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Ask Slashdot: Typing Advice For a Guinness World Record Attempt?

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the pushing-keys dept.

IT 307

An anonymous reader writes "In fifth grade, I amazed my fellow classmates when I demonstrated what 132 words per minute looked like. Recently, an acquaintance of mine saw me typing out a word document for graduate school and was impressed by my typing abilities. He suggested that I seriously contemplate attempting a Guinness World Record with such abilities. At the moment, I can manage an average of about 155-160 words per minute, with bursts around 180-185 words per minute (in the typing world, five characters defines a word, in case you were wondering). That aside, I have a few questions to pose to Slashdot readers (whom I am sure have been typing much longer than I have): What are some tips to fully maximize one's ability to type at the fastest possible rate? Do you have any specific keyboard recommendations that will improve my speed? Has anybody here ever competed in a typing event or thought about going for the world record? Is it worth learning Dvorak for the sole purpose of attempting such a record? How difficult would it be to improve my typing abilities from where they are now to where they need to be to acquire such a record?"

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307 comments

Hello? Editors? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381275)

in the typing world, five characters defines a word in the typing world, in case you were wondering

Redundant much?

Re:Hello? Editors? (0, Redundant)

Emmeau (673110) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381297)

It's redundant! It's redundant!

Re:Hello? Editors? (1)

mcarp (409487) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381303)

Therefore fake.

Cut and Paste (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381293)

If I copy a whole document into my buffer and then paste it, I can do way more than that ;)

Re:Cut and Paste (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381841)

Depends; does ctrl+v count as 1 or 2 characters typed?

I manage some ~50 words per minute; better than most typists (I have been trained as one over 20 years ago), but not even remotely close to world record speeds.
Speed is of no use to a programmer, though the ability to type blindly and without requiring attention is. Being a trained typist means you can focus completely on the content without being distracted by the hunt-and-peck routine most programmers use.

DVORAK should help improve typing speed, but at the cost of a lot of re-training. You may have the benefit of trained fingers, but you have to train the "automation" completely from the start.

Bad place to ask (4, Insightful)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381305)

Most /.ers are far from good typists. You can tell by the typos.

Re:Bad place to ask (4, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381415)

Programmers and IT workers are actually rather bad typist.

Just because we are on a computer all day... It doesn't mean we are typing all the time, we are Programmers not data entry. If we end find that we are typing too much we write a program to do it for us.

Re:Bad place to ask (4, Insightful)

thereitis (2355426) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381487)

A problem I find is that my muscle memory is tied to typing computer terms, so I often misspell ordinary words as a similar, computing-related word. I've never progressed past 106wpm (probably not that fast anymore as I've gotten a little sloppy). I can't really imaging 'scaling up' to 160 wpm without making a personal breakthrough on typing efficiency.

Re:Bad place to ask (5, Interesting)

bojanb (162938) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381559)

He, and I thought I was crazy. When typing fast, every time I try to write "serve", my hands automatically type "server". Every single time.

Re: Bad place to ask (1)

PHPNerd (1039992) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381769)

Me too! Every blasted time.

Re:Bad place to ask (5, Funny)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381955)

Same here. Also many of my IM messages end with ":wq"

Re:Bad place to ask (2)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381529)

We use an instant messenger product at work, and the programmers often use it to ask me questions. I will spend about 20-30 seconds to type a 4-6 sentence response. They will take 2 minutes to respond with 4-5 words. BTW, you can see when they are responding, so I know they are typing the entire time.

Re:Bad place to ask (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381619)

because they couldn't type one word and then go and look up something in another window or anything.

By that metric I type about 1 word a hour - given how many times I've not pressed enter and have hence been responding for about 14 hours until I press enter the next day.

Re:Bad place to ask (2)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381677)

Well normally, when I have to IM, I will tend to go back and re filter my response.

For example...
You: The system is down.
Me: It has been up all day check your pc. ^M^M^M^M^M^M^M^M^M^M^M^M^M^M Let me check, maybe something is of.
You: Let me know it when it is back up.
Me: ok. (I go and find and fix the problem) It should be good now.

Re:Bad place to ask (1)

filthpickle (1199927) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381857)

I understand your point, and I don't get angry about this...but I have told IT ppl and non-IT ppl I work with this before as a polite FYI....It can't take you much more than 5 seconds to type "one sec".

