Back to my roots

I essentially switched to the TB full time from the moment I got it other than a handful of times I used my old Apple keyboard to enter weird passwords since I was still fairly awkward those first days and since I couldn’t see the actual password being typed, I couldn’t tell if there was an error until I sent it.

So today I got my old Apple keyboard out and went to one of my favorite test sites (just common words, no symbols or numbers or uppercase). After my first test, I typed this portion of my message which is the only time I’ve dealt with any punctuation or uppercase (boy, do I miss sticky shift!!!).

RESULTS

  1. 20 wpm: 158 characters with 8 words spelled wrong (usually multiple errors in each). Most of these errors were the first 30 seconds before I realized I needed to just slow down so I could focus on the different reach.

  2. 50 wpm: 251 characters with no mistakes! Never expected to do that well after just a one minute test plus the stuff I wrote above.

  3. 46 wpm: 249 characters with 4 mistakes. I was definitely trying to type too fast but still, not bad.

So some general observations. Unlike my experience going back to the Apple keyboard a few short times when I first switched to the TB, I didn’t feel completely spastic. Just a bit awkward and slow. But also adjusting quickly. Remember, the last time I really used a regular keyboard for more than a few minutes (weeks apart at that) was back in March 2015!!! I would say my total time on regular keyboards since I got the TB is under 15 minutes.

But as I type this other stuff in this post, I have lots of problems. Besides expecting sticky shift, I keep hitting caps lock instead of shift. I keep pressing the space bar to get the green layer for numbers. I’m fine with commas and periods, but struggle with other punctuation (which are not on the test site).

Still, I’ve only tested for 3 minutes total plus the time it took me to write this post. And I can feel I’m still getting better.

However, I am now going straight back to my TextBlade. I’m happy to know I can do okay on a regular keyboard, but never want to have to do it. And, yes, the keys on the Apple keyboard feel very mushy compared to the TB.

I’m ready to ship! But I don’t know what the big picture is.

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I end up on a standard keyboard occasionally. The biggest problem I have (and it’s not big) is trying to activate the green layer.

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Hey, I have that problem too! Maybe it’s a bug. We should report it to WayTools :wink:

That’s pretty consistent with what we’ve found.

Since we have many years of use with legacy keyboards, we don’t forget how they work.

When you must use an old one, you mostly just notice the extra labor to get to the keys, and tend to want the newer capabilities like the edit layer, tap shift, and access to numbers close to home row.

Biggest take-away is that when you first start using TextBlade, it helps to have some continuous time with it.

That makes acclimation much faster since you can form neural pathways very easily when not bouncing back and forth every few minutes.

It’s the same principle as immersive learning. Generally, it’s easy to do new things if you’re not pulled in different directions, and can just cruise straight ahead for a bit, to get comfortable.

When you’re facile with TextBlade, using an old keyboard briefly is no big deal. It’s just less satisfying than before you knew there’s something better.

At this point, many users jump to bypass the keyboards of their older machines. This phenomon is what prompted us to develop several cool new accessories (those go on our online store after general release - treg users are testing some now). Having a full ecosystem lets users benefit from TextBlade advances in all their different use cases.

It’s interesting how the behavioral and psychological dimensions run so deep here - much more than we expected at launch. The extended treg really helped us map this, and let us figure out what else users want. The time and cost to take this much further was not expected, but the payoff in performance is already clear.

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I’m not surprised I could go back (though I was curious at how difficult it might be). After all, a number of testers said they could switch easily. But I think they were always using both the TB and regular keyboards in their work so they had no choice for awhile.

What does puzzle me is why, in the first days of using the TB, any time going back to the old keyboard just felt awful. I used the term “spastic” deliberately because it really felt like there was not a lot of control in what I was doing on the regular keyboards. Yet here I am, after more than 2 years of virtually all TB use, but I could go back easier. That seems counter-intuitive!

During the time of neuroplastic learning, you’re actually adding pathways - how your brain is wired.

If you dart back and forth to the old paradigm, while you’re in this plastic state, you can jumble the new neural pathways, which just takes longer. It’s quicker and easier to let your brain do its thing by having at least some time of continuous focus.

Btw - clinical studies have shown that activities like this actually improve brain health, at any age. They’re in fact theraputic.

We were very suprised to learn about all this during development, we just aimed to make a better keyboard. But it turns out all of this science has a profound influence.

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One word: “Plastics”

But seriously: the point about neuroplastic learning is intriguing. We all know the value of lifelong learning, now we see that learning a new skill, no matter how “spastic” we feel during the initial process, can have enormous payoff.

You see all this time you put into replying? Put this effort into a status update page!

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