Doc Searls Weblog 2012-05-25
When our kid started using a computer in the seventh grade, I got him a copy of Mavis Beacon so he’d learn how to touch-type.
I didn’t see him using the program, but I did see him typing. So I asked him what was up with that. He said “I looked at it a couple of weeks ago. It was good.” I asked, “Did you learn to touch type from it?” “Sure,” he said. “It has tests. I used them. I did fine.”
So I asked him to show me. He did. First try: 30 words per minute. Second, 45 wpm.
I took typing in the seventh grade ,which ran from September 1959 to June 1960. It was a year-long class, one period per day. My typewriter at school was an early-Fifties Underwood Rhythm-Touch like the one on the left. For practice at home my parents got me a WWII-era Underwood that looked exactly like the code machine.
I got an F in my first semester of typing class, because I made a lot of mistakes. I got a D in my second semester, for the same reason. For what it’s worth, I doubt anybody in that class has done more typing since then than I have. Or have worn out more keyboards. Such as the one on the right, which I’m using now.
My handwriting, long neglected, looks about as good.