Thursday, February 27, 2020

Steno Proverbs

On the Discord recently, Jladd (who has been compiling some fantastic steno Anki decks lately) proposed some proverbs, inspired by Go Proverbs and Programming Pearls.
Here was his list:

  • Treat steno as a hobby (try not to pin expectations on steno becoming a certain thing by a certain time)
  • Regardless of which theory you pick, you'll likely need to put in a fair amount of practice to become proficient
  • Don't go it alone! Plover has a rich community of creative tinkers, makers, and hobbyists (along with pros!) that can offer encouragement, guidance along the way.
  • Steno generally takes ~3 mo. to become comfortable with basics, 3-6 months to start gaining speed and ~2 years to really get comfortable. But it definitely varies from person to person.
  • Don't forget fingerspelling! Fingerspelling is your fallback, so be sure to practice this as well!
  • Dictionaries are flexible; tailor them to fit the way your brain works. Everyone has their own spin on steno theory.
  • When optimizing speed, it can be helpful to think about your average number of strokes per word.

Then Sooty (a self-taught stenographer who has been working professionally for quite some time now) chipped in with these:

  • Always add to your dictionary, at every opportunity
  • Brief on frequency, not difficulty
  • There's no point moving quickly if you don't move correctly
  • Practice with a metronome
  • Walk, don't sprint.
  • Find patterns in your dictionary, make new patterns
  • There is no such thing as "verbatim"

What do you think? Do these ring true to you? I really like this idea and would love to hear more from other people! Please feel free to submit them in the comments or on the Discord or Google Group.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Georgi Songvid and Preliminary Survey Results

Check out Jladd demonstrating some cool steno skills on his Georgi (and beautiful custom tripod mount) along to a soothing Cat Power song!

ETA: Link fixed! Also, the initial results of the Open Steno Project Community Survey are live, but it's still open, so if you want to contribute your own response, please feel free!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Homebrew Firmware for StenoMod

Hey, if you've ever wanted multichord repeat for your StenoMod, check out Paper Steno, Josh's custom firmware, now up on GitHub. I haven't used it myself, but I know several people who find it helpful (especially when using the steno machine to send arrow keystrokes and other often repeated actions), so if you think it'd come in handy, flash it to your StenoMod and give it a try!

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Steno Zine!

Gotta type fast in steno and English on a printed zine

A lot of it is about the technical details of how to get started with open-source steno, but I also get a bit into the history and culture around it, which is pretty interesting if you're into that kind of thing.

Ewen, a member of the Plover Discord, has made a lovely little 24-page zine, available for $2.50 (or anything above that if you'd like to kick in some additional cash) on Itch and Etsy. I find the whole phenomenon of zines incredibly charming, and I'm so tickled that there's now one on the subject of hobbyist stenography!