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    Old dog, new tricks

    • Started by Pavel
    • 17 Replies:
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    • Registered: 18-Apr-2008
    • Posts: 21

    Soooo slooooow (right now, anyhow) . . . trying to go cold turkey . . . so very cold :)  24 hours in . . .

    I learned qwerty on a Royal manual typewriter 40+ years ago. My typing teacher sometimes had one boy and one girl sit together at the same typewriter, each using one hand on the same machine, typing a few sentences together.  This meant that you had to sit very close together indeed.  The exercise was supposed to teach cooperation and increased proficiency, though concentration was always negatively influenced.  I have a warm spot in my heart for qwerty, and am once again typing at a speed reminiscent of those halcyon days spent sitting beside pretty Becky Edgett giggling at our manifold mistakes.

    We'll see how this new-fangled writin' works out.  My speed will double instantly when I get that "s" key down pat.

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    • From: Viken, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
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    Thanks for that story! A most enjoyable read; I wish I had had typing lessons like that. Had to figure it out myself perusing my mothers' old typing course book, I had. All dry pages, no pretty Beckys anywhere...

    *** 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: 18-Apr-2008
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    Thanks, DreymaR.  I made it through lesson 3 on Typefaster - >10 wpm at 98%+! woohoo!  And forcing myself to use colemak the rest of the time.  Glad things are slow at work, else I could not stand to type so slowwwwww!

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    • Registered: 08-Feb-2008
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    When I was learning Colemak I had to keep using Arensito at work so it wouldn't cut into my productivity. Now THAT was confusing. :) I agree, the S takes some getting used to, being on a different finger but so close to its old spot. It's better this way, though.

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    • Registered: 18-Apr-2008
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    Wow - so many layouts, so little time!  I'm finding that the d key is just as difficult as the s.  Yet more muscle memory of 40+ years to overcome :(

    Getting close to 15 wpm (vs 50+ in qwerty).  Practiced a bit Saturday, none on Sunday, but was able to pick up nearly where I left off when starting again yesterday.  I'm also starting to feel the elegance of this layout.  I can tell that once I've got my muscles reprogrammed, I'll be able to at least equal my qwerty speed, and probably exceed it.

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    • From: Houston, Texas
    • Registered: 03-Jan-2007
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    Yes but think of all those stimulated neurons in your brain growing fresh new dendrites and synapses!!!!
    good for you .

    Last edited by keyboard samurai (22-Apr-2008 23:13:02)
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    • Registered: 18-Apr-2008
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    Good point, Samurai - though my synapses are whining about it!

    The major frustration right now is the fact I can't think while typing, which more than anything else is impeding my progress.

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    • Registered: 18-Apr-2008
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    15 wpm today.  Still agonizingly slow.

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    Back to basics for this guy.  I had a bunch of writing to get done at work, so had to switch to qwerty for most of the day yesterday.  I forced myself to look at the keyboard throughout, though, so I was typing mostly by sight.  I am restarting the typing lessons today.  I find that the lesson one keys are sufficiently burned in that when I concentrate too hard on them, it actually slows me down.  The lesson 3 and above keys I still have to think about - which then screws with my lesson one keys.  It is all very challenging!

    On the bright side, our IT lady had to come do something on my computer while I was in Colemak, and started typing a string of gibberish.  She was completely flummoxed until I turned qwerty back on for her.  "I thought I was losing my mind," she said.

    "No," I replied.  "I have just lost mine."  She agreed.  :)

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    • From: Switzerland
    • Registered: 21-Aug-2007
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    Good luck.

    Regarding your "gigantic joke" comment in another thread, it really does get easier in time. :) I found it hard to get 15 years of qwerty out of my mind (or to the "back" of it anyway), in your case it's probably even more difficult. But the comfort is well worth it IMHO.

    Last edited by boli (26-Apr-2008 14:30:42)
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    Alrighty then.  Cruising right along now at about 20 wpm.  It's starting to feel natural, or at least naturaler.  Qwerty speed is definitely suffering, but I don't view that as necessarily bad - it just means, I suppose, that the old linkages are coming undone.  And best of all is that I am starting to feel a bit of the greater efficiency of this layout.  Onward and upward!

