Mavis Bacon is alive and well
By David HAGUE
In the West Australian newspaper on the weekend was a mini-interview with PJ O' Rourke. He commented that he still uses an old IBM Selectric typewriter for the simple reasons that a) he cannot get sidetracked by emails arriving, b) there are no Twitter-like distractions and so on. To use a Selectric properly (children, ask your grandad :)) you need a specific skill.
You may remember I used to mention a favourite TV show on Fox is the now defunct Lab With Leo. One of the co-presenters on that show, Ryan Yewell, has become a good friend, and even produced a bed of work for me in the last 18 months, and we have some further projects on the go as we speak. I have a new publication in germination called “The Compendium which is designed to show an older demographic how to make stuff work in a step 1, step 2, step 3 way, with supporting photographs, screen shots and so. Think setting nup wireless networks, Skype, MySpace among other tasks including digital photo manipulation, getting the best from a mobile phone and so on.
Ryan commented to me that we had missed one important section; think about it.
The personal computer has been with us for nigh on 30 years now, and the whole idea is to increase productivity (in business anyway). But how many can actually touch type and take maximum advantage of the time saving of the PC? I know many people who can still handwrite faster than they can type. We have raised a whole generation of kids to adults and continue to do so, with a device that is meant to be used in the best way possible, and yet most still cannot use the most important interface between man and machine properly!
It's like being given a car and never learning how to go into 5th gear or reverse. Or a TV remote control and never knowing how to change channels.
There can be no argument that the necessary tools to learn are too expensive; I saw a very good Touch Typing teaching program in Dick Smith today for $9.95.
I venture that in the future, the ability to touch type as against not, could be a deal breaker in the employment stakes. It has certainly opened my eyes to the skill (or lack of) and will be addressed in Chez Hague as soon as I can.
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