qlwiki:touch_typist

Touch Typist

Touch Typist is a well respected typing tutor package which was written in 1985 specifically for the Sinclair QL.

Its author, David Batty recalls:

"In 1985 I went in to WH Smiths in Preston and saw a typing tutor for sale for £29.95. I told the shop assistant who I regularly chatted to, that the software was over priced and that I could write better myself. He challenged me and I set about writing Touch Typist to prove my claim."

"Two weeks later after working flat out I took a program in to show him and he was amazed that it was better than the one he was selling, he said that I should market it. I then set about writing new features and expanding the software until it was ready for sale. I managed to get an Enterprise Allowance grant of £40 per week for one year to start up self employed writing software, later on that year I attended a computer show in London as an exhibitor selling my one product. I sold about 19 copies in one day."

Touch Typist went on to be converted to run on other computers including the Atari ST, Commodore Amiga, Acorn Archimedes, Cambridge Computers Z88 and Windows based computers.

The software features very short lessons, each less than 55 characters long. Feedback after every lesson helps to keep the user interested in improving their typing skills. The first version of the software had a Space Invaders game built into it that the users were allowed to play once for every 20 lessons they completed. However, as Touch Typist was 95K in size, the game had to be written in 68000 machine code, so that it could fit into just 2K of memory!

The game was removed in second and subsequent versions after requests from various schools who were using the software, for a version without an arcade game in it.

The latest Windows based version is available online


Title: Touch Typist
Language: SuperBASIC compiled with Supercharge
Author: David Batty
Publisher: Sector Software
Year of Publication: 1986
Price as at July 1986: £11.95
Reviews: Your Sinclair Issue 7
Platforms Suitable for: All Sinclair QLs and emulators
Commercial Status: Commercial
Sources Available from: n/a
Latest Version available from: Sector Software website

  • qlwiki/touch_typist.txt
  • Last modified: 2018/02/02 09:24
  • by rwap