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    Relearning after five years

    • Started by morecoffeeplease
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    • Registered: 23-Oct-2013
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    I switched to Colemak in October 2013 after college when I had a bit of time on my hands and especially nothing to do... I went cold turkey on both my computer and phone and was able to actually exceed my average QWERTY speeds by about five WPM at 105WPM in five weeks (the only time I've been able to break 100WPM). Unfortunately (or fortunately), I obtained a job in 2015 which required typing on a daily basis but didn't allow me to upload or download any program on the computer including typing layouts... I had to switch back to QWERTY cold turkey which was an absolute fucking nightmare. I was only able to type about 35WPM hunting and pecking for the first couple weeks but was eventually able to obtain my QWERTY speeds. Never had I been more cognizant of how useful it was to know a popular or universal language after "needing" to know QWERTY. Of course, the memories of those sweet rolls (oh, my, God, those sweet Colemak rolls) never left my mind and would make themselves known every once in a while especially with the rolls of "you" and those along the home row. A side note, I never understood why anyone had the trouble of typing "you" as I felt like that roll was one of the joys of Colemak and maybe why it still has such a hold on me. Regardless, I never bothered to relearn Colemak after relearning QWERTY as I had regained my previous speeds and work wouldn't allow for alternate layouts. In light of this COVID-19 pandemic, however, I've been pining to relearn Colemak for home use and have decided to take on a new challenge of relearning Colemak while retaining the QWERTY layout simultaneously. I had thought relearning Colemak would have been a breeze given that I had already learnt it in the past, but it has actually taken a lot longer than I expected. I've been using keybr.com and my speed after three days is only 45WPM. I don't recall which letter I had the most difficulty with when I first learned Colemak but as of now, the letters S, D, L, U, Y and T are giving me the most problems. I feel Colemak is quite logical in its layout and shouldn't be too hard to relearn especially with those rolls. I'd be happy to update with my progress although I'm sure few would care, especially those who have already switched full-time to Colemak.

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
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    Best of luck! If you practice sensibly, I'm sure you'll succeed quite rapidly. Just don't overtrain, and get some sleep in between your bouts.  (❁°‿°)

    Be aware that there are hardware devices that can let you type with Colemak on a locked-down computer without doing anything wrong – you only need to plug your USB keyboard into it and then the USB device into the computer. It's safe and allowable since the device only presents itself as a keyboard (technically, a HID which means a generic input device). I call mine a QUICKIE and you can read all about them in the BigBag. Of course, getting a programmable keyboard would do the same thing but that's usually more expensive and also a bit more clunky to lug around with you.

    Last edited by DreymaR (15-Apr-2020 10:52:15)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
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    That's a lot of good info! I'll go through your wiki and see if I figure out a way to use Colemak at work because that would be a dream.

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    I'm actually progressing more quickly than I had anticipated. I've been able to average about 65WPM on 10fastfingers in six days and the muscle memory seems to be returning quite steadily even after all this time away.

    I think the smart move would be to completely remaster Colemak before trying to pick up QWERTY again right? I'd imagine I'd just confuse myself if I tried keeping QWERTY while I'm still learning Colemak.

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
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    People go about it differently. At the Discord many of the users are quite gung-ho, and they appear to revel in learning several layouts and keeping them active all at once. But for the general user I guess you're right. I've stopped learning Spanish while I repeat my Italian, for a similar reason.

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

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    morecoffeeplease said:

    I'm actually progressing more quickly than I had anticipated. I've been able to average about 65WPM on 10fastfingers in six days and the muscle memory seems to be returning quite steadily even after all this time away.

    I think the smart move would be to completely remaster Colemak before trying to pick up QWERTY again right? I'd imagine I'd just confuse myself if I tried keeping QWERTY while I'm still learning Colemak.

    Nice, rapid progress!

    IMO the smartest move - if it all possible in your circumstances - is to completely ditch Qwerty and never use again.

    Last edited by stevep99 (17-Apr-2020 12:47:08)

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

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    Yes I totally agree that Colemak all the time would be the best choice! I wish I could switch over to Colemak full-time but I can't connect a USB at work or download anything on the computers so I've been stuck with QWERTY out of necessity. I also do want to try and retain QWERTY for when I use my friends' or colleagues' computers, and just to have on hand due to its prevalence.

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    Got back to around 90-100WPM after about three weeks of practicing. However, I am finding a bit of an issue with the D key which I don't remember having and am thinking about switching over to the DH mod with angle mod.... Might actually just try switching because I'm somewhat bored and the mod seems to be worth it for me.

    Last edited by morecoffeeplease (01-May-2020 23:58:03)
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    morecoffeeplease said:

    Got back to around 90-100WPM after about three weeks of practicing. However, I am finding a bit of an issue with the D key which I don't remember having and am thinking about switching over to the DH mod with angle mod.... Might actually just try switching because I'm somewhat bored and the mod seems to be worth it for me.

    Actually most people find the H worse than the D, especially for words common words containing HE, like "the" and "when". Using DH fixes both of course.

    Sucks that you can't even use USB or AHK/PKL at work. I guess it depends on the job type, but I don't imagine that's a very common attitude among enlightened employers - so you might still be able to go fully Colemak in due course.

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

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    Okay, I'm a convert, Colemak-DH is much more my jam, gotta maximize the ergonomics. The angle mod is taking some getting used to but seems to be worth it. Had the most trouble deciding where Z should go and I like the Shift-Z mod the most. Switching left shift to right Alt has been working great so far too!

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    Yeah, if you don't run into any technical problems remapping the Shift and you don't need an AltGr layer, that's a great spot for it.  (b ̄◇ ̄)b

    Last edited by DreymaR (04-May-2020 22:08:13)

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

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    morecoffeeplease said:

    I'm actually progressing more quickly than I had anticipated. I've been able to average about 65WPM on 10fastfingers in six days and the muscle memory seems to be returning quite steadily even after all this time away.

    I think the smart move would be to completely remaster Colemak before trying to pick up QWERTY again right? I'd imagine I'd just confuse myself if I tried keeping QWERTY while I'm still learning Colemak.

    It is actually amazing how quickly your fingers can relearn QWERTY. To be honest, after switching back to standard layout, I was surprised at how fast i was able to get to grips with the layout. I think that it has something to do with our sub conscience. I think that my looking at the standard layout over the years, it is just imprinted in my minds. I'd bet that if you were to randomly imagine a keyboard in your mind, it would be a QWERTY one.

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    Not subconsciousness as much as motor/procedural memory. Yes, it's very robust. Like they say: Once you've mastered riding a bike you don't forget it.

    Last edited by DreymaR (20-May-2020 08:51:46)

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

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