Typing speed hypothesis


Typing speed increases if there’s no feedback from the input (looking at keyboard) and output (looking at the screen).¶

I’ve been taking book notes of recently read books. While taking notes I realised that I type fastest when I look at neither the screen nor the keyboard.

When looking at just the book, I let my muscle memory (training) take over and get the fastest typing speed. There are a few errors—typos—but the writing speed makes up for them.

Looking at the screen is the next fastest mode of typing. It is probably slower when I’m copying text from the book since I have to constantly switch between the two, specially because I have to locate the cursor in the book every time. It is also slower because any typos are apparent immediately and create a dissonance hurdle in the brain, slowing it down.

Looking at the keyboard while typing is the slowest. The brain skips a lot of the muscle memory, or tries to reconfirm it, and tries to look for keys before typing. It may cause the least mistakes but is really, really slow.

Continue reading Typing speed hypothesis

Tweaks for 2019 – Talk slower, pronounce better

- I speak quite fast.
- I have lisp. So some consonants don’t sound correctly when I speak them.
- I have an accent (North Indian in Britain).

Combination of these three factors means that my speech is often hard to understand, specially by non-Indians.

I need others to understand what I am talking about, without much effort on their part. They won’t pay me (money, attention) if they can’t understand me.

Speaking slowly and enunciating correctly will hopefully help with some of these issues.

I also need to improve my choice of words when I speak. Speaking slowly will also give myself time to think of better alternate words before I utter them out.

Aside: I also have hearing trouble, which means I myself don’t hear consonants correctly in noisy environments. I have a hypothesis that if I speak slowly, others around me too will, subconsciously, start speaking slowly. This would help me not just be heard better, but hear better too. Continue reading Tweaks for 2019 – Talk slower, pronounce better

Target for 2019 – Rank within top 50 at Guildford Parkrun

My PB at Guildford Parkrun is 23:12, and my best ranking is 77.
My current time at Guildford Parkrun is 25 mins (5:00 min/km), and ranking is near 120.

To rank in the top 50, I would need to achieve a time of 22 mins or lower. This would require running at an average pace of 4:24 min/km.

Losing 3 mins will not be easy. It’s a good target – challenging but not impossible.

Continue reading Target for 2019 – Rank within top 50 at Guildford Parkrun

Upgrading HDD → SSD

The hard disk on my laptop1 had been giving signs of being near failing. So, the weekend before last, I finally upgraded it to an SSD2.

The physical replacement was quick and easy. After considering just moving (cloning) the setup from my old hard disk, I decided to instead do a fresh OS install. The OS install was a breeze, but setting up all my customisations took a while. I live and work in Dropbox. Getting it all to download and sync took a few more days as well.

I had been dithering on this upgrade for over a year, and only did it now because of the state of the old HDD. Should’ve done it way earlier!

The transformation has been … extreme. So much so that it’s disrupted my workflow.

Earlier I used to switch on the laptop, and go to the kitchen to (say) put on water to boil for coffee. I’d come back a couple of minutes later to log in, then go back to the kitchen while the login & startup apps started. Another 5 or so mins later I’d come back and start Chrome and other core apps. This time, I’d pour the coffee out of easy filter, drink half a mug, and be back to see the apps almost fully open.

Now: I switch on the laptop, and by the time I’ve gotten up from the chair it’s asking for the password. Sit down, type password, press enter. By the time I slide in the keyboard tray and get up, it’s already logged in and ready. Start Chrome and other apps, and start to walk to the kitchen. Before I’ve left the room, everything is ready and waiting for work to start!

It’s too fast. Almost discomfortingly fast. I’ve lost my moments of peace, moments when I got lost in thoughts, did deep mental dives, meditated, or went to the loo. All while the computer was processing something. The upgrade means I don’t have time for any of those things anymore. Hell, I barely have time to breathe!

So, here’s my recommendation: If you want peace of mind, and calm, thoughtful breaks in your workflow, stay with an HDD in your system.

If you’re one of those blitzy fast cars type, dump the HDD, and upgrade to an SSD right away!

  1. I have a 5+ yo Samsung Series 5 laptop that I absolutely love. The only other change I’ve made to it is an upgrade to 8GB RAM. One big reason I haven’t bothered getting a new laptop is that there’s still nothing out there that’s good enough to entice me away from this. 
  2. Upgraded from a 500GB in build Samsung HDD to a 1GB Samsung 850 EVO. It’s at the higher end of SSDs, but the performance improvement so far has removed any qualms I had about paying £20 extra over the best alternative. It may have also helped that my HDD had never had more than 10% free space in last few years.