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Friday, 19 February 2021

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Mike, I stopped using a mouse a long time ago because of hand and wrist problems caused by both the mouse and also a bad angle of the keyboard. Instead, I use a pen tablet, one of the Wacom ones. I **highly** recommend doing likewise.

Making the change made it possible for me to continue using computers. I'm not exaggerating.

The lowest level of tablet from Wacom costs under $70, I believe, and is sooo worth it (I'm not shilling for Wacom; I use them because I know them but there may be other brands).

One thing about getting a tablet, you don't want it to be too large. That's because you have to move the pen tip to your spot on the tablet, as if it were the screen. You don't want to have to move too far, or it would get tiresome.

Hardly any point in learning to type these days as dictation is so universally available and good. Also Apple Scribble works very well turning handwriting into type. I’m sure both will improve further over time but they are good enough now. I think you should try one or both and give your fingers/wrists a rest.

I got a new computer last summer and went through several mice (mouses just sounds wrong to me). I have issues with hand and wrist pain, so I was looking for something that would help with that. If you want a wired mouse you might want to try the one I ended up with:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B076F1JTVM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I found that they do make a left-hand version of the mouse I like:

https://www.amazon.com/Left-Handed-Jelly-Comb-Ergonomic-MV09E/dp/B07Q7G5ML6/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=left+hand+mice&qid=1613755696&sr=8-3

I was having mouse problems too - my old mouse had become a bit worn out and single clicks became double clicks, which can get beyond infuriating. I went for the same M510 (in black...) and pretty much share your views. It's bigger and more comfortable than my old mouse - after using it just this week, my wrist feels better than before. On a PC you can configure the buttons to do a lot of different tasks - don't know if that's possible on the mac though (try going to https://support.logi.com/hc/en-us/articles/360024701174--Downloads-Wireless-Mouse-M510 and see if you can download the app to customise it). The scroll wheel doesn't feel as well engineered as it might, but at least you can click it to the left and right for horizontal scrolling - I miss that from using a Magic Mouse.

On the subject of the magic mouse - I share your frustration on the charging, especially as it would only flag up a battery warning about 5mins before it died, which was irritating in work. I recall seeing a third party wireless charging mat once - which was nice but expensive. Maybe that's the way to go?

Mike

The logitech mice have dongles because they use RF radio, not bluetooth. It shouldn't interfere with a Bluetooth mouse.

Many of them actually do both, though; there will be a slider on the bottom to switch between the two (the dongle and bluetooth). Thus is pretty handy if you want to connect the same mouse to two computers; do one on the dongle, the other on bluetooth. No need to switch things around then, just flip the shower and it automatically switches over.

I normally type (to pull a number out of the place where the sun don't shine) between 300,000 and 400,000 words a year. When I broke my arm last summer, I couldn't cock my wrist to the right, so I bought a Microsoft ergonomic keyboard and then threw it away a few days later. It drove me crazy. I don't see how you could possibly use it without touch typing. Anyway, to get to a point here, I put a very slightly soft plastic placemat, maybe 1/8 inch thick, under my keyboard (I had to cut it to size with scissors) which eliminates the tendency to jiggle. I use the Apple wide wireless keyboard with the number pad on the right. This is a relatively new product for them -- for years, they only sold a short wireless keyboard without the number pad. It coordinates well with an Apple mouse. You do have to plug it in to a USB port from time to time, to re-charge its battery, but that's not a big deal. I also put very small loops of gaffer tape under the placemat and the keyboard to hold them precisely in place. I have considered buying a gaming keyboard. Are Technica occasionally reviews keyboards, and they always recommend the clicky-type contoured keys, but...too much trouble. I use an under-desk keyboard tray which keeps the keyboard below my elbows, which is supposed to help reduce repetitive stress.

I'm of an age where high schools in my area (BC) were streamed...Academic/Technical, Secretarial, Vocational, etc. Having declared A/T, as I intended to go to University, my courses were "pre-selected" for me. In grades 11 and 12 I had an open block and elected to take Typing 11, then Typing 12. I was the only male in the class both years.

The first year covered the basics and worked on speed drills - to music. The second was mostly about building speed. I passed the first year having built enough speed for a decent mark. The second year I plateaued at a speed that didn't officially meet the requirements for a passing mark. The teacher, having worked with me for two years and remarking she knew why I had taken the courses, did pass me.

I never did achieve great speed, but I earned beer and pizza money living in university housing and typing last minute essays for procrastinating Art's students. As an Astronomy/Physics student I had virtually no "papers" to write/type, just a lot of labs to write up in "approved" university lab books.

