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* [TUHS] Early Unix and Keyboard Skills
@ 2022-11-02  2:36 steve jenkin
  2022-11-02  6:53 ` [TUHS] " Michael Kjörling
                   ` (2 more replies)
  0 siblings, 3 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: steve jenkin @ 2022-11-02  2:36 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: TUHS

I’m re-reading Brian Kernighan’s book on Early Unix (‘Unix: A History & Memoir’) 
and he mentions the (on disk) documentation that came with Unix - something that made it stand out, even for some decades.

Doug McIlroy has commented on v2-v3 (1972-73?) being an extremely productive year for Ken & Dennis.
But as well, they wrote papers and man pages, probably more.

I’ve never heard anyone mention keyboard skills with the people of the CSRC - doesn’t anyone know?

There’s at least one Internet meme that highly productive coders necessarily have good keyboard skills,
which leads to also producing documentation or, at least, not avoiding it entirely, as often happens commercially.

Underlying this is something I once caught as a random comment:

	The commonality of skills between Writing & Coding.

Does anyone has any good refs for this crossover?
Is it a real effect or a biased view.

That great programmers are also “good writers”:

	 takes time & focus, clarity of vision, deliberate intent and many revisions, chopping away the cruft that’s isn’t “the thing” and “polishing”, not rushing it out the door.

Ken is famous for his brevity and succinct statements.
Not sure if that’s a personal preference, a mastered skill or “economy in everything”.

steve j

=========

A Research UNIX Reader: Annotated Excerpts from the Programmer's Manual, 1971-1986
M.D. McIlroy
<https://www.cs.dartmouth.edu/~doug/reader.pdf>
<https://archive.org/details/a_research_unix_reader/page/n13/mode/2up>

pg 10

3.4. Languages

CC (v2 page 52)

V2 saw a burst of languages:
    a new TMG, 
    a B that worked in both core-resident and software-paged versions,
    the completion of Fortran IV (Thompson and Ritchie), and
    Ritchie's first C, conceived as B with data types.

In that furiously productive year Thompson and Ritchie together
    wrote and debugged about
    100,000 lines of production code.

=========

Programming's Dirtiest Little Secret
	Wednesday, September 10, 2008
	<http://steve-yegge.blogspot.com/2008/09/programmings-dirtiest-little-secret.html>

	It's just simple arithmetic. If you spend more time hammering out code, then in order to keep up, you need to spend less time doing something else.

	But when it comes to programming, there are only so many things you can sacrifice! 
	You can cut down on your documentation. 
	You can cut down on commenting your code. 
	You can cut down on email conversations and 
		participation in online discussions, preferring group discussions and hallway conversations.

	And... well, that's about it.

	So guess what non-touch-typists sacrifice? 
	All of it, man. 
	They sacrifice all of it.

	Touch typists can spot an illtyperate programmer from a mile away. 
	They don't even have to be in the same room.

	For starters, non-typists are almost invisible. 
	They don't leave a footprint in our online community.

=========

--
Steve Jenkin, IT Systems and Design 
0412 786 915 (+61 412 786 915)
PO Box 38, Kippax ACT 2615, AUSTRALIA

mailto:sjenkin@canb.auug.org.au http://members.tip.net.au/~sjenkin


^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* [TUHS] Re: Early Unix and Keyboard Skills
  2022-11-02  2:36 [TUHS] Early Unix and Keyboard Skills steve jenkin
@ 2022-11-02  6:53 ` Michael Kjörling
  2022-11-02  7:11   ` Rob Pike
  2022-11-02 12:13 ` Steffen Nurpmeso
  2022-11-02 19:01 ` jason-tuhs
  2 siblings, 1 reply; 23+ messages in thread
From: Michael Kjörling @ 2022-11-02  6:53 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: tuhs

On 2 Nov 2022 13:36 +1100, from sjenkin@canb.auug.org.au (steve jenkin):
> There’s at least one Internet meme that highly productive coders
> necessarily have good keyboard skills, which leads to also producing
> documentation or, at least, not avoiding it entirely, as often
> happens commercially.

I wouldn't be so sure that this necessarily follows. Good keyboard
skills definitely help with the mechanics of typing code as well as
text, I'll certainly grant that; but someone can be a good typist yet
write complete gibberish, or be a poor/slow typist and _by necessity_
need to consider each word that they use because typing an extra
sentence takes them so long. If it takes you ten seconds to type out a
normal sentence, revising becomes less of an issue than if typing out
the same sentence takes a minute or a minute and a half.

Also, certainly in my case and I doubt that I'm alone, a lot of my
time "coding" isn't spent doing the mechanics of "writing code", but
rather considering possible solutions to a problem, and what the
consequences would be of different choices. That part of the software
development process is essentially unaffected by how good one is as a
typist, and I expect that the effect would be even more pronounced for
someone using something like an ASR-33 and edlin, than a modern
computer and visual editor. Again, the longer it takes to revise
something, the more it makes sense to get it right on the first
attempt, even if that means some preparatory work up-front.

Writing documentation is probably more an issue of mindset and being
allowed the time, than it is a question of how good one is as a
typist.

-- 
🪶 Michael Kjörling                  🏡 https://michael.kjorling.se
“Remember when, on the Internet, nobody cared that you were a dog?”


^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* [TUHS] Re: Early Unix and Keyboard Skills
  2022-11-02  6:53 ` [TUHS] " Michael Kjörling
@ 2022-11-02  7:11   ` Rob Pike
  2022-11-02 13:28     ` Clem Cole
  2022-11-03 21:51     ` Stuff Received
  0 siblings, 2 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: Rob Pike @ 2022-11-02  7:11 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Michael Kjörling; +Cc: tuhs

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Neither ken nor dmr were impressive typists. In fact few programmers were
then, at least of my acquaintance.

In the 1970s Bell Labs created the Getset - think of it as an early wired
smartphone, or a Minitel, with a little screen and keyboard. It cost quite
a bit but was a cool gadget so the executives all got one. But, in
fascinating contrast to the Blackberry a generation later, no one would
touch it - literally - because it had a keyboard, and keyboards were for
(female) secretaries, not (male) executives. The product, although well
ahead of its time, was a complete failure due to the cultural bias then.

There may be a good sociology paper in there somewhere.

I'm not saying K&D shared this blinkered view, not at all, just that typing
skills were not de facto back then. Some of the folks were even two-finger
jabbers. I was a little younger and a faster typist than most of the
others, and I am not a good typist by any modern standard.

bwk was one who could smash out the text faster than many. His having
learned on a teletype, the keyboard would resound with the impact of his
forceful keystrokes.

-rob




On Wed, Nov 2, 2022 at 5:53 PM Michael Kjörling <e5655f30a07f@ewoof.net>
wrote:

> On 2 Nov 2022 13:36 +1100, from sjenkin@canb.auug.org.au (steve jenkin):
> > There’s at least one Internet meme that highly productive coders
> > necessarily have good keyboard skills, which leads to also producing
> > documentation or, at least, not avoiding it entirely, as often
> > happens commercially.
>
> I wouldn't be so sure that this necessarily follows. Good keyboard
> skills definitely help with the mechanics of typing code as well as
> text, I'll certainly grant that; but someone can be a good typist yet
> write complete gibberish, or be a poor/slow typist and _by necessity_
> need to consider each word that they use because typing an extra
> sentence takes them so long. If it takes you ten seconds to type out a
> normal sentence, revising becomes less of an issue than if typing out
> the same sentence takes a minute or a minute and a half.
>
> Also, certainly in my case and I doubt that I'm alone, a lot of my
> time "coding" isn't spent doing the mechanics of "writing code", but
> rather considering possible solutions to a problem, and what the
> consequences would be of different choices. That part of the software
> development process is essentially unaffected by how good one is as a
> typist, and I expect that the effect would be even more pronounced for
> someone using something like an ASR-33 and edlin, than a modern
> computer and visual editor. Again, the longer it takes to revise
> something, the more it makes sense to get it right on the first
> attempt, even if that means some preparatory work up-front.
>
> Writing documentation is probably more an issue of mindset and being
> allowed the time, than it is a question of how good one is as a
> typist.
>
> --
> 🪶 Michael Kjörling                  🏡 https://michael.kjorling.se
> “Remember when, on the Internet, nobody cared that you were a dog?”
>
>

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* [TUHS] Re: Early Unix and Keyboard Skills
  2022-11-02  2:36 [TUHS] Early Unix and Keyboard Skills steve jenkin
  2022-11-02  6:53 ` [TUHS] " Michael Kjörling
@ 2022-11-02 12:13 ` Steffen Nurpmeso
  2022-11-02 12:24   ` Steffen Nurpmeso
  2022-11-02 12:26   ` John P. Linderman
  2022-11-02 19:01 ` jason-tuhs
  2 siblings, 2 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: Steffen Nurpmeso @ 2022-11-02 12:13 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: steve jenkin; +Cc: TUHS

steve jenkin wrote in
 <E212D205-B786-4441-A95B-B5F5546B5C6C@canb.auug.org.au>:
 ...
 |I’ve never heard anyone mention keyboard skills with the people of \
 |the CSRC - doesn’t anyone know?

What i personally find more fascinating (given that -- in the
right condition -- i type pretty fast even in total darkness but
darkest possible monitor brightness) is the multitaskability some
show, in respect to combination of mouse and keyboard (or even
dual-mouse if i remember a message of Rob Pike right).  I once
watched a video on the google tube of Russ Cox dancing acme doing
go testing, could be it is [1].  When he starts to actually work
a bit (late on iirc), that is thrilling, i could never select /
paste (kill snarf yank what do i know) that fast.

  [1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dP1xVpMPn8M

--steffen
|
|Der Kragenbaer,                The moon bear,
|der holt sich munter           he cheerfully and one by one
|einen nach dem anderen runter  wa.ks himself off
|(By Robert Gernhardt)

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* [TUHS] Re: Early Unix and Keyboard Skills
  2022-11-02 12:13 ` Steffen Nurpmeso
@ 2022-11-02 12:24   ` Steffen Nurpmeso
  2022-11-02 20:35     ` Ron Natalie
  2022-11-02 12:26   ` John P. Linderman
  1 sibling, 1 reply; 23+ messages in thread
From: Steffen Nurpmeso @ 2022-11-02 12:24 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: steve jenkin; +Cc: TUHS

Steffen Nurpmeso wrote in
 <20221102121352.MhcLw%steffen@sdaoden.eu>:
 |steve jenkin wrote in
 | <E212D205-B786-4441-A95B-B5F5546B5C6C@canb.auug.org.au>:
 | ...
 ||I’ve never heard anyone mention keyboard skills with the people of \
 ||the CSRC - doesn’t anyone know?
 |
 |What i personally find more fascinating (given that -- in the
 |right condition -- i type pretty fast even in total darkness but
 |darkest possible monitor brightness) is the multitaskability some
 |show, in respect to combination of mouse and keyboard (or even
 |dual-mouse if i remember a message of Rob Pike right).  I once
 ...

