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    Tarmak progress

    • Started by colemux
    • 9 Replies:
    • Reputation: 6
    • Registered: 24-Aug-2019
    • Posts: 17

    I've been learning for 2 weeks and 2 days, and I've just I switched to stage 3 of Tarmak.  I'm coming from 20+ years of QWERTY, I've got over 100 wpm on typeracer in the past.

    I tried Colemak years ago; I got to R and S in the Colemak lessons I was following, got too frustrated, and gave up.  Before, learning Colemak was a slog.  Now it's a game.  I got to level 3 today!

    I'm sure you can approach direct-to-Colemak in the same way, but approaches that way don't give you the reward of letting you type real text fluently every few days, with a nicer layout every time.

    So I think I've learned two things since then:

    1. 30 minutes a day is plenty to make rapid progress and in fact is very efficient -- no need to knock myself out with longer than that per day or force myself to do real work with it until I'm quite familiar with the layout already.

    2. Incremental reward is important.  Everybody knows that, but I think it's hard to take sufficiently seriously.  I think that leads people to concentrate on the problem Tarmak introduces of relearning key sequences, and not about the reward Tarmak provides of being able to type real text fluently every few days, with a better layout each time, both of which are not to be sneezed at.  Learning Colemak in one step before, I *was* getting the "incremental" part by restricting myself to a few keys at a time, but not the same "reward" part as being able to type any text I feel like, nor of regularly getting a new better layout.

    I think there's a survivorship bias in the Colemak community.  If you're here and you're not learning still, that's because you were sufficiently highly motivated or skilled to make it to the end.  People who were not are by and large not here posting, and I expect there are many more of those than there are here.  If those people had more incremental reward, I suspect more would make it to the end.  In fact the 30 minutes/day thing is more of the same, I think: it makes progress fairly painless and incremental.

    Of course there *is* another barrier there that Tarmak adds (apart from re-learning key sequences -- bigrams etc.), which is getting the Tarmak layouts working.  The reason I found that part easy was just that I was already very familiar with flashing my keyboard's firmware, because I started using an ergodox.  Of course there are software routes, but they're a bit of a pain, I find: room for improvement there (I wonder if debian/ubuntu are open to contributions to package them up...).

    Anyway, of course I still have a long way to go and have not really conquered even R and S yet (but E and G etc. are solid), so it's a bit soon to be proclaiming my success and great wisdom ;-)

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    • Registered: 24-Aug-2019
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    R and S are going amazingly well!  I'm still slow, but it feels natural and I'm relatively rarely getting them mixed up (I get S wrong more than R -- I type an R instead of an S -- I guess everybody finds that?).

    I probably shouldn't be, but I'm surprised how painless it is to "code switch" between the two layouts.  Ironically I was typing this fine with QWERTY until I typed that last sentence, and then I suddenly got a whole string of Ks instead of Es because I started thinking about it.

    Now that I've got through my sticking point from last time, I feel it's inevitable that I'll make it to the end this time :-))

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
    • Posts: 4,675

    Hooray!  ♪~╰(*°▽°*)╯~♪

    *** 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: 24-Aug-2019
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    Tarmak4 here we come!  Just did my first stage 4 practice session.  Funnily enough Amphetype was at the time still prompting me to practice "below" from my last Tarmak3 practice session -- on Tarmak4 that actually became instantly much easier to type.

    "RSD" from Tarmak3 is still not really solid, but it's a lot better than it was.  I've been on that stage 10 days, and I think that's enough.  I can't give a proper speed count because I've not really been testing myself properly, preferring to spend the time concentrating on learning.  I tend to still be making a few mistakes on every new little text snippet that Amphetype gives me -- once I've practiced on a particular text (on Tarmak3) I can get to around 50 wpm if I'm doing well by the time I get through it at 99% accuracy.

    Since this is the last intermediate step and I'm through the worst of what I suspect is the most painful part for me (R and S), I'm tempted to just jump straight to Colemak proper at this point by moving L, U and I also.  I think I'll stick with Tarmak4 for a few days at least though, on the theory that good learning of physical tasks (and others) does seem to involve learning one thing before moving on to the next.  I think after I'm on Colemak proper there'll be another, extended, phase of the same thing at a higher level: going back to concentrating on particular letters / sequences / words and doing some deliberate practice there, before going on to the next set of problematic letters / sequences / words.

