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    Wrist uncomfortable while learning?

    • Started by srmagura
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    • Registered: 24-Oct-2021
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    Greetings :)  I am new to Colemak. I've been practicing some each day for a little over a week, currently 33 WPM on Monkeytype.

    Did anyone else have wrist/finger/hand discomfort while first learning Colemak? In particular, I find "you" to be quite awkward to type.

    I'm guessing the discomfort goes away once you build the muscle memory. For context, I am 100+ WPM on QWERTY with 0 discomfort.

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    • From: Viken, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
    • Posts: 5,181

    You're not alone, and you have the right ideas. If you want to talk with others experiencing the same thing, I can recommend the Colemak Discord. If you want to read a little about ergonomics while learning, I suggest you take a look at the Ergo page of my BigBag site. Link in my signature.

    The particular trigram "you" isn't so great on Colemak for such a common trigram (trust me, most common bi- and trigrams are very nice on Colemak!), and it's a lot worse if you're coming fresh from QWERTY. Many QWERTY users underuse their right hand pinky, so when they come to a layout that uses it they feel uncomfortable about it. Some layouts have been made attempting to hardly use the pinkies, but those layouts aren't as good as Colemak.

    Actually... Here you go, my Ergo page:
    https://dreymar.colemak.org/ergo-mods.html

    Last edited by DreymaR (28-Oct-2021 12:24:33)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
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    • Registered: 24-Oct-2021
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    Thanks DreymaR!!!

    I read your ergonomics page which was quite informative. The Star Wars parody is hilarious ^_^

    It was specifically my right wrist which was causing problems yesterday and I'm not sure the angle/wide mods would do much to help with that.

    As a side note, I'm on an ANSI board which makes the angle mod a bit more intrusive. I've also always been an "angle cheater" which I find significantly more comfortable than the "proper" way. I know it makes the "CT" bigram more difficult but I think that's just a minor disadvantage.

    Anyway, I am sticking with Colemak and I think my muscles will get used to the new movements.

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    • Shai
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    • Registered: 11-Dec-2005
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    * I noticed that when I was learning a new keyboard layout, I had a tendency to "anchor" my fingers on the home positions, instead of letting them float freely.
    * The other thing is that I was unconsciously hitting the keys a bit harder than usual during the learning period.
    * Also while learning, you should focus on typing correctly rather than typing fast, and make sure to take regular breaks.

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    • From: Viken, Norway
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    Thanks for the praise! Yes, I did enjoy making that Board Wars scroll.  (✿◠‿◠)

    srmagura said:

    It was specifically my right wrist which was causing problems yesterday and I'm not sure the angle/wide mods would do much to help with that.

    No, certainly. The mods are there for other benefits. The only thing that can really help with the right wrist is the things Shai said, and Pinky Fu!

    srmagura said:

    As a side note, I'm on an ANSI board which makes the angle mod a bit more intrusive. I've also always been an "angle cheater" which I find significantly more comfortable than the "proper" way. I know it makes the "CT" bigram more difficult but I think that's just a minor disadvantage.

    Angle cheating works well on QWERTY, but not on Colemak. You may not find the CT bigram more than minor now, but as you'll get better you'll notice it more. Z is so rare that almost anyone at the Discord agree that moving Z is in fact the "minor disadvantage" in this equation. Furthermore, the stretch to B will still be too long, it sits in one of the worst positions on the board when you keep your left wrist straight, and deserves better. The keys that deserve such bad positions are rare letters like Q, Z and J – you do of course realize that J has a similarly poor position and B is a lot more common.

    *** 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: Viken, Norway
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    Shai said:

    * I noticed that when I was learning a new keyboard layout, I had a tendency to "anchor" my fingers on the home positions, instead of letting them float freely.
    * The other thing is that I was unconsciously hitting the keys a bit harder than usual during the learning period.
    * Also while learning, you should focus on typing correctly rather than typing fast, and make sure to take regular breaks.

    Well put! I quoted you on my ergo page but rearranged your words slightly for brevity, does this look okay?
    https://dreymar.colemak.org/ergo-mods.html

    Last edited by DreymaR (29-Oct-2021 12:01:58)

    *** 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:

    Angle cheating works well on QWERTY, but not on Colemak. You may not find the CT bigram more than minor now, but as you'll get better you'll notice it more. Z is so rare that almost anyone at the Discord agree that moving Z is in fact the "minor disadvantage" in this equation. Furthermore, the stretch to B will still be too long, it sits in one of the worst positions on the board when you keep your left wrist straight, and deserves better. The keys that deserve such bad positions are rare letters like Q, Z and J – you do of course realize that J has a similarly poor position and B is a lot more common.

    Hmm... I'll put a bit more thought into using the ANSI angle mod. I know Z is very uncommon but one benefit of vanilla Colemak is it keeps Ctrl+Z/X/C/V unchanged and I use these a lot. I also have an unconfirmed suspicion that certain programs (Visual Studio) do not fully respect keyboard remapping when it comes to cut/copy/paste.

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    • From: Viken, Norway
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    If you care a lot about the Ctrl+Z position (I find it easy to adjust, myself) one way is to use an Extend layer for these shortcuts. In fact, chording them with the usual LCtrl key easily leads to ulnar deviation and interrupts your home position, so I'd advise getting a more modern solution for it anyway!

    The XCV positions aren't really changed with the Angle mod, it'll just feel that way for less than a week. Since your fingering stays the same, it's easy to adjust to. Maybe it's harder for a reforming angle cheater though, I have no experience with that.

    Using Ext-tap with the EPKL program, I'll tap Extend (on the Caps key) then the Z/X/C/V positions (configurable) for these shortcuts. Tapping {Ext,a} for Select All and {Ext,f} for Find is very nice indeed!

    Last edited by DreymaR (01-Nov-2021 10:51:39)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
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    I definitely remember my fingers aching as I was learning, I'm happy to say that it passed with time as they became less confused, more independent and confident of their role in life. They are almost completely autonomous these days.

    I'm imagining they will ache again when I ruin their life with a Corne or Atreus.

    They hated me once, I'm sure they will hate me again..

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