So as a follow up to my post yesterday, I took a look at the total number of keystrokes I’ve made on my work computer since I started keeping track of such things in early March. It turns out that I just passed (this morning) one million keystrokes since March 9. Just before I started writing this post, the total number of keystrokes on my work machine stood at 1,025,742. As I said yesterday, my key counter at work doesn’t keep track of the keys that I press, only that I pressed a key. So I can’t tell you what key is the most frequently pressed, or how often I use the backspace key. But a million key strokes seems about right, especially when you consider this data is only captured five days a week. (I’m not typically typing on my work computer on the weekends.)
One things I can do with my work keystroke data that I can’t do with my data on my home machine is produce a diurnal plot of my typing. That’s because my key counter at work keeps cumulative tallies of keystroke counts by minute. So since I started counting, here is my typing behavior. Each blue dot represents a time during which I was typing (how many characters I typed in that minute is not represented on this chart).
There are a number of cool things about a chart like this:
- You can clearly see the weekend breaks, large vertical stripes every 5 days.
- At about 10am each day, you can see a white horizontal stripe where I am not typing. This is when I am out taking my morning walk.
- Other gaps represent either my lunch time, or times that I am in meetings and not typing on my work computer (I will often use my iPad in meetings).
- I’ve been getting into the office earlier lately. You can see my typing for the day has been starting earlier and earlier since about mid-May.
The nice thing about this data, like the complimentary data at home: I don’t have to think about it or do anything to collect it. It happens behind the scenes without my having to do anything–well, except for the typing that I’d normally be doing, anyway.