Author Topic: Wanna Switch - Colemak?  (Read 28654 times)

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Offline noctua

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« on: Fri, 16 July 2010, 14:14:40 »
This is now my third day, since i have decided to give Colemak a try. After the first lessons
i can write this thread very slowly.. more burdensome. My first impression, apart from the
effort of time and concentration, is it feels more calmer..

Beginners or advancer here that can report their experience?
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both use Cherry MX Blue switches, an Teensy++ controller and have an Colemak layout

Offline Oqsy

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 16 July 2010, 17:19:21 »
I've got a colemak cooler that I fill with beer from time to time.  It works pretty well, but sometimes it seems like the ice melts a little faster than it should.  I don't know if the insulation inside the plastic degrades with age or what...
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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 16 July 2010, 17:42:21 »
My dad has a similar cooler, he likes to fill it with Yuengling and bring it camping in the rain once a year.
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Offline EverythingIBM

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 16 July 2010, 17:42:56 »
Quote from: Oqsy;203402
I've got a colemak cooler that I fill with beer from time to time.  It works pretty well, but sometimes it seems like the ice melts a little faster than it should.  I don't know if the insulation inside the plastic degrades with age or what...


Beer?? ewwwww. How about some cranberry juice. YUM! Cranberry juice w/ a 300PL w/ some DOS games w/ a LAN party. Just better hope the games use TCP/IP instead of IPX. I HATE IPX AAAAAAAH, nothing I tried would work. Then again, I tried using modems and that didn't work either. Luckily most of my games support TCP/IP.
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Offline EverythingIBM

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 16 July 2010, 17:45:11 »
Quote from: Computer-Lab in Basement;203408
My dad has a similar cooler, he likes to fill it with Yuengling and bring it camping in the rain once a year.


I wouldn't be surprised if your dad opened it one day and seen a bunch of 5" floppies spilling out. "ohhh, little CLIB is at it again!"
Keyboards: '86 M, M5-2, M13, SSK, F AT, F XT

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 16 July 2010, 17:47:07 »
No he would open it up and find that I had stolen all his beer.
Work: Backlit Poker II w/ Nostalgia set(Blues)
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Offline EverythingIBM

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #6 on: Fri, 16 July 2010, 18:01:51 »
Quote from: Computer-Lab in Basement;203412
No he would open it up and find that I had stolen all his beer.


And then you'd trade the beer with MW for some vintage computers.
Keyboards: '86 M, M5-2, M13, SSK, F AT, F XT

Offline sam113101

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #7 on: Fri, 16 July 2010, 20:01:21 »
I'm using a french dvorak keyboard layout called bpo since 5 months I think, and I love it, better than qwerty

the first month was very hard, I was typing at the speed of 60 words a minute in qwerty and fell back to 6 words a minute, it got frustrating sometimes

now I might have reached my qwerty speed, I might even type faster now
I will take a typing test soon, I'm curious too

I wasn't a touch typist and it's the reason why I tried dvorak
Hoping to hear from you again, your dearest friend, sam113101.

Offline Oqsy

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 16 July 2010, 20:12:32 »
[sigpic]Currently in use: Rosewill RK9000 and CH DT225[/sigpic]
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Offline microsoft windows

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #9 on: Fri, 16 July 2010, 20:18:55 »

GET MICROSOFT INTERNET EXPLORER 6

Offline Viett

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #10 on: Fri, 16 July 2010, 20:19:53 »
Love Colemak. I wrote a review about QWERTY, Dvorak, and Colemak a while ago. Stick with it. It'll pay off.
Keyboards: FKBN87MC/NPEK, Dell AT101W (Black), IBM Model M 1391401 (91) x 2, Deck 82 Fire, Cherry MX8100 (Clears), Siig Minitouch
Layouts: Colemak (100WPM), QWERTY (100WPM) -- Alternative Layouts Review

Offline EverythingIBM

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #11 on: Fri, 16 July 2010, 20:44:12 »
Quote from: Oqsy;203474
Bepo


EDIT: it took me awhile to get the URL for that... they masked it with a one-pixel invisible GIF file lol. I started seeing people do that. But luckily there's "source code" (and messy code at that, lots of generators).

