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  1. #61  
    "That's the second time you called it a "qwert" keyboard. You know the rest of the world refers to it as QWERTY, right?"

    Wow. You are even sensitive about my "misspelling" qwerty. Do I need to capitolize it too?

    "Not exactly true. I can "sort of" touch-type with my thumbs on my Treo 300. The keys are definitely a bit small and I haven't gotten the positions memorized, but I imagine that over time I'll be able to do more heads-up typing with it."

    I meant you'll never be able to get more than your thumbs on a treo, so no matter how capable you are on a full sized keyboard, you will have to type in a different manner on thumb board, so why do we really need a full sized QWERTY layout?

    "I disagree that QWERTY is pointless if you don't/can't touch-type. That's like saying that a standard phone keypad is pointless if you can't touch type on that keypad."

    Exactly - the phone keypad is also pointless:


    http://www.telefonino.net/cgi-bin/news.asp?n=7829

    Remember the rotary phone? You wouldn't want to see a cell phone with a tiny rotary would you? The technology changes, as does our method of data input. You have already gotten use to thumb typing (at a most impresive rate, I might add) I think you could probably get use to a thumb board that is only slightly different that what you are using now. Say with four rows of alpha keys instead of three.

    I guess I just don't see anything magical about the antiquted mechanical QWERTY layout that justifies designing the whole form factor of brand new electronics around it.
  2. #63  
    Originally posted by sir_mycroft
    "I disagree that QWERTY is pointless if you don't/can't touch-type. That's like saying that a standard phone keypad is pointless if you can't touch type on that keypad."

    Exactly - the phone keypad is also pointless:


    http://www.telefonino.net/cgi-bin/news.asp?n=7829

    Remember the rotary phone? You wouldn't want to see a cell phone with a tiny rotary would you? The technology changes, as does our method of data input. You have already gotten use to thumb typing (at a most impresive rate, I might add) I think you could probably get use to a thumb board that is only slightly different that what you are using now. Say with four rows of alpha keys instead of three.

    I wouldn't disagree that the QWERTY keyboard doesn't make too much sense for computers and that it's strange that we still use it, all I was saying is that lowly Handspring that is in trouble shouldn't be trying a "stunt" like that. Siemens is a huge company and they can gamble on a strange layout like the one you had a link to (which I think is stupid) on one of their hundreds of products. HS is in a completely different ball game.

    I talked earlier about new methods being mental barriers for people. People usually don't want to learn new things. Witness the extremely limited use of the Dovark keyboard, when it's extremely simple to switch to and use. HS can't take the lead on that.

    Going from rotary to keypad is very different. I argue that people took less time to finish dialing a call the first time they used a phone with a keypad. That's not the case with a new keyboard layout.

    So you must use Dovark on your computers, right?
    Last edited by silverado; 03/21/2003 at 03:51 PM.
  3. #64  
    oops, please ignore.
  4. #65  
    Originally posted by sir_mycroft
    http://www.invair.de/html/verfahren.html
    This is quite interesting. For those that don't speak German, here's a quick translation:

    With the wheel you scroll through a character table. The wheel goes 360 degrees, forwards and backwards.

    When the desired character is highlighted, one presses the appropriate side button to select it and it appears in the text display.

    Geoffrey
  5. #66  
    Originally posted by sir_mycroft
    [Bhttp://www.telefonino.net/cgi-bin/news.asp?n=7829
    [/B]
    This numeric layout is interesting and perhaps as "unnatural" to people as that on the Nokia 3650.

    http://www.nokia.com/nokia/0,4879,2273,00.html

    My feeling is that variety is a good thing.

    Geoffrey
  6. #67  
    Originally posted by gmaugham


    This is quite interesting. For those that don't speak German, here's a quick translation:

    With the wheel you scroll through a character table. The wheel goes 360 degrees, forwards and backwards.

    When the desired character is highlighted, one presses the appropriate side button to select it and it appears in the text display.

    Geoffrey
    That's like typing with 9 fingers tied down and a single row of keys.....
  7. #68  
    Originally posted by sir_mycroft
    http://www.invair.de/html/verfahren.html
    I commented on this device and its input method on another message board (Brighthand, I think). I think that this is an absolutely awful input method. You have to scroll through the alphabet, for goodness sakes. Very inefficient. Look, I'm all in favor of going through a small learning curve if it pays dividends in increased efficiency medium to long term. That's why I think Graffiti was a great invention. However, this is a poor example, IMO. I'd be pretty surprised if it was anywhere near as fast as a QWERTY thumbboard once you get up to speed. I'd love to see someone come up with an innovative input method but, as silverado said, I'm not sure now is a good time for Handspring to gamble on anything too unconventional given their current financial situation.

    The device you linked to reminded me of something else I read about a while back, though. I think this is it:
    http://www.chordite.com/

    Now imagine something based on that design built onto the side/back of a handheld PDA, and that could be interesting.

    Scott
  8. #69  
    I don't know if this technology is readily available but this would the ultimate way of inputting text w/o grafitti or qwerty keyboard.

    http://www.canesta.com
  9. #70  
    Originally posted by arkitekt
    I don't know if this technology is readily available but this would the ultimate way of inputting text w/o grafitti or qwerty keyboard.

    http://www.canesta.com
    I couldn't disagree more. I do think that this is a neat idea, but IMO the "ultimate" way of inputting text into a PDA and/or smartphone needs to possible while standing up (or at least without any possibility of "desk space."). The technology you linked to might be a great alternative to a foldaway keyboard for many people though, even then, it has usability issues in that there would be no tactile feedback. I commend this company for coming up with the idea and the engineers who were able to make it reality, but I have to wonder if it will provide a satisfactory experience for most people.

