Typing faster

By Abhijit Menon-Sen <>

I learned how to type by trial and error on my mother's green Olivetti typewriter, and after a few years of using computers, my four-fingered technique served me well enough that I didn't think about learning how to touch-type "properly".

Over the past few months, however, I've tried to use more fingers efficiently, so that I don't have to move my hands as much. I adopted the conventional finger positions for a week, found they didn't suit my big hands (reaching non-alphanumeric keys on the keyboard was painful). Now I've found a more comfortable position, and I can type accurately and reasonably fast (though not as fast as before) without hurting my hands.

Unfortunately, the price I paid was in losing the ability to fall back to my earlier technique, and the loss of speed—though not an impediment in practice—has rankled.

Today I discovered the perfect cure: ztype

This is a "Space Invaders"-style game where you have to type falling words to eliminate them before they reach you. It has a few annoying bugs (sometimes the word you're typing is hidden behind others), but it's extremely addictive nevertheless.