I get about six errors a minute. Unfortunately I also only type about
six words per minute.
When I was in high school only the business kids took typing. Nobody
ever thought engineers would have anything to do with a typewriter;
that's what the secretaries are for. My brother was older enough that it
worked in his career, but it didn't in mine.
I wasn't an engineer in high school. Or a business kid. I went to
probably the richest public school in Indiana, I think 80% went to
college, but they also taught typing. I think I took it in summer
I had watched my mother type my brother's papers in college -- he's 7
years older -- and maybe med school, and I didn't want to depend on
someone else. But I agree that it surprised me when I typed for a
living, as a computer programmer.
I make a lot of errors when I play the piano, too.
I did a seque into programming as the world changed but I started out in
the machine tool industry. There was drafting involved, mostly
schematics and panel layouts, but no typing. More likely you would find
me with a screwdriver and a Simpson debugging a control circuit.
I found I enjoyed programming, which I did not in my college days when
it was FORTRAN IV and System 360's. Still, by the last '80s I was
starting to wonder if a man really should make a living in front of a
glorified typewriter. I sort of retired/dropped out and spent the next
ten years doing more physical work. Then I wandered back into the field.
I've enjoyed it, which is why I'm still doing it.
Of all the programmers in my group I think there are a couple who can
actually type by any accepted definition of typing.
In the 8 th grade about 1964 most everyone had to take a semester of typing.
The room had a lot of typewriters and the keys did not have any leters or
numbers on them so we had to learn to touch type. My mother had a typewriter
just like them but had the leters on the keys. I used it some to type up
It did help some when in college I had to take a semester of computer
programing in PL/1 which was sort of like the BASIC programming. Just
enough to learn what computer programming was about.
Move up to about 3 years before the computers came out (the old Radio Shack
and Apples) I started playing around with some ham radio that used the
Teletype machines. The typing started to come back to me. Then enter the
computers and a slightly different keyboards . Letters are in the same
place, but have to look for some of the symbles.
There wasn't a typewriter in sight in my 8th grade in 1960. I can't
remember when my parents bought a typewriter for me but it was an
inexpensive, manual portable job and a joy to use.
My college programming courses were FORTRAN IV and the closest we got to
a typewriter was a keypunch. The theory was you did your programming on
a coding form and then went over to the computer center to punch it in.
In the real (paying job) world it was expected you would give the form
to a keypunch operator.
iirc, the early Apples were lacking a key that was sort of important to
a C programmer so you had to fudge it with key mappings. I never had an
Apple but I remember a friend whining about it.
The keys still migrate. I was at the library today and had to hunt
around for Delete. Their keyboards are neither the standard full size
with the numeric part nor the laptop condensed model.
I was taking an electronics engineering course in college. We just had a
semester of programming. It was just enough to learn what it was. Most of
what we wrote was only about 30 to 50 lines.
We usually wrote the code by pencil and they went to the only model 33
Teletype. Punched it in and made a tape of it. Then used a dial on the 33
to call a computer somewhere off campus. Then started the paper tape and
sent the program. Later in the day we had to call up the computer and it
would print out the results.
On Sun, 20 Dec 2015 21:01:03 -0500, "Ralph Mowery"
Hard to believe we all have our own now. Few of us do programming,
but we could. (I don't count setting values for 4th generation
Went to Cape Kennedy ~20 years ago and was told that the PC I had at
home in 1995 was as powerful as what launched the Mercury astronauts.
What I have now must be more than enough to go to the moon and back.
My top typing speed was around 78wpm with the average errors any normal
typist would make. I hated manual typewriters because if you had to
make copies you had to use that blue/black carbon paper between papers
and type 2 to 3 copies at a time. If you made a mistake you had to
correct it on multiple copies. When word processors and pc text
applications (word) came out I was in heaven because an error only meant
you had to backspace/delete/edit and keep going, which, got very easy to
do and didn't lower typing speed all that much. The only thing that
would slow me down was typing numbers because they are on the top row of
the keyboard and I had short fingers, so I couldn't reach the numbers
accurately with any sort of speed. Usually, I ended up slowing down
enough to look at what I was typing and verify I hit the correct numbers.
When I started out typing I only got up to about 35wpm because manual
typewriters were just difficult to press the keys, even the electric
ones slowed me down. When chat rooms and internet typing came along my
I find it totally ridiculous that the qwerty keyboard still
exists! The dovorak
layout is so much better and easier to use it is a quantum
leap forward. And
to change to a dovorak is an adventure in itself to find it
on most operating
systems. Another pet peeve of mine is the use of the term
as it simply does not exist no matter how you view it. The
would be 'centrifugal reaction' to an applied force field.
Gonna sit down now...
If I tried it years ago I may have converted. After 55 years of typing
I'm not so interested in change. My guess is too many die hards not
willing to learn and teach it.
Long term it may be the best, but short term it could be a nightmare
doing the changeover in a company with hundreds of keyboards.
On Mon, 21 Dec 2015 18:20:45 -0600, Unquestionably Confused
When I worked on mainframes, one time I printed a new page for every
It was hard to save paper after that first year, when I realized I
could waste more paper in one day than I could save in my lifetime.
You haven't lived until you've fed a PostScript document to a
non-PostScript printer. PostScript is actually a reverse Polish
programming language so what you wind up with is a program listing with
bits and pieces of the actual text embedded in it.
Don Lancaster pushed PostScript about as far as it could go. iirc he was
using it to drive an x/y table.
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