Author Topic: Discussion thread: Why I can't Imagine changing layouts, personally/professionally  (Read 1905 times)

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Offline Lanx

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I've always wanted to change layouts professionally, I'm an ergo guy so I really wanted to lessen the strain on fingers and whole body, this is achieved from my zero point floating workstation and (currently) kinesis. However I know that I cannot transition that into my daily life, there just seems to be too many cons against it.

Adjusting wouldn't be that big of an issue as it would be a commitment, but then what happens after? or even during? I keep an old droid (with the slide out keyboard) cuz i like a real keyboard, but still that's a qwerty keyboard. I get in the car and the TomTom is a virtual qwerty, xbox/ps3/wii any game system will use a virtual qwerty, ok those things are only used once in a while anyway. Well i'm still home, i have to share the place with my fiance', my HTPC is a qwerty, there's no way i can change that, along with the 2 laptops and ipad i have laying around that are qwerty where am I ever going to be able to change the layout aside from my professional/work/personal computer?

is this an issue at all for any of you? or can you switch between qwerty and your layout of preference at the drop of a hat? (this is what has always kept me from switching)

Offline ZeroGraVT

  • Posts: 63
Unless you have to type an essay or something on the other keyboards, then I don't really see any problems when you can just look at the keyboard.  You can also train like some people do and use the kinesis for the alternative layout and use the standard flat board for qwerty.

Offline oneproduct

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On the android market you can get free applications that replace the virtual keyboard with one in a different layout. You can switch back and forth between them at will.

On laptops, Mac and Linux both support Dvorak and Colemak out of the box and it's easy to switch back and forth between them. Windows supports Dvorak out of the box and you can download something for Colemak. In Windows you can even use a hotkey to change between keyboard layouts super fast.

When on the move to other computers, I use an autohotkey script to artificially change the layout that I can carry around on a USB stick or just keep in my email and download where needed.

On Xbox and PS3 you're using the controller's stick to type one letter at at time, so you can't even really touch type. Even if you do attach a keyboard to the console, you probably don't need to send many long messages and you could always use voice instead since consoles support it well.

When I absolutely have to use QWERTY I just look as I type. I don't change the physical layouts of my keyboards so they all look like QWERTY on the outside even though I use Colemak (when I look at a physical Colemak it confuses me even!). So although I'm much slower I'm still familiar with where things are, but I certainly can't really touch type all that great.
Filco Tenkeyless | Realforce Tenkeyless Variable Silent | Truly Ergonomic | Kinesis Contoured Advantage | IBM Model M SSK | Cherry G80-3600LYC | TG3 w/ trackpad | CM Storm QuickFire Rapid | Ergodox
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Colemak

Offline alaricljs

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Obligatory off topic side track...

Quote from: Lanx;474533
... my zero point floating workstation ...

Your what?   Links / pics?


PS - I want you to know the horrors that I stumbled upon attempting to get results from google.
Filco w/ Imsto thick PBT
Ducky 1087XM PCB+Plate, w/ Matias "Quiet Click" spring-swapped w/ XM Greens

Online dorkvader

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I can still type almost as fast in QWERTY, so it's not a huge issue for me. I'm also not allowed to change the layout at work. I can't touch type in QWERTY (I have to look) but I can go pretty fast.

Although my QWERTY typing speed improved after learning dvorak, I would say that the switch wasn't too awkward. I had a paper due, and I did it in Dvorak. Using QWERTY at least once a week has kept my skills (if you can call it that) up, so I can still use it when necessary.

Another idea is to do what some (Sordna I think?) do and only use dvorak on a kinesis, and QWERTY for "flat" keyboards. I think it's a great idea.
let me put together your keyboard! Special offer, $10 to assemble an "inifity" keyboard.
"One should watch a film adaptation of a favorite book only after considering, very carefully, the fact that the casting of the film may very well become the permanent casting of the book in one's mind. This is a very real hazard."

