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Considered one of the best typing programs around, you will be able to learn how to type accurately and quickly. Whether you are a beginner or consider yourself an expert typist, Mavis will find your weak points and have you work on them improving your typing skills. Lessons will be built according to the statistics that are based upon your speed and accuracy per key, number of keys needed before catching an error and backing up, the transition rate to and from a given key, dropped keys, doubled keys, transpositions, a hit that is the right row, but the wrong finger, or is the right column but the wrong key, overlapping errors (typing between two keys instead of on one), and mirror image of consistent miss hitting problem. These statistics are maintained for each key.
The first time you run Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing you will enter your user profile that consists of your first and last names, whether you are a beginner, an intermediate, or an Advanced typist, and your age group from age five to adult. You are then taken to the blackboard where Mavis gives her lessons. You will be instructed on how you are to type, where to place your fingers and what the object of the lesson is. You are then given a text to type and Mavis will begin tracking your progress. If you are a beginner, you will start learning your home keys which are asdf jkl;. If you are an advanced typist, Mavis will run a few tests on your typing abilities and then design the lessons to improve your typing.
There are many options that can be set on or off when using this program. The Guide Hands will show you which finger to use on the keyboard for a specific key. The Keytops is the labels for each key on the keyboard. It is best to learn without them on. Meters will show the words per minute (WPM), adjusted speed because of errors, and how far along you are in the lesson. A clock allows you to see how much time you have spent using the program. It is recommended to practice with Mavis for one hour each day. You can turn the cursor on or off and set the speed for the Metronome. Many of these settings can be set so that Mavis decides whether or not you should use them.
In the Lessons menu, you'll find Keys & Fingers to practice proper keyboard fingering skills. Free Typing to practice on your own for as much time as you want. Play a Game or do a Drill instead of what Mavis has suggested. You can also customize your lessons and take 10-key or typing lessons whatever is the opposite of what Mavis has suggested.
The 10-key typing is for learning the numbers key pad. In this mode you will have a small game where you play the cashier in a grocery store. Items will come to you on the conveyor belt and you'll have to type in the prices before they fall off the counter onto the floor.
There is a Keyboard menu for setting the end of line mode as word wrap or as a typewriter where you would have to press Return/Enter to start a new line. You can turn backspacing on or off and select one or two spaces for periods.
The Style menu has options for chatty comments, advice level, past lessons considered, frustration noticed, play games, sounds and music. The Frustration Noticed option is highly recommended for stress management as Mavis will remind you to sit up straight and to take breaks when you get frustrated.
Your progress can be viewed in the progress menu where you will be able to select over 20 different types of graphs. If you have a printer hooked up to your computer, you'll be able to print out a report card showing your progress from one session to the next. You can also view the keys you have learned well with proficient keys.
Every once in awhile, Mavis will suggest playing a game. The game is called High Performance Road Racer where you will find yourself in a racing car racing against Red Walter. Sentences will scroll from right to left on the screen and you will have to type them out in order to accelerate! Errors will slow you down and cause bugs to smash onto your windshield. Typing away at fast speeds will keep you ahead of your opponent and you'll win the race!
Graphics for Mavis are quite simple. You have the keyboard displayed at the bottom of your screen with a window above it where you'll be doing all your typing. You will be typing the words directly below the ones that Mavis places on the board for you to type. On other screens you will have the metronome on the right with the clock and three meters showing your speed, accuracy and your progress with the current lesson.
Sounds can be selected for when you make errors or come to the end of a lesson. The different sounds available are beeps, chirps, Shave a haircut and Ode to Joy.
386 SX or higher,
Min 1Mb memory,
MS-DOS 3.1 or later,
Hard drive required with 3Mb minimum,
Double speed CD-ROM drive or faster,
VGA video graphic card
Microsoft mouse and 100% compatibles,
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