Hey, all. I don't actually know how many people subscribe to this blog (because I just activated Google Webmaster Tools today and they haven't kicked in yet), but it's had a good half a dozen commenters, and I have a feeling there's a lurker or two hanging around as well. I've got a favor to ask you guys. When I tell people about the Plover Project, the most common response I get is, "Sure, steno is impressive. But who's actually going to take the trouble to learn it?" I know that a number of you are looking to become court reporters, captioners, or CART providers, but I know there are others who intend to use steno to write fiction, avoid RSIs, or any number of other reasons. I'd love to get a bunch of blurbs from people who are either starting steno via Plover or are choosing to use Plover alongside their more traditional steno studies. Why do you think it's worthwhile? What's your motivation in learning steno? What sorts of things do you want to do with it? Just a couple of sentences from a few different people would be enough to fill a post that I could link to whenever the doubters raised their eyebrows at the whole idea of a steno program for amateurs. I'll kick it off with a comment from my friend Martin, who works as a draftsman:
"Here's how I look at it: Right now, I type at about 40-50 WPM. If I ever made a change to how I typed, I'd spend at least a month or so writing at like 20ish WPM. If I learned to write qwerty properly, I'd eventually get up to 60-80 WPM -- clearly not worth it. Dvorak, maybe 75-90 -- meh. That Dutch thingie* , realistically I'd probably max out around 100-150ish. Steno, probably about the same. That's worth the time, but it's not worth the money. Plover takes the fastest option and makes it one of the cheapest."
Anyone else have a story to tell? You can write 'em in the comments or email me (email@example.com), and then I'll collect them and put them together as a post on the blog. I'm hoping to show that there are plenty of reasons to learn steno, and plenty of demand for Plover that will only increase as it develops. After a month-long hiatus, my next Python session is on Monday, and we're gonna work on keyboard emulation in both Windows and Linux. We've got some pretty good leads on how to do it, so if all goes well, Plover will be able to write properly formatted text into any program you like after the next several weeks.
*Velotype, which I showed him this morning after a Plover commenter sent it to me. Thanks, Nicolay!