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Depressed about my typing progress and about thealternatives

PostPosted: 23 Jun 2005, 15:43
by Peter70
So I've been using a TS dvorak for a few weeks. I'm making some progress, but it's very very slow. It's due to a combination of learning dvorak and learning to type on a surface without any tactile feedback. My qwerty touch typing is around 50wpm and my dvorak TS is MAX 15. It started lower so this is already progress. I've been wanting to find somebody interested in trading their qwerty for my dvorak TS but I also realize that it could just be typing on the TS that's slowing my down. And the fact that I am still on occasion forced to use QWERTY keyboards. I think that maybe dvorak is really the best layout for this particular kind of keyboard since it minimizes jumping around with your fingers outside the home row.

If it weren't for the gestures, I'd probably just go back to using a regular keyboard, but I'm already addicted to having all that at my fingertips. I'm struggling with whether I should just sell my TS and get a kinesis contoured or even a regular laptop-style, shallow key keyboard combined with an igesture pad. Problem is, I love this technology! Very addictive, despite the difficulties I'm having.

Don't know why I'm posting this. Suppose I'd like to hear some thoughts on all this since I'm sure many of you have been through the same thing.


PostPosted: 24 Jun 2005, 01:16
by nomaded
I would also suggest turning on some kind of audio feed back. I found it very helpful getting used to the slightly different key layout when I first got my MacNTouch (from using my old TouchStream Stealth).

You can run some 3rd party software for Windows, and OSX has it builtin (under Universal Access).

PostPosted: 24 Jun 2005, 01:18
by nomaded
lostlogic wrote:I have gotten away from using any non-gesture special key combos other than ctrl-t, and that one will be going down as soon as I get at a windows computer.

I actually mapped "ctrl-t" to a gesture on all my TouchStream keyboards - RH T3F-neutral in a right-down motion.

PostPosted: 24 Jun 2005, 15:06
by ken gray
I would also suggest turning on some kind of audio feed back.

i use KeyTick for audible feedback of my keystrokes and really like it.

PostPosted: 29 Jun 2005, 13:18
by Shawn_Milo
I know I'm arriving to this post late, but I thought I'd throw in my two cents.

I switched to Dvorak about a year before I discovered the TouchStream. As it was, it took me about two weeks into my Dvorak switch to get to the point where typing wasn't painfully slow. It was another two or three weeks to adjust to the TouchStream.

So my suggestion is that you change you keyboard layout in your OS, and use a standard keyboard for 10-14 days until you are used to Dvorak. Then grab the TouchStream. I suspect that trying to get used to both at once makes your Dvorak learning very ineffective, and you'll never get comfortable with it the way you're going. I imagine it's like trying to learn a foreign language and also write a book in that language at the same time.


PostPosted: 30 Jun 2005, 17:44
by VaderPi
I waited until I was very proficient with my QWERTY TouchStream before I decided to learn DVORAK. It has been difficult, but I get better everyday.

Getting used to the QWERTY TouchStream was difficult enough. I agree with previous posts that it is probably a bad idea. There were also posts in the old forum that gave the same advice. That is why I bought a QWERTY TouchStream. The plan was to buy a DVORAK model later, but we all know why that won't happen. :)

PostPosted: 01 Jul 2005, 05:05
by drew
Thought I should I should weigh in here because I have had a different experience. I went cold turkey dvorak on my qwerty TS.
I am proficient typist but have never taken a class or trained other than use while learning qwerty. I used the same method learning dvorak on the TS it took me about 6 months to get up to my qwerty speed using dvorak on my TS.
I have to say that typing speed is not incredibly important to my job so I was able to take my time.

PostPosted: 02 Jul 2005, 00:09
by Peter70
Well, I traded my dvorak for a qwerty and my touch typing speed is greatly improved of course - about 60% of normal speed after a day of use. I'm happy with that and it actually feels fun to type on this.

I must be doing something wrong though because typing on the TS is causing quite a bit of pain in my fingers, wrists and on top of my hands (I don't normally hurt). I try to relax my fingers but apparently not enough. i need to keep the base of my palms on the pads in order to touch type, but this seems to exacerbate the problem and cause my hands to hurt more. How did you guys learn to type comfortably on the TS?

I'm beginning to think that despite my love for the concept, this may not be the right keyboard for me... : (

I'd be curious how others felt in the beginning...

PostPosted: 02 Jul 2005, 04:07
by notmatt
I must admit I get that feeling also. I'm currently not even using my TS atm to type this. I swapped it out earlier this evening to play games and I've not plugged it back in. I can type ok with the TS and have got the hang of the gestures well enough. But I still don't feel great using it as my main input device. It is too sensitive when I don't want it to be and not sensitive when I'm trying to use it. Would it be worth my playing with the sensitivity levels?

I'm not finding it to be very comfortable either. I'm using a bit too much force to type still. Periodically however it doesn't respond to gestures and the like however which isn't helping in my attempt to lighten my gesturing.

PostPosted: 02 Jul 2005, 12:04
by Peter70
The reason I got the TS was that I wanted something that integrated keyboard and mouse in a comfortable way. I had been using a trackball for a long time and suddenly began to feel uncomfortable with it (wrists and fingers). The main appeal was the integration and not having to reach for a mouse. Unfortunately, this is causing more pain that what I had before so I either have to a) change the way I use it somehow or b) get something else (but what?).


Touchstream pain

PostPosted: 03 Jul 2005, 21:08
by synemitchell
Hi Peter,

Glad the Querty TS made it there safe and sound. I'm loving your old Dvorak. I'm thrilled since I'd promised myself a TS when I finished my latest novel and after dutifully waiting until it was done--FW was gone. Ebay and a bulliten board trade, and I finally have the keyboard of my dreams. :>

When I first started on the touchstream (and now, sometimes when I'm tired), I typed as hard as on my old keyboard, which, since the TS has no give, caused pain. I'm now practicing a feather light touch and that has helped measurably.

When I'm typing, I tend to float my arms from the shoulder, using the touchpads only as a kenesthetic reference, not a support. I'm also pretty strict about proper ergonomics and posture. I also rest my hands on the keyboard when not typing (all five fingers down)

I'm going to go against the tide and say that I think switching to Dvorak and the TS at the same time works well. At least for me. My brain seems to have preserved the Qwerty patterns for buttoned keyboards and created a new neural file for flat keyboards.

For a while I had two keyboards attached to my computer, the TS to learn on and a regular one for when I had to type fast. Since I went cold turkey on the TS, I'm making faster progress with my Dvorak.

The other thing I would reccemend for anyone, whether switching to a TS, Dvorak, or both is a good typing program. I use Ten Thumbs It's cheap, has native Dvorak and Qwerty tutorials, and the Viking graphics make me smile. (a nifty nuro-science trick, practice right before bed, you'll wake up better at it, due to the brain's reorganizing info as you sleep.)

I never formally learned Qwerty, so tended to look at the board even for my fastest typing, which given the large overhead of visual processing in the brain, slowed things down. I'm hopeful that the discipline of formally learning touch typing, combined with the efficiency of Dvorak, will eventually make me faster than I was before--and with whifty gestures!

All best,