Offline Lanx

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Quote from: alaricljs;474757
Obligatory off topic side track...



Your what?   Links / pics?


PS - I want you to know the horrors that I stumbled upon attempting to get results from google.
i'll get a pic out when it's daytime lol, it's a deskless ergotron setup, that's how i explain it to my friends since ppl come over and think my desk is floating.

Offline Tony

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Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you are right.

I have switched to Colemak, and I think that no matter how big is the problem, I can always post a thread here, asking geekhackers for a solution.
Keyboard: Filco MJ1 104 brown, Filco MJ2 87 brown, Compaq MX11800, Noppoo Choc Brown/Blue/Red, IBM Model M 1996, CMStorm Quickfire Rapid Black
Layout: Colemak experience, speed of 67wpm

Offline Agiel

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I've been using Colemak for probably 5 years now, and Dvorak for about 2 years before that. At no point did I have any problems going back to QWERTY. Sure, I hate the world every time I need to do it and I definitely can't type as fast as on Colemak, but it's not like I lock up completely. Personally I just need 5-10 minutes to adapt and I can type fine, and in the worst case you can always go back to hunt-and-pecking (changing the key caps to the new layout I feel is very counter-productive if you want to learn proper touch typing).

Also, don't worry about phones or on screen keyboards. Typing with your thumbs or a single finger is very different from touch typing so there's no conflict there.
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Offline Martin227

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Quote from: alaricljs;474757
PS - I want you to know the horrors that I stumbled upon attempting to get results from google.