I once had a very small infrared / PS/2 keyboard with a track ball
at the upper right corner, and the buttons on the upper left)
where middle finger and forefinger only had to be moved a bit, but
the heel of hand(s) could remain (only twisted a bit).  That
allowed for pretty good precision and speed.  But i think it was
still not that of Russ Cox and acme and external mouse/mice.

--steffen
|
|Der Kragenbaer,                The moon bear,
|der holt sich munter           he cheerfully and one by one
|einen nach dem anderen runter  wa.ks himself off
|(By Robert Gernhardt)

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* [TUHS] Re: Early Unix and Keyboard Skills
  2022-11-02 12:13 ` Steffen Nurpmeso
  2022-11-02 12:24   ` Steffen Nurpmeso
@ 2022-11-02 12:26   ` John P. Linderman
  2022-11-02 13:07     ` Larry Stewart
  2022-11-02 13:27     ` Steffen Nurpmeso
  1 sibling, 2 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: John P. Linderman @ 2022-11-02 12:26 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: steve jenkin, TUHS

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When I was in high school (in the early sixties) I tried to sign up for
typing, which was taught on manual typewriters. I was told that the class
was for girls only, and I was turned away. I never did develop good typing
skills. I'm pretty much a two-fingered typist. Ironically, I have probably
done more typing than 90% of the female classmates who were allowed to take
the class.

Precision figured mightily in those days, which may also have pre-dated
white-out. Eliminating an error was a big deal. Now it's dead easy, and
auto-correct has already fixed several errors in this message.

On Wed, Nov 2, 2022 at 8:14 AM Steffen Nurpmeso <steffen@sdaoden.eu> wrote:

> steve jenkin wrote in
>  <E212D205-B786-4441-A95B-B5F5546B5C6C@canb.auug.org.au>:
>  ...
>  |I’ve never heard anyone mention keyboard skills with the people of \
>  |the CSRC - doesn’t anyone know?
>
> What i personally find more fascinating (given that -- in the
> right condition -- i type pretty fast even in total darkness but
> darkest possible monitor brightness) is the multitaskability some
> show, in respect to combination of mouse and keyboard (or even
> dual-mouse if i remember a message of Rob Pike right).  I once
> watched a video on the google tube of Russ Cox dancing acme doing
> go testing, could be it is [1].  When he starts to actually work
> a bit (late on iirc), that is thrilling, i could never select /
> paste (kill snarf yank what do i know) that fast.
>
>   [1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dP1xVpMPn8M
>
> --steffen
> |
> |Der Kragenbaer,                The moon bear,
> |der holt sich munter           he cheerfully and one by one
> |einen nach dem anderen runter  wa.ks himself off
> |(By Robert Gernhardt)
>

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* [TUHS] Re: Early Unix and Keyboard Skills
  2022-11-02 12:26   ` John P. Linderman
@ 2022-11-02 13:07     ` Larry Stewart
  2022-11-02 13:16       ` Larry McVoy
  2022-11-02 13:27     ` Steffen Nurpmeso
  1 sibling, 1 reply; 23+ messages in thread
From: Larry Stewart @ 2022-11-02 13:07 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: John P. Linderman; +Cc: steve jenkin, TUHS

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In 1969 at the end of 9 th grade I got a foot injury that kept me on crutches for the summer so I took summer school typing. very worthwhile. I think 90% of the class were young women. My parents encouraged it mostly because it would make  writing term papers much easier, which it did, but of course it had many computing benefits as well.
the ancient typewriters had really heavy keys with long strokes. Much like teletypes.

> On Nov 2, 2022, at 8:27 AM, John P. Linderman <jpl.jpl@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> 
> When I was in high school (in the early sixties) I tried to sign up for typing, which was taught on manual typewriters. I was told that the class was for girls only, and I was turned away. I never did develop good typing skills. I'm pretty much a two-fingered typist. Ironically, I have probably done more typing than 90% of the female classmates who were allowed to take the class.
> 
> Precision figured mightily in those days, which may also have pre-dated white-out. Eliminating an error was a big deal. Now it's dead easy, and auto-correct has already fixed several errors in this message. 
> 
>> On Wed, Nov 2, 2022 at 8:14 AM Steffen Nurpmeso <steffen@sdaoden.eu> wrote:
>> steve jenkin wrote in
>>  <E212D205-B786-4441-A95B-B5F5546B5C6C@canb.auug.org.au>:
>>  ...
>>  |I’ve never heard anyone mention keyboard skills with the people of \
>>  |the CSRC - doesn’t anyone know?
>> 
>> What i personally find more fascinating (given that -- in the
>> right condition -- i type pretty fast even in total darkness but
>> darkest possible monitor brightness) is the multitaskability some
>> show, in respect to combination of mouse and keyboard (or even
>> dual-mouse if i remember a message of Rob Pike right).  I once
>> watched a video on the google tube of Russ Cox dancing acme doing
>> go testing, could be it is [1].  When he starts to actually work
>> a bit (late on iirc), that is thrilling, i could never select /
>> paste (kill snarf yank what do i know) that fast.
>> 
>>   [1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dP1xVpMPn8M
>> 
>> --steffen
>> |
>> |Der Kragenbaer,                The moon bear,
>> |der holt sich munter           he cheerfully and one by one
>> |einen nach dem anderen runter  wa.ks himself off
>> |(By Robert Gernhardt)

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* [TUHS] Re: Early Unix and Keyboard Skills
  2022-11-02 13:07     ` Larry Stewart
@ 2022-11-02 13:16       ` Larry McVoy
  0 siblings, 0 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: Larry McVoy @ 2022-11-02 13:16 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Larry Stewart; +Cc: steve jenkin, TUHS

Self taught touch typer here.  I frequently compare typing to running
my excavator.  If I don't think about what I'm doing, everything works,
I can type in the dark (doing that right now) but as soon as I start
thinking about where the keys are (or what the joysticks on the excavator
do) it all goes to shit.

