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The Ten Thumbs Typing Tutor Team!

Kevin Miller
Perhaps more than any other single person Kevin is responsible for the global phenomenon that is Ten Thumbs Typing Tutor. He was the driving force behind setting up Cross Worlds Computing the company which became Runtime Revolution Ltd, and wrote much of the original code for Learn to Type, and later Ten Thumbs. Ten years on he still fixes bugs…

Kevin is now CEO of Runtime Revolution. A demanding position that involves foreign trips and business lunches. In reality he works very hard, mucking in with the team and keeping us all motivated and typing from the same keyboard.

In his free time he imagines what he’d do if he actually had any free time…

Mark Waddingham
Mark is Runtime's Chief Technical Officer, and full-time programming wizard. He wrote his first program at age 11 (it tracked the path of the mouse movements on screen), and wrote not only some of the more tricky bits of the recent Ten Thumbs releases (such as a compression program that turns 1.5MB of language data into 176KB) but also much of the Revolution engine that powers Ten Thumbs.

As head programmer, he is also responsible for co-ordinating, motivating and assisting the rest of the development team. Though most of the time they manage just fine without him. This is most fortunate as he is known to lock himself away for days at a time, neither eating, nor sleeping (unless provided with morsels of bread by worried colleagues) while he works on obscure and arcane code. He says he enjoys it...
Heather Nagey
Heather Nagey joined shortly after the release of the orginal Learn to Type, back when Runtime Revolution was still called Cross Worlds Computing: “The boys needed someone to answer customers. They were great at programming, not so good at collecting the money and terrible at customer support :). I started out without ever having turned on a computer. I was handed a copy of Learn to Type and told to get on with it… It took me about a fortnight to learn to type, somewhat longer to learn to deal with customers.

Nine years later she’s still living dangerously on the frontline, working as Runtime’s Customer Support Manager. Occasionally she dips in to Ten Thumbs to marvel at the Language Generator: “it is sometimes funny, sometimes inspired with the sentences it produces, and never fails to entertain me”. In 2003 she panicked her many admiring fans by getting married to the lovely Ro, and became Heather Nagey. But don’t worry she’s still the same person, always ready with a smile, and always ready to answer her fan mail.

Robin Miller
Robin started early with Ten Thumbs, helping Michael out with the language generator, and with extensive beta testing. He’s also embarrassed to admit to recording the original music for Ten Thumbs: “I was still at school when I did that… and it had to be midi back then… look I’ll re-record it for you… soon…”

However he resisted joining Runtime Revolution until Spring 2004, when he signed on as manager for Ten Thumbs. You’d think with a job like that he’d just spend his time twiddling his thumbs, but in fact keeping an energetic viking under control and well presented, at all times is a surprisingly demanding job.

He’s been instrumental in pushing Ten Thumbs forward, with the new website, typing test, and additional languages. He still works with Ten Thumbs, eagerly awaiting the day when Typing Vikings rule the world.

Ben Beaumont
Ben is a recent addition to the Runtime Revolution team joining in the spring of 2005. Along with Marcus he was put to the task of adding language support to Ten Thumbs. Together they completely redesigned the language generator, from a fully integrated English only version, to the modular multi-language version we have today.

He developed a love-hate relationship with the wizard on the extra practice screen: “I spent so much time debugging that section of code that I think I started to hate the sight of him!” Fans of the wizard will be relieved to know that he now loves him again, and can hardly bear to be apart from him…

He is also co-conspirator on the latest set of Ten Thumbs easter eggs… we think we’ve found them all, but there may be a few buried deep in the code.

Marcus van Houdt
Marcus joined the Runtime team at the beginning of 2005. He worked along with Ben in implementing the new language support feature for Ten Thumbs. He also wrote the Java code for the online typing test.

He quickly took to Ten Thumbs, using it to teach himself the Dvorak keyboard layout. He was pleased to find himself working with such a fun program: “it's not a boring program, that looks boring and makes something as boring as typing even more boring.” Well, we're glad you liked it Marcus!

Possessed of a strong sense of humour, Marcus, alongside Ben, has tried to implant Ten Thumbs with easter eggs, often working late into the night to finish that last bit of code. He's currently working on the Dutch translation of Ten Thumbs.
Elanor Buchanan
Elanor joined the Runtime team in May 2005, before which she studied computer science at Edinburgh university. She's mostly worked in the Consulting division of Runtime, joining the Ten Thumbs team to prepare for version 4, preparing new screens and implementing some of the new lesson plan.

Currently using Ten Thumbs to learn to type, she's particularly fond of the games which she describes as “challenging and can get quite tense.”

Oliver Kenyon
Oliver is the most recent addition to the Runtime team, joining us in late in 2005. An enigmatic, but hard working figure, Oliver hasn't yet managed to get round to replying to the email asking for his life history in 2 paragraphs... Watch this space, it may expand rapidly.

