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Old 07-10-2006, 09:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Touch Typing Using All Fingers - Anyone?

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Hi folks... new member here. Manhattan-ite with a 7250 for about a year (finally migrated off my ancient Psion 3 series - bet most of you never heard of that!). Just found this site, looks like a great resource.

Just wondering... does anyone else touch-type on the Blackberry using all the normal fingers? Did some searches, but Iíve only read about thumb typing. Iíve been continually downsizing from laptop to palmtop to Blackberry to ??? and have always made sure that I can touch type normally before making the move. Canít quite master touch typing on Treo-sized board though.

Iím not that fast on a regular keyboard (50 wpm) to start-off with, but I can do 40 wpm on the BB in true touch typing form (correct fingers, eyes closed). I know Iím not in Mark Rís league either (read the Touch Typist Guide and a few searches) but I think using all your fingers has some distinct advantages like: already learned correct finger/key pattern, fingers more dexterous than thumbs, and less likely to develop repetitive injury. Disadvantage: you need platform to type from - desk, kneetop, etc.

It is actually surprisingly easy to do... Iím just amazed Iíve never seen or heard of anyone else that does it.
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Old 07-10-2006, 10:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (7250: BlackBerry7250/4.1.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/109)

I'm a fast touch typist on a regular keyboard. However, since my BB is usually in my hands, I need to thumb type.

There are Bluetooth keyboards available for those who desire a "normal" qwerty keyboard experience on a BB. However they're somewhat pricy....
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Old 07-10-2006, 11:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I can go pretty quick on the bb keyboard with looking but its harder to touch type without the bumps on F & J like a normal keyboard.
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Old 07-11-2006, 01:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snapper
Hi folks... new member here. Manhattan-ite with a 7250 for about a year (finally migrated off my ancient Psion 3 series - bet most of you never heard of that!). Just found this site, looks like a great resource.

Just wondering... does anyone else touch-type on the Blackberry using all the normal fingers? Did some searches, but Iíve only read about thumb typing. Iíve been continually downsizing from laptop to palmtop to Blackberry to ??? and have always made sure that I can touch type normally before making the move. Canít quite master touch typing on Treo-sized board though.

Iím not that fast on a regular keyboard (50 wpm) to start-off with, but I can do 40 wpm on the BB in true touch typing form (correct fingers, eyes closed). I know Iím not in Mark Rís league either (read the Touch Typist Guide and a few searches) but I think using all your fingers has some distinct advantages like: already learned correct finger/key pattern, fingers more dexterous than thumbs, and less likely to develop repetitive injury. Disadvantage: you need platform to type from - desk, kneetop, etc.

It is actually surprisingly easy to do... Iím just amazed Iíve never seen or heard of anyone else that does it.
Are you a ten year old girl? Because that's about how small your fingers would need to be to do that.
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Old 07-11-2006, 01:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Not sure how you would hold the BlackBerry if your trying to type with all your fingers. It doesn't take long to type fairly fast with your thumbs on the BlackBerry.
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Old 07-11-2006, 03:07 AM   #6 (permalink)
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There is a thumb typing course in the FAQ, it helps.
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Old 07-11-2006, 01:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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With my gorilla paws, I'm lucky I'm not like that simpsons episode when homer becomes morbidly obese and needs to use a broom to use his phone....lol..."if your fingers are too fat to hit each number, please smash the keyboard with your fist"....

Thumb typing is the way to go....
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Old 07-11-2006, 01:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snapper
I can do 40 wpm on the BB in true touch typing form (correct fingers, eyes closed).

Impressive!
No, my fingers don't fit either...
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Old 07-11-2006, 02:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If my BB is sitting on my desk, I'll use my index fingers. That's pretty rare though, I'm mostly a thumb typist.
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Old 07-11-2006, 10:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mymitsu3kgt
Are you a ten year old girl? Because that's about how small your fingers would need to be to do that.
Well, OK.... if you say so. Guess thereís no point for you to read any further then.


For the rest, unless you are enormous, I think finger size has little to do with it. The width of four of my fingers covers the entire Blackberry, and my finger ďspanĒ covers the width of sheet of paper (8.5") - not significantly different than my 6'2", 210 lbs buddy. Even if you are absolutely enormous, it still canít be any worse than me trying to touch type on a Treo keyboard, which I believe I can master with a bit more practice.

Yes, of course, you cannot rest your fingers on the ďhomeĒ keys like you can on a PC. The trick is keeping most of your finger tips hovering above the keyboard, in the air, where there is room. Then you simply need to get used to where to bring a finger down to strike a key, then pull it back up to make room for the next finger/key strike. The index fingers, which have more keys to cover, tend to dance around each other a bit more.

The technique is akin to the old style mechanical typewriters that have one arm dedicated for each letter. Each arm is lined up in a wide fan formation (ie, takes a lot of space), yet each arm swings up to strike the paper at exactly the same point. Hit two keys at once and the arms will jam, of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lraed74
.... but its harder to touch type without the bumps on F & J like a normal keyboard.
For non-visual reference points, I lightly rest my pinkies on the outsides of the ďAĒ and ďDELĒ key, and my thumbs on the bottom edge of the Blackberry. The reference points are critical because they determine where you (relatively) need to strike every other key. This position also minimizes movement for what would be your least accurate fingers - the pinkie and ring fingers.

Lastly, a great little product for keeping the BB from sliding around a table, briefcase, knee, etc. while you type: [search "egrips" on radioshack.com].

