Life stories

(Dumping ancient drafts.)


Almost every piece from Stevey “unsigned long long” Yegge’s blog strikes me down further into the purgatory of hopeless never-going-to-make-it programmer.

But this almost saved my soul.

Later Coding Horror chimed the same bell. I got 91 wpm with 3 mistakes from the typing test site he mentioned, slightly faster than his 84.

Typing is one of the very few things I can actually say that I’m above average.

It could be in late primary school when I started to “learn” English with my parents following “Follow Me”, that I took up typing using an old barely functional typewriter. The mechanics part was probably much easier than the content, since 26 identical keys in 3 rows is a pretty far cry from 88 keys in a staggered row, and there’s no dynamics or pedals to meddle with. Typewriter keys do travel a longer distance than piano keys, and the old typewriter keys were very heavy, so I sometimes used typing as a less boring finger warm-up exercise.

In junior high we started to have computer class (on Apple IIe, topic for another blog piece), and one of the first softwares we used is typing instruction. Computer keyboard was so much softer and shallower compared to typewriter, thus much easier and faster to type.

Typing was instrumental, literally and figuratively, to two main themes of my mid teen: pop songs and “love” letters (yet another topic). I typed the lyrics of hundreds of songs first on paper, then on the home PC. It helped me to learn the songs and some of the cultural background, to learn idiomatic and poetical English, and to type faster, of course.

One funny day in senior high, I walked into a typing class more or less by accident. The teacher watched me type for a while and asked “are you sure you’re in the right class?” She pulled me into her office, measured my speed, and started me immediately on a crash course for typing competition, which traded my speed for accuracy.

To this date I thank that teacher, whose name I can’t remember. And my employers should, too.