V for ictory — 17 Comments

  1. In 1972 I took a typing course in Aungier Street Dublin at a school called Sight and Sound Educational Services. I think the company was related to Independent Newspapers. Once a week for ten weeks I sat for one hour one day per week in the classroom with about 15 other adults of varying ages. There was a big screen with the keys of a typewriter instead of a blackboard on the wall behind a dais. The 'teacher' placed a videotape in a machine and started the lesson. We were told to keep our eyes on the neon keyboard as a taped voice said 'a now', 'b now', 'c now' – 'space now' etc. Each time he said 'a now' the letter 'a' lit up, and we were expected to pound on the 'a' key on our heavy duty Olivetti typewriters. I think we did similar exercises for finding the 'home keys' such as 'asdf' on the left side and 'hjkl' on the right. Whenever our carriages reached the end the voice shouted 'carriage return' and we did this with our strong right hands. At the end of one lesson a man in our class said, "That's third degree", and he was right. It was third degree and it worked. By lesson four I was able to rest my fingers over the home keys and find various letters above and below the home keys. By the end of the course I knew how to use a heavy duty typewriter, so about 15 years ago when I did an ECDL computer course I had no difficulty in typing keys. I'm only confused by computer keys like F1, F2 and the location of numbers. I think that course was the best practical course I ever did – apart from an evening cookery course I did several years later. I tend to look down nowadays at my computer keyboard when typing – my 1972 teacher would have rapped me on the knuckles for doing that.

    Finally, here is a memorable sentence from my typing course:;  The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy moon.

    A sentence like that would give David Attenborough sweet dreams. But I know a few farmers hereabouts who would blast the local red foxes to blazes.

  2. I haven't had that problem for some time, but when I did I used a piece of thin but firm plastic to get under the key.

        • 12 yoyos?  You must be kidding [unless you mean in a scrapyard?].  Anyway there is a 99% chance they'd send the wrong type.

  3. I still thump away with two fingers, although since I've been doing it for years, I do know more or less where the different letters are.

    My wife types at high speed without glancing at the keyboard. And she can do it both in English and in Thai. The Thai alphabet has something like 44 letters – 28 consonants and 14 vowels, I believe, but no capital letters. When we switch to Thai script on the keyboard, all the number keys above the letters become letters, plus the shift key is used for other letters. For numbers, the number pad at the right must be used. She doesn't have to look at that, either, being a qualified Thai accountant.

    God, don't you just hate it when people make difficult stuff look easy…

    • A few years back I wandered into a French Interweb Café place.  I forgot they have a different keyboard and was really annoyed at what I had typed – pure gibberish!  It took me an age to send a few simple emails.  Another time I made the mistake of ordering a keyboard of an Irish company, and the cunts sent me an American one!  I queried their choice and their attitude was more or less "you'll get used to it" which really infuriated me.  Haven't ordered anything from them since.

      So if even Qwerty keyboards have different layouts, I'd hate to see a Thai one!

      • Heh! Yes, it's a good job she doesn't have to look – my desktop has a Greek keyboard, albeit with small Latin letters under the Greek ones. The laptop has the US configuration keyboard, so when you have it on UK English (which I do), things like " and @ are transposed, and other quirky stuff. It takes a little while to get used to, but it's ok.

  4. Something small stuck under the keyboard is a pain. In the past when it has happened, I've turned the keyboard, (or Laptop), upside down and shook it gently from side to side. Then get herself to vacuum the keyboard lightly while it is still held upside down

    • I think you cracked the problem!  I just applied the Dyson to it and the key is working once more.


      Thanks John.

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