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  1. #101  
    Sorry, Treocentral enjoys kicking me out:

    I also wanted to mention that there are at least three current layout for the numbers keypad (top row keyboar vs. phone vs. calculator) and we adapt to all of them just fine. If you like the QWERTY thumboard, fine, but just like the top row of your keyboard for numbers, you have to admit to its limitations. Frankly, I think people are a lot more adaptable than they wish to believe.
  2. #102  
    Originally posted by LaughingMan
    I think the QWERTY concept was invented so that all of our fingers are utilized in typing text. This hasn't changed in the computer era. The paper becomes a monitor screen. But with the introduction of handhelds, we are no longer watching the screen(paper), WE ARE HOLDING IT. Holding the screen means less fingers can type. In addition to that, the input device is a whole lot smaller now, which would not allow room for more than one finger from each limb (I don't know how you enter text on your treo, but I use both my thumbs)

    My conclusion is: The only viable reason why pple still like the QWERTY layout is because most learnt it from the past and still using it in the present and would not want to learn another layout or confuse with what they are already familiar with.

    I think it is time for a new concept.

    Just my thoughts.
    Actually the QWERTY keyboard was designed to slow down the typing process. On a manual typewriter, a truly efficient design would jam the keys. Of course that is moot now. Search for more info on the Dvorak keyboard and you'll see what I mean. I learned that keyboard once, but I think I've forgotten it now.
  3. #103  
    But I didn't have to learn ANYTHING with my thumbs because the Treo keyboard is in a QWERTY layout! If it were in another, I would have to first unlearn the QWERTY layout and learn a new one at the same time.

    BTW, I never heard whether or not anyone would want to make the Treo screen smaller...
  4. #104  
    Originally posted by Bob-C
    But I didn't have to learn ANYTHING with my thumbs because the Treo keyboard is in a QWERTY layout! If it were in another, I would have to first unlearn the QWERTY layout and learn a new one at the same time.

    BTW, I never heard whether or not anyone would want to make the Treo screen smaller...
    Sure you did, you had to learn how to hit all those keys with just your thumbs. BTW, I wouldn't recomend "unlearning" QWERTY without learning an alternative for your PC
  5. #105  
    Originally posted by sir_mycroft
    Sorry, Treocentral enjoys kicking me out:

    I also wanted to mention that there are at least three current layout for the numbers keypad (top row keyboar vs. phone vs. calculator) and we adapt to all of them just fine. If you like the QWERTY thumboard, fine, but just like the top row of your keyboard for numbers, you have to admit to its limitations. Frankly, I think people are a lot more adaptable than they wish to believe.
    I don't disagree with you at all. I learned and liked Graffiti. I'm a big advocate of it. I think that for longer text messaging (the kind that becomes more frequent in a wireless device) a QWERTY thumbboard has an advantage over Graffiti. But I'd love to see an innovate new method of input. My point earlier in this thread, however, was that Handspring is not really in the financial shape right now to try anything too crazy. A lot of people were put off by having to learn Graffiti (even though, I think this is unfounded). A lot of people would be put off if they saw a freaky new method of input, even if it had a short learning curve and offered increased speed once learned. If Handspring can cook up a new input method that is head and shoulders better than the thumbboard, I say great. But they're in a tough position to do too much gambling on anything too unconventional right now.

    Scott
  6. #106  
    Originally posted by sir_mycroft
    Sure you did, you had to learn how to hit all those keys with just your thumbs. BTW, I wouldn't recomend "unlearning" QWERTY without learning an alternative for your PC
    Touch typing is part muscle memory, visualization, and learning word patterns. Going from using all of your fingers, to using just your thumbs is virtually no effort at all, other than sacrificing some speed. The brain is amazing that way.

    Before the thumbboards, there were these QWERTY keyboards with tiny chicklet keys, as on the first WinCE devices. Those were sooo bad. I don't know why, but the brain cannot handle smallish keyboards like that. It must either be touch type sized, or thumb sized.

    My explanation is like this.. A full sized keyboard lets you type "words" by quickly sequencing a pattern of keys. At least that's what I do. I visualize the whole word but then instead of mashing all keys simultaneous, I serialize them out slow enough to not cause jamming. With thumbboards, I go into "character" mode. I still want to mash the whole pattern down QWERTY style, but I just spell it out in my head as I hit the keys with my thumbs.

