My grandparents brought us our first computer in 1990, an Apple IIGS, when I was in kindergarten. We were the only family we knew with a CD player and a computer. This post is totally making me feel old.
The computer was really my computer. My parents wanted me to learn how to type. They thought it would be easier than writing. That turned out not to be true, as my lack of depth perception made finding keys on the keyboard really difficult. So much so that I used to get exempt from typing papers and was allowed to hand write them in middle school.
By high school though I had spent enough time on AOL Instant Messenger that my typing speed had improved enough to be able to type my papers. It turned out what I needed was a lot of practice. I remember I was bored once and my father looked at me and said "go in the basement and play some video games. They're good for you." He was thinking about the benefits to my eye hand coordination. If only he knew how much IMing did the same thing but more practically -- I might have gotten more computer time.
It was somewhere in that time period that I got my first computer that I didn't have to share. My parents figured since typing was so difficult I should try voice recognition software. They took me to LINC (now V-LINC) for an AT eval. I think we ended up actually buying Dragon, but I don't remember ever using it. I couldn't get past the training paragraphs. You had to say every word exactly the same every time, and I have CP so that's never going to happen.
A second round of vision therapy (I was really trying to learn how to drive) and all these years of blogging have improved my typing speed a little more. I've gone from it taking at least an hour to type a double spaced page to taking closer to 30 minutes, maybe 45 rarely. I've always been curious how long it takes somebody without CP, so please feel free to leave a comment. Have you ever timed yourself?
When I was a high school freshman I tried dictating my English essays to somebody else. But I'd just get distracted & start talking to them. I've come to believe over the years that I really can only think in my head, and not at all out loud. And I've become quite pleased with the 30 minutes per page typing speed.
Until I started using a smartphone in June. When I type I use only 4 fingers. My index, middle, and thumb on my left hand, and only my index finger on my right. But on a touch screen phone I'm pecking with just my left index finger. At least with a keyboard phone I was using 2 fingers. I haven't timed myself on my phone versus a computer, which I need to do, but frankly it's getting frustrating. My new phone has swype, meaning I never have to pick my finger up, which has made it a little faster I'm sure, and also Google Voice on it.
I've been hesitant to try Google Voice, as "I can only thinking my head," but finally decided to start giving it a go sporadically. I've been satisfied enough that I decided to write this whole post using my voice. It's interesting that I even have a cold on top of my CP voice, Google Voice needs no training paragraphs, and that last sentence needed no corrections. neither did that 1, or this 1. Although some have. I Like that 1. It first thought although was also.
Some things I still can't figure out is how to get Google Voice to capitalize the word at the beginning of a sentence, how to get one instead of 1, and 2 times instead of 2 *, or the word period instead of a . When Someone calls or texts me their facebook picture shows up. I have numbers, emails, and profiles linked. For some reason my phone can't "call Mom," But if I say "call Wendy," her numbers pop up and they all say Mom. The first phone I had that had voice dialing, a flip phone, wouldn't call anybody.
Sometime in the future I may go back to V-LINC for another AT eval. Because this AT finally doesn't make me want to scream, and I can just imagine how much better then this the programs are these days that have training paragraphs. And maybe I can think out loud.