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- Registered: 18-Aug-2019
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I'm currently typing this on Tarmak 3, so I'm not quite on Colemak proper yet, but I figure being more than halfway there should count for something!
So rewinding a bit, how I got here. I'm a programmer, and have been since I finished University. My partner throughout uni was a DVORAK user who could easily swap between DVORAK and QWERTY. He typed very fast and had great accuracy, so I learned back then that it was possible to switch keyboard layouts and improve your comfort in typing. I spend so much of my day typing that the logic of switching to a more optimal layout was a no brainer to me. I tried switching to DVORAK and failed miserably. I mean MISERABLY. I was around a 90-100 WPM typist on QWERTY at that point and suddenly I just couldn't type at all. I stuck with it for a whole week and still felt like I couldn't be productive at all, so I sheepishly turned QWERTY back on and winced a bit inside.
I then thought that if I couldn't stomach full DVORAK, that's ok, I might still get improvements other ways. I found a keyboard called a Data Hand, which was still QWERTY-like, but had layers and a mouse mode you steered with your index finger so you didn't move your hand to use the mouse and could keep your hands at shoulder width apart. It was a very comfy upgrade for me, and I used it until it died (optical sensors started giving out). When it did, I searched and the only thing close was the Kinesis. It just didn't seem to offer enough benefit for the price to me, and I didn't feel confident enough to make my own keyboard, so I ended up going with the lazy option and went back to stock keyboards with my macs. This lasted about 10 years.
A few weeks ago I decided that I should again try to optimise my typing setup. I found this guy and it reminded me a bit of the Data Hand, but you'd still have to move your hand over to the mouse. Hmmm, more research needed.
Oh hello there! You look very familiar! Except having a normal mouse on each hand sounds even better than my old Data Hand. Now we're talking! I did a bit of research, 3D printed one of their non-functional models to try out the Medium size:
And promptly placed an order for one with QWERTY keycaps. But I noticed something while I was ordering. What's this?
I knew the others, but Colemak? Wat?
So as I'm waiting for the Keymouse to come, I started reading up on Colemak. About how it resolves all of my problems with DVORAK, while being just as efficient, and still manages to preserve the major shortcut keys. This sounds too good to be true. I still know from my week of hell with DVORAK that I'm going to have to take a major hit in productivity in order to give it a try.
Then I found out about DreymaR's Tarmak. About 5 minutes later I had them installed and was already messing up all my Es and Ns on Tarmak 1. I don't look at my keyboard while I type, but I figured I'd want to commit this time publicly, because if I can't handle 3-4 keys at a time, then honestly, what am I doing? I emailed Keymouse and asked them to switch me over to Colemak keycaps, which they're going to do.
So, in summation, before:
Mac, QWERTY user, 90-95 wpm with 98% accuracy as measured by Amphetype after learning to touch type when I was about 12 and somehow managing to pick up very few bad habits.
So far (starting 4 days ago):
I'll update here how I'm going, particularly once the Keymouse arrives. (Geez it's hard to type 'arrives' when I've just swapped R and S into position!) I think I'll chill on Tarmak 3 for a good while so I'm back up past 60wpm before I advance. I want R and S to be truly comfortable. I'm very very excited to get to use a more optimal layout after watching DVORAK users fly around their keyboards proficiently for more than a decade.