• You are not logged in.

Qwerty to Colemak: Daily experience

  • Started by Tony_VN
  • 108 Replies:
  • Reputation: 3
  • Registered: 08-Dec-2010
  • Posts: 656

Day 22: still 41wpm, but the accuracy has improved to 97% (+1%).

My peak speed has improved to 45wpm in 2min test and 46wpm in 1min test.
http://hi-games.net/profile/4314

Last edited by Tony_VN (20-Jan-2011 04:19:24)
Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 3
  • Registered: 08-Dec-2010
  • Posts: 656

Day 23: 42wpm with the accuracy 97%.

I try Typing of the Dead and see that it is fun. I went to the third level but could not finish the boss.


http://hi-games.net/profile/4314

Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 3
  • Registered: 08-Dec-2010
  • Posts: 656

Day 24: 43wpm and 97% accuracy.

I try Typeracer and got an average of 44wpm.

http://hi-games.net/profile/4314

Last edited by Tony_VN (30-Dec-2010 07:06:42)
Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 3
  • Registered: 08-Dec-2010
  • Posts: 656

I try Amphetype (programmed by tristesse member of this forum) and it has an option that automatically detect your weaker words from your typing and let you practise them. The program gives you a lot of statistics that help you to improve from your mistakes, as well as a lot of options (the required accuracy to pass a text or a review, ability to type a whole novel and read them through typing is excellent).

Amphetype is definitely a tailor made software to learn touch typing efficiently. It does not have much graphics and fun stuff, but I highly recommend it to any typist that wants to improve their typing skills.

Here the Amphetype project homepage:
https://code.google.com/p/amphetype/

Download Amphetype (Windows, OSX):
https://code.google.com/p/amphetype/downloads/list

ss6.png
screenshot2.png
ss7.png
ss8.png

Backstory of the author tristesse
=====================

About 4 months ago I attempted the difficult switch from Qwerty to what is commonly referred to as the Dvorak layout. I didn't know touch typing, so I had to learn that at the same time. It was hell on Earth. It probably took me a full week just to be able to snail away at 20 WPM and after a full month I was still only at 40 WPM. Dvorak is impossibly hard to learn.

That's when I discovered Colemak, a layout that promised to be even more efficient that the Dvorak and much easier to learn. I was intrigued and found that it fixed most of the issues I had with Dvorak, which only added to my frustration over not having discovered it sooner after having put so much effort into learning Dvorak. But finally I made the decision to switch again. Since this time I decided I was going to do it right I even went ahead and made my own keyboard layout based on a mix between the Colemak and the Norwegian Qwerty, but moving a lot of the common punctuation to the home and upper rows using the AltGr key.

After a week I was already as fast as my best speeds with Dvorak, and after a month I was at a more comfortable 65 WPM. Today I am at around 75-80 WPM, which is almost as fast as I once was on the Qwerty (80-85 WPM).

Now, in my long quest for learning a new layout, I have grown fond of programs and sites that help you measure and improve your typing. However, there is a lot of things lacking from most that I'd like to see. The two main things are:

* Texts that make sense: I am a big fan of Typeracer where you type actual quotes from popular culture (books, movies, songs). This gives you some shallow entertainment as opposed to just typing nonsense language-agnostic syllables which I find very dull and unrewarding. I also played some with TyperA which gives you random sentences, but they are cut off at awkward points (can't separate "." in abbreviations from proper end-of-sentence punctuation) and sometimes they're part of a joke that you don't get to see the follow-up to -- very annoying! A better version in this respect is Hi Games' Typing Test which at least give you random fragments instead of just half-sentences.

* Automatic lessons based on problem words (not just keys): TypingMaster Pro Satellite is an ingenious (albeit commercial and Windows-only) program which monitors everything you type and tells you which words and keys you have problems with (probably inferred from speed and backspace usage). So far I haven't found any alternative to it, nor even a free program which tells you what words you have problems with.

So basically when I wrote the first version of Amphetype on a long and boring ride on the night train these two items is what I had in mind: the ability to type texts from favorite novels, moves, web sites, whatever, and detailed statistics about problematic words and keys which can be used to generate new lessons. And that's what I've done.

From feedback from friends I've also added the ability to type whole books fragment by fragment so you can read them while practicing typing.