Re:Bad place to ask (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381885)

What? Goth chick and Magee from NCIS can type at one end of the keyboard each which is supergood.

Re:Bad place to ask (5, Funny)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381533)

Like I tell my wife, "I may not be good, but at least I'm fast!"

Just wondering... (1)

rnturn (11092) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381603)

When attempting a typing record nowadays, do they deduct all the words underlined with red squigglies from your total?

I didn't catch that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381307)

In what world does 5 characters define a word? Must've missed it.

Editors: edit much?

Re:I didn't catch that... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381323)

In the editing world, editors edit documents in the editing world in case you were wondering.

Slow Down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381313)

In the typing world, it's an unforced error to repeat yourself in the typing world. I think you're going too fast.

Dvorak bad (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381317)

Don't listen to the people who are invested and have learned to type on Dvoraks: scientific evidence shows that Dvorak is no better than a regular keyboard layout. So you will just be re-training yourself to be unable to type on QWERTY's and type slower on Dvorak's.

Re:Dvorak bad (2)

xonen (774419) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381431)

Sais someone who obviously didn't take the time to learn him/herself Dvorak.

The only disadvantage i found - as Dvorak typer - is compatability with games. For any other purpose like typing text and programming, i like it and will never go back to qwerty. I'm not telling anyone they should learn Dvorak, i'm also not saying it's superior - it's a matter of personal taste. And yes, once you learn it you will notice it performs as promised. Also, these days Dvorak is thus widely accepted, that international keyboard layouts are supported on almost any platform. A thing to consider may be your native language, but my native language (dutch) has simular letter frequencies to english.

Having said that, for the sole purpose of breaking a record, it is definitively not worth to learn it. It will take you years to get the same accuracy and speed as you find yourself now using Qwerty. If any, i'd say, set the record, then learn Dvorak, and try again in 8 years. If you want to learn it, personal interest should be your motivation.

Re:Dvorak bad (2)

war4peace (1628283) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381727)

Another Dvorak disadvantage is that sometimes you type "simular" instead of "similar".

Re:Dvorak bad (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381797)

Colemak is much easier to learn with very similar letter frequency improvements. It only took me about a month to return to my original typing speed and then it just kept getting faster. Unfortunately colemak is not pre-installed in windows (even windows 7 doesn't have it), but Mac and every Linux distro have it.

If you learn colemak, then ever have to use a querty system, you will be absolutely astonished at home many of the most common keys you use are on the top and bottom rows in querty. In colemak ~80% of your keystrokes are just direct finger pushes, no moving.

Re:Dvorak bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381773)

...scientific evidence shows that Dvorak is no better than a regular keyboard layout.

Correction: a single study done in 1956 showed no speed advantage for Dvorak.

What is a demonstrated fact is that your fingers travel far less distance typing English on a Dvorak keyboard than on QWERTY, which is undisputed.

Don't start over with new layout (2)

tverbeek (457094) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381875)

Regardless of the relative merits of Dvorak vs. Qwerty, there's absolutely no benefit in this situation in throwing out however-many years of muscle memory on one layout (which is absolutely critical to speed-typing), to start over learning a different layout.

Hepl offreed (5, Funny)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381329)

Cotnact me if your gonig for teh recrod. I am a nexpret in tiipyng and can gvie you ltos of usfeul tips .

PS2 VS USB? (4, Funny)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381333)

PS2 VS USB?

what one can handle faster input?

Re:PS2 VS USB? (4, Funny)

rossdee (243626) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381365)

Do they have USB 3.0 keyboards yet? That could handle millions or words per minute...

Re:PS2 VS USB? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381391)

It isn't the interface that is a problem, neither introduce extreme latency, the big thing for me are the actual switches in the keyboard and key spacing. For example I can generally type faster on mechanical-switch keyboards, either the buckling springs (think IBM Model M Keyboard) or something more modern (I use MX Browns at work on a Das Keybaord with blank keycaps, keeps people who can't type off my workstation :P).

USB and PS2 is the wrong question, switch type is the correct question.

Re:PS2 VS USB? (1)

TrashyMG (2738973) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381503)

I know USB can't handle as many simultaneous key hits as PS/2.. but don't see how that would apply here.

Re:PS2 VS USB? (4, Funny)

Guppy06 (410832) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381539)

USB easily; a DualShock 2 controller is lousy for picking letters at any decent speed.

Re:PS2 VS USB? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381675)

Monster cables.

