!

    The Caps key can be even more useful... ;-)

    *** 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: Japan
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    DreymaR said:

    On a mobile device you shouldn't use either Colemak or QWERTY! My favourite for touch screens is MessagEase

    Thanks for the recommendation. I tried MessagEase, but I feel better with Qwerty on mobile.

    Last edited by derek1022 (26-Jan-2016 07:39:59)
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    I've been typing on physical keyboards less than usual recently. I've noticed that despite using Qwerty on touch screens every day, my Qwerty typing on physical keyboards is deteriorating. It's sloppy, full of errors, and slow. Colemak on the other hand surprises me. I'm surprisingly accurate. I often find myself thinking, "How do I know where the keys are?" It's like they're a part of my subconscious.

    That said, I'm still not typing more than 60 wpm. My usual physical layout is Japanese Qwerty (JIS), which is not ideal for typing in English, e.g., the spacebar and backspace are so small. On JIS, I type a calm and controlled 40 to 50 wpm. I could probably push myself beyond 60, but I feel no reason to rush. Is anyone else having these kinds of thoughts? I know everyone likes to tout speed, but what about experience, eh?

    PS, my wpm is higher when I use my mechanical keyboard (US) with Cherry MX brown switches at home. The experience is also much better. I'd recommend anyone who types regularly to get a mechanical keyboard.

    Last edited by derek1022 (26-Jan-2016 08:03:26)
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    Experience?

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

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    pinkyache said:

    Experience?

    I mean comfort and ease of use, like UX design applied to a keyboard layout.

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    This is an update to answer some of Shai's recommendations for posting in the experience thread.

    I was originally using Qwerty on Mac OS X at home and Windows 7 at work. Now I use Colemak on both (Colemak Portable on Windows). I heard about Colemak on the Tim Ferriss podcast (Matt Mullenweg episode). He was discussing Dvorak with Tim, but also mentioned Colemak. I googled Colemak right after listening to the show.

    After reading about Colemak and deciding to commit to it, I started learning it with the Typing Cat website. I spent 10 minutes a day for a few weeks before trying Colemak input for my everyday typing. The first few times I was trying to blog and email using Colemak was challenging, but I got used to it within the first few hours. Every now and then, I went back to Typing Cat to work on my weak points.

    I think consistent practice every day is the best way to learn. Five minutes every day is better than one hour once a week. Don't worry about using Qwerty until you've fully learned the Colemak layout. Keep doing drills and typing tests until you're comfortable. Trying to learn Colemak cold turkey may be too frustrating and turn you off before you can get good.

    Last edited by derek1022 (29-Jan-2016 08:10:59)
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    • From: Viken, Norway
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    Or, use Tarmak! ;-)

    *** 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: Japan
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    DreymaR said:

    Tarmak!

    I checked the Tarmak links in your signature. It seems like a good solution for Colemak newbies.

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    • Registered: 17-Nov-2006
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    You mentioned that you're currently using Colemak Portable on Windows at work. I perfer to use Ryan Heise's method provided I have access to the Internet. However, that's not important.

    I, too, live in Japan and have been working as an ALT for quite some time. Up until now, I've always used my own laptop or tablet with a bluetooth keyboard; however, I will work as a Japanese-English translator for the new fiscal year. Assuming you're not an ALT like me, did you run into any problems trying to use Colemak on a work computer?

    Last edited by Golden_Hammer (15-Feb-2016 02:19:46)
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    • From: Japan
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    Yes, I'm an ALT. I've been an ALT at the same school for seven years! It's a good environment, so it's hard to say no. I'm currently looking for freelance translation work myself. It seems we have a bit in common.

    I can't download or install apps at work. Here's my workaround:

    1. download Portable Colemak at home
    2. install it to a USB stick
    3. paste the installation folder to the work computer's desktop (from the USB stick)
    4. click on the exe file (on the desktop) to boot Portable Colemak

    It's easy to toggle on/off. You can also boot it straight from the USB if you don't want to leave a trace on your work computer.

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    Seven years is quite some time indeed. I've been in the same prefecture for seven years! But the longest I worked at a school was for three years. If you want to do some freelance stuff, give Conyac a try. I signed up for it, but I haven't actually translated anything yet. I do get a lot of e-mails about stuff that need to be translated. It's first come first serve, though. If you have no formal experience, it could help your resume!

    Thanks. I will try Portable Colemak. Is Caps Lock mapped to Backspace?

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