Reply to post: Re: Touch typing

What’s the KEYBOARD SHORTCUT for Delete?! Look in a contextual menu, fool!

Basil Fernie

Re: Touch typing

As a retired church organist I can write and type at the speed of my thoughts but then I'm also a slow thinker. Although right-handed I use the mouse with my left hand, saving my right for odd interactions with the keyboard when not in full two-handed text-entry flow. If there were some useful mode of data-entry employing the feet I would probably use that concurrently too.

I use LibreOffice a great deal of the time, and do find a small subset of keyboard shortcuts very handy. In fact I like to use keyboard, mouse and touchpad variously as required for efficient navigation, but have a serious problem with the touchpad on my Lenovo laptop which frequently asserts a long-forgotten cursor position for the keyboard cursor, leading to multithreaded text. The fairly effective cure for this in *buntu Linux varieties is to use a utility called synaptiks which momentarily cancels the touchpad while the fingers are flying, but some recent distro versions don't seem to implement it. Totally disabling the touchpad is an unacceptable workaround. Do not brush the touchpad or its surround with an incautious heel of the hand while typing...

Long before 3270 terminals, our research organization implemented TSO (IIRC) using modified IBM golfball typewriters as remote terminals. Even though a terminal was switched on and humming, there was no way to know if it was actually communicating except by trying to type in some text or pressing ENTER, oops, the carriage return key, which did in fact cause the golfball, if not the carriage, to return. Readiness by the System 360 to receive another message would be notified in due course by the golfball printing a full stop, rather pessimistically I always thought. When the system was heavily loaded (let's say 3 or 4 terminals active across the entire organization) this response could be much delayed, from 30 seconds to 30 minutes or more, a space of time occupied by activities variously subsumed under the impressive title "Waiting for (the) Godot". Reams of clean fanfold paper were used up by impatient tapping of the return key hoping to attract the attention of the aloof mainframe. I don't recall the communications baud rate.

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