At 39 and holding (Yes, I include myself in the Jack Benny avoidance of over-the-hill-age, here) I’m finally sitting down to train myself to type the correct way. You know, fingers on home row, certain finger placements strike certain keys, that sort of thing? Back in the dark ages when I went to school I could have taken typing class and never did. I taught myself to type on an old manual typewriter–a Royal Elite–that belonged to my grandfather. That thing gave the fingers a rigorous workout everyday. All six of them. I was (and have always been) a two fingers and thumb typist. In high school I was fast enough that I could easily keep up with those who were more traditionally trained and tended to make fewer mistakes. Yes, I look at the keys and not what I’m typing, only glancing up on occasion to see where I’ve been and give my fingers a break while I figure out where I’m going, but that has worked for me for years.
So why have I decided to change and figure out the “correct” way to type, you may ask?
Well, I’ve noticed of late (and at odd times during the last few years) that looking down at the keys while I type puts more strain on my neck than its, uh, 39-and-holding years really likes. The typing software my wife had used years ago doesn’t work on our current computer (which is still a comparative dinosaur) and the newer software I’d picked up a few years ago for my kids just, well, doesn’t cut it for me. No wonder my son never liked that program. However, he came to the rescue and pointed me to Dance Mat Typing, an online typing tutor which starts with teaching the home row and works its way up. According to my son, it has about twelve levels or so, with each level broken into several lessons. I tried out the first lesson yesterday and had fun. Yes, it’s geared for kids, but it’s run by the BBC, so I get to listen to animals speaking British English while I learn a skill I probably should have mastered years ago.
For now, I’ll keep at the two-fingers-and-thumb approach to typing, but I’m forcing myself to learn a new trick.