Bepo? What is that, really. Some four-legged bear thing.

Quote from: microsoft windows;203477
Show Image

Possum! Squirrel!

« Last Edit: Fri, 16 July 2010, 20:49:54 by EverythingIBM »
Keyboards: '86 M, M5-2, M13, SSK, F AT, F XT

Offline aegrotatio

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #12 on: Sat, 17 July 2010, 02:04:50 »
Colemak is nobile but too different from the day-to-day, get-work-done keyboard layouts that I need to survive.  Even after the several weeks of learning the format I'm not sure the 10% of typing efficiency I might gain would matter to anyone more than people who transcribe thousands of words per day, but then, doesn't OCR handle that, too?  But I digress.  Sigh.
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Offline noctua

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #13 on: Sat, 17 July 2010, 02:46:01 »
I can switch between qwertz and colemak on my protoype quickly, both layouts was programmed
into the controller and are selectable via key combination, no software is required. Today on the
fourth, my speed is ~20 wpm..

Colemak does a good job at loading the stronger fingers (index and middle)
and uses them most of the time.
Selfmade Keyboard I (done)
DT225 CH Trackball

Selfmade Keyboard II (95% completed)
L-Trac CST2545W-RC Trackball

both use Cherry MX Blue switches, an Teensy++ controller and have an Colemak layout

Offline noctua

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #14 on: Sat, 17 July 2010, 03:45:20 »
Quote from: Viett;203478
Love Colemak. I wrote a review about QWERTY, Dvorak, and Colemak a while ago. Stick with it. It'll pay off.


How long you type already with Colemak, and you never repented this decision?
Selfmade Keyboard I (done)
DT225 CH Trackball

Selfmade Keyboard II (95% completed)
L-Trac CST2545W-RC Trackball

both use Cherry MX Blue switches, an Teensy++ controller and have an Colemak layout

Offline effnish

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #15 on: Sat, 17 July 2010, 09:54:12 »
I thought I'd chime in here with my Colemak experiences.  About 6 months ago I made the switch.  I'm a software developer by day, so I thought it was worth my time if it was more comfortable to type on.

Prior to the switch I typed QWERTY at 80-90 WPM.  It took about an hour or two to memorize the Colemak layout.  The first couple of days were brutal.  I was typing a dismal 13 WPM and abandoned using it at work until I could type at a more respectable rate.  By the end of the week I was closer to 25 WPM.  Another 2-3 weeks later I was up to 40ish WPM.  

For me 40 WPM is the real sweet spot for using the layout comfortably.  I don't think much faster than 40 WPM so I don't notice the speed difference that much unless I'm transcribing text.  I currently type about 65-70 WPM on Colemak and my QWERTY speed has stayed about the same (more on this later).

Colemak is definitely a "calmer" layout.  Your fingers aren't dancing across the keyboard nearly as much.  I find that it's also much more comfortable to type on for long periods of time.  I did have more hand discomfort when I first started because I was typing a lot more and I was much more tense when I typed.

Here are some of my suggestions for making the switch.

Plan to practice for about an hour a day for the first couple of weeks.  When you get frustrated take a break for a while.

Don't try and use it for anything that's time critical until your comfortable with your typing speed.  It just caused me frustration and increases typing discomfort since I was stressed and tense while I typed.

If you have more than one computer set one up as Colemak and leave a QWERTY computer.  Your brain does an amazing job of associating keyboard layouts by physical environment.  This helped me learn Colemak without losing QWERTY.  I stopped using QWERTY for a month and found it really difficult to type it when I needed to.  Maintain QWERTY because you'll need it if you ever have to help a coworker with a problem or borrow someone else's computer.  At this point all of my computers but one are set to use Colemak.  The one I use the least is set to QWERTY which forces me to use it regularly.

Offline Viett

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #16 on: Sat, 17 July 2010, 10:47:37 »
Quote from: noctua;203546
How long you type already with Colemak, and you never repented this decision?


