Saturday, January 24, 2009

thumb typing is good for IT professionals

Diagrams and spreadsheet are bad, plain text is good, and therefore thumb typing is good for IT professionals

The key is, drawing is not that important. If drawing is really that important, than, thumb typing is useless, we neither have to use tablet, or, paper.

I find that drawing is not that important. Diagrams are totally overvalued. After all, the general computing thesis is that what you can describe, you can realize it in computing, it is not that what you can draw or clicking. For software engineering, structure English (or structured any natural languages) is the king, not diagrams, not spread sheet. Whenever you find your documents are mostly diagrams and spread sheet, you should treat it as a red flag, something is wrong.

It took me so long for me to realize the importance of thumb typing. I will strongly recommend to everybody in my family to begin to use thumb typing.

I know young people have been doing the texting for a while. However, I am not talking about texting. I am not that generation; I am not interested in texting. Frankly, I believe it is simply temporary anti-culture, combined with the temporary limitation of computing devices – I am talking about those texting abbreviations – BFF, best friend forever, what a heck!

Even in thumb typing, I prefer the whole wordings. To me, using not absolutely common abbreviations is a sure indicator that the author is inconsiderate and therefore not professional, period. I know, this does not mean too much to a teenage. I totally understand, believe me, I was young before also :-)

I also know a lot of business people have been using PDA for a long time. However, I am not sure most of them are using them to take notes.

As a result, although it took me for a while to plunge into thumb typing, I believe I am still among those not too many people who have recognized the value of thumb typing and are doing it seriously.

[OK, after I wrote the above, I googled thumb typing, and I found a lot materials, see below. Some of them were written in 1999 -- it means that I am soooo late! However, I can still say that those are pioneers. From what I have observed, I am not that late to use it as an everyday routine notes-taking device to replace paper-based notes-taking

It says a lot of things, but all I feel I really need to know is the fact that "we can": it is possible to use thumb typing to think-write, and there are two other tips:

a. Note the left thumb holding Num can give you a Uppercase for the right thumb.
b. When typing number, left thumb holding the Alt key, and right thumb push the number keys.

---Just type the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

---I will try more aggressively to be able to do blind/touch typing with thumbs.

Also, I want to share that, in the beginning, on blackberry, I just send myself emails as my notes. Very soon, I found out that it is a bad idea. I cannot find my notes! They are buried in those emails.

Now, I am using “tasks” to take notes, and periodically “select” and copy them to emails as a backup. Of course, now, “tasks” is my first icon on my blackberry.

There is another thing that sucks. The company has a group security policy: the blackberry locks itself after several minutes. I have to enter password to unlock it every time I need to takes notes. I tried to ask them to make the timeout longer, but you kow the result, Sigh.

For blind/touch typing, I am not sure whether I need a physical keyboard or a simulated one. I am using an old blackberry. The new blackberry model is like an iphone, with larger screen, but a simulated keyboard. I do not have the new model, I guess it is a blessing for typing.


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