A keen observer will notice a few things from this picture. I don’t play games WASD (default) but instead prefer ESDF. This provides for an extra row under the left pinky finger for more button options in reach, plus I keep my hand on the “home row” from typing classes. Also, you’ll note that I rarely hit space bar with my left hand. This is an odd typing habit I picked up, but it does get some edge use as a jump key for gaming.
@ExtraMedium I never use my left hand for the space key. Didn’t even think about it until you mentioned it. Despite taking typing class as a kid under protest and being told I could drop it when I hit 32 wpm which I hit half way through the semester (and surprisingly they still gave me a grade of B+), I only type using 3 fingers on each hand and my right thumb for the space bar.
@InnocuousFarmer So good to find someone else with a taste in good key switches! The Cherry MX Browns are still out there! I just bought a Pulsar TKL with Otemu switches (Cherry MX knockoff) and o-ringed the Red linears in it and it’s great. Well under $100 for a hot-swappable TKL.
@InnocuousFarmer The Brown from Cherry MX and Otemu are a “Linear tactile” switch so they are genuinely linear switches with an internal “click” element in them like a Blue but much quieter. Gateron Silent Browns are downright satisfying sounding with non-shallow, beefy, doubleshot key caps. I think Logitech uses the Brown switches in their flashy gaming keyboards. Speaking of which, I found a company out there selling customized Leopold boards! Leopold FC750Rs to be specific.
@GetClosure Ah neat! I guess they’re back in stock, or came out with new models. Don’t see any configurations with blank keycaps though… I’m a little tempted by those 65% ones… in any case, thanks for the link.
Since we’re talking about keyboard switches in the first place, this probably isn’t too pedantic: “linear tactile” is a contradiction in terms when referring to keyboard keys, since the linear part is the absence of the tactile part. If you go to the actuation force chart on https://www.cherrymx.de/en/mx-original/mx-silent-red.html you can see the straight line – that’s the “linear” adjective in this context. You never know, that could be important to future discussions
@InnocuousFarmer You totally called it! Leopold Otaku with the Cherry MX Brown switches! Great call. I didn’t even know you couldn’t get the keyboard anymore. I ran it until a few switches gave out and and then had to solder in a few new browns to keep it alive. It’s a great mechanical board but I wish the switches were easier to replace.
@InnocuousFarmer I also like that I can have a complex password like Fa$testR4c3c@r which you type all with one hand and no marked keys and blow way the minds of observers when you type it at full speed. That’s not one of my passwords, but I do have several that are words or phrases that can all be typed with only your left hand using “l33t speak” for added security.
I’ve gone increasingly toward password managers. When I do learn one of those machine-generated entropic gibberish strings (16-24~ alphanumeric, mixed case, some symbols), it eventually gets into muscle memory and then I forget the password and can only reproduce it by typing.
Those aren’t very good exhibition passwords though, with the inevitable typos.
I’m typing this entire comment with my eyes closed. My username is dijit27. Now, for the big question: who here can type their password with their eyes closed? Everybody, go ahead and show us that too!
Two thumbs blind: djslack
Right thumb only: djskacj
Keyboard would be no problem.
I somewhat regularly try to swype answer texts without looking while driving and then proofread/send at a red light or whatever. I know, shame. So it’s almost easier to hold my phone down on my side where my center console would be.
I’m trying this that way. (Not bad. It missed typing).
I used to touch type on an IBM key punch, also. (If you haven’t used one, be aware that most of the special symbols are in weird places compared to a QWERTY keyboard. I was usually pretty accurate on that also.) My brain could switch automatically to accommodate the location of symbols on a key punch vs. on a regular typewriter, such as a “(”. I’ve often thought about trying out a “Dvorak” layout on a computer keyboard, but never did. Anyone here ever use one or have thoughts on such?
