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Daily Log

  • Started by saysomestuff
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Hi all,

Firstly, thanks so much for creating such a useful resource.

My setup;
- Windows 10 on desktop and Surface Pro - Android phone.
- Been typing QWERTY for 23 years and while I'm largely touch typing, I've fallen into some really bad habits and need to get back to basics with good form. I've realised that the only way I can ditch the bad habits is to change up to a layout that will hopefully be a bit easier on my wrists.
- I set everything up last night and am up to about 2 hours on Colemak now.
- QWERTY (wow, that's hard to type!) speed is about 35-40 WPM with minimal errors.
- Just took a test and I'm at 12 WPM on Colemak now.

Just posting here for some where to log progress and to get some practice typing straight from my mind.

Hoping this will be a positive move to less wrist pain and more comfortable typing overall.

Cole.

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Also, I forgot to add that I found Colemak while I was researching the Ergodox keyboard to help with my wrists.

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Hi! and welcome to the family :) It is tiring in the beginning to switch, but you'll thank yourself later. I'm not that fast of a writer with colemak this far ~55-60 WPM but I can share some tips that I found very helpful:

  • Practicing writing books through amphetype is a nice less boring way to practice

  • Focus on accuracy rather than speed

  • Get the front of your keyboard raised rather than the back, it makes your wrist a lot happier

  • Be prepared that your wrists might get more tired for a little period while getting used to the new patterns

  • Maybe look into the DH and Angle wide mods, they are in my opinion even better to write on (Not completely on them myself yet though)

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  • From: Oslo, Norway
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If you're at 12 WPM and need to be somewhere higher, consider Tarmak. ;-)

I'm using PortableKeyboardLayout (PKL) on Windows, my own variant of it (PKL[eD]). It's a nice program that takes care of the layout with dead keys and Extend and whatnot.

Last edited by DreymaR (24-Oct-2017 12:25:05)

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

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Thanks, these are really useful.

Definitely focusing on proper hand placement at the moment so it is very slow going!

Just managed a 18WPM score so at least some progress after a pretty frustrating day!

sotolf said:

Hi! and welcome to the family :) It is tiring in the beginning to switch, but you'll thank yourself later. I'm not that fast of a writer with colemak this far ~55-60 WPM but I can share some tips that I found very helpful:

  • Practicing writing books through amphetype is a nice less boring way to practice

  • Focus on accuracy rather than speed

  • Get the front of your keyboard raised rather than the back, it makes your wrist a lot happier

  • Be prepared that your wrists might get more tired for a little period while getting used to the new patterns

  • Maybe look into the DH and Angle wide mods, they are in my opinion even better to write on (Not completely on them myself yet though)

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Ha! I don't think my mind could cope with 2 changes in 2 days!

DreymaR said:

If you're at 12 WPM and need to be somewhere higher, consider Tarmak. ;-)

I'm using PortableKeyboardLayout (PKL) on Windows, my own variant of it (PKL[eD]). It's a nice program that takes care of the layout with dead keys and Extend and whatnot.

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saysomestuff said:

Also, I forgot to add that I found Colemak while I was researching the Ergodox keyboard to help with my wrists.

I was opposite, I found Ergodox (and the entire world of alternative keyboards) after switching to Colemak. Do you use Ergodox as your daily driver? What model you use? Recently I tried to tent my Ergodox to quite steep degree, and it is surprisingly comfortable to type on. But I would say that first it is required to get used to flat split keyboard, this is very different experience after using one piece keyboard for years.

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It doesn't have to be 2 changes in 2 days! People commonly use a week or two per Tarmak stage, but some have used much longer.

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

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DreymaR said:

It doesn't have to be 2 changes in 2 days! People commonly use a week or two per Tarmak stage, but some have used much longer.

Wouldn't that more or less just spread the pain over many weeks? I haven't tried tarmak, I have only done the cold turkey switch, so who am I to say.

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sotolf said:
DreymaR said:

It doesn't have to be 2 changes in 2 days! People commonly use a week or two per Tarmak stage, but some have used much longer.

Wouldn't that more or less just spread the pain over many weeks? I haven't tried tarmak, I have only done the cold turkey switch, so who am I to say.

