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    From 170WPM Qwerty to 200WPM Colemak

    • Started by Viper
    • 16 Replies:
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    • Registered: 06-Jul-2018
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    Hey there! I've figured out that it wouldn't be inappropriate to share my experiences with switching to a different keyboard layout, after already having fast enough speed to not get annoyed by having to type long texts.


    I'm a 16 year old kid from the Czech Republic, nothing special here. I have an unusual love for difficult challenges, though. I thought it would be pretty challenging to get over the 200WPM barrier one day. Not only would it be something to keep myself busy with, it'd be quite useful as well! The hours you spend into learning to type faster, will pay off later, time-wise, in the long-run. Not to mention, having fun at times, like when you can out-type a full group in an argument.


    When I've took my first test at 10fastfingers, a few years ago, I had around 80WPM on Qwerty, practiced for a couple of years and upped that to 170WPM. Progress was dreadfully slow after that point. I've realized it had something to do with the fact that I only typed with 4-5 fingers. I've decided to try to gradually increase the number of fingers I was using, but it was like starting over again. So I've said to myself: ,,If it's already like starting over, why not try a better keyboard layout as well? Sure there are ones better suited to this kind of thing!". Since I was in this for the long-term, I couldn't name a single reason for why not.


    Hell, was I surprised by Colemak! It looked way more attractive than Dvorak and more sensible than it (personal preference). It only changed what had to be changed. Maybe that could explain a part of my ludicrously fast progress after switching, and also completely revamping my fingering technique: I've went from 0WPM-100WPM in 5 days, 0WPM-170WPM in 4 months and 0WPM-200WPM in a just a bit over a year.


    Safe to say, the statistics don't lie, it is way more comfortable to type with Colemak. There are clear disadvantages, though, which you should be prepared for: Public computers (Although, it's not necessarily that bad, because Colemak and Qwerty aren't drastically different!) and trying to play most games on the computer, a hell of a rebinding mess ><


    Overall, I'm grateful for the choice to spend the 4 months regaining my previous top speed, and then having an easier time afterwards. Qwerty's dominance needs to stop D:


    Video: https://youtu.be/FN3jUYi15Jk

    Last edited by Viper (20-Jul-2018 15:17:17)
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    • From: Oslo, Norway
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    Thanks for the feedback! It's very valuable for us colemakers to hear from the "speed monsters", even though we can never attain that speed ourselves. ^_^

    Just a thought: If you have time, could you be bothered to test out PortableKeyboardLayout[edition DreymaR] for me? I'd like to know what kind of speeds it can handle reliably. It's a nice remapping app based on Autohotkey if you haven't heard of it, and way(!) more info can be found in my Big Bag topic. If you bring it with you on a USB drive you may have a solution for at least a couple of those public computers. ^_^

    Last edited by DreymaR (06-Jul-2018 15:34:01)

    *** 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:

    Thanks for the feedback! It's very valuable for us colemakers to hear from the "speed monsters", even though we can never attain that speed ourselves. ^_^

    Just a thought: If you have time, could you be bothered to test out PortableKeyboardLayout[edition DreymaR] for me? I'd like to know what kind of speeds it can handle reliably. It's a nice remapping app based on Autohotkey if you haven't heard of it, and way(!) more info can be found in my Big Bag topic. If you bring it with you on a USB drive you may have a solution for at least a couple of those public computers. ^_^

    My pleasure, and sure thing! I do know of AutoHotkey (I use it pretty often), I'd love to test it out, would be a handy tool to carry around! Could you send me it through Discord?

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
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    From my signature, just click the Big Bag link and then Big Bag for PKL. At the bottom of that post is a link to my Github repo.

    Or, of course, you know, you could just go there directly. But the above is the scenic route! ;-)

    Last edited by DreymaR (06-Jul-2018 09:40:01)

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

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    Add me to the list of people who are very glad to have you here! :)

    Wow, you really absorbed Colemak like a sponge. It calls to mind what Barbara Blackburn said about Dvorak - she was never a star with QWERTY, but everything clicked when she switched over and she was like a fish in water from that point on.

    Not to treat anyone as a guinea pig here, but if you have the inclination, I'd love to see what you could do with Mod-DH (with more than one variation available courtesy of DreymaR and others). I seriously got my speed back within 3 days, so it should pose no trouble at all for you, and we don't have a very extensive pool of people using it yet. Certainly no one at your speed! If you tried that out and got up to speed, you'd be not only one of the fastest typists in the world, but the fastest in Colemak AND Colemak Mod-DH. You could add another jewel to that crown in no time. ;)

    Congratulations and welcome aboard!

