The Lounge is rated Safe For Work. If you're about to post something inappropriate for a shared office environment, then don't post it. No ads, no abuse, and no programming questions. Trolling, (political, climate, religious or whatever) will result in your account being removed.
A couple decades ago, a standard joke among beer lovers in Europe went:
- What's the similarity between making love in a canoe and American beer?
- Both are f**ing close to water.
Since then, there has been a microbrewery movement, which has resulted in some excellent beers (some of it good enough to be shipped over the pond for us here in Norway, although at premium prices.)
Has this had any influence on the mainstream, "industrial" beers? Or are they essentially unchanged from what they were twenty and thirty years ago?
I am guessing that USA is similar to Norway: The microbreweries catch a lot of attention, but their share of the total beer market is not that many percent, by volume. Or have the micros succeeded in making any significant inroads in the overall beer market?
While everyone was panic buying toilet paper and canned food, the premier got ahead of it all and put restrictions on how much alcohol anyone can buy in one go - to make sure there's enough to go round.
We joke here in Canada that we can run out of toilet paper, the water supply can be disrupted, the power grid fail (not that that's a new thing) but 15 mins after they close the beer stores here it will be full societal collapse.
I used to think us Aussies drank a lot of beer. I stand corrected.
In any case we have beer delivery, beer takeout and the beer shops are open and practicing safe distancing. I'm personally working on ensuring they all stay afloat financially in the only way I know best.
I have hardly written a full sentence by hand since I first encountered a computer keyboard in High School (that was in the teletype days). Today, I fight to understand my own handwritten shopping list when I go to the grocery store
So I was sure I could do touch typing - I am using all ten fingers, and I do not have to look at the keytops. Or at least so I thought. A few weeks ago, I flipped off all the keytops to brush my keyboard clean. I was a little too fast when putting then back on, and swapped M and N, as well as X and Z. I discovered it more or less immediately, but said to myself: "I'll just leave it that way! I know which character is in which position!"
What did I think??? I immediately started typing N for maybe every second M. Especially with CTRL, I begun undo when I meant to cut and cutting when I meant to undo. I do not notice myself looking at the keytops; I have no idea why I do such silly typing mistakes.
Anyway, I will leave the keytops in their wrong place, to teach myself real touch typing, neither consciously nor unconsciously looking at the keytops. After several weeks I have very little progress. But I will continue my fight against myself. When my Z/X and M/N error rate goes down, I will start switching the other keytops around. Maybe in a year or two I will be able to do real touch typing. For now, I am really frustrated over my typing abilities.
A friend of mine has got a keyboard with all black keytops. It is one of those super-flat, no-key-travel models that I don't like. Besides, he has it set up as a US English keyboard; he is of the kind that don't mind if he has to enter Norwegian characters by hex code. I want a native Norwegian keyboard, with keys in standard position for ÆØÅ. That limits the selection significantly (I asked if he could set his keyboard up as a Norwegian one; he didn't know, didn't think so). So flipping keytops around seem to be the solution, and it may be just as fine.
Get an app - I learned back on my Amstrad 6140 with "Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing" and have never looked back. It's so much worth it (until you start swapping between an English layout Desktop and a US layout Surface (partly because Windows for no good reason remember what I had set last time and assumes my current machine is the same layout ... and WINKEY+SPACE toggles it which for some reason I keep hitting by mistake. And then swear.
"I have no idea what I did, but I'm taking full credit for it." - ThisOldTony
AntiTwitter: @DalekDave is now a follower!
I guess that after 40+ years behind the keyboard, doing "The big red fox jumps over the lazy dog" style exercises is not really for me - even when provided by an app. I did lots of that style back in 8th grade. Even after going through the drills of that app, my experience shows me that even if I thihk that I am not looking down, I am indeed. No app drill will change that fact.
So my solution to that is to make it worthless to look down, because the ketops do not reflect reality when they are misplaced. The only app that could prevent me from taking sneak views of my keyboard without myself consciously noticing it would be one that told me to shuffle the keytops around. That is exactly what I am doing, without needing an app to tell me to!
My advice would be not to torture yourself. I am exactly in the same position, after 40+ years of typing looking at the keyboard. That hasn't stopped me from having a pretty successful career. If anything might have even helped a bit: slow typing gives one time to reflect at what he is typing. I'm not sure my mind would be able to go much faster, so what's the rush?
Nothing really, beyond the realization that I must be making sneak views down on my keyboard without realizing it - and when those sneak views give me the wrong information (because the keytops are misplaced), I obey! I am typing according to the wrong keytops even though I (wrongfully believe) that I am not looking at them!
So I sort of present this as a challenge to all of you: Flip off all the (standard-sized) keytops and put them back in random order. Do you still have the same typing speed, the same error frequency? I was convinced that I would. It turned out not to be true. So try it for yourself - you don't have to admit your failure in this forum!
low typing gives one time to reflect at what he is typing.
I'd say the reality of it is that one is putting more attention into the typing instead of the thinking.
I was "forced" to learn to type in Junior High School (8th grade) back when it was only useful for typewriters. Years later, in college, that turned out to be quite useful . . . for typing.
Now, after years with a keyboard, I type without thinking about my hands, but instead, about what I am typing. Not intending to be mean or overly critical, but your comment about how "it might helped" is very reminiscent of Aesop's Fox and Grapes fable.
I would describe myself almost exactly the same way - I, too, learned touch typing in 8th grade.
So I am curious: Have you ever tried to switch the keytops around, to verify that you in fact take no visual clues from the keyboard?
