11 March 2003. Dakt is now officially discontinued. I'm terribly sorry, but I lost my interest in the program. I don't believe I will ever release a new version again. You can probably learn to type by using Dakt 2, which works fine, but I won't make any corrections and will not maintain it any more. Sorry. If Dakt doesn't work for you, you may want to purchase commercial software or try to find another free one. There are some on the web.
In addition, Dakt 1.12 (an old 1992 Greek version) is available for those interested. Binaries only, for DOS (or Windows); I've lost the sources. Mind also that my address and telephone number mentioned there are incorrect. Here's Dakt 1.12 for DOS (40 KB).
Dakt 2 is available in source and binaries. If you don't know what you want, then you want a binary.
Install Dakt like this:
You can then run Dakt by double clicking on dakt.exe. It will give you all the instructions you need.
Here is dakt.gz, a 15 KB file that will expand to a 37 KB binary. This binary has been tested on Redhat 6.0 and 6.2, but should run on all Linux 2.2 systems or later (and probably on earlier as well). If there is any problem, download and compile the source; it should be a piece of cake.
Here is the Dakt source, a 14 KB .tar.gz file.
What exactly does Dakt teach?
Dakt will teach you to type blindly, that is, type without looking at the keyboard, not even looking at the screen, using all of your fingers.
What are the instructions for use?
There are no instructions other than how to download and run Dakt, which you can find in the Download section. When you run Dakt, it will give you all the information you need; how to place your fingers, what to do with your wrists, how to do the exercises, and so on.
What is the teaching method?
You can't fully understand the teaching method until you do the first two or three exercises, but the basic idea is this: you place your fingers, Dakt shows you a letter on the screen, and you type it; then it shows you another, you type it. You only learn two letters in each exercise; in the first, you learn f and j. By seeing and typing letters one after the other your reflex is trained.
Although this is the basic idea, it has some important details. If you have used another program which fits the above method description and yet failed, it may well have been due to these details. There's more on this two questions below.
Does it really work?
Many people have learned using Dakt, starting from my sister, who learned 12 years ago with version 1.0. I don't know of anyone who tried with Dakt and failed.
I've tried other programs that claimed they could teach me typing, but I didn't learn.
I believe that the following details are great strengths of Dakt:
These details may make Dakt more successful than the other program you tried. It may be, however, that you were not patient enough. You need patience; think of the benefits.
How much practice is needed?
I don't really know, but 15 minutes per day should be more than enough. If you want to learn faster, you might do 30 minutes per day; 15 in the morning and another 15 in the afternoon. You will discover yourself what suits you best and how much you can take, following Dakt's instructions.
How long will it take me to learn? How fast will I become?
Now I really don't know; but if you practice 15 minutes a day, you should be able to type blindly but quite slowly within 3 or 4 weeks. You may be slower than when typing with 2 fingers only, and it may be boring, and you'll have to resist the temptation of typing with 2 fingers. As you practice, your speed will increase in no time, maybe in a couple of weeks only. It depends on how much text you write.
After that, your speed will be increasing as you practice. I estimate that after about 6 months you'll approach your top speed. I don't know what this will be. I'm typing at 50 words per minute, but you may be slower than that, like 40 or 30, or faster, if you are young and type more than I do.
Your age should affect your progress rate, but I haven't had news from people over 30, so I don't know how significant its effect is.
I don't see what I'm typing during an exercise.
No, you don't! It's a part of the method. You learn to type blindly, thus you do the exercises blindly. You'll see what you typed at the end of the exercise.
Any questions and comments about Dakt are welcome at email@example.com.