And getting back to writing, I personally feel like if you write the 
man page first, it settles my messy brain into a good space, the code
comes easier after writing docs.  I view writing docs as sort of the
first pass of thinking about how to write the code.  Doesn't always
work but it is pleasant when it does.

On Wed, Nov 02, 2022 at 09:07:31AM -0400, Larry Stewart wrote:
> In 1969 at the end of 9 th grade I got a foot injury that kept me on crutches for the summer so I took summer school typing. very worthwhile. I think 90% of the class were young women. My parents encouraged it mostly because it would make  writing term papers much easier, which it did, but of course it had many computing benefits as well.
> the ancient typewriters had really heavy keys with long strokes. Much like teletypes.
> 
> > On Nov 2, 2022, at 8:27 AM, John P. Linderman <jpl.jpl@gmail.com> wrote:
> > 
> > ???
> > When I was in high school (in the early sixties) I tried to sign up for typing, which was taught on manual typewriters. I was told that the class was for girls only, and I was turned away. I never did develop good typing skills. I'm pretty much a two-fingered typist. Ironically, I have probably done more typing than 90% of the female classmates who were allowed to take the class.
> > 
> > Precision figured mightily in those days, which may also have pre-dated white-out. Eliminating an error was a big deal. Now it's dead easy, and auto-correct has already fixed several errors in this message. 
> > 
> >> On Wed, Nov 2, 2022 at 8:14 AM Steffen Nurpmeso <steffen@sdaoden.eu> wrote:
> >> steve jenkin wrote in
> >>  <E212D205-B786-4441-A95B-B5F5546B5C6C@canb.auug.org.au>:
> >>  ...
> >>  |I???ve never heard anyone mention keyboard skills with the people of \
> >>  |the CSRC - doesn???t anyone know?
> >> 
> >> What i personally find more fascinating (given that -- in the
> >> right condition -- i type pretty fast even in total darkness but
> >> darkest possible monitor brightness) is the multitaskability some
> >> show, in respect to combination of mouse and keyboard (or even
> >> dual-mouse if i remember a message of Rob Pike right).  I once
> >> watched a video on the google tube of Russ Cox dancing acme doing
> >> go testing, could be it is [1].  When he starts to actually work
> >> a bit (late on iirc), that is thrilling, i could never select /
> >> paste (kill snarf yank what do i know) that fast.
> >> 
> >>   [1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dP1xVpMPn8M
> >> 
> >> --steffen
> >> |
> >> |Der Kragenbaer,                The moon bear,
> >> |der holt sich munter           he cheerfully and one by one
> >> |einen nach dem anderen runter  wa.ks himself off
> >> |(By Robert Gernhardt)

-- 
---
Larry McVoy           Retired to fishing          http://www.mcvoy.com/lm/boat

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* [TUHS] Re: Early Unix and Keyboard Skills
  2022-11-02 12:26   ` John P. Linderman
  2022-11-02 13:07     ` Larry Stewart
@ 2022-11-02 13:27     ` Steffen Nurpmeso
  1 sibling, 0 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: Steffen Nurpmeso @ 2022-11-02 13:27 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: John P. Linderman; +Cc: steve jenkin, TUHS

John P. Linderman wrote in
 <CAC0cEp9v1ZhTgEFMNGMGH1GhXo9V87QiOPfbbCuMG1y6D9Esaw@mail.gmail.com>:
 |When I was in high school (in the early sixties) I tried to sign up for
 |typing, which was taught on manual typewriters. I was told that the class
 |was for girls only, and I was turned away. I never did develop good typing
 |skills. I'm pretty much a two-fingered typist. Ironically, I have probably

This can be a winner:

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4nX0Xrn-wo

(The classic.)

 |done more typing than 90% of the female classmates who were allowed to take
 |the class.

These machine-gunners are in another league per se from my modest
point of view.  Ten finger thunderstorms.

 |Precision figured mightily in those days, which may also have pre-dated
 |white-out. Eliminating an error was a big deal. Now it's dead easy, and
 |auto-correct has already fixed several errors in this message.

Since i now own a (used!!) smartphone i unfortunately have to live
with such things when doing my little bit of SMS messaging.  It is
terrible.  Ooften do i have to delete the word entirely to unlock
the screen.  Ach! for the Asians who commit suicide because they
messed up a calligraphical painting.

It seems to me TUHS has lost its Sender: message header btw, which
longs for fixing as it is SHOULD in RFC 5322 in this ML case
(except for Warren himself, maybe).

--steffen
|
|Der Kragenbaer,                The moon bear,
|der holt sich munter           he cheerfully and one by one
|einen nach dem anderen runter  wa.ks himself off
|(By Robert Gernhardt)

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* [TUHS] Re: Early Unix and Keyboard Skills
  2022-11-02  7:11   ` Rob Pike
@ 2022-11-02 13:28     ` Clem Cole
  2022-11-03 21:51     ` Stuff Received
  1 sibling, 0 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: Clem Cole @ 2022-11-02 13:28 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Rob Pike; +Cc: Michael Kjörling, tuhs

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On Wed, Nov 2, 2022 at 3:13 AM Rob Pike <robpike@gmail.com> wrote

