What is your typing skill level and how did you get it?

Thread Starter

jkaiser20

Joined Aug 9, 2016
26
I am starting to do more command line stuff after installing Ubuntu on my laptop and have been reflecting on my tuypnig sjkills.

I did one day of typing class before having to drop it back in about '86. Had a typing tutor program on my C64 that a couple buddies and I worked on for a bit, but never really took it to the advanced level. I am really close to being fully touch typing on simple words and sentences, but for more complicated commands I am still somewhat hopeless. So I was wondering how others are. Do you have mad skills such that a line like:

grep $x error_log | wc -l | tr -d '\n'; echo " : $x"; done | sort +2 -rn |

is a breeze? How did you develop the ability to knock out symbols? Did it just take practice or did you do something special to develop it?

For those like me who struggle, do you want to be faster, or are you satisfied with your mediocrity? I want to be better, but don't think I have the discipline to systematically improve.
 

joeyd999

Joined Jun 6, 2011
4,624
Error free at 80 WPM. Grew up typing on TRS-80 and took typing class in 7th grade.

Finding symbols quickly comes with practice and repetition. You have to develop the muscle memory.

I am much slower on laptops than a standard desktop keyboard. They are always moving the symbols around to non-standard locations, and I have multiple laptops with different keyboard layouts. Very frustrating.

Edit: I still usually double space after a period. This is a habit I learned in typing class and it is really, really hard to break. Most word processors want a single space after a period and automatically adjust spacing.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
15,456
I took typing in the 10th or 11th grade. Was typing 60+ WPM and my typing teacher recommended that I become a journalism teaching assistant because they needed someone who could typeset for the school paper and yearbook. I got the big typing assignments because my accuracy was better than the others and that made for less work for the teacher.

40+ years later and I can type 80 WPM on a good keyboard.

Being able to type numbers and symbols fast and correctly comes with practice.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
10,694
Learned to type at the old Radioman A school in San Diego fresh from boot-camp with no typing skills. A torture chamber filled with old teletype machines with totally blank keyboards where we typed all day in sync with a metronome for weeks on end. After the class (needed to pass the typing test so we could advance to real communications training) we could type in total darkness in sync with a headphone voice perfect random 5 letter code groups forever at full teletype speed. Most of us learned to type so fast in bursts we could lock the mechanical machines with the right sequences.

The key is boring practice and repetition with a good mechanical computer keyboard like a RK-9000V2 with real Cherry MX switches.
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
27,886
I've never taken a typing class and never took more than a lesson or two with a typing tutor program, so my typing skill, such as it it, is pretty much all from practical experience typing real things. The last speed test I took (years ago) had me at about 30 wpm. I just went out and took a couple and they have me at around 45 wpm with about 90% accuracy. I definitely have spurts that are well above that during those tests, but then will make a mistake that takes me time to get synched up to their expectations -- much longer than correcting the same mistake made while typing actually takes. So I would guess, when free typing, I'm somewhere around 50 wpm.

I usually glance at the symbols on the top row and occasionally the numbers, though I definitely do that less now than I used to. I've gotten fairly comfortable with the basic punctuation symbols in the lower right.

I'm curious to see where my daughter ends up as they have as a normal part of their education a requirement for doing Typing Pal starting in third grade. I should sit her down and have her do one of the online typing speed tests just to see where she is at.
 

Thread Starter

jkaiser20

Joined Aug 9, 2016
26
Interesting views, thanks. I am not going to try that test until I am at a real keyboard, like Joey I can barely find my way around.
 

Sinus23

Joined Sep 7, 2013
248
I got 25 wpm as well as Albert Hall. I bet it has something to do with English not being my first language and that the first "IBM" keyboard type I owned I got when I was over 18 years old.

I still have to look at the keyboard when I type...And I mainly use my index finger on my smartphone...
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
27,886
I got 25 wpm as well as Albert Hall. I bet it has something to do with English not being my first language and that the first "IBM" keyboard type I owned I got when I was over 18 years old.

I still have to look at the keyboard when I type...And I mainly use my index finger on my smartphone...
Since you are just typing the letters that are there, English may or may not have much to do with it as long as the alphabet and keyboard layout is familiar. Certainly there are common character patterns that you can probably type quicker if the words are in a language that is very familiar to you. I don't know how much slower a proficient typist would copy-type something that is just random letters. I'm sure there would be an impact to some degree.