I went through Tarmak even with hunt and peck typing, while this is not what it intended for. That allowed me to break the many years habit of qwerty without loosing productivity at work. Also, I did not do qwerty at work/morning Colemak at night/home. Switch was global, but via Tarmak.

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ckofy said:
sotolf said:

Wouldn't that more or less just spread the pain over many weeks? I haven't tried tarmak, I have only done the cold turkey switch, so who am I to say.

I went through Tarmak even with hunt and peck typing, while this is not what it intended for. That allowed me to break the many years habit of qwerty without loosing productivity at work. Also, I did not do qwerty at work/morning Colemak at night/home. Switch was global, but via Tarmak.

Maybe I was just used to being broken having done the dvorak switch not so long before.

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DreymaR said:

It doesn't have to be 2 changes in 2 days! People commonly use a week or two per Tarmak stage, but some have used much longer.

Ha, no I just meant switching QWERTY -> COLEMAK -> TARMAK

I'm up to a consistent 15-17 WPM now and definitely starting to get some combos going on words like you, that, the, and stuff ending in "ally"

Day 2 and counting!

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ckofy said:
saysomestuff said:

Also, I forgot to add that I found Colemak while I was researching the Ergodox keyboard to help with my wrists.

I was opposite, I found Ergodox (and the entire world of alternative keyboards) after switching to Colemak. Do you use Ergodox as your daily driver? What model you use? Recently I tried to tent my Ergodox to quite steep degree, and it is surprisingly comfortable to type on. But I would say that first it is required to get used to flat split keyboard, this is very different experience after using one piece keyboard for years.

I haven't finished mine yet, waiting on the parts from Poland. I can't wait to get on with it.

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Quick update, just hit my first 20 WPM! definitely a one-off but very encouraging nonetheless.

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DreymaR said:

If you're at 12 WPM and need to be somewhere higher, consider Tarmak. ;-)

I'm using PortableKeyboardLayout (PKL) on Windows, my own variant of it (PKL[eD]). It's a nice program that takes care of the layout with dead keys and Extend and whatnot.

I read that Windows has finally bought support to other keyboard layouts. So hopefully we can now just add colemak and add a hotkey to switch layouts.

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abhixec said:

I read that Windows has finally bought support to other keyboard layouts. So hopefully we can now just add colemak and add a hotkey to switch layouts.

No idea what you mean by that? We've had MSKLC for years and years, making Windows layouts available. What's new?

Even if MS were to add Colemak to their layout roster, that won't help me as I use Colemak[eD]-CAW-No.

PKL does more than a Windows layout though, unless MS have really upped their game.

Last edited by DreymaR (26-Oct-2017 08:46:15)

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

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DreymaR said:
abhixec said:

I read that Windows has finally bought support to other keyboard layouts. So hopefully we can now just add colemak and add a hotkey to switch layouts.

No idea what you mean by that? We've had MSKLC for years and years, making Windows layouts available. What's new?

Even if MS were to add Colemak to their layout roster, that won't help me as I use Colemak[eD]-CAW-No.

PKL does more than a Windows layout though, unless MS have really upped their game.

True but I thought it was still good that now you don't need to go through MSKLC to get colemak. They have it as a layout just like you have it on the macs.

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Quick update:

I was out yesterday so today is really my day 3. Consistently at 18-20WPM on the Typecat tests and much happier with my decision as I can now see my old speed should be obtainable over the coming month or so.

Using Colemak on my phone has helped I think also. I think Colemak is going to be great for me long term as I can already type comfortably with my eyes closed at 100% accuracy now and I could never reliably do that on QWERTY.

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saysomestuff said:

Quick update:

I was out yesterday so today is really my day 3. Consistently at 18-20WPM on the Typecat tests and much happier with my decision as I can now see my old speed should be obtainable over the coming month or so.

Using Colemak on my phone has helped I think also. I think Colemak is going to be great for me long term as I can already type comfortably with my eyes closed at 100% accuracy now and I could never reliably do that on QWERTY.

Yes I also felt that way once I made the change (QWERTY?). Good you are focusing on accuracy, I focused on speed initially because I wanted to get work done but my accuracy took a hit, now I am trying to improve my accuracy.

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abhixec said:
saysomestuff said:

Quick update:

I was out yesterday so today is really my day 3. Consistently at 18-20WPM on the Typecat tests and much happier with my decision as I can now see my old speed should be obtainable over the coming month or so.

