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Requires: Pentium® 133
PC or higher, Microsoft Windows XP, ME, 2000 or 98, 32MB
RAM, 15MB free had disk space when run from CD, 435MB hard
disk space for full installation, 4x CD-ROM Drive, 800 x
600 16-bit or higher display, 16-bit sound card, speakers
Instructor Deluxe (TID) is the latest release in
a series of typing programs from Individual Software.
With features such as multimedia presentations, a
Magazine Rack, and various games, users can practice
and improve their typing skills. Whether your typing
skills are rusty or nonexistent, this program is
definitely worth looking into.
utilizes a travel theme to guide you through your
typing lessons, starting at the Main Terminal where
you can select from activities, lessons and tests,
define your word per minute (WPM) goal on your
passport and view your progress. As you progress
through various tests, your passport is stamped
for one of the twelve countries you will travel
The How To Type section provides a brief multimedia introduction
to typing and describes the best environment for typing.
This includes monitor placement, chair height, posture and
hand placement. It also presents several exercises that you
can perform during your day to relieve stress and avoid muscle
You can start at any point you wish. Lessons flow very much
the way I remember them from my high school typing class.
At the beginning of each lesson, you are shown which fingers
are used for the keys being introduced. A visual representation
of a keyboard is displayed, showing proper hand placement.
You can select a standard keyboard or an ergonomic one such
as the Microsoft Natural keyboard. You can select from a
wide variety of musical styles to listen to while you are
practicing, or you can select your own music. Upon completion
of a lesson, you are presented with a Next-Step. You can
take a break at any time, skip ahead or repeat a lesson.
After completing several lessons, there are tests and games,
apparently based on the WPM goal you define at the beginning.
The games, or Virtual Adventures, mostly involve typing faster
than your computer opponent. For example, in Cliffhanger,
your goal is to scale the cliff faster than the computer
opponent. If you miss a keystroke, your character slips (though
try as I might, he never fell off the cliff).
The tests monitor your progress and present a specific amount
of text to complete, reinforcing the keys you've learned
to that point. Once a test is completed, you are presented
with your calculated WPM, peak WPM, and accuracy percentage.
If you just want to practice, a Magazine Rack is available
with over 300 books, short stories and articles. These articles
are geared to all ages and interests. In addition, new lessons,
tests, exercises, articles and practice material are available
for download from Individual Software. These can be downloaded
through the program.
I only have two complaints. When you type capital letters
(or other shifted characters) with your left hand, you are
supposed to use the right shift key and vice versa. That's
an area in which I have difficulty. Typing Instructor Deluxe
does not catch those mistakes. More significantly, I had
difficulty installing the program on my Windows98SE system.
After some troubleshooting, I determined that the Microsoft
Data Access Components (MDAC) supplied with Typing Instructor
Deluxe did not install correctly. I fixed the problem by
downloading MDAC from Microsoft and installing it separately.
My concern is that it took several e-mails to Individual
Software's tech support before they finally acknowledged
that this was a known issue. Unfortunately, they are not
certain what's causing the problem. They indicated to me
that in some cases, replacing the CD seems to solve it, while
in other cases, changing the Operating System user name resolves
If you are interested in learning to type, or just want
to increase typing speed and accuracy, Typing Instructor
Deluxe will definitely help. The lessons progress logically
and the tests help reinforce the concepts taught. The travel
theme and music selections help make the software more enjoyable
overall. I highly recommend this program.
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