So I had to type a lot of words. Bear in mind that ten years earlier I had bought my first PC at a time when the airforce actually didn't have any PCs in the workplace - I'm sure a few officers had PCs on their desks but apart from some dedicated mini-mainframe engineering databases we didn't come into contact with that kind of technology at all. By the mid 90s the airforce started to modernise and PCs started appearing in the operational work areas and by the end of the Century I was pretty much chained to a PC and haven't seen sight of the key since.
Initially I was a two fingered typist, stabbing at the keyboard with my index fingers like Schroeder out of Peanuts, hunched over trying to push out a couple of thousand words a day on technical reports. I started to realise that I had pretty much reached terminal velocity with two fingers, so I decided to teach myself to touch type. I walked my keyboard down to the photocopier, pushed out a printout of it and taped it at the bottom of my monitor screen. For a couple of months I painstakingly typed using all ten fingers and thumbs, avoiding looking at the keyboard but using the photocopy in front of me to find the right keys. By month three I had overtaken my two fingered speed record and I've touch typed ever since. OK, I admit it, I do look at the keyboard more than a true touch typist does, but it was certainly worthwhile learning that skill.
But the world, inexorably, continues to turn and I spend as much time using my Nexus 7 for computing - outside of work anyway - as I do with my laptop. Now anyone who has tried typing on a tablet computer will have struggled a bit. iPad sized tablets are just about doable, although I suspect most users perform the Schroeder style stab for most of their typing. Touch typing on the Nexus 7 sized keyboard is not a viable proposition.
I've written a few of the blog entries on the Nexus over the last few months too, but I'll be honest - it's a slow process due to that darned keyboard. So it was with keen interest that I learned that researchers in the UK, Germany and the US have collaborated on designing a keyboard for tablet computers.
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