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The Lost Generation

Mavis Beacon by Adam Lisagor

Beacon of Hope by Adam Lisagor

I started a draft of this post way back in October, but when Adam Lisagor posted his take on the Barack Obama HOPE poster (created by Shepard Fairey), I just had to pull it up and finish it. Brilliant. (The posters, not this post, silly.)

The woman in the poster is, of course, Mavis Beacon, or one of them. Like Lassie, there have been a number of Mavis Beacons over the years. But that first Mavis... wow. If my wife ever finds out, I’m dead; pure fireworks. Mavis and I spent a lot of time together for a while. I am ashamed to say I used her—at least until I reached 60 wpm, then sadly we went our separate ways, never to meet again.

I had always been an adequate two-finger typist, but when I got my Mac Plus in 1988, I knew I needed to learn touch typing. Like most boomers, I didn’t grow up with computers and never had a “keyboarding” class. Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing was just the ticket.

Anne had a great insight about boomers and computers that originally inspired this post, and since she isn’t blogging at the moment, I’m using it. She noted that one of the main reasons boomers have trouble adapting to computers is their lack of typing prowess. It makes a lot of sense. I’ve watched my own brother struggle to hunt and peck on his Mac, and it’s clear why computer usage doesn’t interest him. I’m sure there are many older people who might make more use of computers if only their typing were a little better, but who aren’t quite motivated enough to learn. Anne calls these people The Lost Generation. Perhaps there should be a special Boomer Edition of Mavis Beacon with drills tailored just for them.


I remember Mavis well. I love those typing games.

Yoko, No way! I would have thought you learned to type in school. Unless they used Mavis in school? Anyway, I agree, the games really kept it interesting.

Nah, I didn't take typing in school. I learned well after I graduated from college, when I came to the realization that I wasn't going to be a famous musician. ;) I was an administrative assistant for years-- those typing skills came in handy then!

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