Reply to post: Mechanical typewriters

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

Unicornpiss Silver badge

Mechanical typewriters

I learned touch typing on a manual typewriter in the 7th grade. This was possibly the most useful class of any ever offered. I remember typing sentences such as "Ed will audit the auditors" meant to really exercise those fingers on one hand. The effort to type on an old school (literally in my case) mechanical typewriter was formidable, and after a marathon session all of our fingers and wrists would ache. Yet I don't remember repetitive stress injuries coming into vogue until much later, though people forced to type all day on one of these, every day, must have been far more susceptible than anyone using modern equipment. I then took "Typing II", and midway through the first semester our truly ancient manuals (Royals I think) were replaced by Olivetti electronic typers. You could really fly on these, though the spacing and layout were a little different, so some relearning was necessary. All of our fingers breathed a sigh of thanks when we had to type a long document. Even some secretaries look on in wonder that I, a middle-aged man, can type as fast as I can and (usually) without too many mistakes--I have those old typing classes to thank.

As a side note, I came into keyboard shortcuts in Windows late in the game, but a simple web search for "windows keyboard shortcuts" gave me everything I needed to know. I work with professionals that have been using computers for decades and it surprises me when I casually use a keyboard shortcut and they say "Wait, how did you just do that? Show me what you just did."

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