Touch typing

This is a discussion on Touch typing within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; when the general consensus is that using your own method is better, or at least no worse Where general = ...

  1. #16
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    when the general consensus is that using your own method is better, or at least no worse
    Where general = abachler, abachler, and abachler?

    Why are we having this discussion if we already have a "general consensus".
    Last edited by cyberfish; 11-29-2009 at 10:43 PM.

  2. #17
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    Net Speed: 82 WPM
    (words/minute)
    Accuracy: 97%
    Gross Speed: 84 WPM
    (words/minute)
    I thought I typed relatively slow. Made lot's of errors and corrected them. It was a difficult passage, too, with a bunch of punctuations and names.

    That was the first try.

  3. #18
    Guest Sebastiani's Avatar
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    Well, I mostly type with just two fingers (I do use the others, just not as much), but I can't deny that it's far inferior to touch typing; the upper limit on speed is much less, and accuracy is typically much worse. That said, one good thing about it is that your chances of developing carpal tunnel syndrome are probably lower (just a guess, though), considering that the hand is never in the same position for very long. But that's about it, I think. I've even had coworkers complain that my style is noisy. Once someone took my defence, though, claiming that it was the "Ernest Hemingway Style".

    Anyway, all of the fastest and most accurate typists I've known are touch typists, for sure.

  4. #19
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    Where general = abachler, abachler, and abachler?

    Why are we having this discussion if we already have a "general consensus".
    because general consensus doesn't mean there aren't outlying opinions such as yours. The general consensus is that the sky is blue, but you can always find some crackpot that will argue its pink, that doesn't mean there isn't a general consensus.

    Yes if you are a two finger typer then probably touch typing is superior in most cases. Most of us aren't hunt and peck types though. I use every finger on both hands, I just dont limit them to preassigned keys. Well, the pinkies and the thumbs are rather specific to the ctrl/shift/enter key and the alt/space bar though.
    Last edited by abachler; 11-30-2009 at 11:26 AM.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by abachler View Post
    because general consensus doesn't mean there aren't outlying opinions such as yours. The general consensus is that the sky is blue, but you can always find some crackpot that will argue its pink, that doesn't mean there isn't a general consensus.
    But MOST people think the sky is blue. You are the only person (or 1 of the only 2 people) in this thread who thinks that way, and you are saying it's the "general consensus".

  6. #21
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    But MOST people think the sky is blue. You are the only person (or 1 of the only 2 people) in this thread who thinks that way, and you are saying it's the "general consensus".
    The responders to this thread hardly constitute a scientific sampling of all typists in the world...

    Hell, it doesn't even represent a valid sampling of the members of this board.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

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    Of course. It's impossible to get a scientific sampling on a forum like this.

    It seems to me like people who type their own way argue that's better, and people who touch-type argue that's better.

    The "general consensus" could be a result of the fact that most people can't touch type.

    I can probably do >90wpm on a easier (more typical) passage, without having to really think about the typing process, and without having to remove my eyes from the screen. That speed won't break any records. I've seen people who can type much faster.

    I have never seen any non-touch-typist that can type at anywhere near that speed. So what's the advantage of typing your own way?

  8. #23
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    I have never seen any non-touch-typist that can type at anywhere near that speed. So what's the advantage of typing your own way?
    Speed, both of learning and average composition speed. Your insinuation that peak world record speeds are somehow correlated with average speed in the general population is unfounded. Do you have any scientific evidence of this, or are you just pulling facts and figures out of your nether regions to try and win...

    Composition speed is far different than dictation speed, which most world records are measured in anyway. Programmers rarely perform dictation.

    The fact is most people learn touch typing in school, so you assertion that they 'can't' touch type is patently false. They don't, there is a difference.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

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    Ah, so now you are saying typing speed is not important? Or are you saying you can achieve the same speed with hunt and peck?

    I don't have any scientific evidence. It's all personal anecdotal. Just about everyone I know who touch type type way faster than everyone I know who don't.

    Or are you saying hunt and peck is faster for composition even though touch typing is faster for dictation? I will be surprised if that's the case. One of the main advantages, IMHO, of touch typing is low brain usage, so the brain can focus on other things.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish
    One of the main advantages, IMHO, of touch typing is low brain usage, so the brain can focus on other things.
    It is possible to have a "hunt and peck" style without actually needing to hunt very much, i.e., low brain usage in typing due to "muscle memory", same as in proper touch typing, but with less efficient finger utilisation.
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  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by laserlight View Post
    It is possible to have a "hunt and peck" style without actually needing to hunt very much, i.e., low brain usage in typing due to "muscle memory", same as in proper touch typing, but with less efficient finger utilisation.
    Well, exactly - I "peck", though rarely "hunt"; any style, if used long enough, will result in an intuitive method, where the fingers naturally "fall" where necessary. But touch-typing is typically always going to be more efficient because the fingers are always placed in the most optimal positions. There may be exceptions, but the econimization of touch-typing will always be the best approach, in general, I think.

