Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Gj;ukd... I mean typing on a new layout

I've been doing a bit of reading on alternate keyboard layouts and how they can increase speed and productivity while cutting down on errors and reducing hand fatigue. I compared a bunch of alternatives including the second most popular Dvorak layout, and after much thought, I've decided to try Colemak. I don't think I'll go cold turkey as I would like to retain my qwerty ability; ideally I'd like to be able to type in both formats as needed. I do expect my qwerty speed to go down as a result, but in the long run I think it'll be worth the effort in light of my future career in medical transcription and all the typing I'll be doing. So far this is my first attempt at typing in Colemak and it's taken me forever to do, but I can also see it's getting a little easier as I go along. And my fingers are doing a lot less traveling (my backspace key is getting a workout, that's for sure; trying to get used to the new "backspace key" [the old Caps Lock key]. I'll have to remap the Caps Lock key to a seldom used key (such as "right Windows key" or "Scroll lock.") I'll let you know how it goes.

Added 7/30/2008... I just tested my speed and was able to type an agonizingly slow 18 words per minute, but this was without looking at the keys (99% of the time). I'd love to see it up to 30 wpm by next week. We'll see.

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