Not a brilliant typist these days, but can use all my fingers, just not always in the right spot.

And, there are still a few pieces of music I catch every now and then on the radio that immediately take me back to typing class speed drills...

In high school I realized that I would never be able to afford to have someone type my school papers. I took one of my core classes in summer school in order to make room for typing class in my junior year. It may have been the best decision I ever made as a teenager. My dad worked at a company that repaired office machines and he was able to procure an old manual Royal typewriter. After that I was on my way. I still have a tendency to hammer the keys because of that typewriter.

I'm sure you could find a good typing exercise program or used book on the subject to teach yourself. Typing ASDF ;lKJ was the first exercise we did in class.

"urge them to learn proper touch-typing from the start"

Oh, I'm sure that all young people must learn touch typing, lest they be left behind the other job applicants.

Heck, I even took typing class in high school, as did several members of the football team. (It may have even been the last year of junior high.) This was before our school system got its first computers.

I can't imagine doing "hunt and peck" typing. That has to take forever to write a blog post! I'm not very fast or extremely accurate, but my touch-typing skills make me much faster than I could ever be using just two fingers.

I don't know how you do it, Mike.

Touch typing has to be easier on your hands, with the tapping spread out among four fingers (and the thumb for the space bar).

If you have a chance to take a touch-typing class, you would be well-served, I believe. It'll take maybe a year at most, but you'll be amazed at how quickly you can type that way.

(Sorry to be harsh, but please don't use excuses like "set in my ways" or "won't be able to keep at it" to keep you away from learning a task which will pay dividends every day you work on your blog -- or do any other typing tasks.) If you learn touch typing it'll make your blog typing go so fast, you'll wonder why you didn't learn it before. Please consider it over the next few weeks.

Good luck!

If you are having RSI issues, you should not be using a mouse at all, but instead a touchpad. (Personal experience and years of pain speaking here.)

Advantaages are that you can adjust your position, use it standing, hold it in your lap, avoid over-extending, etc.

Problem is that they have not been a commodity item for many years. The only good ones (Glidepoint by Cirque) can be hard to find or expensive.

"Apple's Achilles heel is that for a long time now it has prioritized style over function"

What you said. Obsession with style, espcially simplicity.
For example the Mac Pro I have, the cylindrical one, is so compact that it limited future development thermally. Fortunately for me it is perfectly good for me, but they had to do a total redesign.
And back when their mice had chords, they were so short they could not reach around a keyboard and still be used. For neatness! (An aircon installer observed that!)

Perhaps adding weight to the keyboard would help?

A programmer I worked with was such an energetic typist that he got a piece of 1/4 inch steel plate the size of the keyboard and hot glued it to the bottom of the keyboard. He could be talking about something and be typing code at the same time. Once I noticed that he was typing on two keyboards at the same time writing code and email. And he never made trivial mistakes.

Anyway, not much could disrupt his keyboarding but the the keyboard wandering around the table was more than he could deal with.

He didn’t look at the screen for long stretches either come to think of it.

Coincidentally, shortly after your post about keyboards, my most recent Microsoft Sculpt keyboard died. The letter e gave up the ghost. That's a hard letter to live without... Since my last purchase, Logitech came out with a new keyboad: the Ego K860. The price tag is rather high, but I've long since realized that keyboards are not the place to save money. It's quite good -- nice keys, good feeling, mostly good ergonomics. I say mostly because it has a fixed number pad, which forces my right hand out to reach the mouse. That I don't like. Alas, it looks like I will have to get used to that now too because I'm not seeing better wireless options.

When choosing a keyboard, it's also important to see what type of switches it has. On some models, you can actually pick the type of switch. I prefer the Cherry MX Brown (though still find it a bit too loud, not sure if something has the same feel but is quieter).

https://www.keyboardco.com/blog/index.php/2012/12/an-introduction-to-cherry-mx-mechanical-switches/

"The M510 has a small bluetooth receiver you have to plug into a USB port, which defeats the advantage of a wireless mouse for me since ports are my issue."

Slight tech misunderstanding. This mouse, and the majority of wireless mice, those that use a tiny USB receiver, are NOT Bluetooth. They use proprietary coms in the 2.4 Mz band. If it doesn't say Bluetooth or BT, it isn't.

So . . . these mice, and keyboards, don't interfere with BT mice and keyboards. I have one of each next to each other on my pad, one for desktop, one for portable when I'm home. They are usually both on at the same time. I've never had any trouble at all. A guess? Neither of your old mice that were interfering with each other is actually BT.