That page's title...
Quote
~~~ QUADCORE PSIONIC WORKSTATION WITH MASSIVE TACHYON GENERATORS ~~~

That is all.
New account: bogboar

Offline boli

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I've been using Colemak for about 3 years, haven't touch typed QWERTY since. I have a Kinesis keyboard at work and another one at home on my main computer, the Mac minis for TV and beamer have Apple bluetooth keyboards, but are mostly controlled with just a mouse (with lots of buttons, and each button is used). No one else uses these keyboards normally (no GF/wife), and if someone does it's easy to change the layout (though hardly anyone wants to use the Kinesis themselves, so they let me type).

Whenever I have to type somewhere else I either use hunting and pecking in QWERTY for little text, or if I have to type more than 2 minutes I switch to Colemak (install if needed). As long as it's Colemak I can touch type on other keyboards well enough to get by.

Funny enough since typing on an smart phone is hunting and pecking by design I don't miss Colemak much on there - whenever I actually look at the keyboard I want to type QWERTY anyway.

The switch to Colemak was hard, even though not all keys change compared to QWERTY, you can read all about it in the Colemak experiences forums. For me the first week was hardest, because every. single. key stroke. was a conscious decision, after 3 weeks I was half as fast as before and from there on it was easy going.

If you persist and don't do it when all hell is loose at work it should be fine. You'll be incredibly slow when typing IM or Email or anything, so if long texts are due it's a bad time. I did it when I wasn't programming as usual, but building a GUI prototype, which involved more clicking than typing.

I figured the switch was worth it given I'll likely write software for the next 30 odd years, but in our company with over a hundred programmers there's surprisingly few who'd consider such a switch.

Some guys retain their QWERTY touch typing skills. I haven't even tried to be honest. I think during the transition it would have been harmful. But now that Colemak is ingrained I think I could handle attempting to know two layouts well enough to switch at will, but there's no need, so I haven't tried.
« Last Edit: Wed, 21 December 2011, 05:58:27 by boli »
Keyboard: Kinesis Ergo Advantage (two LF editions with red Cherry switches, one regular with brown switches)
Keyboard layout: basically Colemak, with some remapping to end up with my custom Kinesis Advantage layout
Typing test profiles: typeracer.com / hi-games.net / keybr.com

Offline mr_a500

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Quote from: Tony;475029
Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you are right.

I have switched to Colemak, and I think that no matter how big is the problem, I can always post a thread here, asking geekhackers for a solution.


Oh, man.. this picture in your thread made me laugh:

Offline Lanx

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my limited thinking is that when i was faced with an onscreen keyboard of just abcdefg (no layout just straight out) i couldn't do it, idk why it was just weird, this was on my tomtom (a few months ago after a reset) and i think ps3? or one of those consoles before i changed it qwerty.

Offline Tony

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Feel the fear and do it anyway.

There are lots of success stories in Colemak experience forum. At first I also had some fears, but I decided to take the risk and now I am glad I did it.

After three weeks, you will not want to come back to Qwerty, since the new layout feels so good.

I still come back to Qwerty to play some specific games which hardcoded hotkeys. You don't have to leave Qwerty forever, just have more options.

If you still hesitate, it's fine too. To tell you the truth, I think Colemak/Dvorak is not for everyone. It takes considerable mental strength, emotional courage and physical resilience of your fingers to switch to a new layout.

Luckily, the switching process only takes around a month of time. From that on, it's smooth sailing. You only get better.
« Last Edit: Wed, 21 December 2011, 08:41:49 by Tony »
Keyboard: Filco MJ1 104 brown, Filco MJ2 87 brown, Compaq MX11800, Noppoo Choc Brown/Blue/Red, IBM Model M 1996, CMStorm Quickfire Rapid Black
Layout: Colemak experience, speed of 67wpm

Online dorkvader

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Quote from: Agiel;475043
(changing the key caps to the new layout I feel is very counter-productive if you want to learn proper touch typing)

This is true, but does have some advantages:
#1 no-one but me (and same brave touch-typists confident in their ability) will ever use my laptop
#2 It's easily recognizable if lost/stolen

While some of the layouts seemed to be geared for one-digit input, I did see one in the article that looked pretty good for two-fingers.
---
Also:
Quote from: alaricljs;474757
PS - I want you to know the horrors that I stumbled upon attempting to get results from google.
I read that entire page, and never quit laughing.
« Last Edit: Wed, 21 December 2011, 16:00:52 by dorkvader »
let me put together your keyboard! Special offer, $10 to assemble an "inifity" keyboard.
"One should watch a film adaptation of a favorite book only after considering, very carefully, the fact that the casting of the film may very well become the permanent casting of the book in one's mind. This is a very real hazard."

Offline Proword

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  • Location: Perth, Western Australia
I learned QWERTY in 1967, then changed to Maltron in 1986.  At that time I was typing student theses and I considered sticking with the QWERTY option on the Maltron so as not to lose time, but decided to go with the Malt layout.  Because the two keyboards were so physically different (ie flat QWERTY versus curved Maltron) I had very little trouble in swapping one to the other, and I'm still able to touch type on a flat QWERTY, with a few minutes warm up to get back "in the groove".

I've been working since 1990 as a court reporter, doing audio transcription (stenographically, at speeds of up to 180 wpm, which way exceeded my QWERTY speed), and just for the fun of it, I'm now learning how to transcribe audio with a Maltron single handed keyboard.  After about 6 hours I'm getting to about 12 wpm touch typing, and then I swap back to the two hander.  The physical form of the single hander is again so different to both the flat keyboard and the dual hander that it's not a big problem.

I've found the major difficulty is when you keep the same keyboard form (eg flat) and merely re-arrange the key distribution.  You then start getting conflicting signals from your "muscle memory", which is the "go" of touch typing.

Joe
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Maltron 3D Single Hand (x2 - L & R)

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Offline himynameisbunny

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Quote from: Proword;475519
I've found the major difficulty is when you keep the same keyboard form (eg flat) and merely re-arrange the key distribution.  You then start getting conflicting signals from your "muscle memory", which is the "go" of touch typing.

Funny, I'm pretty sure sordna said the same thing.

Now I want to try a DVORAK Kinesis.
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