Vote Charlie!

Switching to Dvorak

Posted at age 28.
Edited .

This is the most painful entry I have ever written, but hopefully the pain will be worth it. I am typing in the Dvorak keyboard layout thanks to a deceptively enticing set of lessons at learn.dvorak.nl, which I found linked on Reddit while researching what people do with programmable layers like my CODE 61 key has.

dvorak-keyboard-training.png

dvorak-keyboard-training.png

I quickly got sucked into the levels, of which there are only five. Here are my times for the levels, most of which I repeated at least once.

Day 1

  • Level 1: 11 mins
  • Level 1: 8 mins
  • Level 1: 7 mins
  • Level 1: 7 mins
  • Level 2: 12 mins
  • Level 3: 21 mins
  • Level 3: 15 mins
  • (break)
  • Level 3: 15 mins
  • Level 3: 14 mins

Day 2

  • Level 1: 6 mins
  • Level 2: 10 mins
  • Level 3: 14 mins
  • (break)
  • Level 3: 13 mins
  • Level 4: 14 mins
  • Level 4: 12 mins
  • Level 5: 15 mins

After running through the last level once and thus being introduced to all the keys, I figured I might as well start using Dvorak full time. I am not looking and not making many mistakes, but it is taking a ton of mental effort to stay focused, and I am typing extremely slowly!

Your score: 63 CPM (that is 13 WPM) (typing-speed-test.aoeu.eu)

Day 3

  • Level 5: 13 mins

I didn’t do much typing the rest of the next two days.

Day 4

  • Level 1: 5 mins
  • Level 2: 8 mins
  • (break)
  • Level 3: 10 mins
  • Level 4: 9 mins
  • (2 hr break)
  • Level 5: 11 mins
  • Level 5: 11 mins
  • Level 5: 11 mins
  • Level 5: 11 mins
  • Level 1: 5 mins

Day 5

  • Level 1: 5 mins
  • Level 2: 8 mins
  • Level 3: 10 mins
  • Level 4: 9 mins
  • Level 5: 10 mins
  • Level 5: 11 mins
  • (break)
  • Level 5: 11 mins while listening to book
  • (long break)
  • Level 5: 11 mins
  • Level 5: 11 mins
  • Level 5: 11 mins
  • (break)
  • Level 5: 10 mins
  • Level 5: 11 mins
  • Level 5: 11 mins
  • Level 5: 11 mins
  • Level 5: 12 mins
  • Level 5: 11 mins

I was really hoping in that last stretch my speed would improve! Today typing has been noticeably less mentally straining, but I obviously can’t manage to go much faster. I’m going to try using Dvorak (and sitting upright without slouching!) for the rest of the night and hope it’s not too painful. At least I am now typing just fast enough to get my thoughts out before I give up.

Day 6

  • Level 5: 10 mins
  • Level 5: 10 mins
  • 14 hours later with no practice
  • Level 5: 11 mins

Day 7

  • Level 5: 10 mins
  • (break)
  • Level 5: 10 mins
  • (break)

I spent a couple of hours going through the lessons and tests on Typing Cat, a site my brother sent me. It was quite helpful, especially for the lower row and for the numbers and symbols, which I am also trying to force myself to type without any assisting glances. I could feel myself getting faster, though I am still needing to backtrack too much.

Now typing-speed-test.aoeu.eu shows: “Your score: 107 CPM (that is 21 WPM)”

Day 8

My fingers are sore! Especially my right ring finger and maybe the pinky.

  • Level 5: 10 mins

I am having trouble deciding which shift key to use for letters like P and I where it is so natural for me to use the same hand in a smooth motion. I have been trying to religiously use the opposite shifts, but the mental stall in doing so is long. I also considered modifying my finger placements to be more symmetrical, but decided to stick with the traditional pattern in consideration of an eventual move to the Kinesis Advantage2 keyboard.

  • Level 5: 9 mins
  • Level 5: 9 mins
  • Level 5: 9 mins

Day 9ish

I took a few days off unfortunately, partly due to urgency in typing quickly (ugh) and then due to not doing much typing for a couple of days due to computer issues. I ended up reformatting my desktop and re-figuring out how I set up my hackintosh. Now I shall get back into typing Dvorak seriously…

  • Level 1: 4 mins
  • Level 2: 7 mins
  • Level 3: 9 mins
  • Level 4: 9 mins
  • Level 5: 9 mins
  • (break)
  • Level 5: 8 mins

Day 10

Still haven’t managed to type much at all outside these tests. Life!

  • Level 1: 4 mins
  • Level 2: 6 mins
  • Level 3: 8 mins
  • Level 4: 7 mins
  • Level 5: 8 mins
  • Level 5: 8 mins

Your score: 134 CPM (that is 27 WPM) (typing-speed-test.aoeu.eu)

Your score: 143 CPM (that is 29 WPM)

Your score: 133 CPM (that is 27 WPM)

Day ~18 (April 26)

It’s been a struggle. I have mostly been using Dvorak lately, but I have been managing to not type that much. It does feel like I am getting faster, but my accuracy is not great unless I focus hard, which is somewhat exhausting and much slower still. I keep mindlessly typing incorrect keys and backspacing, but even with several fails on some letters, it still seems faster than stopping to think! I should force myself to type slowly enough to be accurate, though, else I might enforce the wrong muscle memory.

I am most often getting bogged down by the letters F, Y, G, J and K, and I also screw up S much of the time even though I know it pretty well. I guess I have different sets of muscle memory to overcome for various patterns any given letter might follow.

It has also been tough to force myself to use the opposite shift keys!

Time for some tests as practice:

  • Level 1: 4 mins (accidentally did 1, and was more stressful than expected!)
  • Level 5: 8 mins (accuracy of only 87.7%)
  • Level 5: 8 mins (accuracy of only 86.6%)
  • Level 5: 8 mins (accuracy of only 89.9%)

Your score: 139 CPM (that is 28 WPM)

Your score: 139 CPM (that is 28 WPM)

Ugh. I hoped I would be better by now.

Break

I accidentally took a couple months off, after which this effort continues in Switching to Dvorak, Part 2.

Join the movement!

Show your support by signing up to be among the lucky few notified when I manage to blog. This could be as often as once a day or as infrequently as yearly!

Help get me elected by purchasing products mentioned in this entry!

blog comments powered by Disqus