Just about plain touch-typing technique

Comments specifically about typing on TS keyboards, and about key layouts.

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Just about plain touch-typing technique

Postby ivanw » 07 Nov 2006, 23:33

Aside from all our stories about touch-typing on a slick surface, I would like to share some of my concerns about working at typing improvement.

I looked hard for material on the subject for more than one year now. It seems that teaching to type is like all those subjects left to professionals, or worse, commercial people. Schools and training centers make this look like something you can only acquire from an academic source.

I would say that, much like all we hear about what you have to do in order to stop smoking, everybody comes with some good advice. Everything is about how to avoid having to struggle for a successful result. We know that does not work. You have to fight your way through for anything other than showing off with bullshit. And this never fails, you always get amazing results from real commitment.

I wanted to make clear that I'm not looking for tricks here. I am not unhappy with what I could achieve out of hard work. Being a former hunt and peck typist until last year, I could get a top bullet of 400cmp touch-typing with Stamina.

What I am missing the most is the lack of any discussion about dealing with muscular memory. I know that those who went through something as massive as many years mastery would have much to say about what was useful and what was not along the way.

I can already put several noticeable observations on the table myself.

For instance, I've read here and there that you must first be absolutely accurate with what you've learned so far before stepping for more material or speed. I do not agree at all with that... It's just plain wrong. It makes the whole thing boring enough to have you let it go pretty soon! I've learned how to play guitar (many) years ago and it feels pretty much related. We all need fun to be motivated -- unless being deviant enough to look for painful quests for one's salvation. ;) ...This is why I choose to type fast with many mistakes. (Stamina helps me much with the backspace key). This makes me feel like I am playing a challenging game for speed. Anyway if you can achieve speed it is because your accuracy is improving as well! ;) Those many cpm have to be typed one way or another to get the score up.

Here are my current thoughts about how I can keep up with the next to boring and painful learning process.
1 - I'm through typing things like fffjjj ffjfj jffjj fjfjf. Looking down to the keyboard doesn't even help. It looks like I would have to learn hunt-and-peck to type like I used to.
2 - All the typing tutors I've tried become insufferable once you're finished exploring the home row for several months. Beyond good practice assimilation, these are not adequate anymore. Anyway you could not inflict yourself such a punishment for six month or one year!
3 - The most bearable exercises I could come up with consists in retyping some text I would normally have read.
5 - I look at touch-typing like an ever improvable skill. I have no obligation at all; it's just a challenge that needs to bring pleasure for I can persist with it.
6 - What I have in mind it to reach 100+ wpm someday, just for fun, just to feel something like what you get from having mastered skiing, especially when you remember how it was awkward the first time you attached those boards to your shoes and could not help falling down hundreds of time a day.

...any thoughts about this?
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Postby jmadison » 08 Nov 2006, 14:41

Interesting, ivan.

I appreciate your desire to learn to type well, and I find it odd that you have not been able to find good training info, especially about muscle memory. I guess there just haven't been many studies done on this topic yet.

Although I appreciate your desire to learn to be a master at typing, I see things from a totally different perspective, since I have to deal with RSI issues each day.

For me, speed is not necessary and even though I wish I was faster at typing, I've gladly given up that hope just so that I can better enjoy the rest of my life... the time -not- spent in front of a computer. So, my goals have not been speed, but to continue to reduce the impact that the mousing/keying has on my muscles and tendons.

I would be very interested in reading any material you find about the muscle memory, or muscle health related to typing.

Wishing you the best...
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Postby ivanw » 08 Nov 2006, 17:40

OK Jason, no RSI here. I am talking from a less serious perspective. :)

When I say I miss information about typing training, I was thinking about somewhat advanced study about the cognitive process involved, something that could help to devise some training protocol. Sure, I got those 2,920,000 Google answers from a "touch typing" request... This is how you get all those home-row babble. I prefer live answers like yours coming from real life, should it be to state the lightness of the matter when talking about a mean that can help with RSI. :oops:

Let's say that my perspective is not yours, but it is related through the quest for a better understanding of what you are demanding to yourself. My search for typing speed is what makes me have to improve. Alright there is a difference, you skipped the choose part. :shock:

Some bookmarked doc:
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