> bwk was one who could smash out the text faster than many. His having
> learned on a teletype, the keyboard would resound with the impact of his
> forceful keystrokes.
>
Funny, I remember the first time I got to use something other than an ASR33
or an ASR28 sometime time in the early 1970s I think.    IIRC  It was a Tek
4010, but the memory at the time of being amazed that I did not need so
much energy to push the keys  and how quiet it was.  Before then I had
equated computing with the feel, sounds, and machine oil smells of Teletype
products. That said, when the VT52 came out in the mid-70s the DEC keyboard
on it was far from the feel of the IBM Selectric III - which was considered
the 'touch typist standard'
ᐧ

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^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* [TUHS] Re: Early Unix and Keyboard Skills
  2022-11-02  2:36 [TUHS] Early Unix and Keyboard Skills steve jenkin
  2022-11-02  6:53 ` [TUHS] " Michael Kjörling
  2022-11-02 12:13 ` Steffen Nurpmeso
@ 2022-11-02 19:01 ` jason-tuhs
  2022-11-02 19:20   ` John P. Linderman
  2 siblings, 1 reply; 23+ messages in thread
From: jason-tuhs @ 2022-11-02 19:01 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: steve jenkin; +Cc: TUHS

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> I’ve never heard anyone mention keyboard skills with the people of the 
> CSRC - doesn’t anyone know?


https://www.tuhs.org/Archive/Documentation/AUUGN/AUUGN-V05.4.pdf (p23)

> History tells us that the guys who designed [UNIX] did their own typing 
> into the machine.  It seems to me that because of this, the main reason 
> that UNIX enjoys/suffers from terse input and output is not through any 
> intellectual design decisions made at some early stage but because the 
> UNIX designers were just bad typists working on slow peripherals.


  -Jason

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* [TUHS] Re: Early Unix and Keyboard Skills
  2022-11-02 19:01 ` jason-tuhs
@ 2022-11-02 19:20   ` John P. Linderman
  2022-11-03  1:47     ` Ronald Natalie
  0 siblings, 1 reply; 23+ messages in thread
From: John P. Linderman @ 2022-11-02 19:20 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: jason-tuhs; +Cc: steve jenkin, TUHS

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On Wed, Nov 2, 2022 at 3:02 PM <jason-tuhs@shalott.net> wrote:

>
> > I’ve never heard anyone mention keyboard skills with the people of the
> > CSRC - doesn’t anyone know?
>
>
> https://www.tuhs.org/Archive/Documentation/AUUGN/AUUGN-V05.4.pdf (p23)
>
> > History tells us that the guys who designed [UNIX] did their own typing
> > into the machine.  It seems to me that because of this, the main reason
> > that UNIX enjoys/suffers from terse input and output is not through any
> > intellectual design decisions made at some early stage but because the
> > UNIX designers were just bad typists working on slow peripherals.
>
>
>   -Jason
>

Mostly rampant speculation on my part, but with 110 baud modems, 10
characters per second right?,
and added delays for carriage returns, it was the peripherals that
encouraged brevity. Code would be
viewed multiple times, but entered roughly once.

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* [TUHS] Re: Early Unix and Keyboard Skills
  2022-11-02 12:24   ` Steffen Nurpmeso
@ 2022-11-02 20:35     ` Ron Natalie
  0 siblings, 0 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: Ron Natalie @ 2022-11-02 20:35 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Steffen Nurpmeso; +Cc: steve jenkin, TUHS

My elementary school teacher recommended to my mother that she buy me a typewriter and I took typing in summer school.  Little did we know being able to type 60wpm would end up being. 


> On Nov 2, 2022, at 05:24, Steffen Nurpmeso <steffen@sdaoden.eu> wrote:
> 
> Steffen Nurpmeso wrote in
> <20221102121352.MhcLw%steffen@sdaoden.eu>:
> |steve jenkin wrote in
> | <E212D205-B786-4441-A95B-B5F5546B5C6C@canb.auug.org.au>:
> | ...
> ||I’ve never heard anyone mention keyboard skills with the people of \
> ||the CSRC - doesn’t anyone know?
> |
> |What i personally find more fascinating (given that -- in the
> |right condition -- i type pretty fast even in total darkness but
> |darkest possible monitor brightness) is the multitaskability some
> |show, in respect to combination of mouse and keyboard (or even
> |dual-mouse if i remember a message of Rob Pike right).  I once
> ...
> 
> I once had a very small infrared / PS/2 keyboard with a track ball
> at the upper right corner, and the buttons on the upper left)
> where middle finger and forefinger only had to be moved a bit, but
> the heel of hand(s) could remain (only twisted a bit).  That
> allowed for pretty good precision and speed.  But i think it was
> still not that of Russ Cox and acme and external mouse/mice.
> 
> --steffen
> |
> |Der Kragenbaer,                The moon bear,
> |der holt sich munter           he cheerfully and one by one
> |einen nach dem anderen runter  wa.ks himself off
> |(By Robert Gernhardt)


^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* [TUHS] Re: Early Unix and Keyboard Skills
  2022-11-02 19:20   ` John P. Linderman
@ 2022-11-03  1:47     ` Ronald Natalie
  2022-11-03  1:59       ` Dave Horsfall
                         ` (2 more replies)
  0 siblings, 3 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: Ronald Natalie @ 2022-11-03  1:47 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: John P. Linderman, jason-tuhs; +Cc: steve jenkin, TUHS

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I’m not sure the model 33 required a carriage return delay.   At 110 
baud it had plenty of time to move the carriage. back.
Other printers (especially faster ones) weren’t so lucky, but the LA36 
decwriter had a catchup mode to print the backlog after a return.
The LA120 was boustrophedonic so returns weren’t as much of an issue.

