Mavis Beacon taught you typing. Who was she really?

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In my labs, Mavis was touted as “fun” and a “game”. Where she taught you how to type “the right way”.

By the time I was up to 80wpm, both the librarian, and my college-trained typist mother cringed at my technique (No, you don’t use the 10key pad for two digit numbers, nor do you use your ring finger for the P and ?) but I didn’t have to look at the keyboard, and I made use of all my fingers besides my mutant hobbit-like pinkies.

At least I don’t sound like I’m typing on a manual Remington like my colleague the cube across from me, who puts a rather disturbing amount of force into her typing and wears out her poor keyboard every six months.


Wish I had this as a kid:


I really thought Mavis Beacon was some well known businessperson or computer scientist. Oh well, another childhood icon smashed. Next you’ll tell me Carmen sandiego was a fake too.


Well, at least Leisure Suit Larry was real.


Sid Meyer actually just converted an existing board game to software.

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Lets make “is the cadillac of…” a thing (again?) please. Boing Boing is the cadillac of internet blogs.

Also, typing of the dead was the best thing ever, especially their dreamcast backpacks and keyboards strapped to the chest, oh and the just bizarre sentences and phrases.

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I assumed Mavis Beacon was in some way famous in the US for typing, or something? In much the same way I assumed that John Madden was famous for being an American Football person (I think I was closer to the mark here), or Chuck Yeager for being a pilot.
Trying to understand wtf Americans are on about was a reoccurring theme of being a child in the UK (also, sometimes as an adult).

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Unfortunately I had to learn to type on an IBM Selectric and the word processing course was on Wang shared terminals. While the Mavis Beacon software was probably more appropriate for office workers, there really isn’t any substitute for the previously mentioned (and lauded) Typing of the Dead.


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I’m too old to have learned how to type using a Windows program. We had to do it the old fashioned way with these:

@LDoBe: You bet your sweet butt I pound on a keyboard to this day. I don’t wear ‘em out, but they don’t have any ink on most of the keys after a while. Which is fine because I learned how to type for realzies, and don’t need no stinkin’ ink on my keyboard keys.


I had a crappy typing program at our middle school we used, my little sisters who were three years behind me got Mario Teaches Typing. I’m still a bit jealous.


Hey, we didn’t all learn on buckling spring keyboards. You have to put about five times as much force into every keystroke on a real typewriter.



There’s littul writin’ on them thar keys! I hain’t never hadta look afore!

@japhroaig - who taught YOU to type? Grady Stiles?

I am an excellent typer.

Just not on phones. And I never needed to proofread before, so why start now.

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Don’t you have a Typing Tutor?

Oh yes, yes I do >:). You magnificent mighty mutants.

(And it is in my bookshelf next to Thomas Keller)


They’re not even close to being the same game.

God help you when you learn about Barry Scott