Most of you seem to be perfectly content with thumb typing. I do use my thumbs when I have no choice (short entries while Iím standing), but I canít tell you how much easier, and less eye straining, it is to touch type using all fingers. But then again.... to each his own.
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Old 07-11-2006, 11:05 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Keep using your BB. I doubt 'real' BB typing is possible. However, there are Bluetooth keyboards available.. that is something I am interested in very much.. but not until Bluetooth HID profiles are enabled (see bluetooth form for my rant on this!)

Get a bluetooth keyboard and you might be a very happy person..

Would you mind videotaping your touchtyping? =) i'd like to see it.

I type about 100 WPM on a real keyboard. I can't stand the slow input pace of a blackberry if i'm near a real keyboard. I use my BB for being on the 'move' -- which is after all it's intended purpose. =) I'm surrounded by computers when i'm at desks. =)
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Old 07-11-2006, 11:17 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Once I actually get used to where the keys are at I can type without looking quite quicky with my thumbs. I am not sure how to figure out how fast I can type on my bb, but I can do it somewhat efficiently

I actually have tried doing the normal keyboard style of typing...didn't work well with suretype ;)
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Old 07-12-2006, 01:46 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snapper
Well, OK.... if you say so. Guess thereís no point for you to read any further then.


For the rest, unless you are enormous, I think finger size has little to do with it. The width of four of my fingers covers the entire Blackberry, and my finger ďspanĒ covers the width of sheet of paper (8.5") - not significantly different than my 6'2", 210 lbs buddy. Even if you are absolutely enormous, it still canít be any worse than me trying to touch type on a Treo keyboard, which I believe I can master with a bit more practice.

Yes, of course, you cannot rest your fingers on the ďhomeĒ keys like you can on a PC. The trick is keeping most of your finger tips hovering above the keyboard, in the air, where there is room. Then you simply need to get used to where to bring a finger down to strike a key, then pull it back up to make room for the next finger/key strike. The index fingers, which have more keys to cover, tend to dance around each other a bit more.

The technique is akin to the old style mechanical typewriters that have one arm dedicated for each letter. Each arm is lined up in a wide fan formation (ie, takes a lot of space), yet each arm swings up to strike the paper at exactly the same point. Hit two keys at once and the arms will jam, of course.


For non-visual reference points, I lightly rest my pinkies on the outsides of the ďAĒ and ďDELĒ key, and my thumbs on the bottom edge of the Blackberry. The reference points are critical because they determine where you (relatively) need to strike every other key. This position also minimizes movement for what would be your least accurate fingers - the pinkie and ring fingers.

Lastly, a great little product for keeping the BB from sliding around a table, briefcase, knee, etc. while you type: [search "egrips" on radioshack.com].

Most of you seem to be perfectly content with thumb typing. I do use my thumbs when I have no choice (short entries while Iím standing), but I canít tell you how much easier, and less eye straining, it is to touch type using all fingers. But then again.... to each his own.
I didn't say I didn't enjoy reading this thread. I can type 60 words per minute on a normal keyboard but I can't imagine myself ever mastering that on a BB keyboard. I can barely get four of my fingers across the BB keyboard and I would never be able to keep my place while floating above it.
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Old 07-12-2006, 02:26 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I second the video motion. I too would like to see this in action. Show us your skillz.
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Old 07-12-2006, 03:25 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snapper
Hi folks... new member here. Manhattan-ite with a 7250 for about a year (finally migrated off my ancient Psion 3 series - bet most of you never heard of that!). Just found this site, looks like a great resource.
Cool, did you have an original 5Mhz processor version?

Mike
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Old 07-13-2006, 12:40 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirky
Cool, did you have an original 5Mhz processor version?
Not sure what Mhz processor I had, but I had both the 3c and 3mx... the mx had a much faster processor and was the last iteration before they stopped making them, I think... I miss that thing, it was awesome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by headtailgrep
Get a bluetooth keyboard and you might be a very happy person..
Not interested, don't need an extra item to carry or battery to charge... I'm happy with my typing on this keyboard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by makkystyle
I second the video motion. I too would like to see this in action. Show us your skillz.
Well, if you insist... copy this into your URL: "dropshots.com/test13" (I'm not allowed to post a URL link yet).

That's about 155 keystrokes (SMS "field full" is 160) in 40 seconds or about 46 wpm (155/40*12 - formula from the Thumb Typist Guide in the FAQ). Unfortunately, my digital camera video resolution is not so good, so I also took a picture of what I just typed... easy enough to match up, I think.

The primary reason I learned to touch typing on the PC, and made it an absolute must on PDAs, was because hunt & peck typing used to really bug my eyes refocusing between the keys, screen, keys, screen, etc.

Give it a try, it's not so hard.
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Old 07-13-2006, 01:33 AM   #17 (permalink)
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PM me the video link and I will host the file for you...
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Old 07-13-2006, 02:21 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snapper
Well, if you insist... copy this into your URL: "dropshots.com/test13" (I'm not allowed to post a URL link yet).

That's about 155 keystrokes (SMS "field full" is 160) in 40 seconds or about 46 wpm (155/40*12 - formula from the Thumb Typist Guide in the FAQ). Unfortunately, my digital camera video resolution is not so good, so I also took a picture of what I just typed... easy enough to match up, I think.

The primary reason I learned to touch typing on the PC, and made it an absolute must on PDAs, was because hunt & peck typing used to really bug my eyes refocusing between the keys, screen, keys, screen, etc.

Give it a try, it's not so hard.
That is amazing. I would have never thunk it.
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Old 07-13-2006, 02:27 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I need to know where I stand in all of this...
Going to benchmark my BlackBerry typing speed in just a bit...
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