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    S key

    • Started by c2lknt
    • 4 Replies:
    • Reputation: 1
    • Registered: 04-Nov-2017
    • Posts: 1

    I've coming back to trying out colemak after a year or so.  I gave it a bit of effort (~20wpm) last year and eventually gave up because I was switching computers a lot at work.  The main "why bother" reasoning a lot of people succumb to got me.  But I have the perfect response now!  Why bother?  Who cares?  Why not? 

    (A lot of people complain that "their brains" have a hard time switching between the two.  There's a lot of interesting research on brain plasticity that basically proves that paradigm shifting like that is possible for everyone, it just takes practice.  The more you switch between qwerty and colemak, the better you'll get at it.)

    Anyway - the point of my post.  My main frustration with Colmak is the S key.  Why is it moved???  It seems so needless, and it's the key I have the most trouble with.  The rest of the keys make sense to me, but that damn S...  Why isn't the R where the S is (ASRT instead of ARST)?

    Why???

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    • Reputation: 63
    • From: UK
    • Registered: 14-Apr-2014
    • Posts: 723

    This should be explained on the front page of Colemak.com, it's asked so often!

    If you swapped R/S, you'd end up with FR and CR (which are both common bigrams) on the same finger. Same-finger pairs like that are considered bad - once your speed is up, you really start to notice them. On the other hand, SF is extremely rare, at least in English.

    I agree the S thing is a pain though, it put me off initially too. You do get over it though. And when you do, you also get to enjoy typing words with ST.

    Other people tend not to get the layout changing thing. Most people just accept what's in front of them and don't care about the inefficiency of Qwerty. It's only people who are perfectionists and/or independent minded that are willing to take on the challenge. Weird though, in most jobs, using the best possible tools is considered professional. But despite people spending large parts of their working life in front of a keyboard, so few people care about either its efficiency or comfort.

    Last edited by stevep99 (04-Nov-2017 18:28:42)

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

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    • Reputation: 20
    • From: Chicago
    • Registered: 27-Apr-2016
    • Posts: 214
    stevep99 said:

    Other people tend not to get the layout changing thing. Most people just accept what's in front of them and don't care about the inefficiency of Qwerty. It's only people who are perfectionists and/or independent minded that are willing to take on the challenge. Weird though, in most jobs, using the best possible tools is considered professional. But despite people spending large parts of their working life in front of a keyboard, so few people care about either its efficiency or comfort.

    Great words! I could not say that better!
    Regarding the original question, after some practice the S shift will not bother you and you will barely notice it. That was done for the purpose, Colemak is quite conservative about changing letters from qwerty, so if that shift was done means that was no way to avoid it without sacrificing the result.

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    • Reputation: 20
    • From: Chicago
    • Registered: 27-Apr-2016
    • Posts: 214

    BTW, regarding "people spending large parts of their working life in front of a keyboard". Keyboard as a device is declassified to the low-cost addition to the computer, no matter what it is, it should "just work". Most people find funny the idea of spending some noticeable money for the keyboard. This is not as cool as spend money for some modern computer part which is really seen as they affect the computer's performance. I had the same attitude before as well. But now, after discovering mechanical keyboards, I will never use the cheap office keyboard again. Quality change is incomparable, this is like use all your life a cheap car (to move from A to B), and one day switch to Mercedes (which is also move you from A to B, but waay more comfortable).

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    • Reputation: 115
    • From: Oslo, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
    • Posts: 4,763

    I've put that question into my Tarmak topic since that's a place many newcomers should be looking. But obviously it should have better placement.

    Last edited by DreymaR (06-Nov-2017 10:38:26)

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

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