What's the fastest way to write text? A keyboard, natch, but the relative speed and rank of the other devices is surprising.

He claims he can touch type, but “I tend to make too many mistakes.” Well, guess what: you can’t touch type if you can’t type by touch while looking at the source text!

Well, guess what: I can touch type! But I can’t, for example, use an iPhone software keyboard or write legible handwriting without looking at what I’m doing. I memorised the text so that there would be a vaguely level playing field for all methods. ie, I could input the text on all of them, not just the full-size keyboard, without having to pause to look away at the text.

Anyway, it took me 3 minutes and 2 seconds to type his sample text, first time I had seen it, by looking at it and touch typing, with one mistake (left the ‘i’ out of highest). I’m not that great of a typer, though, which tells me that this whole “experiment” was completely useless if he couldn’t do better than that after memorizing it.

So you touch-typed the passage in 3 minutes and 2 seconds with one mistake. I touch-typed it in 3 minutes and 14 seconds, correcting any mistakes as I went. I fail to see how you being very slightly faster at typing than me makes the whole thing “completely useless”.

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31 Jan 2010 at Twitter

  • 9:03pm: @mattb It had the same effect on me :)
  • 9:02pm: Oops, I made @maryloosemore cry. A little generous with the dried, crushed chillies.
  • 11:05am: Going off for a walk on Hampstead Heath or thereabouts.