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Forum title:Typing
Topic title:Do Typing Softwares Work?
Created by: changdynasty2000
Created on:2007-03-14 19:50:05
Read times:2542

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Date: 2007-03-14 19:50:06
Edited: 2007-03-14 19:51:14

Hi! I learned typing on my own. Actually I never actually "learned" typing; I used to play lots of fast-paced strategy games such as Warcraft series or Age of Empires and I attribute my typing to getting used to hotkeys in those games. After a while, I could somewhat "touch-type" and I didn't even realize it. I started using TyperA about a few months ago - every week I would push myself for a new record. I started at around 65 for a record, now I'm 100 (English words and sentences).

Now I don't mean to brag (I see most of you here have like 600 kpm), and I did have a question to ask. Do typing softwares work? Do they actually help you increase your speed in some top-secret trademark way? I mean, all these softwares claim they teach you their "touch-typing technologies" and methods, etc.

To be sure, I'd like to know specifically, what are some differences in technique you would be using if you formally learned from a typing software, versus if you had just learned by your own style?

For those of you that used a typing software as part of your learning process, or have some insight into this, I would greatly appreciate your response! Thanks.

Date: 2007-03-20 07:57:18
Edited: 2007-03-20 08:19:08

For those of you that used a typing software as part of your learning process, or have some insight into this, I would greatly appreciate your response! Thanks.

I've used a few different programs, and each has had a different effect on my typing ability.

I used Typing Tutor 9 for countless hours. All it does is spit randomly generated sentences for the user to type. Now, that might help your typing, but only of you learn to type well. You take your skill into your own hands with software like that, and you might teach yourself bad habits.

Before that, I used some generic "drill" software. Lower-level stuff. It relies on systematic strings of characters rather than language: "aaa sss ddd fff" and so on. I think it's a boring way to learn the key positions, and probably won't help beyond getting a basic proficiency.
Although... I've always suspected that it might make a person radically fast to spend lots of time typing random characters. If I could consistently type all words as fast as I can type the common words of the English language (EG: and, the, with, etc) then I'd be pretty damned quick.

Typing of the Dead is an interesting program. I've found that it has made me type more quickly and accurately in short bursts- it doesn't really sustain for more than a few seconds before errors start to crop up. It could be said that Playing ToD makes you better at playing ToD, but there's definitely some overlap between that and the actual practice of typing. ToD's advantage over other methods is that there are zombies coming to kill you- motivation to boost your speed and not mess up.

So, typing software can work, but you have to be proactive. You're not going to get any faster using software than you would using an IM, MUD, drill program, or any other software if you only go at your regular top speed.

Edit: With regards to the rest of your post, I don't make a distinction between using software and being self-taught/using your own style. I learned QWERTY with drills in junior high- we didn't even have software, just pieces of paper with letters on them. That worked. When I learned Dvorak about nine years later, I literally downloaded a picture of the layout, and did my regular typing using alt-tab to refer back to the picture if I forgot where a certain key was. Either way, it takes a couple days, and boosting one's speed is up to the individual, as with any skill.

There is a certain psychology involved, which is also equal to any other skill one learns, and some software I've heard of tries to use psychology as part of the teaching method... non-freeware software. I have theories of my own, and there may be "secret" techniques of that sort that really do work, but it's a bit beyond my knowledge.

Date: 2007-04-15 03:04:10
Edited: 2007-04-15 03:08:03

The best typing software ever is "Typing of the Dead". Well, it's a modification of the famous "House of the Dead 2" for Dreamcast and instead of killing zombies with a light gun, you've got to kill them by typing the right words. If you arent fast enough, the zombies will kill you. Might sound simple, but it makes a lot of fun. The developing adrenaline tought me typing at about 300 hits per minute. Additionaly, you can play it with a friend over LAN, as I see you're a fan of multiplayer games.

Edit: Oh, I just noticed, that somebody already posted something about it. Have a look at it.

Date: 2007-04-25 16:34:33

Get into religious debates on IRC.

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