Your other chin
Well, I’ve been using the Colemak keyboard layout for 2.5 weeks now. Colemak is a keyboard layout alternative (as opposed to qwerty). Here’s what it looks like:
As you may know, the keys on qwerty keyboards are the way they are for historical reasons–on typewriters, qwerty keyboards minimized the amount of jamming that occurred with the heads. But since computers don’t have the same limitation, the qwerty layout is impractical. Alternative layouts like Dvorak and Colemak seek to minimize the work required to move your fingers. The benefits of this are increased typing speed and decreased risk of things like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Dvorak seems to be the most popular. So why did I choose Colemak? Mostly because it doesn’t move the z, x, c, and v keys, which are the keys you use for undo, cut, copy, and paste. That would have driven me crazy.
When I decided to change, I decided that I wouldn’t wimp out by toggling back to qwerty. That’s key to picking it up fast. I had some helpful encouragement from friends via Facebook (Thanks Jay, Moriah, and Donald!). At times it was really tough to be IMing somebody and not be able to articulate what I want to say. “What do you think of [insert topic]?” Me: “good”.
So where has this gotten me? After one week of nonstop usage, I had all the keys memorized. And now after 2.5 weeks, I feel pretty comfortable. I never had wrist and finger problems before, but now that I’m using Colemak, my fingers feel a lot more relaxed. I just took a typing test and got 41 WPM with 100% accuracy (my best on qwerty was 60 WPM). I know, that’s not better than my qwerty speed, but I think I’ll get there after being on it for another week. Would I recommend it? Yes!
I'm Jon Chin. I love technology, food, and learning. I served a mission in the Philippines and loved it. You probably can't type on my keyboard because I don't have qwerty installed--I use Colemak. I'm obsessed with learning about North Korea and abandoned anything.