Why is this posted AC? (1)

mykepredko (40154) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381339)

Seriously as there are many people here (myself included) that do not respond to Anonymous Cowards. I would have thought the person doing this would want everybody to know who they are so that they will gain noteriety in the lead up to their attempt.

Very impressive numbers, but I would have thought there would be a YouTube video or somesuch which backed up the claim.

If I submitted as AC, would the editors accept my claim to my questions regarding my unusually long eyebrows, which irritate my eyes and I can't control with shaving, waxing, plucking, laser or electrolysis as well as let me know who else has this problem and what they are doing about it?

myke

Re:Why is this posted AC? (1)

PmanAce (1679902) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381407)

Trim them with a razor, just like if you were trimming a beard. All in all, I just typed this in 38 words per minute. (or in the typing world of 5 letters or more: 9 words per minute).

Re:Why is this posted AC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381411)

Why the hate on the ACs? This isn't slashdot of yesteryear, the flamebait is gone man, the flamebait is gone...so is the spot in my mind I kept my password at. Q_Q

Re:Why is this posted AC? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381413)

I've never had a Slashdot account, though I've been posting here for years. Your sort of bigotry is not nearly incentive enough.
I've had several dozen +5 first posts over the years, and have made a positive contribution to many discussions.
What does it matter what silly pseudonym is displayed above a good comment, or how many digits are in the number next to it?
Even if the submission is completely made up, the discussion will still be meaningful.

Now on topic: if the submitter's been typing QWERTY mad-fast since fifth grade or before, I find it hard to believe he can do any better with Dvorak.

Re:Why is this posted AC? (0)

Jetra (2622687) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381465)

I never AC because I'm boss like that and I don't care what the rest of you dunderheads think.

Re:Why is this posted AC? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381561)

Even posting as anonymous, this triggers the opposite reaction for me - rolling my eyes expressively at another person's 'look at me!', 'validate me!', 'love me!', 'tell me i'm better than everyone else!' narcissistic grab for attention - thinly wrapped up in a question.

But admittedly, I do a lot of eye-rolling. So I'll just move on to the next story.
Good luck with the guinness record attempt. I guess.

Re:Why is this posted AC? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381611)

They're fake, staff use AC type posts all the time on most community forums. It drives responses which in turn increases advert impressions.

Re:Why is this posted AC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381743)

Seriously as there are many people here (myself included) that do not respond to Anonymous Cowards.

..... I'm not sure if you're lying or just wrong, since you just replyed to an AC.

lol... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381355)

today, you amazed your fellow slashdotters when you demonstrated what a douche sounds like

Just do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381359)

Is it worth learning Dvorak for the sole purpose of attempting such a record?

Only you can make this assessment of "worth".

How difficult would it be to improve my typing abilities from where they are now to where they need to be to acquire such a record?

Why do you want a prediction about the difficulty of something? If you heard "very difficult", would you not try? If so, then you haven't decided to be the best in the world at something.

Dvorak (2)

yurik (160101) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381363)

I learnt it during a summer internship in about a week, and never looked back to qwerty. This is purely a preference, and I heard both positives (speed) and negatives (fingers don't move as much so causes more rep strain injuries). It def improved my overall typing speed, but caused some grief when using CTRL+ZXCV and also in various games with one hand on keyboard (usually switch back to qwerty for them). You won't have as much problem switching because you already got the motorics skills down, just need to have the new layout in your head. Btw, switching back and forth between layouts takes about a few seconds for my head.

Re:Dvorak (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381511)

According to many references on the Wikipedia article, the Dvorak thing being faster is a myth. The only study to show significant positive improvement with Dvorak keyboards was conducted by Dvorak himself in an effort to sell a bunch of keyboards to the US Navy. The tests are flawed in many ways - and there is a suggestion that this was done deliberately in order to defraud the Navy. Subsequent tests have failed to show any improvement in typing speeds with Dvorak.

Re:Dvorak (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381837)

This is both a true and false statement. For better understanding, replace 'speed' by 'convenience'.

For various reasons, any benchmark is skewed. Eventually, a person using qwerty could - by definition - type just as fast as any other keyboard layout, simply because the number of keystrokes are the same. Also, most typists are used to qwerty starting from their youth, leading to a very strong motoric memory.

If you would reverse the question, a world where everyone typed on Dvorak, and someone tried to sell a qwerty keyboard, it would seriously get laughed at.

