[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: xkb options

* cga2000 <cga2000@optonline.net> [070517 21:28]:
> But where I am impressed most of all is that I cannot imagine Russell
> spending a couple of hours writing this mini-tutorial of his.  He will
> in/con-firm this .. but I have a feeling that since he appears to be  a
> proficient typist it was just as easy for him to come up with his
> mini-tutorial "in writing" as it would have been for him to explain the
> same things viva voce.

Thanks for the kind words.  If you've ever had a Labrador or other
retriever, you know that, with such breeds, retrieving is compulsive.
Likewise, I by inclination, as well as by profession, am an educator,
so I sometimes end up writing a tutorial in response to a mail list
posting.  The educator is poorly paid, but that is my calling.

And the Dvorak key layout -- which I have used for the past twenty-six
years, has made a great difference.

I cannot emphasize too strongly the need to use the original or
"classic" Dvorak layout, in which the keys in the numeric key row are
in the sequence:

  [  7  5  3  1  9  0  2  4  6  8  ]

Despite the fact that I used to type at 90 to 100 words per minute on
a QWERTY layout, I always dreaded an encounter with numeric material.
But once I switched to the classic Dvorak layout, numbers became just
as painless to type accurately as are ordinary words.
> I have known a couple of folks whose typing had become second nature and
> what I found amazing was that they were able to come up in a few minutes
> with some form of rough howto text on any technical subject that they
> were familiar with where with rougly the same technical knowledge, it
> would have taken over an hour to do the same thing.

I regret to disappoint you, but that tutorial DID take me an hour or
so to write.  It all depends on how many times you previously have
written on the subject.  It takes time to oganize a presentation.

I have discovered that, in any realm of life, the key to making any
task easy is to discover and eliminate things which cause pain.  With
typing, the primary agency of pain is the QWERTY layout.  

Another example.  With vocabulary, spelling, and pronunciation, the
pain is due largely to the fact that the dictionary sits closed, on
the shelf.  But if you set an opened dictionary on a pedestal with
good illumination, you'll find yourself using it a dozen times a day.

Most people fail to realize the great importance of simple things,
particularly those having to do with physical comfort (and thus,
absence of pain) -- things such as a desk, a chair, good illumination,
proper ventilation and temperature, freedom from noise.  
> Retrospectively, I realize that it was not just a matter of their being
> capable of typing at least five times faster than myself.  No, it was
> mostly because to them typing had become so ingrained in their persona
> that there was absolutely no overhead involved.  They could type with
> just as much ease as I speak and nothing related to the typing itself
> interfered with their thinking process while they were writing. 

In learning typing, one of the greatest motivations is to be able to
capture a thought on paper before the thought is crowded out of the
mind and lost.


Reply to: