Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing is a software program for teaching touch typing. The program was initially released in late 1987 by The Software Toolworks, and has been published regularly ever since. Version 5 supported both QWERTY and the alternative Dvorak Simplified Keyboard layout, though more recent versions support only QWERTY. Earlier versions were made for Apple II, Commodore 64, Atari 400/800 (version 1 only), Apple IIGS, Atari ST, Mac OS, Windows, PalmOS (version 16), and Amiga systems. The Windows versions are published by Brøderbund. The current Mac OS X version, Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing 2008 Edition, is developed and published by Software MacKiev. The program includes a number of speed tests and constantly tracks the user's words-per-minute typing speed. It also includes a number of typing games; games of some sort have been included since the first release. 2008 Edition for Mac OS X also includes two-player competitive typing network games. A certificate of achievement can be printed by the user upon the completion of tests (regardless of level of proficiency). This program is also used in many schools and homes to improve typing skills. The character of "Mavis Beacon" is not a real person, but rather a fictional character created to bring a personal touch to the tutorial. The original photo of Mavis Beacon was of a bankteller in Sherman Oaks, California, the city in which Software Toolworks, the original publisher, had its offices. Former TV talkshow host Les Crane, who was then a partner in Software Toolworks, invented the name. Her first name was borrowed from one of Crane's favorite singers, Mavis Staples. Her last name represents her role as a light to guide your way.
Tribute aka Mavis Bacon
Orginating during the late 1980's within the staff of Evesham Micros in the Worcester town of Evesham. The term "Mavis" or "Mavis Bacon" was coined to describe a freshly made Bacon Sandwich. This was orginally a tribute to Mavis Beacon. It has since spread. It is non offensive and some what light hearted in nature.
It has recently seen somewhat of a revival in the North East City of Gatehead, where the phrase, "Would you like a Mavis, Swedgey ?" is a morning morning greeting. General Translation, " Would you like a Bacon Sandwich from Maller's Van". A forth coming edition of Geordie comic VIZ, features a regular asking for " A Canny Mavis, pet!".
Also see Bacon Factor, rating scale for Bacon Sandwhichs.