Hello everyone! This post marks the very beginning – well, actually prior to the beginning – of my stenography journey.

It all started similar to many of the stories that I’ve read. Being disappointed with the efficiency of QWERTY keyboards, I was looking into alternatives. After spending quite some time comparing Dvorak, Colemak, and friends, I decided to learn the Colemak layout. The main reason was its xkb support together with the fact that, with one exception, only letters were replaced. I’m programming a lot and I don’t like the positioning of braces and brackets on Dvorak.

So here I was, reconfiguring i3, my window manager, to handle the new layout while learning Colemak with keybr.com. At some point, I stumbled upon Epistory, a RPG-style game in which you play a girl riding a three-tailed fox and fight against monsters. By typing words. I was super interested in this game and couldn’t wait to play it. While browsing the Steam store, I also noticed Steno Arcade. I got curious about the “steno” part. Naturally, this led me to the Open Steno Project pretty quickly. The Plover: Thought to Text at 240 WPM video by Mirabai Knight was all it took to get me hooked. On the same day I decided to order a steno keyboard. After getting to know the options and doing some reading, a review by Ted Morin, the lead developer of Plover, convinced me. Stenomod it is. Charley, the man behind the Stenomod, was super friendly and sent out the package on the next day. I went for “the Hinge”, a version where the two halves of the keyboard are held together with a door hinge instead of being screwed on top of a wood deck.

And this is where we are now. Waiting for the package to arrive.

In the meanwhile, I installed the latest version of Plover thanks to the AUR package and support of Benoit Pierre. The Stenography for Programming blog article and steno diary by Lars Doucet inspired me to also share my experiences.

The next post will be about my first impressions of the Stenomod and, well, stenography in general.