Question yourself - why do relative many people take effort to learn Dvorak, and a large amount of them state they don't want to go back? Is that because it's an inferior layout? Are all those people fooling themselves? Or could it be that 'qwerty is good enough too', and that a learning curve to another layout is long, and in the beginning, pretty steep?

I don't type on Dvorak because it's faster. I use it because i am _lazy_. And for what a wiki reference is worth - it's the same as saying 'i don't like swiss cheese because it's not proven tastier or healthier'. Or, for that matter 'linux must suck because everyone uses windows'. It's worth for what it's worth and admittingly, most people will not want to switch and will seek arguments to support their case as needed.

2012 - and Dvorak's study is just as outdated as any literature or benchmark regarding the matter. Yet, automagically it has gained momentum starting in the 90's. Go figure...

Re:Dvorak (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381975)

Question yourself - why do relative many people take effort to learn Dvorak, and a large amount of them state they don't want to go back? Is that because it's an inferior layout? Are all those people fooling themselves? Or could it be that 'qwerty is good enough too', and that a learning curve to another layout is long, and in the beginning, pretty steep?

Fallacious argument. This is like saying "Look at all the people converting to Uam and not changing to another religion afterward".

You've got a ways to go (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381371)

I'm a speedtypist as well (130-150WPM average, 160+ bursts) the issue that you will run into is that it gets incredibly hard to add the extra WPM, and last I checked your goal is above 200.

Good luck but you generally peak out eventually.

Three letters -- BCI (1)

kalalau_kane (1621021) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381373)

Does that typing test require use of a mechanical interface? Learn how to use a direct Brain-Compuer Interface and bypass the fingers and the keyboard. (Makes the PS2/USB argument moot.)

Re:Three letters -- BCI (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381575)

There is no such thing as a BCI that detects imagined words (unless you want brain surgery and only need it to decipher the difference between poop and peep).

Any BCI used to decode movements will be much worse than actual movements since your brain is not designed to generate movements by itself. The production of accurate and precise movement requires multiple segregated parts of your brain (different cortical areas, brain stem, thalamus, basal ganglia), your spinal cord, and the feedback from your muscles and joints. One day it may be possible to record from all the required brain areas, provide direct brain stimulation as feedback, and to train the user and the BCI to operate at how ever many degrees of freedom two typing hands have, but that day is a long long ways off.

For now and the near future, measuring the activation of a single muscle that can be controlled reliably (like your eyebrow or anus) is better for communication than any BCI that has been developed.

(You probably weren't serious, but the less the general public expects from BCIs, the more likely my chosen profession will still exist in 10 years)

Re:Three letters -- BCI (1)

bullale (2441834) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381583)

Above was me. I thought I was logged in.

Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381381)

Dear god why?

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

nospam007 (722110) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381461)

"Dear god why?"

Because, for the next few years, when somebody comments on his typing speed, he can say: "The book on the shelf to your right, page 165 says I'm the fastest in the world."

That's about it I guess.
Unless he can write a book about the process, like people climbing a mountain other other such fruitless endeavors.

Re:Why? (2)

war4peace (1628283) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381835)

People have an inherent need to be first at "something". They are competitive, and that goes back in history to... the very beginning, I'd say.
There's a small hill near Sibiu in my country. On top of that hill there's a small church, built of stones and boulders. The hill itself is mostly made of earth, so the boulders had to be lifted there somehow. Now people wouldn't do that voluntarily so the Church somehow convinced them that in order to show how great their love is for their brides-to-be, they should pick a boulder as big as possible and carry it upwards to the top of the hill. For decades, men of all ages would do that, both to prove their love at first and then to reaffirm it as often as possible.

A brief reference is to be found here: http://ro.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biserica_Sf%C3%A2ntul_Mihail_din_Cisn%C4%83dioara [wikipedia.org] . "Exist i o legend a locului care spune c fiecare fecior înainte de nunt trebuia s duc un astfel de bolovan în cetate pentru a-i demonstra puterea." Translation: "There's a local legend saying that each bachelor should carry such a boulder, before the wedding, to the stronghold, to prove his strength". Our tour guide, however, told us more, which is what I mentioned above.

Anyway, point is that people need to compare themselves to others and perfect a skill so that they rise above the mass. Nothing wrong with that, although some "skills" barely fit the definition. Like fastest 100m run on four limbs... seriously?

