Learn to type like a pro

I have been associated with computers for more than two decades now.

During this time, I have typed programs, typed posts, typed emails and then typed some more. As you may have guessed by now – it is safe to assume that I have typed a lot during this time.

All this typing would have consumed time – ** a lot of ** time. If I had a paisa for each time I saved money while typing content of 100 words, I would have retired by now to Goa or Kerala as a billionaire.

Before proceeding further, let us delve into a bit of history.

When computers came to be, it would have been an ideal if computers would have understood lesser humans like me with some magic and a bit of science. But that was not to be.

The problem extended on the other side as well. The people who were frontlining our conversations with computers formed their own secret societies and started talking to computers faster than ever before. Normal people would have done all that through a brain-computer interface – but we are talking about the cream-of-the-cream technologists here. So, they went ahead copying the humble typewriter.

And, thus started our (and eventually my) hate-hate relationships with keyboards.

— end of history lesson —

Keyboards enable me to talk to computers, but I never really called that a proper conversation. With all the mistakes I make in my typing, my computer would have launched itself into space & exploring Andromeda rather than be a party to the conversation.

Suffice to say that my typing –

  • is not fast – nowhere near it
  • is not accurate – backspace key on my keyboard often gets worn out. So much so that I have a bunch of cheap keyboards I bought only to extract the backspace key

The natural question now would be – why the heck would I not learn “touch typing”?

Believe me, it was not for the lack of will. Each time I see someone typing like this, I would drown in pity for my computer.

fast typing

I wanted to be like the hacker who can complete a 100-line Perl script while using his left hand to drink coffee.

So, it would be with the greatest of urgency that I would swear to become a ‘typing emiretus’ fifteen days hence. I would restart searching for a good typing program. I would download at least three and try at least five including the programs I had downloaded in my last great attempt. I tried

I tried gamifying the heck of the system without luck, and did not achieve anything by measuring my speed with specific keys. I even tried following tips by nobel prize winning typists, and for sometime, I tried typing with my wrists tied behind my back.

All of them were disasters. I would simply jump up and down one day, and try to stare down the computer the next.

staring the computer without typing

I would simply get bored of the whole exercise and revert to my old style after unceremoniously dropping everything. I could not accomplish much beyond the up/down arrows and A, W, S and D keys. And, that expertise was because of a game that I couldn’t simply stop playing.

 

To make matters worse, the point and click configuration I was doing at work to be called as an expert was replaced by something that would need me to type long programs.

Surely, the universe was against me.

Or, was it?

It was not long before I realized that I was the universe. So, the act of typing, or the lack of it, was also the self. And, huzzah to self, I tried my luck at the finding out the shiniest new program that could lift me up to the level of the aforesaid hacker (but this time he would be typing Javascript).

You know what – this story does indeed have a good ending. I came across this website called keybr.com.

type faster like a pro using keybr

I suddenly was enlightened about what I had been missing all this while –

  • I get bored of repeated typing of characters like this
    fff bbb ddd kkk ili lll
    This does not make sense people – it belongs to the unfortunate souls who are learning to type on a typewriter.
  • Since I could not really pronounce ‘fff’ and its counterparts, I had a hard time retaining it in my mind.
    I am not that intelligent.
  • I am not a person who has problems locating a key. Remember, I had typed typing with wrists tied behind my back. My big problem was not using all the fingers as God(s) would wish them to be.
    I could not sustain interest if I had to start all the way from using only the index finger to my whatever the other finger is called.
  • I would get real emotional about a program chastising me by holding off on a key just because I did not type it correctly. I was equally unhappy with a program that would accept whatever junk that came to it after ONE MISTAKEN KEY PRESS and score me negative numbers just because it could.

Keybr was the panacea I was looking for.

First things first – I loved that the program did not start from the very basics. I get to see words that I can pronounce and remember them for typing. This would be  the natural way of learning to type since that is what I do all the time.

Next, the program would gently show me the way with animation that I did not take kindly to. More importantly if there is a significant time lapse ( let us say 4 seconds) of me typing in wrong characters, it would treat my decision of refusing to type a character and move on. So the characters I typed after ONE MISTAKE (again in caps), would be ok.

Finally, I would not choose lessons one after the other or put up with a program that dare says I was a failure and could not proceed. Instead, I would be led like a king into deeper and deeper typing knowledge until I was ready to fight the dragon.

Oh, for God’s sake keybr! Why did it take so much time for me to find you? Now is the time I become a typing God before the Cortana, Siri and the like take over the world.

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