MANAGED DECLINE

Nº 1 with a bullet: Not to top-post. Then there’s everything else.

  1. How to touch-type. If you’re a hunt-and-peck typist, you are a slave to your machine. What I would not have imagined 20 years ago, when I first started using onscreen keyboards, was the way a 90 wpm typist like me would also have to hunt-and-peck on tiny screens. (Fraser Shein’s WiViK [a predictive onscreen keyboard] on a Grid Convertible that was all screen was the most futuristic thing I had ever seen at that same point 20 years ago. I feel that was the true origin of onscreen hunt-and-peck.)

  2. That it must be possible to change text size, and that you should always do it.

    • I constantly see people editing Microsoft Word documents in teeny tiny type, unaware that the zoom level can and must be changed (without affecting the underlying type size).

    • On two occasions on the bus I have helped middle-aged people resize text on their iPhones; if Apple were truly committed to accessibility as is repeatedly claimed, choosing a text size would be part of the setup process.

  3. How to select text, and move the cursor, and both, using only the keyboard. I can select only a filename, add a space and a number to the end, select and copy everything before what I just added, and move to the next filename as fast as I can type. I can move to the beginning or end of a line (“line” includes filenames and dialogue boxes) at like speed.

  4. Tabbing between fields. I understand nobody’s stupider than a Windows user, but even and especially there, the Tab key moves from field to field essentially everywhere (Shift-Tab goes backwards). Nothing’s more painful than watching some twit pick up the mouse and click into the First Name field when she just finished typing in the Last Name field.

    Corollary: You have to know what a field is.

  5. Multiple selection. You need to know how to select everything, everything from point A to point B, or variable numbers of items inside a set.

Never heard of any of those? Too afraid to find out? Again, you’ll be a slave to your machine forever, and again, that just makes you a typical Windows user.

(Insurmountable complication: To teach a key combination requires spoken and/or written words or symbols. But you don’t type that key combination from a starting point of language; it’s sensorimotor. The only way to learn to dance is to dance; the only way to learn to type is to type, not have shit explained to you like you were even stupider than a Windoid.)

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2018.07.22 13:03. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
https://blog.fawny.org/2018/07/22/technicallycompetent/

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