The Morse code system has been continuously used throughout the world since it was first developed in the USA during the 1800s. It is used as a system of communication system by the military, mariners, radio technicians and many others. The system takes some time to learn since it requires significant repetition and memory effort to learn. It is easily forgotten if not practiced regularly. A specially developed Morse code program can facilitate the learning and retention of the system.
These software packages lift morse system into the 21st century to the extent that they use the benefits of modern multi-media computer PC technology. Using these tools, the software packages help people become proficient at both transmitting and receiving (decoding) the system. The packages make it easy to learn the code, and allow existing practitioners to improve their skills.
In terms of transmitting text, the packages can broadcast communications at the rate of 5 to 99 words per minute (WPM). This provides an excellent way for a person to practice decoding a communication. The packages also make available automatic marking for a type-written transcription.
Signals in the form of short or long dots or dashes are used to signal a letter, a number (from zero to nine), or a select group of punctuation. The time duration of a dot is the fundamental unit of time; it represents an important baseline. The duration of a dash is approximately three times the duration of a dot. A short period of silence follows every dot or dash. The length of this silence is about the duration of a dot. Similarly, every word is separated by a slightly longer silence equal to that of a dash.
To boost the speed of communications, careful thought is given to how each character is represented in the system. Specifically the length of each character is designed so that it inversely related to its usage in the English language. For instance the most used letter in English is E and it is represented by one dot. Similarly, I is represented by two dots and S by three dots.
The software is designed to be dynamic and interactive. It allows students to pace their instruction according to their specific needs and abilities. The active interaction of students is required so as to increase learning effectiveness. Retention is improved since a student is able to repeatedly practice the system. Students are given instant feedback; this boosts motivation, provides positive reinforcement and hence promotes learning.
The software is suitable for both professional and amateur users. In addition to home-based enthusiasts, the software is used by many specialized organizations around the world. For example, several defense authorities use these packages including those in the USA, Australia, United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand use this type of software to teach the system to its personnel.
Despite the many advances in communication systems since Morse was first developed in the 1800s, the system continues to be used widely throughout the world. It is employed by many organizations and individuals, even if only a back-up system when modern electronic systems fail or cannot be used. Morse code program packages are specifically designed to accelerate the computer-based instruction of this versatile system.
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