Thursday, 22 November 2012

The Last Typewriter

Reports of the production of the last typewriter to be made in the UK remind Joe of a summer holiday - I think it was the one between leaving school and arriving at university. I was not allowed to use the portable typewriter at home unless I went to the trouble of learning to use the keyboard properly. A consequence perhaps of my mother knowing that Dad was only able to use the "search and destroy" technique (a descriptor of two finger typing I heard yesterday) and not being that impressed?

So many a happy hour during that summer was spent doing the exercises from the book. "asdfg - ;lkjh". And I still use the home keys to orientate myself on a keyboard. I have to confess that I never quite fully mastered the top line (the numbers) before the summer ended, but I did get to do everything else with reasonable efficacy.

Many years later, when the use of a computer became all but obligatory for the preparation of teaching materials, I was extremely grateful (please note the severe understatement here, and this is not me being sarcastic) for the fact that I knew the keyboard, and could - quite literally - keyboard a section of text much faster than I could hand write it.

In the early days of computers, one of my placement schools during teacher training had a policy of teaching its pupils how to keyboard properly on the grounds that this was a universally required skill whatever the make or operating system of computer they were likely to use later in life. I am not sure that any school now would adopt such a policy....

1 comment:

Becca@Conveyancing In Melbourne said...

WOW… I am thoroughly impressed with your experience… that looks like such hard work. Learning keyboards from old and new technology is such a funny thing.