Last edited by Tony_VN (31-Dec-2010 03:54:18)
Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 3
  • Registered: 08-Dec-2010
  • Posts: 656

colemakspeed.jpg

Day 25: 44wpm and 97% accuracy.

Suppose my learning curve is a log curve then I predict my progress with regular practice, which is unlikely.

Day 80: 60wpm.

Day 365 (1 year): 80wpm.

Day 1000 (~3 year): 94wpm.

Day 7300 (20 years from now :-) 121wpm.

Last edited by Tony_VN (31-Dec-2010 05:06:33)
Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 0
  • Registered: 05-Jan-2010
  • Posts: 91
Tony_VN said:

Suppose my learning curve is a log curve then I predict my progress with regular practice, which is unlikely.

How did you perform the logarithmic regression? I'm curious as to how I could apply that to my early speeds and see how close the prognosis would get to my current speed.

Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 3
  • Registered: 08-Dec-2010
  • Posts: 656

I assume Speed of the Day=n1*log10(Day) with Day as my latest day, 25 -->n1=31.4749
With that assumption I see Speed(80)=31.4749*(log80)=60.

If I choose Speed = m+n2*log10(Day), then with Day=20 and 25 I got m=-13.7 and n2=41.2754
With that assumption I see Speed(80)=41.2754*log10(80)-13.7=64.80. This curve has n2>n1 so the speed will go faster in the future than the 1st formula.

I choose the first formula n1.

Last edited by Tony_VN (31-Dec-2010 16:42:55)
Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 0
  • Registered: 05-Jan-2010
  • Posts: 91
Tony_VN said:

I assume Speed of the Day=n*log (Day) with Day as my latest day, 25 -->n=31.4749

Oh, okay, so you didn't fit the curve as good as possible into all the existing measured speeds?

Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 3
  • Registered: 08-Dec-2010
  • Posts: 656

I suppose the number never go as the formula curve :-) Just an estimated speed with my assumption that the log curve is most similar to our speed according the time we learn typing.

Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 3
  • Registered: 08-Dec-2010
  • Posts: 656

Day 27: 45wpm and 97% accuracy.

I have been practising with Amphetype and Typershark Deluxe.

I got a high score at High-games.net with 48wpm.

Last edited by Tony_VN (11-Jan-2011 06:04:16)
Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 136
  • From: Oslo, Norway
  • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
  • Posts: 4,896

I'm afraid that Dellwood board has poor-quality membrane keys? In that case, you're better off getting a good mechanical board that allows you to move the key caps around.

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

Online
  • 0
  • Reputation: 3
  • Registered: 08-Dec-2010
  • Posts: 656

Day 33: 47wpm with 97% accuracy.
@dreymar: I try to find a IBM model M or Dell mechanical keyboard at my country, but it is rare. Most users threw them away years ago. Other options such as Cherry, Unicomp and Das keyboards have to be shipped overseas.

Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 1
  • From: New York, New York
  • Registered: 22-Nov-2008
  • Posts: 128

Wow, in just a bit over a month you have 47wpm. That's very good. That's almost just as much as your Qwerty speed in so little time, meaning that you will probably exceed it by a lot, especially with all the practice that you are putting into this. Seriously try not to quit practicing even if you do it less, as the dividends will be smaller, but longterm they will be great.

All I can say is awesome, you're adapting almost twice as fast as I did.

Colemak typist

Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 3
  • Registered: 08-Dec-2010
  • Posts: 656

Thanks for your encouragement. The 47wpm speed I can maintain for only about 3-5mins during tests and drills, so that is a long road to go.

I suppose it will take a year to feel truly at home with the new keyboard layout, when you can think and type at will.

Using Amphetype I fluctuate between 40 to 50wpm. Right now I type 20k leagues under the sea by Jules Verne.

Last edited by Tony_VN (11-Jan-2011 13:55:38)
Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 3
  • Registered: 08-Dec-2010
  • Posts: 656

Today I get an old Mitsumi keyboard from my office and try to make it a Colemak keyboard with a hand knife.

Luckily all keys are the same (include F & J) and here's the result :

img6764q.jpg

Look closer, how dusty it is!
img6761a.jpg

Last edited by Tony_VN (11-Jan-2011 05:59:48)
Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 7
  • Registered: 21-Apr-2010
  • Posts: 808

You could have cleaned those caps when you moved them...

--
Physicians deafen our ears with the Honorificabilitudinitatibus of their heavenly Panacaea, their sovereign Guiacum.

Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 3
  • Registered: 08-Dec-2010
  • Posts: 656

Thanks, I will try to buy a brandnew keyboard and post some good pictures next time

Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 3
  • Registered: 08-Dec-2010
  • Posts: 656

Day 38: 49wpm and 98% (+1%) accuracy.

I definitely recommend Amphetype for typing lessons. Now I fluctuate between 45 to 56wpm.

With a real Colemak keyboard layout, it helps to boost the speed (you could afford to glance at it a bit :-)

Last edited by Tony_VN (20-Jan-2011 04:21:47)
Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 3
  • Registered: 08-Dec-2010
  • Posts: 656

Right now I got a secondhand Compaq mechanical keyboard MX11800 with brown switches. It has different key shapes for each row so I cannot rearrange the keys to Colemak layout like the old Mitsumi.

CompaqMX118002.jpg

Hopefully it will improve my typing. I am now make 1% more mistakes with that keyboard, but with faster speed.

Last edited by Tony_VN (25-Feb-2011 05:53:30)
Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 3
  • Registered: 08-Dec-2010
  • Posts: 656

Day 40: 50wpm and 97% accuracy.


speed.png
I've reached that 50wpm which is more than sufficient for my work. Thanks for all your encouragements, and for Shai to make Colemak layout at the first place.

For anyone who wants to improve accuracy (which lead to faster speed) I recommend

Typeracer with Instant Death Mode (IDM) - where you are booted from a race as soon as you make a mistake.

http://play.typeracer.com/?universe=accuracy

Last edited by Tony_VN (25-Feb-2011 05:51:24)
Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 3
  • Registered: 08-Dec-2010
  • Posts: 656

Day 45: 51wpm with 98% (+1%) accuracy.

I am practicing in Typeracer, with speed from 48-60wpm depends on the text. It is much harder to improve speed, so I try to improve accuracy instead.

Last edited by Tony_VN (20-Jan-2011 03:51:14)
Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 136
  • From: Oslo, Norway
  • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
  • Posts: 4,896

Doing good Tony! It's nice to see your enthusiasm and progress.  :)

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

Online
  • 0
  • Reputation: 3
  • Registered: 08-Dec-2010
  • Posts: 656

Day 48: 52wpm with 97% (-1%) accuracy.

Now I am practising for speed and rhythm. The Compaq keyboard with light mx brown switches is good for my hands. I think I can type all day long.

Totd1.jpg

Typing of the Dead is funny yet useful. I find the Accuracy and Speed drills of that game very amusing.

Totd2.jpg

Last edited by Tony_VN (25-Feb-2011 05:52:38)
Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 3
  • Registered: 08-Dec-2010
  • Posts: 656

Day 49: 53wpm and 97% accuracy.

Alternating between speed and accuracy drills pay off. I am trying blind typing by not looking at the keyboard at all times, forcing my hands detect errors and fix mistakes accordingly.

Here are a few typing tips that may be useful.

Typing style

Observe your typing style and notice how you use your fingers and hands. Avoid keeping any unnecessary tension in your thumbs and fingers. Observe whether you have a heavy touch or a light touch while typing. Use the minimum amount of force needed to depress the keys.

Right
Relax all of your fingers while typing and pointing; notice and release excess tension. This sounds simple, but it may take repeated effort and attention to turn this into a good habit.

Wrong!
Do not hold unnecessary tension in any of your fingers  -  including those not touching keys or the pointing device, as well as those actively typing or pointing.

Reaching for keys and key combinations

To reach keys that are not near your keyboard's home row, move your whole arm; avoid overstretching your fingers. When pressing two keys simultaneously, such as Ctrl+C or Alt+F, use two hands instead of contorting your hand and fingers to reach both keys.

Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 0
  • Registered: 14-Jan-2011
  • Posts: 163

I am an expert in House of the dead but Unfortunately in shooting not typing :)

Anyway, what do you mean when you say

I am trying blind typing by not looking at the keyboard at all times, forcing my hands detect errors and fix mistakes accordingly

Do you look at the keyboard! I mean you are a touch-typist, and you should not look at the keyboard even if you made any error, you should be able to fix it without looking at the keyboard at all.

Finally, Hurry up Tony, I will catch you 52 WPM (5 minutes) :). At hi-games you are 57 wpm, so you do not consider this as your average?

Regards,
Nimbo

Offline
  • 0