    With the inbetween size (i.e. old WinCE), there is something very bad which happens. Somehow the keys are too close together to use multiple fingers, so they must be hunt & pecked. But they are also too far apart which makes hunt & peck very frustrating. As an experiment, try hunt & peck on a full size keyboard using ONLY your index fingers. Actually I am kinda surprised at how choked up I got. Seems that when I used to hunt & peck I was still using multiple fingers.
  7. #107  
    We should also realize that the ultimate goal of any handheld is to make a person more productive. Ok, some just like the gadgets and "cool" factor, but ostensibly they are supposed to be productivity enhaners. Any input system will require some degree of learning, but the less required the better. It makes sense to me that while we do have to learn to type with our thumbs on a handheld keyboard, it is better if the keyboard is in a layout with which we are familiar.

    With that in mind, I expect a number of additions and improvements in the next
    Treo, but not in the way Sony has gone. I expect Hawkins and Dubinsky to have seriously thought out what will help people be more productive. Admittedly an mp3 player does little for productivity, but I will not be surprised if one is included.

    JMHO

    Gargoyle
  8. #108  
    indeed ther'es no phone. (nevertheless, since there is a dedicated connector, it'll be easy to add a gsm device -like the visor phone). the point is : for most multimedia additions, there are about 100 mobile appliances out there, that'll do the job 100 times better than any phone.
    I'd recommend HS stays focused on office productivity enhancers : like expandable memory, wifi capability, tri-band...


    Originally posted by Bob-C
    Pretty cool but it seems to have no phone. To me that would be more competition for the CLIE line.
  9. #109  
    Originally posted by KRamsauer
    Actually the QWERTY keyboard was designed to slow down the typing process. On a manual typewriter, a truly efficient design would jam the keys. Of course that is moot now. Search for more info on the Dvorak keyboard and you'll see what I mean. I learned that keyboard once, but I think I've forgotten it now.
    I see why you've forgotten it. It's a good thing that I don't need to learn it, otherwise, I would need to have keyboard layouts cluttering my computer screens.

    If my memory serves me right, typewriters came from typesetters that were used by printing presses. The first type setters were invented by Otto Merganthaler in Germany in the 1880s and named "Linotype" because of the lines of type it made. These machines enabled a person to sit at a keyboard and compose news or advertising copy at a rate 20 to 40 times or more faster than the old hand-assembled method.

    Sitting at the keyboard, the operator would punch the keys (I guess that's how we come to use the phrase "punching keys" to describe the typing motion.) to spell out a sentence and brass matrices or mats would drop down from the magazine for each letter. By pushing the lever at the left of the keyboard, the type-creating process would begin by which hot molten lead was forced into the backs of the mats to form a single strip of metal containing the sentence. The genius of the machine was that the mats then would be picked up by a long arm which swings back up and the mats are re-deposited in the magazine to be used again.

    Although the devices have refined over the years, the basic principles of the machine remained unchanged.



    joe
    joe
  10. #110  
    Originally posted by Scott R

    A lot of people were put off by having to learn Graffiti (even though, I think this is unfounded). A lot of people would be put off if they saw a freaky new method of input, even if it had a short learning curve and offered increased speed once learned.

    Scott
    That reminds me of the good old school days. I had to decide whether to take a course in typewriting, or instead, take a course in shorthand. I didn't like shorthand at all. I thought it's a wierd method of taking notes, so I chose typewriting at the end. That thought seems to have carried on when I first saw Graffiti. I'm not sure whether others have felt the same.

    Just my thoughts.
    joe
  11. #111  
    Originally posted by LaughingMan


    That reminds me of the good old school days. I had to decide whether to take a course in typewriting, or instead, take a course in shorthand. I didn't like shorthand at all. I thought it's a wierd method of taking notes, so I chose typewriting at the end. That thought seems to have carried on when I first saw Graffiti. I'm not sure whether others have felt the same.

    Just my thoughts.
    Yes. I've likened Graffiti to shorthand several times before. Although, with shorthand you would actually abbreviate words, while with Graffiti you write out all letters in a word but use a simpler (in terms of fewer strokes) alphabet. The result is similar: a learning curve is required but it offers improved speed. I think it's a good thing.

