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    after 6 years

    • Started by eurospoko
    • 8 Replies:
    • Reputation: 1
    • Registered: 17-Oct-2016
    • Posts: 3

    Hello, I have been using the layout for quite a time and get a lot inspiration from this forum in the first months but I never posted here. Now I have just came here to look for an answer regarding good keyboard, which I will post in a next post, but then I decided to share my journey.

    I have started with full switch, no intermediate key by key switch as some people suggested. If I remember correctly I have spent ~1h daily for the first week or two typing in the evenings whilst I was working on QWERTY. Then I became confident enough and I decided to re-label my keyboard, print the colemak layout and post it on the edge of my monitor and ... be patient but use it full time.

    I was very comfortable and typed faster than on QWERTY in a matter of 2-3 weeks. However within the first year the funny thing was that whenever anyone was watching me typing I was making a lot of errors and I was slower/stressed. After about a year it did not make any difference. The words are just rolling out from the keyboard without me even realising what is happening. I type error free now. The only errors which happen are missing letters - cheap keyboards :( Typing on QWERTY I was always making small mistype mistakes.

    Many people are concerned about layout switching. For me it comes hassle free nowadays. Somewhere at the beginning it was very confusing to use QWERTY, so when I had to I was typing 2-fingers looking for the keys. After some years I realised that with mild effort I can just visualize QWERTY layout in my mind and touch type - after few minutes I don't have to focus that hard anymore, my brain switch. In a matter of fact I experience the same issue with the language. I have moved 4 years ago and I don't have much needs/opportunities to use my mother tongue frequently - every time I switch to it by occasion, it sounds bizzare for a few minutes but than my mind is back onto it.

    I am average speed typer. On QWERTY I was ~40 wpm. Nowadays on colemak I am 60+ wpm. Whenever I try some typing speed check my typing speed increase up to 80 wpm but I believe that in ordinary typing I'm just 60+ wpm. When I have to use QWERTY I'm 30-40 wpm.

    Do I regret learning colemak?
    Absolutely no! I recommend it to anyone.

    Do I tweak further the layout?
    Yes, for programming, all the symbols and very common symbol combinations I prefer to have accessible on the main keys (home row..) with AltGr, super.

    Is there anything which annoys me sometimes?
    Yes, Microsoft Windows - the lack of colemak layout in the system by default, even though it's 2016! By the way isn't it the 10th anniversary of colemak?

    If you have any other questions feel free to ask. Good lack!

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    • Registered: 13-Nov-2013
    • Posts: 48

    Wow, six years! That's a long time. Learning how to type in Colemak and beating your qwerty times in 2-3 weeks is pretty impressive as well, I would guess the average is a much slower than that.

    As for the keyboard, I think you can do some searching here on the forum. I believe we have some people interested in different keyboards and can probably give some insight.

    I am in total agreement about how it's a bit annoying that Colemak isn't a default layout on Windows. It's an easy enough install but having it be default, like it is on Mac and Unix, would be amazing.

    Great to hear long term experiences like this!

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    • Reputation: 62
    • From: UK
    • Registered: 14-Apr-2014
    • Posts: 709

    Always good when a lurker emerges from the shadows, welcome!

    I try to avoid using an Qwerty at all costs. When I do need to use it, I simply look at the keyboard and use a two-finger hunt-and-peck technique, as though I was a total newb at typing!

    Good move on using AltGr for the symbols. If you don't already need AltGr for foreign characters, it's a great use of a well-placed key.
    Since you are up for extra layers, have you also looked at DreymaR's Extend layer?  I can't recommend it highly enough.

    Keyboards: I have an Matias Ergo Pro which I like because of the comfortable but fairly quiet keys, the well-positioned Alt key positions, and of course the lovely split spacebar. I'd recommend any mechanical keyboard with options for thumb keys.

    Last edited by stevep99 (18-Oct-2016 13:28:32)

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

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    • Registered: 17-Oct-2016
    • Posts: 3

    I have already ordered ErgoDox with sculpted keycaps. In fact I have realized that definitely I will love the slightly higher upper thumb keys as with regular flat keys many people on geekhack thread reported that they are hard to use. If I will not like the letter keys I can easily order regular ones and just replace those. Looking forward for my package, yay :)

    Oh well, as for my ramp-up on colemak, I cannot guarantee if that was really that fast. What I remember was, I spoke with my boss what I was going to do and I negotiated to volunteer an extra hour if I would lag with my work but I made the point that I believe in it and definitely within a month there was no remarks to/about my work speed. Within the first weeks, months I was checking from time to time my typing speed mainly because I was actually amazed how much faster and faster I am and I believe it was actually within the first month that the typing score numbers were better than ever before when I was typing on qwerty :) It was something that filled me with pride and courage to talk about the layout everywhere to any circle of people. Many people were inspired by me and tried but unfortunately I don't know anyone who did the switch. Anyway my point was always to spread the knowledge not to convince anyone.

    I don't actually remember how I discovered colemak. I do remember however reading a lot this forum initially and it was the thing which made me believe in it and gave me courage to "make a fool of myself" in front of all my colleagues at work - but eventually I think that decision pushed me to not give up easily!

    Take care!

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
    • Posts: 4,742

    Thanks for the writeup! Nice feedback. :-)

    Yes, by all means do try out Extend. Note that if you've used the MSKLC installer, you'll need something else (like PKL) to make that work.

    Last edited by DreymaR (19-Oct-2016 10:27:36)

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

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    • Registered: 06-Jun-2013
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    @stevep99 - did you move the key caps about on the matias ergo? or have you stuck with qwerty layout (and just don't look)

    Last edited by bph (20-Oct-2016 12:09:48)
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    • From: UK
    • Registered: 14-Apr-2014
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    bph said:

    @stevep99 - did you move the key caps about on the matias ergo? or have you stuck with qwerty layout (and just don't look)

    Moved keycaps where possible, blank keycaps otherwise.

    2h6sffa.jpg

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

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    • Registered: 06-Jun-2013
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    did you get it all from the keyboard co.?

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    • From: UK
    • Registered: 14-Apr-2014
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    bph said:

    did you get it all from the keyboard co.?

    yep

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

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