Fast typing, however, is an useful skill. I wish I could do that, because it would greatly help channel my literary ideas faster. I sometimes write a couple pages than give up because my train of thought goes too far ahead and I get bored of putting all that in writing.

Mechanical Keyboard (3, Interesting)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381397)

Try a keyboard with mechanical switches. They're a bit noisier than the cheap ones, but I find them much faster and I make fewer typos. My fingers also get less tired. You might be able to scrape out another percent or so.

Re:Mechanical Keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381855)

I disagree with this. The mechanical switches are heavier and more tiring. I went from 80wpm to 55wpm so I returned my DAS keyboard.

Re:Mechanical Keyboard (0)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381941)

I'm not sure why you disagree with me ... DAS keyboards use mechanical switches. They would be one of the first ones I'd recommend. There are gaming keyboards that are a bit cheaper, but DAS makes a well-known, reliable product.

My 1.3 Cents worth... (1)

ReadAholic (245150) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381399)

As a typing amateur I offer this advice:
Don't Do It.
It's too Hard.
You will Fail.
You Can't do it.

As somebody who doesn't like those kind of comments I offer This Advice:
Go For It!!
Kick Your Boundaries in the Nads!!
Practice! Practice! Practice!
And ENJOY THE ATTEMPT!!!!

Re:My 1.3 Cents worth... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381427)

http://www.gnu.org/software/gtypist/

AC? (0)

macbeth66 (204889) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381405)

Bugger off.

Just curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381409)

How much time did it take anonymous reader to write his post on /. ?

A long time to maybe never. (2)

PlusFiveTroll (754249) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381417)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_curve [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experience_curve_effects [wikipedia.org]

Gaining a little bit if typing speed is easy, it's the ever increasing difficultly of getting faster and faster that can stretch training out for years.

Current Records (5, Informative)

Mr. Sketch (111112) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381429)

According to Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Words_per_minute [wikipedia.org]

The fastest typing speed ever, 216 words in one minute, was achieved by Stella Pajunas in 1946 on an IBM electric.[6][7][8][9] As of 2005, writer Barbara Blackburn was the fastest English language typist in the world, according to The Guinness Book of World Records. Using the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard, she has maintained 150 wpm for 50 minutes, and 170 wpm for shorter periods. She has been clocked at a peak speed of 212 wpm.

One of the most notable online records considered genuine is 256 wpm (a record caught on video) on TypeRacer by American Sean Wrona, the inaugural Ultimate Typing Championship winner, which is considered the highest legitimate score ever set on the site.

Re:Current Records (0)

sco08y (615665) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381519)

According to Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Words_per_minute [wikipedia.org]

The fastest typing speed ever, 216 words in one minute, was achieved by Stella Pajunas in 1946 on an IBM electric.[6][7][8][9] As of 2005, writer Barbara Blackburn was the fastest English language typist in the world, according to The Guinness Book of World Records. Using the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard, she has maintained 150 wpm for 50 minutes, and 170 wpm for shorter periods. She has been clocked at a peak speed of 212 wpm.

One of the most notable online records considered genuine is 256 wpm (a record caught on video) on TypeRacer by American Sean Wrona, the inaugural Ultimate Typing Championship winner, which is considered the highest legitimate score ever set on the site.

Hey, the guy wants to be the world's best secretary. He said nothing about being any good at using a search engine.

Re:Current Records (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381665)

Secretary work is a pretty poor example of extreme typing speed. There is a very real limit to how fast we can see something, process it, and enact the typing motions to reproduce it. When I'm copying text, I generally can't get much faster than 90 WPM, but when I'm writing something that coming out of a well developed thought I've clocked myself at 160 WPM. However I know for certain I've typed faster than that, just not in the habit of measuring my type rate 24/7, for me it's more of a once in awhile to see if I've improved since my last measure.

The key really is to have a well developed thought of what you will be typing. Don't take for granted that you'll figure out spelling and grammar on the fly, think about such things ahead of time. It's all too easy to get ahead of yourself either in typing or thought when you get into the extreme typing speeds required to beat the guiness record. The one thing that'll probably be best approach there is to rely on muscle memory until you can hit the speeds you want, then shift over to improvisation gradually.

Re:Current Records (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381571)

"Caught on video"? Well, take a look on YouTube at the video of Sean Wrona's test. It shows text appearing in a browser window - not someone bashing keys with fingers. That would be trivially easy to fake with anyone who has a modicum of programming experience and a copy of the Firefox source code. I'm not saying that Sean faked it - but we have no proof that any of those typeracer "records" are genuine.

