David Mattison is a librarian with the B.C. Provincial Archives and
Records Services Library.
This book is part of an educational package that includes a teacher’s manual and a floppy disk containing the program explained in Computer Type; the text and disk are machine-specific (Commodore CBM 8032 with either the 8050 on 4040 disk drives). The 38 lessons cover all letters of the alphabet, the numeric keys, some punctuation marks and special symbols, and the shift keys. (Neither the disk program nor the teacher’s manual was seen). The package is aimed at the senior elementary and secondary school market.
The contents of each lesson are more or less uniform and cover the introduction of each new key, technique tips (some repetition here as a method of reinforcement), a finger location drill, and various exercises involving words and sentences. The sample words and sentences are included in the text as are detailed instructions on operating the disk program. The start of each lesson includes a diagram of the keyboard with previous keys lightly highlighted and the new key in white or black.
The text can be used on its own, but one major advantage of the disk program is lost (calculation and tabulation of speed and error rate automatically). Some of the text is unnecessarily repetitive and could just as easily have been contained in the disk program; e.g., instructions on how to return to the menu of the program are found in each lesson. The text is basically a crutch and could have been abbreviated to a few pages or some note cards that would be less distracting to a student concentrating on the computer screen and keyboard without having to monitor a printed text at the same time.