    Scott
  10. #71  
    I agree with Scott, the Firewalker input method looks way to cumbersome. I posted this at Brighthand, but I'll explain again why I don't like it. If you check out Invair Technology's description of how this scroll card system work, it looks extremely cumbersome for any extened amount of input. Every keystroke would require from 2-5 inputs depending on how far each character is in relation to the previous one on the scroll card (one or more inputs for the scroll wheel and one for the function key)! I don't like that all all. No thanx...
  11. #72  
    Originally posted by gfunkmagic
    ...it looks extremely cumbersome for any extened amount of input...
    I don't think these machines are aimed at the masses (check the price!). They seem to be geared more towards the exec who probably has a laptop or similar and doesn't need to write 'War and Peace' on a little phone...

    Anyway, if you can get hold of one - the Messenger is not out yet but the original Filewalker is readily available - have a go at it. I thought it was pretty cool (very small and solid...) but as you say, not really for any extended amount of input - but I don't think it was designed for this as one would quickly develop thumb-RSI
    www.gsmworld.com
  12. #73  
    On the topic of input methods. For rapid entry I actually find the Treo thumboard too small (I'm 2m tall and thus, big thumbs). I use a very small Cykey keyboard which utilises chords (like playing the piano).

    It was based on the AgendA which was an organiser made in the late 80's by Microwriter Systems, a UK company. Notice the 5 big keys in the pic. Every character, number, punctuation and function can by typed using combinations. Very very fast and as it is solely touch, night vision goggles, backlit keyboards etc are not necessary.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    www.gsmworld.com
  13. #74  
    Originally posted by nzmoko
    On the topic of input methods. For rapid entry I actually find the Treo thumboard too small (I'm 2m tall and thus, big thumbs). I use a very small Cykey keyboard which utilises chords (like playing the piano).
    I agree that the Treo's thumbboard is too small. I'm able to manage with it, but I'm sure I could get much faster input if it was just a little bit bigger.

    The device I linked to previously was based on chords as well. Probably too unconvential for the mass market, but interesting nonetheless.

    Off-topic: I always knew that Europeans used meters for measurement, but it never dawned on me to think of the implications for measuring your own height that way. 2 meters sounds so short.

    Scott
  14. #75  
    I know I'm going to get in trouble for this, but I can't resist.

    Think about the positive ramifications of using centimeters for certain other measurments.

    Geoffrey
  15. #76  
    For the next Treo, I would like to see HS incorporate some characteristics from the Nokia 6800.

    http://www.nokia.com/nokia/0,5184,4486,00.html
    joe
  16. #77  
    I'd love to get my hands on one of these to see how comfortable the keyboard is in my hands. I think it's a great design concept.

    Geoffrey
  17. #78  
    Originally posted by gmaugham
    I'd love to get my hands on one of these to see how comfortable the keyboard is in my hands. I think it's a great design concept.

    Geoffrey
    I agree. Definitely innovative. I'm a bit skeptical of how it would feel and it seems like this design would limit you to having a square screen (though 320x320 should be workable). Of course, with the Palm OS, you'd have two additional problems:
    1) Tapping on the touchscreen would be extremely difficult to do when it's in the open position.
    2) The touchscreen would be unprotected.

    So, while this design works well for an OS that doesn't utilize a touchscreen, I think it would be tricky to implement it with the Palm OS.

    Scott
  18. #79  
    In related news...Last night there was a commercial on TV for the Nokia 3650. This is the phone with the built-in camera, based on the Symbian OS (no touch-screen), with the freaky looking numeric keypad (laid out in a circle). The commercial showed the person taking pictures and sending them to people and even mentioned that it had PIM functionality (calendar, etc.). While the commercial was on I watched my wife as she watched the commercial and I waited for the inevitable...

    "So why wasn't that phone on your list?" (meaning list of phones I was interested in when I recently purchased us two Treo 300s).

    I told here that although it had PIM functionality, it wasn't based on the Palm OS. She was content with that. For her, she equates Palm OS as meaning that she can sync it with her work calendar (because I was also somewhat interested in the Danger hiptop and explained to her at the time that it wouldn't sync yet with Outlook, so she nixed that idea).

    The point I'm getting to, though, is that here's Nokia coming into the game pretty late. They know how to make a good, solid phone. They've got all the gadgets built in. They know how to offer good usability (though, in this case, they did a poor job of that in terms of the phone keypad). And, they've got money for commercials on TV. Let's face it, most people don't buy a device because it has the Palm OS. They buy it because it does what they need it to do. Nokia is pumping out a lot of differently designed, some quite innovative, phones. If they start offering more of these in the US (and preferably more with CDMA) and keep working on the PIM functionality (so as to offer Outlook syncing), they could very well capture a huge portion of this market. Companies like Palm and Handspring move too slowly and aren't in the right financial condition to change that.

    Scott
  19. #80  
    BTW, I should mention that Nokia does, in fact, recognize the importance of syncing calendar data with a PC. Some of their phones already offer this. I just checked and, sure enough, the 3650 does as well. In fact, I took a look at their user manual and found some very interesting features (such as being able to sending calendar entries via email or bluetooth). I tell you, if this phone had a QWERTY thumbboard, I think I might be all over this.

    Scott
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