Need video of fingers on keyboard...but even that could be faked these days.

This is why we need the Guiness book of records - they send trustworth people out with stopwatches to verify these kinds of claim.

Re:Current Records (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381893)

That would be trivially easy to fake with anyone who has a modicum of programming experience

It'd be trivially easy for anyone, actually. Just find a program or script that does what you want...

Re:Current Records (1)

jittles (1613415) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381615)

According to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Words_per_minute [wikipedia.org]

The fastest typing speed ever, 216 words in one minute, was achieved by Stella Pajunas in 1946 on an IBM electric.[6][7][8][9] As of 2005, writer Barbara Blackburn was the fastest English language typist in the world, according to The Guinness Book of World Records. Using the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard, she has maintained 150 wpm for 50 minutes, and 170 wpm for shorter periods. She has been clocked at a peak speed of 212 wpm.

One of the most notable online records considered genuine is 256 wpm (a record caught on video) on TypeRacer by American Sean Wrona, the inaugural Ultimate Typing Championship winner, which is considered the highest legitimate score ever set on the site.

I guess I should go for the record then. The last time I took a typing class was in college. My car broke down, I had no way to get to school, so I had to drop 9 units of classes that were during a time of the day where I couldn't bum a ride from friends/family. I went below full time, and had to maintain full-time status so I took some typing classes, intro to word and excel, and other one-unit self paced classes at the library. If the software they used calculated the data right, I averaged over 150WPM with alphanumeric sentences and could burst up to ~260WPM on alphabet characters only. Of course its much easier to read something off the screen and type it off as you read it than to sit here and think about a response and type it. I got through college partially by doing legal transcription work for a law office. I went through a 6 month backlog of tapes in less than a month of 12 hour weeks. I wish I could do everything as well as I can type!

Is it hard to do a google check? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381437)

As of 2005, Barbara Blackburn, of Salem, Oregon, is the fastest English language typist in the world, according to The Guinness Book of World Records. Using the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard, she has maintained 150 words per minute for 50 min, 170 words per minute for shorter periods and has been clocked at a peak speed of 212 words per minute.

One of the most notable online records considered genuine is 256 wpm (a record caught on video) on TypeRacer by American Sean Wrona, the inaugural Ultimate Typing Championship winner, which is considered the highest legitimate score ever set on the site

Stenotype (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381447)

Not sure if stenotype [wikipedia.org] counts. Probably not, because otherwise the record would be much higher than 180wpm continuous. This form of typing is typically used by court reporters and closed captioners, who regularly achieve 250wpm. Plover [stenoknight.com] is an open-source tool you can use to steno-ify your keyboard. (Disclaimer: I've never used it, so I don't know how well it works.) You'd want a keyboard with full n-key rollover (NKRO), since steno involves "chording" keys, i.e. hitting many at once to achieve a desired effect. Many gaming mechanical keyboards are NKRO.

If you aren't interested in stenotype, you can also look at the Colemak [colemak.com] keyboard layout, which has been gaining steam more recently, and purports to be better than Dvorak and QWERTY. That said, I think the current world record holder (outside of steno) is a QWERTY typist.

First things first (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381453)

Do YOU want a Guiness Word Record, and why?

I mean, you've already demonstrated this ability to your family, friends and peers. Do YOU really want a go at "being the fastest / strongest / wittiest", etc., a record that is SURE to be broken by someone else some day anyways?

If you REALLY want this, I'm not sure why you ask on /. You then definately will grow ideas on your own. Probably being faster than anyone else on this site, you'd probably only be hampered by bad advice from would-be armchair record holders.

Play Starcraft 2... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381457)

...that will help increase your clicks-per-minute.

Confusious Say;... (4, Insightful)

flyneye (84093) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381459)

- Practice, Practice, Practice- --10,000,000 anonymous piano teachers
- See the ball, be the ball- --Chevy Chase in "Caddyshack"
- Use the force, Luke- --Obiwan Kenobi in , you know, that one show...
- Lay off that whiskey and let that cocaine be- --Johnny Cash-- "Cocaine Blues"
What can I say, go for the record.
I had a friend, of simple mind and scheming disposition, who in his drifting sought donations to fund his time and sojourn to Ireland to demonstrate for Guinness his ability to bicycle backwards continually. For months he drifted around the country putting on exhibitions and demonstrations of his talent amassing quite a warchest. He traveled to Ireland, pretty much free of charge and being free of responsibility for months in pursuit of his dream. He did then bicycle around the Guinness buildings for 24 hours and change , setting the record. The next week a local Irish held the record. There are no losers in this story. Cheers and Happy Holidays!