    Scott
  12. #112  
    Originally posted by Scott R

    Yes. I've likened Graffiti to shorthand several times before. Although, with shorthand you would actually abbreviate words, while with Graffiti you write out all letters in a word but use a simpler (in terms of fewer strokes) alphabet. The result is similar: a learning curve is required but it offers improved speed. I think it's a good thing.

    Scott
    Don't get me wrong. I believe innovation is always a good thing. It's only the steepness of the learning curve that is a hindrance to mass acceptance.
    joe
  13. #113  
    I'm not sure whether this was posted earlier, so I am going to post it now. It's another innovation in data entry.

    http://www.senseboard.com/product.php
    joe
  14. #114  
    Originally posted by KRamsauer
    Actually the QWERTY keyboard was designed to slow down the typing process. On a manual typewriter, a truly efficient design would jam the keys.
    No, that's a very widespread misconception. It wasn't too much speed that would jam the typewriter, but having frequently-occurring letter pairs be on the same side of the keyboard. From http://www.mit.edu/~jcb/Dvorak/:

    Contrary to popular opinion, the qwerty design was not actually invented to slow typists down. Rather, the layout was intended to place common two-letter combinations on opposite sides of the keyboard. On manual typewriters, each key is mechanically connected to a lever that has the reversed image of a letter on it. If a typist were to hit two keys on the same side of the keyboard in rapid succession, the second lever on its way up would hit the first on its way down, the keys would become stuck together, and the typist would have to stop typing and unstick the keys. The qwerty layout was a clever design that minimized this problem.
    As for me, though I'm a big believer in hardware buttons over software ones (for instance, I'm a huge fan of my Marantz RC 2000MKII universal remote, and think those remotes where the buttons are just virtual entities on an LCD screen are worthless), I think I overestimated the benefit I'd get from a QWERTY thumbboard prior to settling on my Treo 300.

    Aside from the previously-mentioned loss of speed you get by having only two fingers to type with, and having the key spacing / layout be nonstandard, a major problem I have with it is the slowness and difficulty of typing numbers and punctuation (BTW, punctuation seems to be a complete afterthought on that Fastap keyboard).

    Being a software guy (and what's more, a UNIX guy), I'm typing "funny symbols" all the time, and the Treo's major reliance on the Option key and the ListType key are a real pain. Characters that require the ListType key are especially slow, since you have to remember off the top of your head what the correct precursor key is, then scroll through a potentially long list of alternatives (kind of like doing Japanese kanji input).

    I would actually find a thumbboard significantly more usable if they were to add one more row of keys at the top -- a numeric row (one-touch numeric entry would be great) including the standard punctuation keys found there on full-size QWERTY keyboards.

    An even worse problem with the Treo's ListType key is that it's broken in any application that has the user typing in anything other than bog-standard Palm OS text entry fields. This includes six of the seven publically available Palm OS SSH / telnet apps, and many / most email clients, including the one I use, Eudora. (I'm quite curious how the other vendors of devices with thumbboards -- e.g. Palm, RIM, Sharp, and Sony -- solve the problem of entering non-silkscreened characters, and whether their methods work across the OS, or are subject to breakage, as with Handspring's.)

    Anyway, you end up having to use workarounds like onscreen keyboards and/or macro popup menus, which require you to keep your stylus out. Given all this, I suspect that my text entry would be much faster if the hardware keyboard were replaced with a software Fitaly keyboard on the bottom portion of a taller-than-wide screen. I haven't done extensive testing, but in playing around with Fitaly, I've been amazed at how fast I've been able to find the characters I was looking for (including punctuation characters), even without training / extensive usage.