To be found lurking at the back of the office, headphones on to keep out the local distractions (Ben and Marcus), Oliver was the perfect choice to implement iTunes compatibility for Ten Thumbs 4.
Michael Fisher (Past team member)
Michael was a member of the founding team that began Cross Worlds Computing. He was still at school when they began, and was largely responsible for designing and building the language generator.

He was also instrumental in getting Ten Thumbs into his first box, in the joint venture with MuroMail and vividly recalls this: “we decided we could make savings by doing this ourselves, and so we hired a shrink wrapper and set up a manual assembly line... Unfortunately some Teddy Bears were also shrink wrapped!”

Michael is now reading Neuroscience at Bristol University, and only manages summer work for Runtime. But he still misses the “fearsome cybercrocodiles” remembering “just being amazed as the docile-looking croc turned into an increasingly ferocious robotic mutant!”
Alan Beattie
Alan was a founder member of Cross Worlds Computing (now Runtime Revolution Ltd). Alan was responsible for a lot of the creative work on Learn to Type and Ten Thumbs, working on the cybercrocodile animations, and much of the design.

Alan is also the man responsible for the name “Ten Thumbs Typing Tutor”. He liked the alliteration, and the idea that even clumsy people (like a viking with ten thumbs instead of fingers) could learn to type, and have fun while doing it. Despite his fears that it was a bit of a mouthful the name, and the viking it goes with have stuck.

He “left” Runtime in 2004 and went free-lance. However, Alan is still involved in Ten Thumbs, working as our webmaster in addition to producing new box and screen designs for 4.0.

Iain Harris (Past Team Member)
Iain was a founder member of Cross Worlds Computing. In fact he can be credited with the idea for Learn to Type.

He recalls that Kevin “didn’t think much of the idea at first, but later he decided to give it a go.” Not a programmer, his only contribution to actually producing Learn to Type was a bit of beta testing. But on December 8th he was called back in to witness the birth of the program that would become Ten Thumbs, and bank the first cheques and he was “stuck counting the money for the next eight years”, becoming finance director of the fledgling company.

Iain also has the dubious distinction of being the subject of the first Easter Egg in the early versions of Learn to Type.

Michael Hill (Past Team Member)
Michael Hill joined Runtime in 2002, taking over management and development of Ten Thumbs in 2003. He worked with him for almost a year, taking our Typing Viking to his first trade show at Mac World San Francisco. He was also responsible for the production and development of Version 3.

Michael has a soft spot for Ten Thumbs, admiring him for the “weird and funny” stuff he generates to type. He's looking forward to seeing him animated in Version 4.
Jo Hernandez
Jo joined the Runtime team at the start of 2004, and works as our financial controller. Jo has always taken a keen interest in Ten Thumbs, and not just for the money it brings in every month...

Jo has helped out with a lot of the admin involved in Ten Thumbs, processing receipts, approving advertising budgets, finding CD printers, using her many connections to get T-shirts produced for competitions and much more...

Many other people and organisations have contributed to Ten Thumbs over the years. We're hugely grateful to the many contributions that people have made over the years. Here are some of them:

EuroTalk. Eurotalk have played a vital role in promoting Ten Thumbs. They took over from Muro Mail as publishers of Ten Thumbs.

A & G Translations. A & G Translations have been responsible for producing the sentence structures for the new languages that Ten Thumbs is now available in.

Thunk Inc. For version 3.0 we got in Thunk to redesign Ten Thumbs. Thunk are making a magnificant return for 4.0 with new animations and sounds.

Malte Brill. A long time user of Revolution and author of the popular Arcade Engine, Malte provided the German translation for Ten Thumbs.

Eric Chatonet. Another Revolution user, Eric provided the French translation for Ten Thumbs.

Monique Dorst. With an instinctive grasp of languages Monique has provided many of the new word lists that make up the Ten Thumbs language generators.

Muro Digital. Cross Worlds partnered with Muro Mail back in 1998 to produce the first Ten Thumb boxes. If you're feeling particularly retro you can occassionally pick up a Muro version of Ten Thumbs on ebay...

Mark Williams. Mark did some of the inital designs for the Viking that became Ten Thumbs, and drew the backdrop for the brick factory.

Sharon Innes. Sharon works in the admin department, processing offline orders, and shipping CDs.

Claus Sperling. Claus joined the team in the middle of 2005, he works part time showing off his linguistic skills in the customer support department. He's also producing the Danish Translation.

George Fernandez. Provided the Spanish translation of Ten Thumbs.

Tamara Siler Jones Tammy was brought in in 2003 to redesign the Ten Thumbs box in preparation for launching it with Eurotalk.

Mandula Dissanayake. Assisted with the later development of Learn to Type, the predecessor to Ten Thumbs.

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