I learned the layout a year ago, but I only started actually using Colemak in February. I feel more comfortable with it now than I ever did with Dvorak, which I typed for almost two years.
Keyboards: FKBN87MC/NPEK, Dell AT101W (Black), IBM Model M 1391401 (91) x 2, Deck 82 Fire, Cherry MX8100 (Clears), Siig Minitouch
Layouts: Colemak (100WPM), QWERTY (100WPM) -- Alternative Layouts Review

Online HaaTa

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #17 on: Sat, 17 July 2010, 11:02:11 »
I started to learn Colemak in November last year. Only kept up to it because it didn't annoy me like Dvorak did trying to learn it a year earlier (mostly symbols for programming).

As for speed, I'm probably a little bit faster on QWERTY still. However the comfort and convenience (I don't touch type with QWERTY) keep me with Colemak.
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Offline noctua

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #18 on: Sun, 18 July 2010, 03:26:39 »
Thanks for sharing your experiences, today on the fifth my fingers feels good with "calmer" Colemak.
But i have to be very concentrated to reach the required accuracy, memorizing the layout is one
thing, the other to hit the right key each time..

My qwertz-status-quo smiles only about the slow typing maneuver...
Selfmade Keyboard I (done)
DT225 CH Trackball

Selfmade Keyboard II (95% completed)
L-Trac CST2545W-RC Trackball

both use Cherry MX Blue switches, an Teensy++ controller and have an Colemak layout

Offline mcbrite

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #19 on: Sun, 18 July 2010, 12:40:24 »
I started only yesterday evening. This msg is typed in Colemak. It's veeeeery slow still, but surprisingly I don't have to look at the layout at all anymore.

Memorizing it was FAR easier than I imagined!

Nocuta:
May I ask where you put the german Umlaute?

Pro Tipp for peeps learning to touchtype:
Whatever your training schedule, make sure you have at least a small training unit at the end of the evening, just before going to bed.
« Last Edit: Sun, 18 July 2010, 12:45:40 by mcbrite »

Offline noctua

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #20 on: Sun, 18 July 2010, 13:47:37 »
Indeed, the keys aou are occupied by the french accents . The german umlauts
have unfavourable positions.. -> q, -> y and is on ;!

This guy has moved the umlauts to their "original" positions ( -> AltGr AOU),
much more better.

Personally i have built my own keyboard prototype from scratch, both layouts
(QWERTZ/COLEMAK) are stored into Teensy++ controller, i press Fn+aou and
get .

What was your reason for trying resp. switch to Colemak?
« Last Edit: Sun, 18 July 2010, 13:51:13 by noctua »
Selfmade Keyboard I (done)
DT225 CH Trackball

Selfmade Keyboard II (95% completed)
L-Trac CST2545W-RC Trackball

both use Cherry MX Blue switches, an Teensy++ controller and have an Colemak layout

Offline krstf

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #21 on: Sun, 18 July 2010, 16:44:32 »
I switched about 6 weeks ago. In the beginning I trained about 1-2 hours a day, before going on holiday a for 2 weeks about 2 weeks after I switched. After returning I trained much less and now my speed is about 20-30 wpm (which is about half my qwerty speed), progressing slowly but steadily.
I really like the feel of the layout - much more relaxing to type. There's only one thing which can be a bit annoying: as soon as I reach a certain speed my QWERTY muscle memory seems to kick in from time to time - most prominent example is hitting r when I intend to hit s - but I guess that will go away with time.

Anyone else experience this?

Cheers

Offline Viett

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #22 on: Sun, 18 July 2010, 17:42:46 »
Quote from: krstf;203946


Anyone else experience this?



Maybe the opposite. Before I forgot how to type Dvorak completely, when I decided to switch to Colemak, the only way I could type Dvorak was if I told myself to type as fast as possible. If I typed too slowly, I'd start to type Colemak again.

For a while I wanted to retain all three layouts. But I gave up-- it was way too much to bother remembering Dvorak when there was no real reason to ever use it.
Keyboards: FKBN87MC/NPEK, Dell AT101W (Black), IBM Model M 1391401 (91) x 2, Deck 82 Fire, Cherry MX8100 (Clears), Siig Minitouch
Layouts: Colemak (100WPM), QWERTY (100WPM) -- Alternative Layouts Review

Offline n3rrd

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #23 on: Sun, 18 July 2010, 22:18:55 »
I have no real qualms with QWERTY myself, but I've always been interested in learning an alternative.  It sounds as though one should learn Colemak over Dvorak?  I appreciate that Colemak leaves cut, copy, and paste shortcuts in the same place.  I'm not sure how I feel about having to remap keys for VIM, though.

