The illustrious Jeff Atwood (@codinghorror) graciously shared ASETNIOP with his numerous twitter followers today. A couple of questions came up, so I thought I would address them here:

Q: @jonoabroad muses: I do wonder if learning this would render you unable to type normally.

A: Absolutely not!  It’s not like learning Colemak or Dvorak, where you have to rewire the way your fingers are programmed to hit the keys – with ASETNIOP you’re just adding a few new things on top of what you already know.  For example, with ASETNIOP you still use your left pinky to hit the Q, but you’ll add the right finger to it to form the appropriate combination.  Similarly, you still use your left ring finger to hit the W, but you’ll add the left pinky to form the chord.  For the alphabet, there is either 100% or 88% overlap, depending on which finger you use to type the C, X, and Z keys (or, in terms of how often you actually hit the letters, it’s either 100% or 97% overlap).  It work the same way for punctuation – you still use the right middle finger for the comma, right ring finger for the period, right pinky for the question mark, etc.  Personally, I haven’t any change to my ability to type normally (still about 75 wpm or so with QWERTY), and I’ve found it very simple to switch between the two.

Q: @Lee_Holmes adds: I tried with AutoHotkey once … you need to map input to multi-character output like real stenography to be helpful.

A: I have some good news.  One of the things that makes ASETNIOP so exciting is that multi-character output IS mapped to multiple keys in a way that’s incredibly easy to learn or figure out on the fly.  Each combination of three or more letters corresponds to the most common word that would be generated from that particular combination of letters.  For example, if you press the keys for the letters T, H, and E all at the same, you’ll generate the word “the”.  You can read a bit more about it and see a video of how it works here.

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