The model M keyboard didn't go into production until I was 20 years old and I didn't do much typing at all until I was about 25. What little I did before that was mostly on an off-brand electric typewriter.

But I certainly relate to the finger on the smartphone. Since I only just went over onto the dark side in that regard, I only use one finger (usually my middle finger) on it. Since I seem to be averaging a bit less than one short text message a week, I doubt I'm ever going to get much more proficient than that unless there's another sea change in my life.
 

Sinus23

Joined Sep 7, 2013
248
Since you are just typing the letters that are there, English may or may not have much to do with it as long as the alphabet and keyboard layout is familiar.
This is why I included the information that I have to look at the keyboard while I type. If I encounter a word I'm not sure how is written because it's in English I have to look up once or twice away from the keyboard to make sure I'm typing it right which slows me down a fair bit. The lack of context in that game doesn't help either. However I'm sure that people that make a living typing can grind through whatever it throws at them like a bulldozer. ;)
 

KJ6EAD

Joined Apr 30, 2011
1,581
I had two semesters of touch typing instruction in junior high school on IBM Selectrics with the keys painted over. I had another semester of typing in high school. I've used a typing tutor program to improve on numbers and symbols. Speed varies between 40 and 120 wpm depending on source material and currency of practice.
 

RichardO

Joined May 4, 2013
2,270
I had typing in 8th grade. Most of the students were girls. Oddly, the fastest typist in the class was a guy.

I was unlucky. I got the only typewriter in the class that did _not_ have blank keys. I never got above about 20 words a minute.

Probably not much faster than that to this day. :(
 

JoeJester

Joined Apr 26, 2005
4,390
I use to type at 60 wpm or so ... but that hasn't been tested in a number of years.

I took typing (the class was girls, except for me, and I'll be damn if my friend didn't follow suit since his work was opposite mine) my senior year, where we went to school for two weeks and then worked for two weeks in our major. Mine was Radio & TV repair although I worked at a radio station doing electronics maintenance and engineered a couple of talk shows nightly.

Then came the CG. Even though I was an ET, we stood radio watches and were responsible for teletype traffic. I have met some fast two finger typists on the Ol' Model 28 TTY. I could out run it, but, I had to slow down as that model wasn't too fast, although it would have been faster than hammering out code on a key.

The quick brown fox wasn't too quick at 45 baud.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
10,694
I use to type at 60 wpm or so ... but that hasn't been tested in a number of years.

I took typing (the class was girls, except for me, and I'll be damn if my friend didn't follow suit since his work was opposite mine) my senior year, where we went to school for two weeks and then worked for two weeks in our major. Mine was Radio & TV repair although I worked at a radio station doing electronics maintenance and engineered a couple of talk shows nightly.

Then came the CG. Even though I was an ET, we stood radio watches and were responsible for teletype traffic. I have met some fast two finger typists on the Ol' Model 28 TTY. I could out run it, but, I had to slow down as that model wasn't too fast, although it would have been faster than hammering out code on a key.

The quick brown fox wasn't too quick at 45 baud.
Most of my typing duties were interaction with people, not copy.
At our receiver station we had stacks of RO teletypes with one keyboard per station that we could select into a circuit (1 of 4 or 8) for interactive communications with a remote technical control operator. There were times when we had multi-hop HF links with maybe three RTTY links on the stack with three operators from around the world all talking via teletype circuits to the central control when radio propagation started going bad.

 
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WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
27,886
We had eight Teletype Model 33 ASRs as terminals for my first computer science class.
My high school had two Model 33's, a Model 40, and eight CRT terminals for the Alpha Micro minicomputer. Plus we had a small rag-tag collection of personal computers including an Ohio Scientific, a TRS-80, and about three others. My senior year those were all replaced by Apple II's (IIe's ?).

The only computer programming class that was offered was "Computer Math" which was taken by students needing one more math credit to graduate, so it was taught at an awful simple level. The final project was writing a high-low game. Fortunately, the teacher was one that encouraged and supported the handful of students that really wanted to learn stuff.
 
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