If you had asked me a month ago, I would have laughed: Of course I "take no visual clues" - I have been touch typing for 40 years! The problem is: It turned out not to be true. I still could swear that I do not look at the keyboard, I just see myself making a lot more typing mistakes with those two letter pairs. I guess I would have been better off scraping off the keytop letters so there would be nothing to mislead me.
Not at all - I'll glance at it for special keys (sometimes) as I don't (and never did) really memorize them (neither did my fingers). In particular - some of the keys are in different places on different keyboards: there's no solid standard for where the "extra" keys, added for computers, will be.
Peeking for those is much faster than backspacing (or worse) to get rid of and error and then retyping it.
But as for 95% of the time, I hit 80 WPM bursts. You can hardly see the fingers move. Sustained rate is slower - and typing stuff in CP Lounge - as many who read what I post will attest to: erratic.
There is, now and then, the "Special Encryption" which occurs if I have either or both hands out of place and start to type. :oole TJos (should have been Like This),
Strangely enough, I've got a Norwegian keyboard with both X, Z, Q, C and W. And ÆØÅ as well!
Surely, I am getting your joke, though. X, Z, Q, C and W are used so rarely in Norwegian words that those keys are not likely to be worn out before the others.
A coworker of mine showed me a "hierarchical" presentation of the morse alphabet as a binary tree, sort of like the one at Morse Decoder[^] (my Boy Scout handbook had a slightly different gaphical presentation, but the idea was the same). When I nodded, "Sure, that clearly reflects the frequency of characters - E is the most frequent, so it has a single dot, T is the second most frequent, having a single dash, and so on, to make the messages as short as possible", he looked at me in astnoishment: It had never occurred to him that that sort of optimization lay behind the design of the Morse alphabet! But it did.
The letter frequency of course depends on the language. The Morse alphabet is not optimal for every language, not even for all Western ones, but it is close enough.
In modern times, we keep this up: As long as you need to represent only characters in the English language, UTF8 lets you do it using a single byte per character. When you move to the languages of Western Europe, with nasty characters such as ÆØÅ, you must be prepared to spend twice as much space. If you move further away, outside Western cultures, you might even have to spend three times as much space per character!
Both memory and disk space is cheap nowadays; I doubt that this can be considered any major threat to non-Western cultures. Yet is does reflect a Western-centric view. The UTF16 format has been well defined for many, many years, putting practically all the written languages of the world on an equal footing. We choose not to use it, because we can save a little space for our Western culture languages. Sure: Disk and memory are cheap, yet we are not willing to spend money on UTF16 when we can spend a few cents on going for the UTF8-oriented Western solution... (Both are equally general; you can do the same in both, so the only difference between them is the space saving when handling Western languages!)
I actually don't know what Linux people are doing internally - they were hard to get out of the 7-bit track, accepting 8-bit alphabets. Today, I know that a lot of applications accept UTF8, and I know a lot that don't. Can you rely on all system functions accepting >8 bit character codes? Since the dawn of 32 bit Windows, Windows supported the basic UTF plane of 64ki character codes. I wouldn't trust applications to go beyond that, but for most practical purposes it is enough (... just like 7 bit US-ASCII was enough in the 1970s ...).
Yet... I am a Westerner, and when someone on the Internet provides a link (or printed reference) with Chinese characters, I gladly admit that I sure wish they would have provided it in some readable format. But my intellect says that the Chinese, or any culture using a non-Latin alphabet, has an equal right to present, and link to, their information in they style/language of their own culture. They have no obligation to other cultures to present stuff according to any, to them, foreign culture. So although Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Cyrillic or Greek links are all Greek to me, I admit that they have their place in an international world.
Having had a visually impaired daughter, I have seen lots of software vendors demonstrating how great their software is for visually impaired users. But none of them have been willing to turn the screen away from the user/demonstrator, towards the audience, during the show. Noone has even been willing to give the demonstration using glasses smeared with vaseline, or glasses covered except for a small spot in the center (or off center). Or having the screen's color contrast reduced to an almost B/W picture, so that color information is worthless (for users with various kinds of color blindness).
For other physical disabilities you might of course ask the demonstrator e.g. to wear thick mittens. Or place the keyboard on a shelf that is irregularly shaking from one side to the other.
Generally speaking: I am not at all proud of UI designers, Web designers in particular, as see from a "Universal Access" point of view.
I still remember how impressed I was when we in 8th grade were in "Work practice week": I was "working" in a newspaper's local editorial office and couldn't believe the speed of one of the other journalists hammering away on a Teletype 33 with two fingers only. This was after I had had my 8th grade touch typing class, but that guy could easily beat me with his two fingers on the TTY 33 against me on an IBM Selectric!
Today, I am a fast typist, but not necessarily a fast writer. I use the screen as a way to try out sentences, phrasing and wordings. I read what I have written, reconsider it, rephrase it, reword it ... or delete it. My rough guesstimate is that I type between three and five times the number of characters ever saved. If you look at what has survived revisions and editions (of my own, forget about what others cross out!), at most five percent of what is saved survives its first year. Maybe it is down to 2-3%; I never checked, but I wouldn't be surprised.
A few of my coworkers keep gigantic mental structures in their head, needing only a structure of labels/identifiers on their PCs to keep their thoughts organized. I am the other way around: I like to offload those complex structures from my brain, using the labels/identifiers to recall them when necessary.
So when I offload something to the keyboard/PC it is essential to me to get it right. Therefore, although I am a fast typist in the sense of keypresses per minute, quite a large fraction of those are deletes and rewrites. So, to some degree I am a fast typist, but a slow writer.