Using Colemak on my phone has helped I think also. I think Colemak is going to be great for me long term as I can already type comfortably with my eyes closed at 100% accuracy now and I could never reliably do that on QWERTY.

Yes I also felt that way once I made the change (QWERTY?). Good you are focusing on accuracy, I focused on speed initially because I wanted to get work done but my accuracy took a hit, now I am trying to improve my accuracy.

I don't know, I've always had more problems with accuracy in qwerty than colemak, but it may also be that I never really practiced accuracy on it, but have done quite a bit of focused training on it with colemak.

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sotolf said:
abhixec said:

Yes I also felt that way once I made the change (QWERTY?). Good you are focusing on accuracy, I focused on speed initially because I wanted to get work done but my accuracy took a hit, now I am trying to improve my accuracy.

I don't know, I've always had more problems with accuracy in qwerty than colemak, but it may also be that I never really practiced accuracy on it, but have done quite a bit of focused training on it with colemak.

I definitely had more accuracy issues with QWERTY and that's exactly why I've ditched it.  I need to unlearn that bad muscle memory and felt that having the keys in different places was the best way to do that since my bad habits with QWERTY were ingrained over the best part of 25 years!

Hit my first ever 25+ WPM scores today and don't drop below 20 WPM at all now.

I had a bit of a "no man's land" nightmare yesterday as my Colemak kb disappeared and I was totally lost on QWERTY. Realising that going back now is going to be just as much work as it was to get here has been a positive discovery and has boosted my resolve in sticking with it.

I have a few days off but am sticking with Colemak on my phone for that period, onwards and upwards. I'm hoping for consistent 30+ By the end of the month.

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Great to see that you're getting better, I'm getting back up there in speed as well, I'm back to a 60 WPM normal writing speed, and bursting up in the mid 70's so I'm pretty content as well :) It's just such a nice feeling seeing the numbers grow.

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wow, I'd love to get up to those sorts of numbers!

I think the 30's by the end of the month is totally attainable now as I've just had a couple of fliers on the typing tests this lunchtime, hitting 2 over 30WPM.

I'm averaging a comfortable 23-26WPM today, excluding the 30+ ones and again, am concentrating on 100% accuracy so I consider this my "real" speed. I am really happy to have gained ground as I've been away from my kb for 4 days!

Considering how error-prone my QWERTY typing was, I actually already "feel" quicker on Colemak, even though I'm still regularly freezing and taking a second to think about letter placements. I can tell that more combinations are in muscle memory so I think in a month or so this'll have a huge effect on speed - I'm easily wasting at least 20-30% of my time on thinking. I, R, P and L seem to be the ones that can throw me off so It's probably a case of just soldiering through.

sotolf said:

Great to see that you're getting better, I'm getting back up there in speed as well, I'm back to a 60 WPM normal writing speed, and bursting up in the mid 70's so I'm pretty content as well :) It's just such a nice feeling seeing the numbers grow.

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saysomestuff said:

I, R, P and L seem to be the ones that can throw me off

Interesting.
• Those are symmetric positions. :-)
• The index fingers for P/L are strong and agile, but the ring fingers for R/I are not.
• These letters are intermediate in frequency, which is enough to annoy you while still taking longer to train.
• R is understandable given that it has "castled" with S, to borrow a chess term.
• P has swapped hands as one of only two keys,
    and it's the less used one doing so which means it'll take longer to retrain than E.
• I is in the old position of L.

Maybe you should make an Amphetype lesson to train words like 'peril', 'earlier', 'rip', 'prill' (folk music term) etc. :-)

Last edited by DreymaR (06-Nov-2017 14:41:37)

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

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DreymaR said:

Maybe you should make an Amphetype lesson to train words like 'peril', 'earlier', 'rip', 'prill' (folk music term) etc. :-)

I've always found that typing long form text and letting Amphetype find out where I'm damaging myself the most usually bring more results than doing drills like that, because I'm notoriously bad at finding out where I'm bad myself, I'm keeping thinking that some letter is messing me up more, but then seeing that my problem is lying with some combination of letters that I'm typing slower, "you" for example is a rather hard word to write for me, but it turns out that even though it feels a bit strange for me it's not one of the words that really brings me problems.

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