------ Original Message ------
From "John P. Linderman" <jpl.jpl@gmail.com>
To jason-tuhs@shalott.net
Cc "steve jenkin" <sjenkin@canb.auug.org.au>; "TUHS" <tuhs@tuhs.org>
Date 11/2/2022 12:20:12 PM
Subject [TUHS] Re: Early Unix and Keyboard Skills

>
>
>On Wed, Nov 2, 2022 at 3:02 PM <jason-tuhs@shalott.net> wrote:
>>
>> > I’ve never heard anyone mention keyboard skills with the people of 
>>the
>> > CSRC - doesn’t anyone know?
>>
>>
>>https://www.tuhs.org/Archive/Documentation/AUUGN/AUUGN-V05.4.pdf (p23)
>>
>> > History tells us that the guys who designed [UNIX] did their own 
>>typing
>> > into the machine.  It seems to me that because of this, the main 
>>reason
>> > that UNIX enjoys/suffers from terse input and output is not through 
>>any
>> > intellectual design decisions made at some early stage but because 
>>the
>> > UNIX designers were just bad typists working on slow peripherals.
>>
>>
>>   -Jason
>
>Mostly rampant speculation on my part, but with 110 baud modems, 10 
>characters per second right?,
>and added delays for carriage returns, it was the peripherals that 
>encouraged brevity. Code would be
>viewed multiple times, but entered roughly once.

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* [TUHS] Re: Early Unix and Keyboard Skills
  2022-11-03  1:47     ` Ronald Natalie
@ 2022-11-03  1:59       ` Dave Horsfall
  2022-11-03  3:01       ` Clem Cole
  2022-11-03 15:17       ` Paul Winalski
  2 siblings, 0 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: Dave Horsfall @ 2022-11-03  1:59 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: The Eunuchs Hysterical Society

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On Thu, 3 Nov 2022, Ronald Natalie wrote:

[...]

> Other printers (especially faster ones) weren’t so lucky, but the LA36 
> decwriter had a catchup mode to print the backlog after a return.

Yep; the head went twice as fast to catch up.  Wasn't there a method of 
locking it into that mode, but then requiring flow control?

> The LA120 was boustrophedonic so returns weren’t as much of an issue.

ISTR that it required a driver to utilise that mode.

-- Dave

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* [TUHS] Re: Early Unix and Keyboard Skills
  2022-11-03  1:47     ` Ronald Natalie
  2022-11-03  1:59       ` Dave Horsfall
@ 2022-11-03  3:01       ` Clem Cole
  2022-11-03 15:17       ` Paul Winalski
  2 siblings, 0 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: Clem Cole @ 2022-11-03  3:01 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Ronald Natalie; +Cc: TUHS, steve jenkin

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The 33 and 28 needed at least two null chars after the <CR> or it would
lose chars as there was no buffering.  The Unix driver has the CR delay
modes to support it.  It’s UART as it were was mechanical and a real work
of art.   I remember spending a few hours trying to figure out how it
worked.

As for the LA120 yeah you really needed to use real flow control which
could be a problem on DL11s and DZs ports.   SW flow was less than
prefect.  However, the Able version of the DH supported flow in hardware
(RTS/CTS style) so you could set them to interface with the host at 960cps
and then print as fast as possible swiping back and forth on the paper as
the local microprocessor in the decwritter buffered everything.

On Wed, Nov 2, 2022 at 9:48 PM Ronald Natalie <ron@ronnatalie.com> wrote:

> I’m not sure the model 33 required a carriage return delay.   At 110 baud
> it had plenty of time to move the carriage. back.
> Other printers (especially faster ones) weren’t so lucky, but the LA36
> decwriter had a catchup mode to print the backlog after a return.
> The LA120 was boustrophedonic so returns weren’t as much of an issue.
>
> ------ Original Message ------
> From "John P. Linderman" <jpl.jpl@gmail.com>
> To jason-tuhs@shalott.net
> Cc "steve jenkin" <sjenkin@canb.auug.org.au>; "TUHS" <tuhs@tuhs.org>
> Date 11/2/2022 12:20:12 PM
> Subject [TUHS] Re: Early Unix and Keyboard Skills
>
>
>
> On Wed, Nov 2, 2022 at 3:02 PM <jason-tuhs@shalott.net> wrote:
>
>>
>> > I’ve never heard anyone mention keyboard skills with the people of the
>> > CSRC - doesn’t anyone know?
>>
>>
>> https://www.tuhs.org/Archive/Documentation/AUUGN/AUUGN-V05.4.pdf (p23)
>>
>> > History tells us that the guys who designed [UNIX] did their own typing
>> > into the machine.  It seems to me that because of this, the main reason
>> > that UNIX enjoys/suffers from terse input and output is not through any
>> > intellectual design decisions made at some early stage but because the
>> > UNIX designers were just bad typists working on slow peripherals.
>>
>>
>>   -Jason
>>
>
> Mostly rampant speculation on my part, but with 110 baud modems, 10
> characters per second right?,
> and added delays for carriage returns, it was the peripherals that
> encouraged brevity. Code would be
> viewed multiple times, but entered roughly once.
>
> --
Sent from a handheld expect more typos than usual

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^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* [TUHS] Re: Early Unix and Keyboard Skills
  2022-11-03  1:47     ` Ronald Natalie
  2022-11-03  1:59       ` Dave Horsfall
  2022-11-03  3:01       ` Clem Cole
@ 2022-11-03 15:17       ` Paul Winalski
  2022-11-03 16:18         ` Clem Cole
  2022-11-03 17:02         ` John Cowan
  2 siblings, 2 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: Paul Winalski @ 2022-11-03 15:17 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Ronald Natalie; +Cc: steve jenkin, TUHS

On 11/2/22, Ronald Natalie <ron@ronnatalie.com> wrote:
> I’m not sure the model 33 required a carriage return delay.   At 110
> baud it had plenty of time to move the carriage. back.
> Other printers (especially faster ones) weren’t so lucky, but the LA36
> decwriter had a catchup mode to print the backlog after a return.
> The LA120 was boustrophedonic so returns weren’t as much of an issue.