I've still had bluetooth issues. and "Also, the M510 requires that it be in an immediate sightline with the receiver unit to work properly" Are you still referring to interference? If so, these statements are contradictory. My experience with several wireless, not BT, mice over the years is that they have to be reasonably near the receiver, but not "in sight".

BTW, although not help for your particular situation, the Logitech receiver for your new mouse can handle multiple wireless Logi devices with the one receiver.

OTOH, little dongles that make one USB port into several are cheap and transparent.

I use that very same Logitech M510 mouse, as well. I like it, though I didn't notice the bumpy scroll wheel until you pointed it out. I also use the Logitech K811 EasySwitch Bluetooth keyboard, which not only supports connection to multiple devices, but has backlit keys as well. Long discontinued by Logitech, it seems these are much-valued by users, so much so that used ones command premium prices on eBay.

As for Apple's style over functionality approach to industrial design, don't get me started. Apple actually used to be good at this, but as the Brits say, seem to have "lost the plot". They don't seem to understand the basic design maxims 1) If it isn't broken, DON'T fix it and 2) functionality is more important than design. First and foremost, the d*mn thing has to work.

Two cases in point: 1) the 2nd gen tubular shaped Mag-safe connector on laptop AC adapters. If you put the Mag-safe on so that it would not obstruct access to the USB ports, it put a bend in the cable that eventually results in a shorted cable (from the internal stress on the cable wiring). If you installed it so it did not have a bend, the cable obstructed acess to the ports on the side. Just an incredibly stupid design.

2) The "touch sensitive" pad on the remote for Gen IV AppleTVs. This thing is an exercise in frustration. Just touch the pad, and the remote will scroll up, or scroll down, or flip to the next episode of series, or...inadvertantly select another series altogether, all seemingly at random. So exasperating I want to pitch it into the trash. Good thing I kept my old aluminum remote; at least I can select programs with it.

Hey Apple: Simpler is Better and if it's not broken...don't fix it.

I learned touch typing in 7th grade (well over 30 years ago now for me). I'm so glad I did. I type all day. I've been trying to tell my kids how important it is to learn. I'm tempted to let them read your lament, except that I'm afraid they might learn the wrong lesson: "You mean, this guy types for a living and never learned touch typing? Good to know. Thanks, dad!"

Mike, I share the same orthopedic forearm and elbow issues you describe and went to ergo keyboards almost 20 years ago. Age makes it worse btw; a few hours on a laptop is now painful.

While I have been a happy Microsoft 4000 user for many years . . . the Logitech Ergo K860 is a huge step up for me. I will never look back.

-- gary

Touch typing - YES. Hard to believe anyone writing on a computer can't do that now. How else to get that stream of consciousness down?

I swear by my Kensington Trackball - think I'm on the third one. Seems almost indestructible and takes up little room on my desk. Doubt I could go back to a mouse.

I like the little Apple wireless keyboard and trackpad combo. Or just the keyboard and trackpad on my laptop.

Mouse buttons make my hands tired.

The Apple stuff also auto-pairs when you plug it in to the computer to charge so you don't have to deal with all that Bluetooth stupidity.

If you want to upgrade to a genuinely excellent keyboard, try one of these: https://www.daskeyboard.com/products/mechanical-keyboards/. I have several of them connected to various computers; their haptic response is nothing short of exceptional.

I've never been satisfied with any of the Apple mouses. Recently, I've been using Logitech MX Master products: https://www.logitech.com/en-us/mx/master-series.html/. They have excellent ergonomics.

(I have no connection with either company.)

"but I decided hunt-and-peck typing was faster and easier so I just decided not to learn to touch-type."

I made the other choice. My mom had only a few years before graduated from the local commercial college. So, we had a very nice Remington manual and her college typing text. When I was home sick from school or on rainy days with nothing to do, I'd find the typewriter and her college text and go to it. The fun part was that the keys all had caps on them so you couldn't see the letters on the keys. You HAD to learn where the keys were and the best way to do that was home position.

Alas, the typewriter was improperly stored for too many years before I realized it, so it's gone. But I still have the college text. It would've been a brute of a course, I'm telling you. I don't think I would've made it through. The experience did help in my junior high typing class, though.

I took typing in high school. It was taught by a super hot teacher who loved to wear the shortest possible mini skirts. There were a LOT of guys in the class. Since a large part of my career in IT required a lot of typing it turns out that one class in grade 11 was the only one that really was of any benefit to me in later life. While Mr. Tuck can out type me my 60 wpm isn't all that shabby.

