Somehow using only two fingers for keyboard input didn't seem right to me after working with computers for oh-so-many years...
I knew where to find the keys - but I could not use the keyboard without looking at it...

Many times I tried to learn touch typing using some very nice programs, e.g. KTouch or GTypist.
One problem I encountered was that I did not like to spend much time concentrating on thousands of repetitions of all permutations of the same two or three letters to get my muscle memory to kick in - I was bored easily.

Ruby to the rescue:
xtxt2typ is a small script I wrote to convert a (minimally prepared - therefore the x-txt2typ ;o) ascii-file into a gtypist lesson. I found out that I learn much better if I'm not bored, but interested in the text I type.

Off to Project Gutenberg now and find some nice stories you always wanted to read - and improve your touch-typing-fu doing so!

All you need to run xtxt2typ is an installed ruby interpreter...
You should verify (or rather correct) the location of your ruby executable in the first line of the script.

If you run xtxt2typ without any parameters you will get some help on the different possible parameters.
The descriptions are quite terse - but nothing too complex - play with them to get to know them.

One thing you should do with the text you want to type:

  • Put the title of the text in the first line
  • Start every line containing a title of a new chapter with a marking (the default is __chapter__)

One pitfall: if the lines are too long in the textfile gtypist will not work with the result. If this happens to you send the textfile through a filter like fmt or something comparable...

xtxt2typ INTERESTING_TEXT.xtxt

converts the textfile to a gtypist lesson file, which you can use like this:

gtypist INTERESTING_TEXT.typ

Have fun!