The model 33 had a very fast and powerful carriage return mechanism,
good for cracking walnuts, but it took up to two character times to
complete a CR.  If you didn't send two non-printing characters (such
as NUL), you risked having your character struck somewhere in the
middle of the line.

The LA36 DECwriter had a rather slow carriage return.  It would buffer
characters while a return was in progress and then print the buffered
characters at 60 characters/second, slowing down to the normal 30 cps
when caught up.  There was a company that sold modified LA36
controller boards that were hacked so that the LA36 always thought it
was in catch-up mode and could thus be run at double speed, provided
that you inserted NUL padding after a CR.  But that greatly reduced
the longevity of the print mechanism.

-Paul W.

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* [TUHS] Re: Early Unix and Keyboard Skills
  2022-11-03 15:17       ` Paul Winalski
@ 2022-11-03 16:18         ` Clem Cole
  2022-11-03 17:02         ` John Cowan
  1 sibling, 0 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: Clem Cole @ 2022-11-03 16:18 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Paul Winalski; +Cc: steve jenkin, TUHS

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On Thu, Nov 3, 2022 at 11:19 AM Paul Winalski <paul.winalski@gmail.com>
wrote:

> The LA36 DECwriter had a rather slow carriage return.  It would buffer
> characters while a return was in progress and then print the buffered
> characters at 60 characters/second, slowing down to the normal 30 cps
> when caught up.
>

The key point here is that with the DEC Writer (LA36) DEC started to split
the print speed (*in cps*) from the line interface speed (*in baud* as it
was larger than an often character as it would have at least one start bit,
one or more stop bits, and maybe a parity bit too).   Herein also lies
another problem, the mechanical interface, be it how fast the carriage
moved, or the head was positioned, etc, could be much longer than the
single character transfer time.  As Paul mentioned on some
mechanical devices without any buffering, the print might be random as the
carriage moved the head.

Teletype made an amazing mechanical device that had a minimum amount of
electronics in it.  By the time of the LA36, you start to see the
microprocessor revolution and the use of cheap transistors to replace
mechanical things to make faster/better devices with new features (like
buffering and being able to have different speeds for data transfer and
printing).   But you also start to see the distinction between the
mechanics (the keyboard/printer) and things like the communications scheme
become even more obvious and terminology starts to be used to address the
specific part of the problem.
ᐧ

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* [TUHS] Re: Early Unix and Keyboard Skills
  2022-11-03 15:17       ` Paul Winalski
  2022-11-03 16:18         ` Clem Cole
@ 2022-11-03 17:02         ` John Cowan
  2022-11-03 19:36           ` Rich Morin
  1 sibling, 1 reply; 23+ messages in thread
From: John Cowan @ 2022-11-03 17:02 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Paul Winalski; +Cc: steve jenkin, TUHS

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On Thu, Nov 3, 2022 at 11:19 AM Paul Winalski <paul.winalski@gmail.com>
wrote:


> The model 33 had a very fast and powerful carriage return mechanism,
> good for cracking walnuts, but it took up to two character times to
> complete a CR.  If you didn't send two non-printing characters (such
> as NUL), you risked having your character struck somewhere in the
> middle of the line.
>

That was not my experience.  I cut my teeth on a PDP-8/M running OS/8 with
an ASR-33 attached and directly programming the KE8E controller without any
additional time-delay loops. Outputting additional NULs would have screwed
up binary paper tape output, so that can't have been how it was done.

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^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* [TUHS] Re: Early Unix and Keyboard Skills
  2022-11-03 17:02         ` John Cowan
@ 2022-11-03 19:36           ` Rich Morin
  2022-11-03 20:01             ` Charles H Sauer (he/him)
  0 siblings, 1 reply; 23+ messages in thread
From: Rich Morin @ 2022-11-03 19:36 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: TUHS

> On Thu, Nov 3, 2022 at 11:19 AM Paul Winalski <paul.winalski@gmail.com> wrote:
>  
> The model 33 had a very fast and powerful carriage return mechanism,
> good for cracking walnuts ...

In 1968, San Francisco State College (now yclept "University") set up a "computer lab", based on a few IBM 2741 terminals.  These were hooked by leased lines to Stanford's Wylbur system and allowed us to do line-based editing, interactive Lisp, etc.

Anyway, the terminals were based on the I/O Selectric, and the ball impacts were powered by a spinning bar with pretty much infinite torque.  One day, an insufficiently cautious TA got her long, straight hair wound onto the bar.  Each character that was printed pulled her head closer to the terminal.

Fortunately, someone hit the OFF switch in time to avoid bloodshed.  Then, we were able to carefully unwind her hair and free her from the terminal.  IIRC, we didn't even have to cut any of her hair in the process...

