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    BullHorn's experience log

    • Started by BullHorn
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    • Registered: 19-Jan-2016
    • Posts: 37

    Hey guys, we've already met in other sections of the forums. :)

    I'm a self-taught QWERTY user, never learned actual proper touch-typing but having a computer since the age of 6, making it 20+ years, I've acquainted myself with it quite well and average around 100wpm with a strange sniping technique. It really is quite a unique technique where I use 3 fingers on my left hand (+pinky for shift and +thumb for space) and only one finger on my right hand (must come from my FPS gaming where my right hand is usually busy shooting people!). The fact that it's QWERTY and most of the good keys really are usually on the left side, this hardly slows me down much.

    I work abroad a lot, too much if anyone actually cared to ask me... So I decided to spend some of my free time in Stuttgart this month to learn Colemak. I'll use this thread as a personal log, updating it periodically as I progress (or not).

    ____________________________________________________


    I started looking into Colemak on 20/01/16, right after purchasing a POK3R keyboard that came with Colemak built-in by default. I've heard about Dvorak in the past but it looked like a crazy layout so I never even thought of trying it but I can't say I've ever heard about Colemak until that day. You guys need to work on your PR!

    I spent a very long time just reading pretty much every topic and post on this forum and chatting to people in #Colemak on Freenode and eventually I grew some courage and started trying. I found the 10+ different recommended learning websites on the \Learn page discouraging, over-saturating my already over-saturated brain with too many possibilities. I ended up choosing keybr.com because it felt the least rushed, while every other learning website would give you 1-2 lessons per pair of letters and move on - but we all know that building muscle memory and habit comes from repetition.

    During my first few days I was also looking a lot into Stevep/Dreymar/others tweaks, specifically the Angle and Wide mods. I quickly realized that I won't be able to use either very effectively because I've been using ANSI keyboards my whole life but both these mods are designed for ISO boards so I spent another couple of days analyzing and thinking how to pull it off and eventually decided the best course of action would be to get an ISO keyboard - so that's what I'm doing right now. I shipped the ANSI POK3R back to Amazon and waiting for an ISO-UK to replace it. In the meanwhile, I'm typing on my laptop's hybrid layout (ISO layout with ANSI locale that lacks all of the weird symbols).

    At this point in time, I'm 100% sure that the Angle-mod is necessary, otherwise the alternatives are
    a) using incorrect fingers for keys (Z=ring, X=middle, C=index)
    b) moving unrelated fingers (when typing X=ring, having to move the middle+index finger right and down to give room)
    c) bending my wrist or fingers unnaturally
    And I must say, these are all quite terrible.

    I'm not sure about Wide-mod (but probably yes) and mod-DH (but probably no), but we'll see as we go.

    ____________________________________________________


    As of today, I've spent 5 hours on keybr.com and have unlocked 5 letters, which gives me a total of 11. If you're wondering why I'm not using Tarmak, that's because I have no idea what my fingers are doing on QWERTY, it's all quite magical. At this pace I should have the whole alphabet unlocked and happily typing in Colemak in about 15 hours!

    Alright, that's it for now, back to practicing!

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    • Registered: 17-Nov-2014
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    Congrats and welcome!

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    • Registered: 19-Jan-2016
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    That's true, but I didn't get to that hipster level yet. Who knows, I'm on the right track, aren't I. :P

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    Thought's on Mod-DH/Curl-DH/DvbgHm/DbgHk (you guys really need to figure out better names for your mods btw):

    The moment keybr.com automagically introduced the letter D, I noticed some discomfort and I thought maybe I should try to move D somewhere before this becomes an issue and avoid having to re-train my muscle memory. So I tried with Mod-DH and to tell the truth, I didn't feel much difference. I guess I don't mind the middle row lateral shift at all. I did find something interesting:

    gVONDIW.png

    As you can see, the moment D was introduced, my T went to shit. The problem isn't that D is uncomfortable, is that it's so comfortable that I often hit it instead of T now.... I've been stuck for an awfully long time on D, wow. Can't wait to get H!

    The only problem that keybr.com has is that sometimes unlocking a new letter really feels a bit too long. I get to a stage where I'm so eager to get the next letter that I rush myself to finish each exercise more quickly but end up just making more mistakes...