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    • From: UK
    • Registered: 14-Apr-2014
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    I think it's natural get impatient to complete the transition. I spent quite a while on Tarmak2, then struggled with R/S in Tarmak3. Even though it wasn't fully trained in, I couldn't resist skipping Tarmak4 and going direct to full Colemak. and consequently was quite slow for a few weeks even. So at least you're maintaining more discipline than I did!

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

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
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    New slogan: It's a lot better to struggle with RSD than with RSI!  (b ̄◇ ̄)b

    Last edited by DreymaR (20-Sep-2019 13:24:12)

    *** 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: 24-Aug-2019
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    I've been practicing before in Amphetype on common words, and I realized this morning that for that part, when you get to Tarmak4, it's very easy to stick to "pure Colemak" (which of course is what you'd be doing if you were going the "pure Colemak" route).  That's nice, because I feel like I've arrived at Colemak, even though I kind of haven't yet, so I don't feel the need to skip ahead.  I like to mix word practice in with "real text" (with arbitrary letters) -- I found that very motivating, which is why I've been going the Tarmak route.  For that reason I'm not sure even if I'd thought more about this earlier that I'd personally have stuck to "Tarmak-staged pure Colemak" even when practicing on common words: that likely would have slowed my typing on real text, which wouldn't maximise motivation.

    However, even for those happy to stick to pure Colemak, I think Tarmak is a nice route for that too -- just take each Tarmak level in turn and pick only words that are "pure Colemak" to practice with (pure Colemak in the sense that they don't include any keys that are not in their Colemak positions in TarmakN -- e.g. for Tarmak4, no L, U or I).  Even Tarmak1 and Tarmak2, which are marginal for this purpose on common words (only 55 and 154 words respectively in the top 10000 english word file I downloaded; 114 for Tarmak2 if you want "pure Tarmak2" -- i.e. only words with letters introduced exactly at that level -- i.e. no N, E, or K) are fine if you expand it to all English words, and Tarmak3 and Tarmak4 have plenty common words (914 "pure Tarmak3" and 1516 "pure Tarmak4" from same same top 10000).

    Here are 105 common pure-Colemak pure-Tarmak4 words, presented in random order (note "pure" is used in two slightly different senses there):

    who on keep past part other paragraph of every day work do move year hot show power from before very open map james deep down japanese drop one copy carry over john no java project space shape appear ready they come happy jan projects joy now kept way two job some does press try speak japan many pattern port major go paper for object stop know to or jobs represent form type why perhaps say hope boy my person off present page pass home happen step word eye body jack more too top enjoy story most how good so pose by prove may any jersey

    Last edited by colemux (21-Sep-2019 12:12:06)
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    • From: Oslo, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
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    Tip: To post lists I often use code [] tags, or maybe spoiler tags. That way it's easy to see what the list is and copy it. :-)

    This is a list of words in tags okay so it's a short and really sucky list but at least it's in tags isn't it so shut up and get the hell outta here why are you critizing me stop that at once
    Spoiler:

    This is a list of words in tags okay so it's a short and really sucky list but at least it's in tags isn't it so shut up and get the hell outta here why are you critizing me stop that at once

    It's nice and good fun that you're doing this!

    Last edited by DreymaR (21-Sep-2019 20:38:54)

    *** 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: 24-Aug-2019
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    I switched to Tarmak5, i.e. Colemak practice today.  First day so still at the massive speed hit and huge number of mistakes stage.  I'm not sure how long it will take me to get to my target of 65 wpm, or whether I'll stick with Colemak when I get there, but still, today is a big milestone towards getting there -- thanks DreymaR, without your efforts I would very likely have not got this far.

    Favourite word today: "would" :)

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
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    65 WPM is a nice target. That's what I went for back then. But now I type closer to 75 WPM on Colemak-ⲔⲰ[eD] and it's sooo smooth and nice. Best of luck with the last leg of your Colemak journey! And thanks for the praise, much appreciated.

    Would, could, should... did!  ♪♫ (*ノ・◡・)ノ ♫♩ ┏(・o・*)┛ ♫♪

    Last edited by DreymaR (28-Sep-2019 11:50:13)

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

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