Mike, the juxtaposition of Chris Kern's recommendation of pricey mechanical keyboards with your purchase of an inexpensive ergonomic keyboard hit home for me. I gave my daughter a wonderful Leopold FC660C keyboard just before she started law school last August, thinking that that would become an essential tool for the next several years, at least. Unfortunately, she was disabled shortly after that, and the keyboard is untouched. Law school is tough enough even if you can write, type, and pick up books, but we hope that within a year or two she'll be able to recover to the point where she might be able to adapt to the kind of ergonomic keyboard that you use. FWIW, though, voice recognition software might be as helpful for you as it has been for her--probably not as fast as efficient touch typing, but still pretty good.

Your 'failure mode' is a very common one. I learned how to touch-type in high school, which paid off hugely when I became a programmer. 35 years later, I've probably written a quarter-million lines of code. A

I've gone through quite a few keyboards, but my favourite is a particular Dell USB keyboard from 2007 that they briefly offered for one of their high-end desktops. Desktops have changed but I hung onto the keyboard. I've worn nearly all the lithographed letters off the keycaps, but as long as my index fingers can find the bumps on the F and J home keys, I'm good.

Every once in a while, someone sits at my desk and tries to use my keyboard, and often it's a two-fingered hunt'n'peck sort who tries a few letters experimentally, then gives up. When I wander over they grouse, "When are you gonna get a new keyboard?" I say, Dell doesn't make these anymore so I'm keeping it until one of us dies.

I'd happily use one of those IBM Model M keyboards, but my fellow coders would kill me. They're just too damned noisy. But the letters are embedded plastic, not paint, so they never wear out.

When my son was in high school he had to take typing lessons. It was a tough class. They had to meet the minima of words per minute with very little margin for errors. It proved a very valuable skill later on in the university, where he could listen and see the professors and type everything they were saying without looking at the keyboard.

Standardise on universal receiver to avoid issues. Still there are interference, just less.

I learned to touch type in eighth grade, I think. But we didn't have speed drills to music or any of that cool stuff. Still, it worked and still does. I wrote every day for a college newspaper using huge old Royals and small scraps of paper that could be torn out and discarded whenever I needed to improve a phrase. Moved on to IBM 027 and 029 keypunches, where it felt that you were driving a nail each time you pressed one of the column-shaped keys down far enough to register. Life got better with the Nat Rochester-designed PC keyboards that responded to a successful keystroke with a satisfying give and then firm stop. These also introduced little bumps to keep your first fingers located on the f and j keys. I avoided the rubbery Apple keyboards of early Macs but in recent years have gone to Mac Pros, which do have tiny f and j indicators. As Kirk Tuck points out, hauling my rugged old HP laptop down to the local cafe when it reopens would be a Boomer giveaway.

My current keyboard has both English and Hebrew letters offered, but I have never learned to touch type in Hebrew. It is weirding enough to observe the character buffer shift its organization from left-to-right to insert strings in the reverse direction. But there is a lovely special character that is offered, the ligature of shin (ש) and het(ח) into (₪), used to say "shekel hadash" or new shekel, which we have been using for almost 40 years, since suffering a 1000:1 correction for hyperinflation in the 1980s.

Am happy with what's provided with my MacBook Pro - keypad and touch pad. No mouse needed.

Think about how long you've been having "blue-tooth" mouse problems, when you could have just plugged in a wired one and forgotten about it! And you even own a wired one, for when you're having trouble with the blue-tooth one!

I've never even thought about my mouse because it just plugs in. I have a pal that does a lot of blogging, and has blue-tooth mice and keyboards, and can't remember to keep them charged. "Fail". Buying an item that needs maintenance because it is self-powered, to eliminate a tiny wire which is no problem for me, seems senseless.

As far as I'm concerned, this falls into the same category as powered car windows: i.e. taking a technology that has a high level of fidelity, and "improving it" so it has a lower level of fidelity, and performance! Progress... Bah!

And you may wonder why I'm crabby....

There are over a dozen different kinds of Cherry-type mechanical switches offered now, so it's possible to put together something that feels like one of the old IBM Model M boards but isn't as noisy. The spouse prefers the super-flat Apple keyboards, and wears one out about every two years. Just switched to one of the wireless ones after working through the stash of NOS wired ones.

