Sunday, October 21, 2007

I am learning to Type!!!

Despite the fact the fact that I have dealt with computers and their keyboards every day for at least 20 years I am ashamed to admit that I never got beyond two-fingered typing.

Make no mistake. I am a very fast two finger typist. I can type out a big stremq of letters like this veryt quickly. See the problem?

The problem is that when I try to type quickly I make errors. Then I have to go back and correct those errors. This is an incredible waste of time. I haven't done a survey but I reckon about 50% of my time typing is actually error correction.

Its funny how I was prepared to put up with this at work for so many years but what really brought it home to me was gaming and blogging. When I indulge in game chat my carefully chosen phrases come out sounding like a BsatrDizde vEsrOIn of Leet. Its hard to get respect from mature gamers when you type like that. In blogging on the other and I generally try to clean up my worst typing howlers and that takes time. Lots of time. You may not believe it but every post I make to this blog takes at least an hour to write and much of that time is spent correcting errors.

Enough is enough. In work someone else is paying for the time I spend correcting errors but blogging and gaming is my time. This has to stop!

The good news is that I have discovered a hum-dinger of a free online typing tutorial: I am only up to lesson three but so far it is great. Each lesson introduces a small chunk of new keys to learn and then gives you a block of text to type (without looking at the keyboard!). The program keeps track of your progress by monitoring errors and typing speed and paces the lessons accordingly. The method works. Already at lesson 3 I can touch type any sentence that contains only the letters ASDFGHJKL. I am amazed at how quickly my subconscious is responding to simple repetitive rote learning and internalising the key positions.

With the demise of the old fashioned "typist" touch typing has been overlooked as a life skill. The reality is that typing is probably as useful as skill in the modern world as learning to drive. I am already looking forward to the huge time savings that my new found typing skills will earn me if I keep up the course.

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