Touch typing

I started trying to touch type about two months ago. I used Klavaro (if you are on linux it’s most probably in your distribution’s repositories) to learn, and I’ve also learned by trying to use the right fingers for typing and not to look at the keyboard whenever typing.

My typing speed was promised to increase dramatically in few weeks while practicing a little every day. No such thing happened, although I’ve practiced almost all the time. I still write considerably slower than I did before I started touch typing. Am I unhappy that I started touch typing? Not at all — let me explain:

The advantage is that I can just look at the screen while typing. That might seem like a single advantage, but it’s actually several in one.

First, I can read other stuff while typing or look at people who are talking to me while I type (I learned that from a colleague, it’s real intimidating).
Second, I don’t have to switch display, keyboard, display, keyboard, display, keyboard… I just look at the display. This is much cooler than it sounds — it enabled me to move the monitor cca 40cm above the keyboard (both home and at work). So I can finally sit straight instead of bending over the keyboard.

On a completely unrelated note, I finally switched from czech qwerty (writing !@#%$&^% characters with alt) to standard english keyboard layout. A lot of stuff in vim has become much more comfortable — such as the ; right under my pinky, which means that repeating f/F/t/T has just gotten even easier and better.

On a semirelated note, I never knew that to write the capital X you can press the right shift plus the x. It’s not that I thought you couldn’t do that, I just never realised it could be useful and no one ever told me “you are doing it wrong”.

6 thoughts on “Touch typing

  1. Hm, I’m not sure that if you’re going to force yourself to learn a new method of typing that qwerty-touch-typing is a particularily good choice. I think that if I were to teach myself a new way to type I would be looking into Colemak or Dvorak.

    Then again, I’ve never bothered to learn a new typing method (I’m more of a 7-finger typist than a 10-finger touch-typist), yet I can still look at the display while typing quite quickly. You must have been doing something wrong before. :P

  2. Hmm, I remember a post in which you compared yourself to the world’s fastest typist? That post inspired me to learn touch-typing. So I installed Ktouch, which is a really excellent program (I like it more than Klavaro). Unfortunately I stopped doing it after a while.

    I’m happy with the results though.

  3. Michael, I have seen you play the piano… and I think it’s kind of similar to typing… so I think it’s safe to assume I am doing everything wrong when compared to you :P

    And yes, I was thinking about learning Dvorak, but there are problems – first, it would take me much much longer to learn, second, I would probably forget qwerty (yes, I know people who switched and didn’t forget qwerty, but then again, I am a bit special when it comes to typing).

    And without qwerty I’d be lost when visiting someone who doesn’t have dvorak installed. I think learning qwerty properly is the safer choice.

  4. ignus, I completely forgot that post… but the online test was just incorrect – I now type 35-40wpm (Klavaro says so). So, uh, just forget those numbers ;)

    And I like Klavaro much more than Ktouch – it makes you type various characters outside the English alphabet, and it includes more modes – random letters, words, sentences.

  5. I think the “not forgetting qwerty” bit is one of the advantages of Colemak, it’s more similar.

    I sometimes have to type on qwertz (German) keyboards, and it’s not such a big problem, thanks to a few similarities.

    I do wish I still had a piano… moving out from your parents does have some disadvantages. :(

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