Typing with the Speed of Light

Liberal Translation of Write-up by K. Wallen
in FIGU Bulletin #53 (Schmidrüti, Switzerland: F.I.G.U., 2005)
J. W. Deardorff, April 2011

It was during the first watch on May 29th, 2005, when I made my round of the main building and passed by the window of Billy's office. It was unusual that the window curtain was not closed; as a result I could see into the office, where Billy sat at his desk. Completely unobserved by him, it pleased me to see his completely peaceful posture, as he fondly and very cozily sat there and obviously enjoyed his activity as he worked in his famous speed-of-light manner on the computer. He sat comfortably, yet concentrated heavily at his desk, while his hand very nimbly scurried over the keyboard, and so quickly that I could not follow his hand and finger movements. Scarcely trusting my eyes, I saw how, with unbelievable speed, his hand and fingers rushed through the air and over the keyboard, somehow so spookily fast that I saw the back-and-forth flickering hand just as a fleeting shadow, which, it actually seemed to me, skipped over the keyboard at the speed of light. Incredible and fantastic -- never have I witnessed anything like it, never until now observed how a person can so quickly type on a keyboard. Only by my own observation can I now understand what has become a legend, which is often told by core group members, who themselves have observed with what tremendous speed Billy writes on the keys of his machine or computer, and actually generates with just one hand around 1200 strokes per minute. Really fantastic, even if people don't want it to be true who didn't have the good fortune and joy to be able to see Billy's "speed-of-light writing."

[This witnessing occurred about a year before Meier agreed to allow a video to be taken of his rapid typing.]

View video clip.