With mice I always wind up with my hand jammed into a corner of the desk (or off the edge) trying to scroll that last dozen pixels...I've used one of the Logitech trackballs for twenty years. Apple trackpads are pretty good; the one on my work-supplied Lenovo is appallingly bad. I was using a Bluetooth mouse with it, but switched to a Logitech wireless (with dongle) after a Bluetooth failure in a time-critical situation.

Bluetooth is nice when it works. It is not reliable enough for me to make promises to customers when it's involved.

I was given an Adler manual portable typewriter in 1966 as a h.s. graduation gift. My father made me take typing in summer between 7th and 8th grades, I have often thanked him.I loved the Adler for many years, but computers replaced it.

Always use wired mice/keyboards so I can find them when they are dropped.

Use a Logitech lighted keyboard, has great touch.

Clearly many of your readers are of an age to remember (if they had sisters) when mothers would tell their daughters NOT to take typing class in high school, because knowing how to type well meant that one would never get out of the secretarial pool after college. This was not unusual.

In 7th grade (1974) I took a typing class with the idea of meeting girls. Instead, I learned how to type. Probably the best class I took in Junior High School all things considered.

I use an Apple trackpad with my Mac Mini I gave up on mice quite awhile ago. I'm left-handed but have always used mice and trackpads with my right hand.

I’m a middle school tech teacher and, among other things, I teach 6th graders to type. 10 minutes a day as our warm up to class, and then on to more creative pursuits...we use a variety of online typing practice apps, and it works well for the kids who pursue it. Most do. But, all of them also look at me a little funny for insisting on the practice...we live in a world with Siri and Alexa, after all, and most of them can text with two thumbs on their phones nearly as fast as I can type on a keyboard. It’s crazy to watch.
But, once they start practicing, for the most part, they like it.
Curt

Agree with Dave above - just learn to type the right way, and it'll pay off no matter how young or old you are. It's not like language or soccer, where you might be well served to start very young. The skill would probably make your next 10 million words go much, much better.

It is almost impossible for me to fathom how someone can get by having to look at a keyboard to just put down their thoughts. Putting words on a screen should be like shifting a manual transmission after years of practice. Neither take all that much time investment to get to the point where you just get better naturally by doing it more.

You can probably get a home course and do it while listening to music even, so it wouldn't be 'all work' to acquire the skill.

Chris H

Wait, there was an 027 keypunch? I know about the 026 and the 029 (used both myself), but never heard of an 027 and a quick google doesn't turn up anything.

And...are you sure you're not confusing those with ASR-33 teletypes? The 026 in particular had the shortest, lightest travel of any keyboard I ever typed on (best key action I've ever felt). Whereas the ASR-33 had a very very long, stiff, stroke, and mechanical exclusion so the other keys were physically locked until you released the one you had down. Keypunches were designed for the best typists in the world at that time, the data entry operators.

One of the faster typists I know, over 100 words per minute, types with 4 fingers. He was typing, professionally, with two fingers, at about 90 words per minute, and eventually found that his two fingers were getting sore by the end of the workday. To spread the load he decided to add two more fingers—and, testing afterwards, found that he'd upped his rate measurably as well.

I hate to think what he'd have been like using all 10! (Well—9 for most people, most people I've watched use the same thumb for all the spaces and don't use the other thumb for anything while typing).

Having edited or rewritten hundreds of books, and written several, I could not have survived without a reasonable typing speed. I taught myself to type at the age of 10, using the correct fingers, on a huge old Underwood office typewriter built in 1916, that my father (a doctor) had rescued when the local police station were having a throw-out in the 1950s. By the 1990s almost all authors were presenting their work on disc, and secretaries ready for dictation were being phased out. Email was becoming universal by the end of that decade. Having previously been either fast at typing or accurate but not both, I can now be fairly fast and fairly accurate all at the same time.

My high school typing class paid off pretty fast when I joined the army in the late 1960's.
Typing skills helped me get an MOS as a morse interceptor in the Army Security Agency. We typed on a mill which was an all upper case typewriter with a track feed to pull six ply paper up out of a box on the floor and did we ever burn through a lot of it.
Twelve hour shifts listening to code while rubbing the paint off the dials on a couple of R390 radios might not sound great but considering the alternatives it was ok.
I think they now call typing "keyboarding" but either way it is a very useful skill for a young person to have.

Oh, and that's the other benefit of touch-typing—it doesn't matter if the letter on the keycaps wears off since I'm not looking at it anyway :-).

