Thursday, February 16, 2006


Touch typing

Besides being the day of chocolates and roses, Feb 14th is also the birthday of one of the most important inventors of the modern world - Christopher Latham Sholes. Although typewriter patents date back to the 18th century, C.L. Sholes invented the first useful typewriter, which was later manufactured by Remington Arms company. The arrangement of letters on the keyboard was Sholes’ idea of preventing the machine from jamming often. This keyboard is called the QWERTY keyboard, which we use to this day. It got its name from the arrangement of letters on the first row of the keyboard.

Even after the invention of the modern marvel, it did not create waves in the market because typists used the hunt-and-peck method of typing, trying to locate each key making the system ineffective. Soon, a clerk named Frank.De.McGurrin came up with the touch-typing method of using all the ten fingers to improve the typing speed without actually looking at the keys. It is amazing how human brain is capable of storing movements of the fingers when done repeatedly over a period of time. Using this strength of our brain, typewriter became widely useful not only to businesses but also for personal use.

As computer became more popular, traditional technique of touch-typing completely faded and gave way to ad hoc method that we use today. I remember the days when, my older cousins used to boast of their typing lower/higher diplomas. These lessons in typing were once as important as their Science and Mathematics courses. Although we don’t realize what we are missing with our individual typing style, we cannot deny that the traditional method is foolproof/typo-proof.

Talking of typos, I am reminded of a day at work in India, when I was conversing on AOL IM with my on-site manager in the US. In a sheer rush of my fingers, I typed - "Give me a sex" instead of "Give me a sec" and became the laughing stock of the place. That day, I cursed Scholes so much for placing x next to c, that I thought I owed him a post of appreciation for his incredible invention. Now, it's leveled out.

Try this test to know your WPM (Word Per Minute).

Impressed :-)
Finally something informative and thankfully non-mushy about the 14th of Feb. Thank you.:-)
lolz...non mushy yeh...except for the 'typo', of course:-)
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