Relearning old skills


Over the years I’ve been happily typing away ad-hoc, sometimes one key pecked at a time, sometimes getting a series of keys rolling and getting that satisfying few words in quick succession. Typing for me is one of my slowest and most frustrating ways to get what I am thinking into a written form. Writing was just as bad. When in a hurry my hand writing deteriorated to just a mess.

Gradually over time my typing got faster but I was always looking at my hands making sure I hit the right key as quickly as possible….Only to look up and see that I made a mistake 3 words back. Which now frustratingly I had to scroll back and correct, and then carry on where I left off just to do it again next time I looked up…. rinsing and repeating until I was done. Sure some words your hands learned to fire off completely from what is referred to as muscle memory but inevitably you’d fall right back into the method you have trained yourself to use.

Sound familiar?

I had promised myself I would learn to touch type eventually, but it would get forgotten or something else would come up which was far more important (literally anything really!).

Well holiday time finally rolled round, and I decided enough was enough and I would dig out an old typing program I looked at briefly when I first started to play with Linux. It is called GNU Typist. It’s far from elegant, it has no games to play with but has the basics, and basics it does very well. Luckily for me being on a Windows laptop there is a version available.

In all its glory.

GNU Typist at its most basic.

I opted for the quick lessons in the series, they are nice bite sized lessons to do over 5 days (as there were 5 lessons). The program tells you which fingers to use and where. The key I think is to stick with it and do the lessons on a regular basis, this is needed to re-train your fingers to go to the correct keys in the correct order. You will be much slower than your normal typing method, and you may catch yourself reverting back, but do persist. Eventually your speed will increase and you will reap the benefits. (This is actually a lot quicker than you would think.)

And in case you are wondering this entire post was typed using proper technique, with fewer mistakes and I especially liked the fact I could look elsewhere and just let my fingers do the talking (as it were).

Speed wise I am averaging a magnificently slow pace of 25 wmp but I am getting quicker the more I type. Practice definitely pays off.

Right then, thanks for reading, links below.

GNU Typist website

Or install via apt-get or yum install (gtypist), its available in most repositories in your favourite distributions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: