Open Steno Project

April 23, 2016 by KWills

OLast November, I signed up for NaNoWriMo, as I have done every year since 2009. While waiting for the kick-off, I happened across a forum post that mentioned machine steno, and that sent me off on a Google-trawl that led me here:

I’d heard of steno before, but never thought that I could get into it, for the reasons listed in the video – prohibitive costs, and training only available at specialist schools. Discovering Plover changed all that, and set me a new goal: Learn steno.

I live and work at my computer, as do so many of us. Often, my hands and wrists ache at the end of the day, even though I use the most ergonomic set-up I can manage – and I don’t even type that quickly (30 wpm at best). So when I read about the ergonomic advantage of steno, I knew it was worth investigating. The possibility of a speed boost was also a strong argument.

Ironically, I bailed out on writing during November, in order to learn a better way to write. I recommend reading through the links on The Open Steno Project page, because they will explain it all much better than I can. For another perspective, see this diary, kept by a fellow student: Steno Diary (Google Docs)

The Google group, linked from the Open Steno Project page, is the place for all the latest news on new builds. It’s also a great place to ask questions, raise concerns, and suggest new ideas. I’m a novice still, being a very slow learner (also, I hibernate, so didn’t really start studying properly until last month) and I have found the group patient and helpful. There are even a couple of entrepreneurs who are building steno keyboards with Plover in mind.

Imma get off the soapbox now, but seriously – go check out Plover. Then maybe you’ll understand why I’m so enthusiastic about it.


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