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    Update, 20 days in, with approximately 7 days off on vacation:

    1)  I've got all the letter positions committed to memory.  About half of the letters I don't have to think about any more.

    2)  I am typing consistently at high 20s.

    3)  Because I only have half the keys properly "burned in," I still must think through where my fingers go next whenever I am typing.  I sometimes need to focus on what I am saying more than I am able, so both my typing and my train of thought fall apart.

    4) By far the biggest aid to speed for me is to type at a consistent, slow, speed, even though I can type certain letter groups more quickly.  This is a tip I picked up in one of the other threads.  When I indulge the urge to speed up when on easy groups, my brain thinks it can let muscle memory do all the work. A consistent, slower speed helps me to stay focused.

    5) Trying to switch to qwerty for short periods during the day to "speed things up" is quite comical.  Erroneous pushes of the CapsLock key alone leads to some hilarious results.

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    • Registered: 11-May-2008
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    i started off very slow aswell. today is my second day and im at about 15 wpm, though i could never type in qwerty in the first place.

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    • Registered: 18-Apr-2008
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    Six months out . . .

    I've stayed with Colemak; all Colemak, all the time, cold turkey from the start back in April.  I haven't kept track of my speed, but I know it's faster than my qwerty speed ever was.  Now that I've got the keys completely imprinted in my brain, I've started doing a few speed exercises.  It's all about discipline.

    I am now completely unable to touchtype qwerty with one exception:  when I am under stress and MUST get something out right away, I find myself reverting to some of the qwerty strokes.  I cannot make myself do this consciously; it only happens when some basal part of my brain takes over.  Very strange indeed.

    It was a significant time investment to get to this point - not so much the time spent on the exercises, but the lost productivity when my speed was so slow for the first couple weeks.

    Two big advantages:

    1)  I've had zero RMS since switching.  I never had it bad to start with, but the frequency of the problem was increasing.  Now it's completely gone.

    2)  There is a serious geek factor to this.  I'm a pretty serious techie, but occasionally my IT guys have to hop on my computer to fix or update this or that.  I try to remember to turn off Colemak when this happens.  When I forget and they start typing and freak out, and I have to turn on qwerty for them, I am viewed as TEH UBERGEEK.

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    • From: Viken, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
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    Glad to hear you're doing well!

    Being the guy who scripts with a modified(!) vim, on colemak, on a totally black unmarked keyboard... yes, sometimes it's nice to be T3H G33K K1NG. Life hack aside, it's just plain fun!

    *** 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: 18-Apr-2008
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    Well this was fun to read through!

    I was looking for a Black Friday deal today on a fancy new keyboard, had to check to make sure some of its functionality wouldn't be affected by remapping to Colemak, then started wracking my brain to try to remember when I forced myself to learn Colemak. Good heavens: more than 15 years ago, and here I am getting close to retirement. I made my living mostly writing, and that mostly typing on computers (though I'm old enough to have fond memories of Dictaphones and good secretaries banging stuff out on IBM Selectrics too.)

    I still wow my much younger colleagues (including the IT guys) with the geek factor of typing on Colemak, which alone takes ten years off my age.

    Even better, my tired old forearm tendons and joints are perpetually grateful to this community for saving my fingers hundreds, perhaps thousands, of miles of unnecessary travel had I remained a prisoner of the Qwerty Cartel these last fifteen years. So thank you, folks!

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    • From: UK
    • Registered: 14-Apr-2014
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    Pavel said:

    fond memories of Dictaphones and good secretaries

    I'm sure there's a old joke about secretaries and dictophones but of course I wouldn't dream of lowering the tone.

    Pavel said:

    I still wow my much younger colleagues (including the IT guys) with the geek factor of typing on Colemak, which alone takes ten years off my age.
    !

    Perhaps Colemak is the mythical fountain of youth!

    Using Colemak-DH with Seniply.

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    stevep99 said:

    I'm sure there's a old joke about secretaries and dictophones but of course I wouldn't dream of lowering the tone.

    Oh, there were loads of them, but thank you for keeping this family-friendly!

    Back in those days I'd give my secretary a tape to transcribe close to deadline, then stand over her shoulder as she worked, making changes as she went. We would both be chain-smoking cigarettes the whole time. This helped us meet the deadline and, at 35 cents a pack, didn't much increase the profits of the tobacco companies. :)

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