I do have to keep my eyes open to see what I typed, because my Chromebook has a super-sensitive touch pad and resting my palms above it when typing triggers a lot of false keys, and often relocates my cursor (and insertion point). Also, many times I hit a key too softly and it doesn’t register and I realize my word half a sentence before is short a character. I once bought my wife an HP laptop that had a function key that would toggle the touch pad on/off – loved that key. But the laptop did not age very gracefully. It weighed about twice my current CB and didn’t have one-tenth the storage, nor USB nor BT or other wireless.
Another problem I have when typing is that I subvocalize and then I type what I hear and sometimes I think I heard a homophone of the word I wanted. (E.g., I often type “hear” instead of “here”, or vice-versa, even though I know better.) The brain is a mysterious organ. I used to do that often when writing on a chalkboard; but usually I would catch that as it happened – through some kind of weird kinesthetic feedback, I guess, but it doesn’t help me when typing.
I took typing in high school as a special summer class I had to pay for and never regretted it. The typewriters were old manuals and had no key-cap identifiers, so we all had to learn to touch type. I got up to something like 80 or 90 words a minute before the class ended (with 3 or fewer errors during a 3-minute timing). It all depended on getting into a good rhythm. I could go a lot faster on an electric but also tended to make more errors.
About 5 years later I was in tech school in the Air Force and we had to pass a typing test taking dictation at 30 wpm or better. (For keeping radio logs.) I and a buddy challenged each other and we both passed the test typing one-handed (but looking at the keys)!
At the end of the hs typing class, they were replacing old typewriters and were selling them at $30 each or so, and I bought the one I had been using, a pretty dependable Royal manual that I was really comfortable with. Later, returning home for a weekend from college, I found that my father was using my Royal for business purposes. I LOLed when I saw that he had taken Whiteout and written the letters and numbers/symbols on top of each key cap. He seldom typed with more than two fingers at a time.
I totally hate typing on a phone screen keyboard. I’d rather just call someone than type more than a short one-sentence text msg. Did Air Type ever get to be a thing? (Neat video there.)
@phendrick I’ve thought about using Dvorak or another alternate layout but I have to use so many different computers all the time that it would probably do me more harm than good. If I worked all the time on one computer I would probably do it. My dad also gets into weird things like a chording keyboard, it’s supposed to be really fast one handed if you know what you’re doing.
@djslack Thanks for the info; I hadn’t heard the term before so had to look it up on WikiP. Interesting idea. If I ever get back to motorcycling I might try out a chorded “keyer” on the handlebar for msg’ing (or even in a car).
That also led me to this which was enlightening; I always thought the original idea of a mouse came from Xerox PARC, then “borrowed” by Apple and others. What a visionary that guy was!
Somebody once said, “There are no original ideas, just patents.”
@phendrick a carputer was my use case for a chorded keyboard too, but then I just got a car that came with its own computer instead. Back then all I wanted to do was play MP3s anyway, so technology caught up to me.
Had no idea about that demo and had the same idea about the mouse; I’ll have to go read the full article.
@phendrick I learned Dvorak once, but it slowed down my Qwerty typing, and I didn’t stay with it long or consistently enough to type faster than normal Qwerty speed. (You can toggle back and forth in software pretty easily in any major OS.)
Say I started around 80-100 WPM on Qwerty. I probably typed like 65 Dvorak and 60 Qwerty when I gave up. Maybe I could have eventually gotten away from the switching cost, dunno.
Subjectively, typing Dvorak feels closer to drumming your fingers and relativey less like flailing yourself all over the keyboard. There was more of a difference in feel than I expected.
Pretty close for eyes shut and autocorrect turned off. I’m used to thumb-typing using peripheral vision. Eyes completely shut is more difficult. I type too many techy things and intentional misspellings for autocorrect to do more good than harm, especially back in that time when Apple would correct things after you typed them. That was crazy-making. Do they still do that?
I type way the hell too much when I teach online and seldom look at my fingers - like at least 10 hours per week just for each class. I hate teaching online. Of course now I’d love enrollment to go back up in higher ed so I’d be given classes again even if it was online. My bigger problem is leaving out words when my thoughts get ahead of my fingers. Or auto correct.