Speed Reading Training, part VI
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Speed Reading Training
As promised by the infomercial, my reading speed keeps improving. I haven't timed myself outside the program's testing tool, so I don't know if I'm being fooled, i.e., the program keeps telling me I am reading faster without actually doing so. It's like the question the witch keeps asking the mirror: "who's the fairest of them all?" It's always her, but somewhere along the story there is a catch.
I will try a reading test sometime in the next couple of days using a real book. For now, this is the timing process the program uses: first, press the space bar to display a book passage and start the timer, and second, press the space bar again to stop the timer and calculate the reading speed.
It goes without saying that it is extremely easy to code this timing algorithm: display X amount of words in a text passage of some sort, then time how many seconds it takes to read (the space bar stops the clock), and, finally, divide X by the time and multiply the result by 60 to get minutes.
Whatever words per minute (wpm) the result is, there has to be some fudge error added to the result because the program needs to account for the time it takes the user to click the space bar, i.e., it could take between 0 and 1 second to do so--however minor, this time has an effect in the results.
Anyway, this is just the software developer in me talking, but I'm actually surprised there aren't more, similar, "speed reading training" applications around. I'm sure some things are copyrighted or trade marked, but the line between copying and reverse-engineering is very, very thin.
Note that I am not implying I want to copy the process and make my own product. I can't really see myself hosting an infomercial in the stile of Mike Levey
, who actually past away in 2003.
On a final note, it took me a long time (in internet minutes, around 5) to find a Mike sweater picture. I have noted that it's hard to find pre-internet (1992) information on the internet, so someone should start internetizing old information.
Man, these are some sweet sweaters.