  12. #27
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    Ah, so now you are saying typing speed is not important? Or are you saying you can achieve the same speed with hunt and peck?

    I don't have any scientific evidence. It's all personal anecdotal. Just about everyone I know who touch type type way faster than everyone I know who don't.

    Or are you saying hunt and peck is faster for composition even though touch typing is faster for dictation? I will be surprised if that's the case. One of the main advantages, IMHO, of touch typing is low brain usage, so the brain can focus on other things.
    I think i see the problem, it appears that you lump all typing methods that aren't 'touch typing' under the same category of 'hunt and peck'. This simply isn't the case. The method I use is certainly not hunt and peck, but it is not pedantic touch typing either. I use every finger on both hands to type, but I do not use the touch typing method. If i had to label my method, which I dislike doing, I would call it 'Free Form'. Since there is not a linear relationship between the key and the finger that types it, nor vice versa. For example, while my right index finger is usually the finger that types the H key, as in touch typing, when I type the word afghan, the left index finger types H because it is already in the vicinity, cannot easily be moved and the right index is already hovering over the N in preparation to type. I don't really think about such things, I only just now watched what I do. My typing, and what fingers type what, is almost entirely subconscious. It's like breathing, I can control it if I make a conscious effort, but all I do is think what I want to type and my fingers just type it.

    Quote Originally Posted by laserlight View Post
    It is possible to have a "hunt and peck" style without actually needing to hunt very much, i.e., low brain usage in typing due to "muscle memory", same as in proper touch typing, but with less efficient finger utilisation.
    It is also possible to have a more efficient finger utilization, due to innefficient key placement on a QWERTY layout.

    As I said, I do what works best for me, I learned touch typing first from my mother, but it seemed to have an upper limit on speed for me. I suggest others do what is best for them. If that is pedantic touch typing then great, but to say touch typing is best for everyone is absurd, not only from a technical point, but also from a logical point. Particularly since the most common letters in English are pretty much all on the left side of the keyboard (ETARS / LN).
    Last edited by abachler; 11-30-2009 at 03:54 PM.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish
    [...]
    Despite being far from touch-typing and having never even once learned it, so many years of keyboard usage had made me:

    a) use more than two fingers. I mostly use 4 fingers (2 on each hand ) plus my thumbs.
    b) I only glimpse at the keyboard while typing. I do not stare at it. Muscle memory made that possible.
    c) I type fast. Fast enough for my needs. I don't want to be faster and I don't give a rats arse if I ever get slower. Programming (general computer usage, in fact) is these days hardly a keyboard-only activity or even a keyboard-centric activity unless you do your code on the CLI, which I don't.

    So quite frankly I don't give one minute's attention to touch-typing bigotry. I certainly appreciate the skill of anyone employing it. But don't try selling that as a "solution to all your problems". A programmer's life (the vast majority of the world's programmers lives, including some of the best and most famous ones) is not dependent on touch-typing. Stop.
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    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  14. #29
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    It is possible to have a "hunt and peck" style without actually needing to hunt very much, i.e., low brain usage in typing due to "muscle memory", same as in proper touch typing, but with less efficient finger utilisation.
    But there is still hunting (visual memory instead of muscle memory). If it's 100% muscle memory, there's no need to hunt, and I think it will lower the brain usage even more.

    I think i see the problem, it appears that you lump all typing methods that aren't 'touch typing' under the same category of 'hunt and peck'.
    Indeed.

    My definition of touch-typing is just "no hunting" (100% muscle memory), so I would classify your typing method as touch typing, just not with standard finger assignment.

    b) I only glimpse at the keyboard while typing. I do not stare at it. Muscle memory made that possible.
    Imagine if you don't have to glimpse at all.

    A programmer's life (the vast majority of the world's programmers lives, including some of the best and most famous ones) is not dependent on touch-typing. Stop.
    My life does not depend on free food, but that's nice to have.


    I think my typing speed came mostly from instant messaging, which is one of our primary means of communication nowadays. Typing fast certainly helps for that (since the other person has to wait while you type).

    If you look at how some of those teenage girls type... it's like copy and paste. >100wpm is fairly common. I think the key is to spend 10 hrs a day chatting online. Heck, some of them can type text messages on a phone faster than I can type on a keyboard.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    I think my typing speed came mostly from instant messaging, which is one of our primary means of communication nowadays.
    Yeah, if you are a teenager, most adults use either email or voice. I can honestly say that I have neither text messaged a customer or colleague, nor been text messaged by them.

    If you look at how some of those teenage girls type... it's like copy and paste. >100wpm is fairly common.
    If you are looking at teenage girls and notice how fast they are texting you are doing it wrong.
    Last edited by abachler; 12-01-2009 at 03:10 AM.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

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