Throughout my blogging during the past five years, many people have asked, and continue to ask, how I get so much blogging done.
First, a little background:
I started typing way back in 1966 when my wise old grandmother’s husband — that would be my granddad — brought home a typewriter from the Missouri Pacific Railroad shops in Kingsville, Texas. It was an 1896 Underwood portable and looked like this:
The Underwood Typewriter Company was founded in 1895; my “new” typewriter was dated 1896.
I practiced typing by checking out a typing manual from the city library. By the time I got to ninth grade, where typing was a required course, I was typing a consistent 100 words a minute on my Underwood typewriter. There was no such thing as placing out of a required high school course or being exempt, so I registered for typing during my first summer. I had Miss Short:
Miss Short taught typing to my dad and my three uncles. At the time I took her typing class, the high school had just purchased a brand new IBM Selectric, all the rave in the typing world. During our mid-class break, I decided to type some of my famous Russel lists — highest mountains, longest rivers, most populous cities….
Miss Short came in and was astounded at how fast I was typing. She exempted me from participation in class and had me do personal typing for her, ON THE NEW IBM SELECTRIC! I was stoked. Miss Short entered me in the Texas UIL (University Interscholastic League) contests, and I won many of them, with my best typing speed being 176 words per minute with three errors on a five-minute test.
When I went off to college at Texas A&M University, I decided that I could make some money typing papers. I created “Just Your Type” and started doing research, writing, proofreading, copyediting, and typing. I couldn’t afford an IBM Selectric, so I bought a Smith-Corona, just like this one:
When I was a junior at Texas A&M I entered a typing competition that had a $1,000 first prize. I won, typing the fastest I would ever type, a whopping 316 words per minute using an IBM self-correcting Selectric II typewriter.
Ultimately “Just Your Type” became a full-time business until 1993 when I moved to San Diego.
Therein lies the secret to how I get so much blogging done: I don’t type! Typing so fast all those years led to carpel tunnel symdrome which ultimately was renamed repetitive stress injury. About a decade ago, I switched to using voice recognition software, specifically Dragon Naturally Speaking (DNS). The latest version is absolutely awesome right out of the box. I have it set to recognize various voices on my computers — my Regular voice, my I-have-a-cold voice, and my Too-many-margaritas voice.
If you don’t have the money to buy DNS and you happen to be using Windows 7, give Windows Speech Recognition a try. You can find it by clicking on the Start icon and then clicking on All Programs, Accessories, and Ease of Access. If you use an Apple product, well, you’re on your own. They lost me as a customer way back in 1983.
I can talk much faster than I can type, as can most people. If you find errors in my posts, it’s usually the result of me typing something after having turned off DNS.
Komodo dragon at the San Diego Zoo
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