I don’t think I ever seriously trained my typing. The good part of my typing is of course its speed, reaching 100 wpm for sprint runs. The bad part is the phenomenally awful typing habits.
A possibly biased analysis of my QWERTY typing reveals that my right hand pretty much adheres to the touch-typing rules, except that, some shortcuts excepted, it’s always responsible for holding the shift key for capital letters no matter which hand has the letter key. My left hand’s habits are what the monster might do if Frankenstein ever got a modern complete remake with a plot point involving a keyboard. Its “resting position” is on the QWER keys; it types A, S, Z, X, C with the thumb bending over to the left and R, T, D, F, G, V with the index finger. I’m kind of scared that it’s attached to me now, but I seriously can’t type if I try to make it stay at the correct home row. So this is what happens when you don’t learn touch typing the right way. Urk.
With this sort of typing skills I’m pretty amazed I only felt any awkwardness in my wrists a week ago. Six days ago (which, I should mention, was the last day of summer vacation, hence why I decided to add the category “procrastination”) I figured out the Dvorak setting on this laptop and started learning. I haven’t even mentioned acquiring a MacBook Air here, right? Yeah, that happened, and it’s partly for my gold medal and partly because the old one was rapidly approaching unusability anyway; this might or might not make another post.
That would be the end of the story except that I always have second thoughts about whether switching is a good idea. Followed shortly thereafter by third, fourth, and fifth thoughts, ad nauseam. I blogged about similar thoughts when I was endlessly comparing web services. After three days and committing the keys to conscious memory, I became a bit annoyed by the punctuation and the disproportionately awkward placement of R, L, and F. Of course it’s far better than my twisted QWERTY, but it was enough for me to look around for more options.
There is one other layout that showed up somewhat commonly, Colemak, which is much closer to QWERTY (all punctuation and nine letters preserved), and fixes those issues for me. So obviously I have to boot up my overanalyzing brain sector after reading about two hours of anecdotes on the web. In fact this is more justified than my typical overanalysis because, as also supported by those anecdotes, once I seriously learn to type in one, it won’t be worth it to switch to the other.