    Last edited by azuvix (06-Jul-2018 13:51:49)
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    Could you please call it Colemak-DH now, I've gone to all this trouble editing my documentation and trying to convince SteveP! ^_^

    No, there really isn't more than one variation of Colemak-DH now except if you're a matrix board user and don't want M in the corner. Which is good. We settled.

    There is of course the additional option of running a Wide mod etc... and ending up with Colemak-ⲔⲰ[eD]... or worse... ;-)

    Yeah, it's sweet to have a speed monster who's adventurous to boot on board!

    On a related note: Yes, Viper can indeed confirm that PKL[eD] holds up at speeds around 150 WPM! He noticed a lag of a few ms which didn't bother his typing at all but he'd not use it for reaction speed games. Fair enough.

    Last edited by DreymaR (06-Jul-2018 15:30:52)

    *** 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:

    On a related note: Yes, Viper can indeed confirm that PKL[eD] holds up at speeds around 150 WPM! He noticed a lag of a few ms which didn't bother his typing at all but he'd not use it for reaction speed games. Fair enough.

    150WPM is an understatement! It safely holds up to well over 220+WPM, so no worries here. The 150WPM comes from the fact, that I've tested it out on a hard text, where I can go back to fix typos, to see, if it would play tricks with my mind or not. Safe to say, it didn't, and even if.. It wasn't noticeable. For the comfort, that is being able to type on the keyboard layout you know, this little trade-off is absolutely irrelevant. But personally, I wouldn't use it, if not necessary, like on my home computer, because smoothness is coolness.

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    No arguments there. That's why I program the layout in. ;)

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    DreymaR said:

    ... except if you're a matrix board user and don't want M in the corner.

    There is of course the additional option of running a Wide mod etc... and ending up with Colemak-ⲔⲰ[eD]... or worse... ;-)

    Which are exactly what I was talking about... :P

    And as for calling it Colemak-DH, that I can do. I didn't know there had been a consensus.

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    There has...n't ... quite been a consensus ... as such ... but ... ^_^

    SteveP conceded to mentioning Colemak-DH prominently on his site, and I've changed many mentions of "Curl(DH)" to "Colemak-DH" in my posts. So while he'll keep saying Mod-DH and I'll keep saying Curl(DH) in the foreseeable future, Colemak-DH can now safely be considered the common ground!

    And I like standing on the same ground. In this case, there's strength in unity. It's easier to understand, less confusing for newcomers, and doesn't take away any choices or real understanding.

    @Viper: The main reason I run PKL at home is to get Extend on Windows. The only good alternative I know of is programming your own controller (onboard or converter), and that's no option on the laptop anyway! PKL gets me my Extend perfectly. I'm also fond of the many dead key combinations it allows, more than I could easily make in a Windows layout I think (although I may be wrong; I haven't tested nested dead keys in the MS KLC layout tool).

    Last edited by DreymaR (07-Jul-2018 15:37:19)

    *** 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: New York, New York
    • Registered: 22-Nov-2008
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    I'm glad to see Viper post after breaking the 200wpm barrier.

    A personal congratulations is in order. It's inspirational showing Colemak's possibilities.

    Such speeds are impressive regardless of layout.

    ColemakDH typist

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    Some bot programmer lacked creativity. :P

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    • Registered: 13-May-2017
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    Wow 200 WPM Congrats!!!
    I am an year in and am still only at 80wpms consistently!
    I wish I could reach 100wpm at 98+ accuracy. What was your accuracy when you clocked 200wpm?

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    From this topic I think you'll find all the info you need, including the vid of Viper setting the 201 WPM record.

    (Anyway, the answer is 93.6%) ;-)

    Last edited by DreymaR (13-Jul-2018 16:32:31)

    *** 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:

    From this topic I think you'll find all the info you need, including the vid of Viper setting the 201 WPM record.

    (Anyway, the answer is 93.6%) ;-)

    Nice!
    Its good to see a colemaker hit 200wpm :)

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    200? Is this real? Next stop - hold 151 for 50 mins and break the Guiness World Record... now that’d be something.

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    Challenge accepted. Will report back Godwilling.

    ColemakDH typist

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