-r


^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* [TUHS] Re: Early Unix and Keyboard Skills
  2022-11-03 19:36           ` Rich Morin
@ 2022-11-03 20:01             ` Charles H Sauer (he/him)
  0 siblings, 0 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: Charles H Sauer (he/him) @ 2022-11-03 20:01 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: tuhs



On 11/3/2022 2:36 PM, Rich Morin wrote:
>> On Thu, Nov 3, 2022 at 11:19 AM Paul Winalski <paul.winalski@gmail.com> wrote:
>>   
>> The model 33 had a very fast and powerful carriage return mechanism,
>> good for cracking walnuts ...
> 
> In 1968, San Francisco State College (now yclept "University") set up a "computer lab", based on a few IBM 2741 terminals.  These were hooked by leased lines to Stanford's Wylbur system and allowed us to do line-based editing, interactive Lisp, etc.
> 
> Anyway, the terminals were based on the I/O Selectric, and the ball impacts were powered by a spinning bar with pretty much infinite torque.  One day, an insufficiently cautious TA got her long, straight hair wound onto the bar.  Each character that was printed pulled her head closer to the terminal.
> 
> Fortunately, someone hit the OFF switch in time to avoid bloodshed.  Then, we were able to carefully unwind her hair and free her from the terminal.  IIRC, we didn't even have to cut any of her hair in the process...

I was nominally a music major at S.F. State at that time, in the midst 
of my self-imposed avoidance of computers, that started with disdain 
from my initial exposure to Fortran on IBM 1620 at U of MO-Columbia in 
1964 and ended with semi-abandoning my rock and roll pursuits in early 
1971 and starting C.S. studies at UT-Austin. I also took math courses at 
S.F. State in 1968 but was unaware of the above cited "lab".

Regarding keyboarding skills, I took touch-typing in summer school after 
9th grade, got a SCM portable electric typewriter that I might still 
have, and am still grateful for QWERTY facility that has served me ever 
since, on card punch, 2741, 3270, Displaywriter, and more obscure and 
more modern keyboards.

CHS

-- 
voice: +1.512.784.7526       e-mail: sauer@technologists.com
fax: +1.512.346.5240         Web: https://technologists.com/sauer/
Facebook/Google/Twitter: CharlesHSauer

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* [TUHS] Re: Early Unix and Keyboard Skills
  2022-11-02  7:11   ` Rob Pike
  2022-11-02 13:28     ` Clem Cole
@ 2022-11-03 21:51     ` Stuff Received
  1 sibling, 0 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: Stuff Received @ 2022-11-03 21:51 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: tuhs

On 2022-11-02 03:11, Rob Pike wrote:
> Neither ken nor dmr were impressive typists. In fact few programmers 
> were then, at least of my acquaintance.
>
> In the 1970s Bell Labs created the Getset - think of it as an early 
> wired smartphone, or a Minitel, with a little screen and keyboard. It 
> cost quite a bit but was a cool gadget so the executives all got one. 
> But, in fascinating contrast to the Blackberry a generation later, no 
> one would touch it - literally - because it had a keyboard, and 
> keyboards were for (female) secretaries, not (male) executives. The 
> product, although well ahead of its time, was a complete failure due 
> to the cultural bias then.
>
> There may be a good sociology paper in there somewhere.

I remember the dep't administrators having colour terminals connected to 
the mainframe, and all they did was look up the occasional telephone 
number, whilst the "secretaries" (as they were called then) being given 
b&w terminals for work.

> I'm not saying K&D shared this blinkered view, not at all, just that 
> typing skills were not de facto back then. Some of the folks were even 
> two-finger jabbers. I was a little younger and a faster typist than 
> most of the others, and I am not a good typist by any modern standard.
>
> bwk was one who could smash out the text faster than many. His having 
> learned on a teletype, the keyboard would resound with the impact of 
> his forceful keystrokes.

I learnt in high school on a manual typewriter so I can appreciate 
that.  (Learning on a manual really builds up the muscles on one's 
little fingers. #6-)

N.

>
> -rob
>
> [...]

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* [TUHS] Re: Early Unix and Keyboard Skills
@ 2022-11-02 12:16 Douglas McIlroy
  0 siblings, 0 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: Douglas McIlroy @ 2022-11-02 12:16 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: TUHS main list

> Touch typists can spot an illtyperate programmer from a mile away.
> They don't even have to be in the same room.

I once thought of touch typing as employment of all fingers. Then I met
Fred Grampp. Using only four fingers, he typed as fast as most good
programmers. He knew where to hit, with a kinesthetic sense that had
progressed beyond dependence on "home keys". It was an athletic
performance, astonishing to watch.

Doug

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

end of thread, other threads:[~2022-11-03 21:52 UTC | newest]

Thread overview: 23+ messages (download: mbox.gz / follow: Atom feed)
-- links below jump to the message on this page --
2022-11-02  2:36 [TUHS] Early Unix and Keyboard Skills steve jenkin
2022-11-02  6:53 ` [TUHS] " Michael Kjörling
2022-11-02  7:11   ` Rob Pike
2022-11-02 13:28     ` Clem Cole
2022-11-03 21:51     ` Stuff Received
2022-11-02 12:13 ` Steffen Nurpmeso
2022-11-02 12:24   ` Steffen Nurpmeso
2022-11-02 20:35     ` Ron Natalie
2022-11-02 12:26   ` John P. Linderman
2022-11-02 13:07     ` Larry Stewart
2022-11-02 13:16       ` Larry McVoy
2022-11-02 13:27     ` Steffen Nurpmeso
2022-11-02 19:01 ` jason-tuhs
2022-11-02 19:20   ` John P. Linderman
2022-11-03  1:47     ` Ronald Natalie
2022-11-03  1:59       ` Dave Horsfall
2022-11-03  3:01       ` Clem Cole
2022-11-03 15:17       ` Paul Winalski
2022-11-03 16:18         ` Clem Cole
2022-11-03 17:02         ` John Cowan
2022-11-03 19:36           ` Rich Morin
2022-11-03 20:01             ` Charles H Sauer (he/him)
2022-11-02 12:16 Douglas McIlroy

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