steno Project

18 Articles


26 Aug 2021

projects: keebs steno

I’d like to take a moment to rebase where I’m at with steno (and keyboards), and provide a little context. At the time of publishing this, the blog website has just gone live, and all prior articles from my steno journal have been imported and reformatted. First things first: I have not done much practice with steno in 2021. I have done quite a bit of practice building mechanical (qwerty) keyboards though.Read More...


25 Nov 2020

projects: steno
tags: qmk plover

I just realized: using alt to mouse-select multiple cursors in VS Code does not trigger the OSL to fall back. Is that a task I do with the dictionary instead? No, dictionary can’t help there. HMM! Perhaps a key on the symbol layer that does a TO(BASE). yup, that works! I’ve also printed out some cheat-sheets, and now I guess nothing is stopping me from developing some muscle memory… I’ve started a tiny bit of coding with steno.Read More...


24 Nov 2020

projects: steno

Made a cheat-sheet for the single-stroke commands dictionary tonight. Did my first cut, paste and undo! The shapes are a little goofy but I think they’ll suffice for my needs. Might even allow me to free up some keys on the firmware layer (no need for arrows, letters, or functions). I did order an Ergodox. The clutter argument was very compelling. It’ll take 4 weeks to get here, so in the meantime I’ll keep practicing on Georgi.Read More...


23 Nov 2020

projects: steno
tags: qmk

A few things I noticed in practice tonight tapping the OSL key doesn’t let me alt-tab with impunity, but holding it does. my custom nav layer doesn’t support select-all, cut, copy, paste, undo, or redo. I wonder again if I should record the number of times I use a feature in a day, and put those at the front and center. oh, also ctrl-backspace (or alt-bsp and cmd-bsp on mac).Read More...


22 Nov 2020

projects: steno
tags: qmk

Last night / this morning I read a lot about how QMK works with layers. Then I worked up keymaps for both the Butterstick and the Georgi! The first milestone is complete: I can successfully alt-tab any number of times! Next milestones: make the nav layer key (and fn layer key) momentary-layers (like OSL, but that didn’t seem to work immediately). OSL(layer) - momentarily activates layer until the next key is pressed.Read More...


20 Nov 2020

projects: steno
tags: plover qmk

I adopted a nav/command dictionary that I found on the internet. I have by now also read the section in Learn Plover! about dictionaries, so I feel well-equipped to start tabbing my way around. The only real trouble is (on a Windows machine) I keep this repo checked-out to a directory in WSL2, which is not (easily) accessible from Windows, where I’ve installed Plover. Whoops. Ok, I realized (again) that this will not solve all my nav use cases.Read More...


19 Nov 2020

projects: steno
tags: plover qmk

Today I updated my qmk_firmware repo [now deleted] to match what Jane has on their side. I tried a PR, but that got really mucky with a changed file and a changed submodule, so I backed out, saved patches of my commits, and completely remade my fork. It turns out the changed file also hit my new fork (wtf?), but the patches applied just fine. Last night I read about dictionaries, and how Learn Plover!Read More...


17 Nov 2020

projects: steno

Maybe I’ll be satisfied looking at the progress.json activity page to see how consistently I’m practicing. It’s no heatcalendar, but it’ll do. In other news, I’ve got a cheat sheet of punctuation and whitespacing (the book didn’t mention, but it’s T*AB for a tab character). Next item todo is to figure out how people manage modifier keys and navigation keys. The real crux is this use case: hold down ctrl (or cmd).Read More...

plover v4.0.0

15 Nov 2020

projects: steno
tags: plover

Upgraded to Plover v4.0.0. When they say “back up your plover.cfg” that file is in C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\plover\plover\. Wondering if there’s a way to stay accountable for daily activity without bloating this journal file.


14 Nov 2020

projects: steno
tags: plover

journaling with steno now! ok back to qwerty. that took a few minutes, but I’m having fun learning about the control mechanisms (to insert a space or not, to capitalize or not), as well as punctuation and positioning chords. I’d like to try to find a testimonial about Plover’s “space placement” option (before or after chord output). I feel like that option may (a) have a medium-to-large impact on the workflow for coding vs prose, and (b) be really hard to retrain later.Read More...


13 Nov 2020

projects: steno

Got a little practice in. I realized I’m not yet ready to fully drop the progress-tracking. My reasoning is that I’m doing this from at least 2 different computers still, and Typey Type doesn’t have user accounts, so if I want to track progress there I should copy the file down after every session. Thankfully I was able to quickly build a CLI tool that will help me merge two JSON files into one, summing the values along the way.Read More...


12 Nov 2020

projects: steno

Started the spilliams/steno repository! I hope in the end it’ll contain useful tidbits I picked up along the journey, as well as any custom dictionaries I develop. Some historical background on the journey so far is below. Going forward, I don’t want this journal to be just a list of wpm counts and times (though I’ll certainly include some for milestone tracking). The last few times I dusted off the steno machine I ended up putting a lot of effort into time- and wpm-tracking, so much that it became Not Very Fun Any More.Read More...


20 Feb 2020

projects: steno

[historical] 1 day of practice in February. 13wpm on Georgi.


16 Dec 2019

projects: steno

[historical] 1 day of practice in December. Still hovering around 10 wpm on Georgi (using Typey Type). I started punctuation though!


25 Nov 2019

projects: steno

[historical] 4 days of practice in October. 1 in November.


6 Oct 2019

projects: steno

[historical] That stint in August lasted 5 days. Seeing a pattern… It’s ok though. I’m having fun with this when I have fun. Any practical effects will be a nice bonus, but not worth beating myself up about if I don’t achieve. In August I got up to about 16 wpm on Typey Type with the SOFT/HRUF. Now I’m using the Georgi, around 13 wpm on Typey Type.


25 Aug 2019

projects: steno

[historical] That stint in May lasted 4 days. Back at it now. 10 wpm on Typey Type with the SOFT/HRUF.


12 May 2019

projects: steno

[historical] I took baseline typing speed tests at with my 2015 macbook air and WASD v2 keyboards: 73 and 76 wpm, respectively. I also started learning the SOFT/HRUF machine, with an initial count of 8 wpm on Typey Type.