    The other benefit of this approach, of course, would be the ability to use that screen real estate for display, when you weren't entering text (great for web pages). People who didn't like Fitaly could also use an onscreen QWERTY (or a dedicated character recognition area).
    Last edited by Dan Harkless; 04/03/2003 at 11:24 PM.
  15. #115  
    Originally posted by Dan Harkless
    An even worse problem with the Treo's ListType key is that it's broken in any application that has the user typing in anything other than bog-standard Palm OS text entry fields. This includes six of the seven publically available Palm OS SSH / telnet apps, and many / most email clients, including the one I use, Eudora. (I'm quite curious how the other vendors of devices with thumbboards -- e.g. Palm, RIM, Sharp, and Sony -- solve the problem of entering non-silkscreened characters, and whether their methods work across the OS, or are subject to breakage, as with Handspring's.)
    I just looked into the ListType issue. It's called PostProcessList in the Handspring headers, and there's actually some interesting stuff in there. Nothing to help you, of course , but nonetheless very neato.. in particular the hsRscTPostProcessLists and hsRscTWordCorrectionData resources. I don't know how to use them per se, but looks like you can add extra ListType lists and word correction entries by defining some resources somewhere.

    I believe though that the default ListType is tied into the field API, such that it won't work any other way. I presume they do this because it doesn't just work off the last key hit, but works anywhere the cursor is positioned. Still, they should have provided a default list based on the last keypress whenever the Caret is enabled on a custom gadget.
  16. #116  
    Originally posted by yoyoy
    I'm specifically thinking about mp3, divix, and camera capabilities.
    I woul personally put a lot more beef in memory expansion and gps capability.


    For some reason, I overlooked your post. I apologize for that.

    Responding to your post, I think produtivity is a personal issue.
    For example, I personally do not think having mp3 or camera capability would increase my productivity. Meanwhile, one of my friends, who is a real estate agent, uses it quite frequently. He took snapshots of each property he sells as well as record property information alongside each snapshot (selling price, amenities, etc.) onto his clie. He used to carry a notebook, a camera, a financial calc (which he now has on the clie), and a scanner at the office so he can email his snapshots or post them on website. When I showed him my treo 300, he said that it's cool, but it wouldn't help him. He would like to see a camera put on the treo. That would save him a lot of time since he can just email, post, or even fax them to his clients.

    My point is that productivity is a personal issue. The folks at HS should focus on mass adoption.
    joe
  17. #117  
    Mass adoption would likely not be a sound strategy. More often than not, trying to be everything to eveyone ends up being nothing to anyone. The key, and this is true of most any business, is to know who the target customer is and meet their needs exceedingly well.

    Productivity is something of a personal issue. What makes me more productive may not make you more productive; however, once you start assessing who is actually buying the Treo a fairly standard profile starts to become apparent. Although any profile has outliers, Handspring can identify a consistent set of needs from this profile and should work to meet these needs as fully as possible.

    The realtor friend with the camera provides an interesting case study. I suspect a substantial majority those who would even consider a converged device would find very little to no real benefit from a camera feature, still the minority that would find great benefit from a camera feature would likely be a significant number. Thus the question, I believe, becomes what will the cost in price point and form factor be to add a worthwhile camera feature? If a camera can be added without substantially hurting the form factor and unreasonably raising the price point, one should be added. However, Handspring should not alienate its core customer base over the feature.

    Gargoyle
  18. #118  
    I think what you mention above is a sound strategy for keeping core customers, but I don't think it is enough to help HS expand its customer base and tap new demand.
    joe
  19. #119  
    I would think that if other cell phone companies are making a camera a standard for the cell phone it would force HS to. You don't want a potential buyer of a cell phone say to a salesman, "Yeah the PDA part would be nice, but how come all the other cheaper cell phones come with a camera?"
  20. #120  
    Following Sony's idea of making two versions of their Clie; one with a camera and one without a camera, would be a strategy that may work. This would be similar to when the Treo 180 and the Treo 180G first came out. Graffiti lovers still had a choice.

    My best friend is a real estate agent who is just about to buy Sprint's phone with the integrated camera (I think it is a Sanyo or Samsung?). She is doing this for the same afore mentioned reason LaughingMan mentioned; being able to take pictures of houses and post them on a real estate site.

    Personally, I would love to have a camera integrated in the next Treo. My reason is that I am a Podiatrist and need to take pictures of patient's deformities; ie: pre-operative vs. post-operative changes, skin lesions, injuries, etc. I have a Sony Camera that takes great pictures, but having my Treo w/integrated camera on my all the time would makes this more convenient. This would lead me to taking a great deal more pictures.

    Russell
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