I think you're asking the wrong crowd (3, Insightful)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381475)

I understand why you asked for advice, but I think your reasoning is flawed (ie. your assumption that Slashdotters would know technical stuff about typing). As an IT worker who can type at a good (for an IT guy) rate, my observation is that I am lots faster than most IT people and I am not even close to being fast enough to do secretarial work. Most IT people are terrible at typing. It's not that uncommon to find 2 finger typists in IT. Since a lot of Slashdotters are IT geeks, you're asking the wrong folks to begin with. I'm sure we'll get a few people to post who are the exception to the rule, but again, they are the exceptions.

Dvorak has its detractors and fans. You'll likely get some who swear that only by using it can you achieve your goal and they will possibly cite some studies to back this up. Then others will cite their own studies that show that QWERTY is even faster than Dvorak. I've seen QWERTY vs. Dvorak religious wars here and I doubt that you'll come away convinced of anything.

Re:I think you're asking the wrong crowd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381699)

"I've seen QWERTY vs. Dvorak religious wars here and I doubt that you'll come away convinced of anything."

Nonsense. I'm convinced of one thing. Such battles make emacs versus vi seem like a minor technical disagreement.

mod parent up EOM (-1, Offtopic)

tulcod (1056476) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381777)

mod parent up.

Look up the record (1)

CAPSLOCK2000 (27149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381479)

You could have bothered to look up the current record which is at 256 words per minute. There are several documented cases of people typing over 200 wpm. An average over 150 wpm is nice but it's not going to get you the record.

Re:Look up the record (2)

jspoon (585173) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381495)

Also, the high score is clearly stored in a single byte so you'll just roll over if you break 256.

Re:Look up the record (1)

ByteSlicer (735276) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381613)

That would be funny if the range of an unsigned 8-bit integer wasn't [0, 255] ...

Re:Look up the record (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381651)

Maybe typing at 0 is not a valid typing speed, so it'd be offset by one. :)

Re:Look up the record (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381889)

You've obviously never seen me type.

Re:Look up the record (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381883)

He's using a [1,256] encoding, duh.

Equivalent task? (2)

paiute (550198) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381491)

Find someone who plays the clarinet and ask them how they mastered Flight of the Bumblebee?

Re:Equivalent task? (1)

michael_cain (66650) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381661)

Just a nit, but clarinet is more like chording input -- multiple fingers change position at once. I assume that any sort of chording keyboard that recognizes particular combinations as entire words is illegal for typing competitions. Basic certification as a stenotype [wikipedia.org] operator requires that you be able to do on the order of 180 words per minute. There's considerable dispute about the world record for stenotypes, but it's clearly in the 350-375 words per minute range, much higher than the record for character-at-a-time typists.

Dear Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381513)

I'm awesome. I want to show others how awesome I am. I don't know how to do that yet, so I'm asking you to behold my awsomeness and tell me how to be more awesome. Are you in awe? You should be, now answer my question on how to increase my awesome.

Love,
Awesome Ego Driven douche

Learn Dvorak (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381515)

Yes, it is most definitely worth it. If you start typing in Dvorak only, you can master it in just a week or two. It's a small price to save you a lot of aching digits when you type at world-record speeds.

don't change.. (1)

plebeian (910665) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381573)

If you can type that fast on a normal Querty keyboard, I would not try anything else. Retraining the muscle memory may really mess with your speed. That being said, I once switched to a Kinesis Advantage keyboard to help with tendinitis, and saw my typing speed increase after a couple weeks. Note: I am not a speed typist just a systems administrator who types on average 50 wpm, but was averaging closer to 70 on the Advantage...

you probably think this post is about you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381587)

This question is really vain and self-serving. Next, please.

Das Keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381597)

You will love it!

Mechanical Keyboard (1)

SilentOneNCW (943611) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381635)

Get a decent mechanical keyboard if you want to go for the record - probably a Filco Majestouch 2 with Cherry MX Blue switches [amazon.com] , although you could also go for a Topre Realforce [amazon.com] if you wanted something a bit quieter and lighter.