Offline noctua

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #24 on: Mon, 19 July 2010, 04:43:48 »
I type since 10 years on the QWERTZ layout, this was/is ok for me too.
But this layout isn't "really" ideal for everybody whose native language
is not english.. you know, but this is also true for the Colemak layout.

Specially for germans the NordTast layout may be an alternative.

Why Colemak, hmm we all creature of habit. The fact that the letters
"qwahzxycvbm,." are unchanged on the Colemak layout is personally
an advantage for me.. still i will feel how it is in another Church ;-)
Selfmade Keyboard I (done)
DT225 CH Trackball

Selfmade Keyboard II (95% completed)
L-Trac CST2545W-RC Trackball

both use Cherry MX Blue switches, an Teensy++ controller and have an Colemak layout

Offline noctua

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #25 on: Tue, 20 July 2010, 06:50:40 »
Today on sixt day, i have replaced the green mx switch (under the spacebar)
with an lighter blue one, this feels better. For my practice training, i "perform"
now an slower steady rhythm/beat. It will take some time..

Does anybody use the left thumb for the spacebar?
Selfmade Keyboard I (done)
DT225 CH Trackball

Selfmade Keyboard II (95% completed)
L-Trac CST2545W-RC Trackball

both use Cherry MX Blue switches, an Teensy++ controller and have an Colemak layout

Offline muchadoaboutnothing

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #26 on: Tue, 20 July 2010, 07:14:25 »
Quote from: noctua;204467
Does anybody use the left thumb for the spacebar?


I mostly use my right, but if my right thumb isn't on the space bar I will use my left.

Offline noctua

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #27 on: Tue, 20 July 2010, 10:28:39 »
Huh, I'm stuck resp. i am confused. I have so much practiced Colemak that i can't type some lines with Qwerty at the moment, no chance..
Selfmade Keyboard I (done)
DT225 CH Trackball

Selfmade Keyboard II (95% completed)
L-Trac CST2545W-RC Trackball

both use Cherry MX Blue switches, an Teensy++ controller and have an Colemak layout

Offline JBert

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #28 on: Tue, 20 July 2010, 16:34:53 »
I tried to go cold turkey and mostly kept it up. I had to cheat those few first days though as I couldn't type fast enough to get mails or chat out of the door soon enough.

As for WPM, I can't really say how fast I typed before on QWERTY. I used some hunt-and-swarm technique where I knew some rolls and letters but still continuously had to look to reposition my hand to the right letter. That's what you get from chatting without formal touch-typing training.

To put a number on it, I think I did somewhere between 20-40 WPM before, depending on the type of text to be typed. Right now I can get 50-60 WPM although my accuracy is still off. It seems this remains the same, even when typing at 40 WPM, I just seem to start missing characters when I lose focus.
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Offline effnish

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Wanna Switch - Colemak?
« Reply #29 on: Tue, 20 July 2010, 19:39:48 »
Quote from: noctua;204519
Huh, I'm stuck resp. i am confused. I have so much practiced Colemak that i can't type some lines with Qwerty at the moment, no chance..


If you dedicate some time to qwerty (1-2 hrs), it'll come back.  Early on it's really tough to switch back and forth, especially if it's the same computer/keyboard.  With enough practice you'll be able to switch pretty seamlessly.  I had a period where I couldn't use qwerty.  All it took was moving back to it as my primary layout for a few days.  This was at a time when I was at 50-60 WPM on Colemak.  Since then it's been much easier to switch.

On a somewhat related note, I took my cherry blue keyboard to work today to annoy my officemate and I made a small discovery.  My office computer is qwerty and has been for some time.  As soon as I start typing on the blues, I suddenly wanted to type in Colemak.  Apparently my brain has associated the blue-click with Colemak.