03 April 2013

Control Z

For those using keyboard short cuts when on their PCs or laptops will immediately recognise these words. “Control + Z” is the pair of keys to be punched whenever you wish to “undo” some written text or erase the latest action. (It may have more uses but I am not aware of those!), especially great to save some arm movement!!   

I first learn't to type on an iron and steel contraption that occupied the better part of the study table. ‘qwerty’ on the top row to be typed by the left hand and so on… I tried not to look down and type but it was terribly difficult especially as there was no option to go back and correct a misspelt word or rewrite a grammatically wrong sentence. Mistakes meant having to cover them up with whiteners (ugly to look at and obviously revealing the cover-ups) or simply throw the paper away. Those were not the days when we worried about wasting paper and no one reminded us of how many trees were cut to make one sheet of paper.

One really had to press the keys down firmly so as to get it to print on the paper. I had to learn the 'art' of properly rolling the paper and carbon so I could get copies.  

So I plodded on, eyes firmly locked on the paper to try to perfect my typing. Afternoons found me clattering away on the machine, as I typed practically anything to master the keys- newspaper abstracts, model questions for my daughter or even got someone to give me a 'dictation'... No no, I wasn't training to be a secretary but I just could not give up now that I had begun. I can happily say I succeeded to some extent.

When I started using a computer, writing became a breeze as I had the “Control + Z” option. I used one of the many ‘games’ to ‘learn’ typing and enjoyed 'catching' falling apples with alphabets more than finding the right keys!! The "upper case A" to swat buzzing flies was not as easy as  "colon sign: " to snag a flying beetle. The games were addictive as my ‘typing speed’ did not seem to improve but accuracy was fairly high which I was happy with…

They say old habits die hard which is proved as I still tend to pound the keys even if gentle touch would suffice. The alphabets printed on them get worn out pretty soon and the keyboards need to be ‘touched up’ just in case I do need to look down at the alphabets!! Oh well, I cant just throw it away as e-waste...

keyboards, computer, typing mistakes
Worn out alphabet markings refreshed with little paper cuttings

Now, we hardly ever see the old traditional typewriters, most probably have been recycled already. Any chance of using the “Control + Z” command for to resurrect them??


Shilpa Garg said...

Enjoyed reading this post, Archana! This took me down the memory lane, when during one of the summer vacation, father enrolled me in a summer camp in our colony which had 'typing' as one of the course. Learnt to let my fingers dance on the typewriter for a month and a half and that was the last time I had seen the old machine! Ctrl+Z is so very important, wish it was applicable in life too :D

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed this post a lot as a I reflected back over the kinds of typewriters, word processors and computers I've used. Do you know I didn't know Control+Z? What a beauty of a fix! Thanks for your post.

Enjoy the Challenge!

Sherrey at Healing by Writing

Archana said...

Thank you Shilpa and Sherrey.