Hope this is useful... (1)

Eggplant62 (120514) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381637)

I type for a living on a voice recognition system that handles medical reports for a large university hospital in a major metropolitan area in the Southeastern US. I can achieve an effective rate of 300-400 69-character lines per hour using a word expander program called Shortcut for Windows while editing voice recognized text. If our physicians are well scripted in their dictation, using the same phrases and format as usual, I can easily double that as I learn where the VR usually fails, move to those spots quickly, make necessary changes, then quickly verify the reports matches the audio with a listen in high-speed playback.
Some of our reports are typed in toto and I can average about 250-280 lines per hour if I use word expansion macros, usually 3-5 character mnemonic abbreviations that expand into difficult to type words, often used phrases, and even whole pages of boilerplate when necessary.
I do fairly well, but the transcription industry has been whittled away by substandard work delivered by overseas workers who are willing to work for half of what we used to make, and all the good shops are being bought up by big transcription businesses that love to ship work to overseas employees, if they can get away with it.

Two things. . . (1)

DancesWithRobots (903395) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381655)

First--A woman I met in an unemployment line, got a job because she changed her email address to "200wpm@whatever.com" (an honest assessment of her abilities, she claimed.) Second, as for dvorak--I type dvorak. I can't say it's increased my speed, but it DID lessen my RSI. That being said. . .since my company doesn't use a client/server network with wandering profiles--my computer annoys everyone who sits down at it. Which. . .I feel is a good thing.

IT people as bad typists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381707)

Seeing a lot of this in this thread and think that to be a IT person being self-admitted bad typist is a bad combination. IT people don't need to be super typist but they should type reasonably fast and should be better at typing numbers, brackets, braces, and other less commonly used characters. An IT person who does the hunt-and-peck is handicapped in my opinion.

It's a large wall to scale (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381763)

I can type at speeds nearly identical to yours, around 170-180 for 1 minute bursts and ~150 for spans of multiple minutes(but not for 50 minutes). I don't feel I would have any shot at these records. I've also met other people who could type at the same speed, and none of them were contemplating making a run at the world record. Additionally there are speeds listed at 296 wpm considered genuine on wikipedia(for 5 character words). I assume this is for the same length of time that I'm managing 180 wpm. The difference between 180 and 290 is huge, especially considering I was already spending quite a lot of time typing when my speed was measured and I couldn't imagine ever increasing my speed to that. If you are typing at 150-160 wpm, but don't spend all that much time typing, I'd suspect it might be worth trying to make a run at the record. If you spend a great deal of time typing on the other hand(like me), it's likely to be an insurmountable task to reach the record.

The record by miss Blackburn was also set on a typewriter.

Cherry Blue keyboard (2)

dotancohen (1015143) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381805)

If you want speed, the Cherry Blue keyboard switch is ideal. It requires only 55 grams of force to depress (compared to 70-90 grams for a buckling spring) and has a loud click and tactile feedback for when the keypress is detected. You don't need to bottom out the keys, though you can do so if you are used to it. The Blues are a bit loud if you are working near other people, but they are the perfect high-speed typing switch.

You have a high speed in QWERTY I presume, not DVORAK. I therefore recommend that you practice QWERTY for the record. You may have an innate ability to type fast, but you will be throwing away years of practice if you start with a new layout. Also, you will find yourself prone to errors on uncommon words when your muscle memory defaults to QWERTY on slightly-confusing words.

1000 cpm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42381829)

A 1000 cpm (200 wpm) already broke using Iambic morse paddle (using 1 iambic paddle). Maybe you should use the paddle (or even 2, left and right) so you don't have to move around the keyboard to find the right character.
http://www.rufzxp.net/speed1000.htm

hand lotion... (1)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381917)

make sure you lube those fingers up real good just before you get started

The Speed Racer effect hampers documents... (1, Funny)

DontScotty (978874) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381935)

"(in the typing world, five characters defines a word in the typing world, in case you were wondering)."

If you are in the typing world,
and you want to communicate
something in the typing wold,
and you can avoid repeating
items in the typing world,
you would have less time spent
typing about things in the typing world,
and then you would go through documents
really fast as you type then in the typing world.

GO SPEED RACER, GO!

Typing too fast... (2)

ildon (413912) | about a year and a half ago | (#42381965)

Can cause errors like this:

(in the typing world, five characters defines a word in the typing world, in case you were wondering)

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