Eyes Closed

In case you don’t know, I work for a software company. I’ve always worked for software companies so I spend my entire day near or working on a computer. I do a lot of writing , both of content (my job is managing a team of technical writers, the people who write the software manuals and information that you really should read occasionally!) and general administration type work, emails, spreadsheets, reports and plans.

It’s safe to say that I spend a lot of time on the computer, and the bulk of that time is spent typing on the keyboard.

Many moons ago I took a basic typing skills class (SCOTVEC module) at school. The only thing I can remember, and oddly this is similar to badminton, is that the ‘home keys’ are the secret to touch typing. Keeping your hands centred over, and aware of, the location of the home keys (G and H) means you can efficiently use your other fingers to locate the correct key, returning your hands to the home keys as you type.

You can learn this method yourself.

It’s not something I’ve really thought much about to be honest, like driving a car it’s one of those skills you learn once and then accept and apply through muscle memory without too much thought (or any, in the case of some drivers). So when a co-worker pointed out that I had just typed a couple of sentences in an email without looking at the keyboard I was a bit taken aback. I’d forgotten how hard those initial lessons were and how much I take my ability to touch type for granted.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a 60wpm, word perfect typist. I still glance down occasionally, although whether that remains through habit I’m not sure, but I can rattle off a blog post without looking down.

And for those of you who are wondering, I spent a week during my summer holidays on a badminton training course where the abiding memory was of the coach shouting at me to return to the ‘home spot’ on the court. The centre of the court is where you aim to get back to so you are in the best position to respond to the next shot from your opponent.

The ability type using most of my fingers (thumb for spacebar) isn’t anything really worth commenting on. That said, my reaction when my ‘skill’ was pointed out was fairly typical, I brushed it off as nothing amazing. However, to the person that made the comment it must’ve been worthy of noticing and mentioning so, perhaps, I shouldn’t have brushed it off as brusquely as I did.

Sometimes we forget the skills and attributes we have as we take them for granted, even if they are, to others, remarkable (or at the very least worthy of mention). So, dearest blog reader. Take a moment. Pause. Think.

What about you have you forgotten? What skill or attribute do you possess that I would consider remarkable?


  1. Aren’t F & J the home keys? Isn’t that why they have those little (braille like) bumps on them?

    January 14, 2009
  2. K said:

    @Paul – I always thought that too, from secondary school OIS. Oh how i remember asdf ;lkj and a sad lad, a sad sad lad, a bad sad lad, a glad sad lad ad nauseum…

    January 14, 2009
  3. Lyle said:

    Indeed, even Gordon’s “learn it yourself” link says the same thing…

    January 15, 2009

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