Saturday, 18 January 2014

So I decided to learn...touch-typing!

So I got all these wonderful keyboards and I think it is time for me to learn proper touch-typing. You know, the one that you don't look at the keyboard at all and having your fingers on the home row and using proper fingers for the proper keys. has been tough. I'm now averaging about 30wpm which is just well...average. My target is at least 100wpm but I think that is really a long way to go. I'm having real problems getting my pinky to reach the letter "P" and I keep missing typing the letter "I" especially after I stretch my fingers to reach the less frequent keys like the letter "Z" and "Q" as well as "?". I guess part of it is because my fingers get out of position after reaching for them but the letter "I" I always forget where it is in relation to my fingers. I keep hitting it with the wrong finger.

I try to touch-type whenever I can. This post is one of them.

Well, I still have a long way to go. Wish me luck!

UPDATE 1: I can't seem to be able to go beyond 40wpm!

UPDATE 2 : I'm consistently hitting 40wpm now. Can't wait for it to reach 50!

UPDATE 3 : The highest I've hit is 60wpm. Will not be repeating that anytime soon lol. My average speed is still 40wpm. This is quite depressing.

UPDATE 4: I realised that the more accurate I am and even though my typing may not be very fast it will still maintain a high typing speed. I will try to be as accurate as possible while still trying to maintain a fast typing speed while not making any mistakes or making as few as possible. I will correct each and every mistake in the whole word or even the previous word to force myself to be as accurate as possible.

It has not been very easy. The positioning of the fingers are very important. What I've noticed is that I have problems hitting keys which are close together and also hitting keys which I've not hit for quite some time even though they may be common keys. I keep using the wrong finger which is usually the finger which is to the immediate right or the immediate left of the correct finger. That has been the toughest to correct. Generally and on the whole though, my fingers already remember where they are supposed to be when hitting the respective keys.

UPDATE 5 : I'm using TypeRacer to keep track of my progress and currently I have just reached 50wpm as my average score but I don't quite trust that as I can vary quite wildly between test pages. I can go as low as 30+ wpm to as high as 60+ wpm. On average I'm hitting a high 40+ wpm.

Improvements are getting harder by the day. I'll take whatever bit of improvement I can get. I'm still trying to improve my accuracy as I find that it has the biggest impact on my typing speed.

UPDATE 6 : My average speed is more or less 50wpm now. On good days it has been quite consistent. Being accurate has definitely helped. I've even reached a maximum of 72wpm! I'm also seeing a bit more 60+wpm as well. That will be my new target but it definitely won't be easy.

UPDATE 7 : My average speed has reached 60wpm if TypeRacer is to be believed. It has been a very tough time getting here. Even then I find it hard to believe that I can hit 60wpm consistently. 50wpm is a given. Even 55wpm. But I'll take whatever TypeRacer is telling me. It's a nice morale booster and makes me want to continue to get better. At these speeds, accuracy becomes even more crucial and actual typing speed also becomes a factor. Another factor which I've noticed which I've not noticed so much before is fatigue. If you come in fresh and alert, I can easily hit 60wpm without a problem. The longer you type and the sleepier and tired you are coming in, the more mistakes you make and the lower your average becomes. I'm fastest somewhere between the 3rd typing test and the 8th. Anything earlier my fingers are still acclimatising to the keys and anything beyond, I start to get tired.

It goes without saying that the difficulty of the test passage also plays a part on how fast you can type but that has always been a given.

UPDATE 8 : I've just hit a maximum of 75wpm! Yeeee Haaaaw!

UPDATE 9 : Ok, pretty much confirmed that I can hit a consistent 60wpm when I'm not too tired and relatively alert. I believe when I'm fresh and even more alert I can go even faster. Wish me luck!

UPDATE 10 : Another observation. I type fastest and with lesser errors when the words are short and familiar. The longer and more complicated they are, the slower I become and the more mistakes I make. Sometimes the words can be familiar but simply long. I make mistakes while typing along the way.

I still have not mastered the positioning of my fingers. Once they start stretching from one end of the keyboard to the other, I make mistakes. The worst ones are those where the letters are side by side. Have to master this in order to increase my typing speed.

The biggest impact still seems to be fatigue. One time, I may hit a max speed of 70+wpm and in the next test I would go down to 50wpm or slower. The fact that I was coming in from a "high" does not help and the tendency is to go fast in the next test which does not help. I also do not give my fingers sufficient time to recover from the last test. I now try to rest my fingers more. However at the end of the day, there is always a limit and when I find myself making too many mistakes than I normally would, I will just stop and call it a day.

UPDATE 11 : My favourite keyboard for typing seems to be the Leopold FC660M with the Cherry MX Clears. I also prefer it for gaming. For everything else, I prefer to the Topre keyboards where the keys massage your fingers while you type.

UPDATE 12 : Reached a maximum of 78wpm today with zero errors. I wasn't typing particularly fast so accuracy definitely played a major part today.

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