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    • From: Viken, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
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    You're right about the PR thing. There are two types of names, though: Names that we use to discuss layout variants with (like DbgHk vs DvbgHm), and names for the public (like Tarmak and Curl). I hope the latter are okay. ;-)

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

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    I think it makes it worse because the distance from 'discussion' to 'public' is non-existent in this case with numerous different names being used for the same thing throughout the forums.

    On another note, keybr.com is slightly annoying me. I can proudly say that I've beaten both Dark Souls and Dark Souls 2 without any help/tips/guides and even though I died 60-100+ times on some bosses without getting angry, keybr is somehow able to make me furious really fast. I might need to use another learning tool....

    Also - is there an Angled, non-Wide, non-DH ISO variation in your bag of tricks? I fear you only have it bundled as Angled+Wide or Angled+Wide+DH.

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    Yeah, I got tired of keybr.com. Maybe it is better in the long run to do it that way, but it is annoying at the time.

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    • From: Viken, Norway
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    Ummm, would that be PKL/Win or XKB/Linux tricks you're looking for? Under Linux the modularity's good so it's fairly easy to get Angle without Wide. PKL is currently not particularly modular so you have to edit some files to get what you want (and then the help images won't follow suit).

    If I were to learn Colemak now, I'd use Tarmak layouts and just type a lot (Amphetype is good for that, or several online typing sites). If you've already gotten to D, then maybe you could start with Tarmak3. Since you've also learnt L and I, maybe Tarmak3+LUI which is a possible "sidetrack combo".

    Last edited by DreymaR (26-Jan-2016 23:46:38)

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

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    I'm on PKL/Win and a laptop... I'll be using Angle+Wide mod eventually, but right now I'm on a laptop and I don't want to go Wide before I can move the N key one step to the right... I guess it's fine, I'll be making the switch to Wide in a couple days.

    keybr.com just unlocked the 12th letter, H, after 2.5 hours of being stuck on D...

    Tarmak makes no sense for me because I 'don't know' QWERTY per se. My QWERTY typing style is very unique/strange and I rather keep it completely separate from any touch-typing that I'll be doing. I have the feeling that it will make it easier to maintain the ability to type on two different layouts in the future.

    Last edited by BullHorn (26-Jan-2016 23:44:10)
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    • From: Viken, Norway
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    Yes, I see. Well, either you can start poking around in the PKL files (asking when/if you're stuck) or you suck it up and learn AngleWide in all its glory in a few days and never look back.

    By the way: Thanks for all the enthusiasm you've shown for our work! Always nice to meet someone appreciative. :-)

    Last edited by DreymaR (26-Jan-2016 23:50:00)

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

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    A few days later and about 3 more hours on keybr.com and I've only managed to unlock H and C... I think the site is a little broken but I kinda wanna finish what I started.

    On the bright side this much repetition really makes typing with Colemak like second nature. I've only got 50% of the keys but I already type them at 40-50 wpm. By the end of the grind I should be able to type real things at about the same pace. :)

    Last edited by BullHorn (28-Jan-2016 14:26:05)
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    BullHorn said:

    On the bright side this much repetition really makes typing with Colemak like second nature. I've only got 50% of the keys but I already type them at 40-50 wpm. By the end of the grind I should be able to type real things at about the same pace. :)

    Excellent progress!  You're adapting faster than I did, it must have taken me weeks to get to that speed!

    Last edited by stevep99 (28-Jan-2016 18:48:53)

    Using Colemak-DH with Seniply.

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    Actual typing with punctuation and real words... I barely scratch the 15-20wpm... Don't sell yourself too short!

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    For anyone learning, I still think keybr.com is pretty good but definitely a bit annoying. The algorithm considers mistakes and what have you, but the biggest impact on your progress with the algorithm is your speed (aka "Confidence"). As long as the pauses you have between letters aren't too long, you can quickly unlock new letters. I'm STILL STUCK ON H DEAR LAWD.

    I did a quick test with QWERTY on my crappy laptop keyboard and it took me less than 5 minutes to unlock all the letters:

    mUNcIJE.png

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