comment by ThrustVectoring ·
2014-01-02T17:13:30.934Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
I've been practicing stenographic typing daily for the last couple of weeks, but still am not at a point where I have a serious write-up or a better typing speed ready.
I'm working on this mostly to prove to myself that I can see long-term projects through. Sure, the promise of doubling my typing speed on English language input is promising, but it's really too far off to be that tempting. So it's mostly to show that I can keep working on a project if I keep my mind to it. That, and there are some people on this site who are rather interested in how it turns out - how much work it was, how difficult, how long it takes to get good enough at it, etc. I almost forgot the big one: if typing in steno makes a difference in the ease of writing.
When I get significantly faster than my QWERTY typing speed - 140 WPM over my original 90 - I'm doing a write-up on the experience.
Here's links with the software and learning tools I'm using:
Microsoft Sidewinder X4. You need a keyboard that can correctly send combinations of key presses to the system - it's called N-key rollover - and this is a $50 option that satisfies my needs.
EDIT: I realized that my write up was missing a lot of the actual strategies I used to practice. There are three skills I am working on. Steno theory, keyboard use, and brief memorization.
Steno theory is how you figure out the chords needed for an unfamiliar word. So for the word "needed", I'd type that as "TPHAOED/-D". TPH is the letter N, AOE is the long E vowel sound, and D is the final D. Then the -ed final sound is an unvoiced vowel and a D, so it's a final D. I practice this by typing things using steno - I invariably find words that I don't have memorized chords for, and then I figure it out or fail to and look it up.
The keyboard use is mostly a byproduct of use, with a little bit of http://stenoknight.com/stengrid.png for the multi-key consonants. I got started with the key drills either in qwertysteno or the typing drills at https://sites.google.com/site/ploverdoc/lesson-1-fingers-and-keys
For brief memorization, I'm using the top 100 words drill at http://qwertysteno.com/Practice/Words1.php , and limiting the range to a manageable few common words to spam out quickly (I started with ten). Once there's little thinking involved, it's time to add more words. This is really the nuts and bolts about how to type quickly with steno - the most common words are most of what you're going to be using, so it's where you get the most bang for your drilling buck. Well, if you get hung up on unfamiliar words you're better off working on that - occasionally needing twenty seconds to get a word out is a lot of time even if it's one word in sixty. But the words you want to get faster on are more common, so it's a good tool to get the most common words practiced first and most.
comment by CWG ·
2014-08-13T07:14:54.328Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
How is your stenographic typing progressing? What has the return on effort been for you, so far?
comment by ThrustVectoring ·
2014-12-18T01:55:25.563Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
It's been stuck, but I haven't barely been putting effort into it. I've been working much more on minimizing mouse usage - vim for text editing, firefox with pentadactyl for web browsing, and bash for many computing and programming tasks.
The low-hanging fruit is definitely not in getting better at stenographic typing - since I've started working as a professional software developer, there's been much more computer-operation than English text entry. I'd have to figure out a really solid way of switching seamlessly between Vim's normal-mode and stenographic typing in insert mode. And configuration and exploratory learning that I'm nowhere near capable of to adjust stenographic typing to writing code in addition to English. It's likely still my best option for getting super solid at writing English text, but it's simply lower priority at the moment than other tools.