Reverting to qwerty

· geekery ·

Remember when I wrote about switching to the BEAKL15 layout, and an anonymous commenter said that it would wreck my ability to type on a QWERTY layout keyboard when I needed to do that? Well, it happened. The better I got at the new layout, the worse I got at QWERTY. It got to the point where — if I needed to just hop on my laptop keyboard for a moment — I was single-finger typing, and having to hunt around for every letter. I’ve reluctantly reverted back to QWERTY.

If my typing speed on BEAKL15 had been phenomenal, it might just have been worth the trade-off, but unfortunately — despite a lot of practice — it was only a moderate improvement. BEAKL15 was much more comfortable, but I’m going to have to live with the slight decrease in comfort in order to type more than 5 words per minute on the laptop keyboard. I’m using a typing training app to practice my technique and gradually increase my speed on QWERTY while maintaining the best form I can. Thankfully I am now back up to an average of a bit more than 50 words per minute with a low error rate, so I think I should be able to push it quite a bit higher with regular drills and practice.

Even though I could now use the evil bindings in Doom, I’m still using Boon, with customised QWERTY bindings. I find that I actually prefer it to the evil bindings now that I’m used to it, and I’m also using the standard Emacs bindings more for simple navigation and editing movements, which makes things a bit more efficient.

It was a fun experiment anyway, but apparently my brain can’t hold two keyboard layouts at once!