Like many folks of a certain age, I chose not to take "typing" when I was in high school. I very foolishly felt that typing was for people (in that time, women) who were destined to be secretaries. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

In my career as a physician, we transitioned from hand written records to electronic records. Then, it became painfully obvious that "keyboarding" skills were needed. Sadly, I closed out my career never really learning to properly type; I was one fast two finger artist though. Another of my many mistakes.

My younger, smarter colleagues could interview a patient, maintain good eye contact while writing (typing) their notes on the computer. I had to take scribbled notes and enter it later. Many late nights finishing my charts were the result.

Anywhere from three to six fingers and thumbs for me.

What do kids do to learn to type? My grandson, now a working engineer, cut his teeth on a Blackberry. I watch in wonder as his thumbs jump around on his iPhone. Evidently, being "all thumbs" is not such a bad thing.

Typing was a skill I learned when I was in my 30s. I had earned both my BFA and teaching credential via two-finger hunt and peck. As you and others have noted, slow and painful. It was when I started joining chat rooms on AOL Online (dial up modem, “You have mail!”) that I discovered just how inadequate my “typing” was. Two reasons for this discovery: 1) slow typing; 2) I could not read the ongoing conversations in the chat room because I had to look at the keyboard. The only solution I could think of was touch typing - it would speed up my typing, and take my eyes off the keyboard. Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing to the rescue! It worked rather well. 30 years later, AOL is gone, but my typing skills are still there. I am mediocre at best (approx 65 wpm, at 95%+ accuracy), but I now have spell check and auto correct.

Sadly, my typing skills have NOT transferred over to the virtual keyboard on my iPhone. While it is a QWERTY layout, I can’t seem to navigate more than one of my chubby fingers around it (my grandfather took one look at my hands when I was a teenager and proclaimed, “Ernest, you'll never be a piano player! Your fingers are too fat.” Well, I can play the piano, albeit my playing is not any better than my typing). The left hand holds the phone, while the right index fingers labors away in solitary effort. So unfair.

I’m trying to get my two teenage sons to learn touch type, but they are - resistant. I am going to use your post and the others’ comments to encourage them to work on that skill! Wish me (and them) luck!

I have both a Magic Mouse 2, and a Magic Track Pad 2. The Track Pad 2 can be used as a writing surface—great for doing digital signatures. I don't have a Magic battery problem–plug them in overnight if the power gets low.

I like Dictation in macOS, iOS, etc. It's like writing verbally. Add punctuation by saying what you want. For example, "Hello Chuck comma the check is in the mail exclamation mark" becomes "Hello Chuck, the check is in the mail!"

Mike Plews's comment on typing takes me back a few years. I learned touch typing in the Marine Corps at radio school in the mid 50s. In order to complete the course we had to copy morse with both a "stick" (pencil) and a "mill" (typewriter) at 16 wpm. After that I was sent to an advanced Navy school where we learned to copy at higher speeds. At my final duty station we used mills to copy (and the old Hammarlund receivers). So with no two-finger typing habits to overcome, I became a good touch typist thanks to the Marines.

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Kinesis (https://kinesis-ergo.com/), the king of ergonomic keyboards. I've been using the Advantage (and now the Advantage2 since I wore out the my first ones) for decades. Spendy, though.

My wife got tired of moving the mouse back to the right side; my son and I are left handed.
She gave up and started using it on the left. At which time she realized the advantage and speed
gained when using a keyboard number pad with her right hand without taking her hand off the mouse.
Doing spreadsheets is far easier.

You could force yourself to learn to touch type (with some practice of course) on a blanked out keyboard.

Keep your index fingers on the F&J keys and practice until your fingers get used to the distance away from that 'anchor' point.
Your muscle memory should get used to it as if you are learning a new instrument.

Blank keyboards tend to be a bit of a tech statement, and also tend to only be available on higher quality mechanical keyboards such as Das Keyboard, Filco Majestouch-2 and keyboards with replaceable keycaps.

You could also get a cheap black keyboard and use a Sharpie to blank out the letters. I would leave the punctuation though as that takes some time to learn to touch type, as you don't use those characters as frequently. I can consistently touch type at 110-120wpm for general words but still have to take a peak for infrequently used characters such as square brackets.

I think you could learn to touch type slowly in a day, getting faster and more accurate day by day due to the volume of typing that you do.

typingclub.com is a free typing tutor with a test to determine where your current level is.

A site that lets you practice typing by retyping classics: https://www.typelit.io/

A video game to practice typing that I heard is fun for people with kids learning to read: https://store.steampowered.com/app/398850/Epistory__Typing_Chronicles/

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