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  1.    #1  
    Right now I am using a PDA with a QWERTY keyboard and I have to say that I am not all that impressed with its abilities. I can certainly enter data much faster using my cell phone with T9 input (a software mechanism that knows the potential words in a language for a particular key combination)

    This beggs the question of whether the QWERTY keyboard is a legitimate solution for a PDA or other small micro devices. Perhaps we could learn something from this.

    On my PDA, when I want to enter data, I find that I am always trying to find the right letter on the keyboard. Althought I am a touch typist on a full sized keyboard, you cant use a PDA like a full sized keyboard. In fact, the best PDA usage scenario seems to be with using both thumbs; yet the pda keyboards are designed for a 10 finger scenarion. This seems to be a fundamental flaw.

    On the other hand, telephones arent quite enough. I like how my phone automatically picks up most words that I need and that I can give new words in. So when I type 43556 on my telephone, it knows that I probably want the word "Hello." It seems to me that this is a more appropriate entry strategy for a handheld.

    My ideal would be a phone like keyboard with 4 rows and 5 columns. These buttons would be large enough to be hit without hardly thinking aobut them. In addition you could install some shortcut buttons but I will only deal with the text entry buttons. The buttons would be laid out on a plan to put the most commonly used letters on the right and left two columns and the least commonly used letters in the middle. The idea being to limit the amount of needed thumb movement. They would work similar to T9 on a telephone except you should be able to download new letters, character sets and languages for T9 input.

    I think this would be a more appropriate use case than the current QWERTY keyboards.
    -- Kraythe
    -- Author: Hardcore Java, Published by O'Reilly and Due in stores January 2004.
  2. #2  
    It's all a matter of taste I guess. There is no right or wrong answer I would guess. I don't like T9. Perhaps I need to spend more time with it. I tried it on my wifes a-460 and hated it. I also don't like having to use the dial buttons either (ie #2 = a,b or c). The QWERTY board is simular to the one that Motorola uses on their Flex 2 way pagers, they have been out for a long time. Even though the one on the 600 is smaller then the 300, I find it easier to use. They have a "fat finger" algorythem (sp?) that tries to correct something if you fat finger a key. I am happy with the T600 QWERTY board. THe only other option for me is graffiti.

    I use the T600 QWERTY with both thumbs (as suggested) and I kmow were the keye should be , due to it being setup just like the QWERTY on my PC (more or less, some punctiatoin and stuff is different). I like the use of "can replies" too, I think it needs more.

    AS I said, it just personal taste I assume..


    Just ,my 2-cents worth, Matt Burhard
  3. #3  
    My ideal would be a phone like keyboard with 4 rows and 5 columns. These buttons would be large enough to be hit without hardly thinking aobut them. In addition you could install some shortcut buttons but I will only deal with the text entry buttons. The buttons would be laid out on a plan to put the most commonly used letters on the right and left two columns and the least commonly used letters in the middle. The idea being to limit the amount of needed thumb movement.
    Is this not how the QWERTY board was loosely based on?
  4. #4  
    The QWERTY keyboard was originally designed to slow down typists using the first manual typewriters. The Dvorak (sp?) keyboard was designed to speed them back up.

    People are hung-up on the QWERTY keyboard but some enterprising engineer will come up with some better text entry method eventually - perhaps a faster variation of the T9 - that would be better in form factor than an 18th century keyboard.
  5.    #5  
    Originally posted by SeldomVisitor
    The QWERTY keyboard was originally designed to slow down typists using the first manual typewriters. The Dvorak (sp?) keyboard was designed to speed them back up.

    People are hung-up on the QWERTY keyboard but some enterprising engineer will come up with some better text entry method eventually - perhaps a faster variation of the T9 - that would be better in form factor than an 18th century keyboard.
    AMEN! =)

    In software engineering, the secret is to find the use cases and then design software for those use cases. Someone really blew it when they put such a tiny qwerty keyboard on the Treo series. It seems like a good idea but the use case of using the qwerty is completely wrong for a handlheld device. The keyboard is the the only thing stopping me from blowing 1k to get a treo without contract (I like pay by call on german vodaphone)
    -- Kraythe
    -- Author: Hardcore Java, Published by O'Reilly and Due in stores January 2004.
  6. #6  
    Krythe, I respect your view, but "Someone really blew it when they put such a tiny qwerty keyboard on the Treo series." , but IMHO, I think it was great idea. AS I stated, as you love T9 and don't care for the QWERTY, I fell the complete oposite about it.

    Neither of us is wrong.

    I think someone really did a great job witht he QWERTy on the T600, I find it easier and better to use then the bigger one on the T300. It's all a matter of taste, as I said.

    On a funny side note, in any engineering....never under estimate the stupidity of the common man. I learn that daily when I see some of the stuff I have to repair at work.

    Sledom Visitor- Never heard of a "Dvorak". I may do a Google search to learn about it. Can you find the correct spelling and do you have any info on it? Thanks...
  7. #7  
    Hey you both, the cats meow would be no keyboard, no graffiti, just have it do the Volcan mind meld (read ones mind), now that would be super fast, with zero errors...LOL

    Unless your like me and can't think staight, or god for bid, drif off into la-la land (or get side tracked easy) as you were entering data via your brain waves.

    a+b=C, A- boy I sure am hungry, I wish I, oh what is on TV tonight, I am A+d/2 = were is my other shoe........... ZZZZZZZZ
  8. #8  
    Opps double data... Also , sorry for my horrid spelling
  9.    #10  
    Originally posted by Burkhardi
    Krythe, I respect your view, but "Someone really blew it when they put such a tiny qwerty keyboard on the Treo series." , but IMHO, I think it was great idea. AS I stated, as you love T9 and don't care for the QWERTY, I fell the complete oposite about it.

    Neither of us is wrong.

    I think someone really did a great job witht he QWERTy on the T600, I find it easier and better to use then the bigger one on the T300. It's all a matter of taste, as I said.

    On a funny side note, in any engineering....never under estimate the stupidity of the common man. I learn that daily when I see some of the stuff I have to repair at work.

    Sledom Visitor- Never heard of a "Dvorak". I may do a Google search to learn about it. Can you find the correct spelling and do you have any info on it? Thanks...
    THat is the correct spelling.

    Sure, its a matter of taste. However, if you played with T9 a bit oyu would see that you can enter information much faster in T9 than in this little hunt and peck keyboard with the tiny buttons. In fact there is little reason that you should have to select and type out every character. For example, when typing Hello, there arent any other words in the english language that would use this combination of numbers. Therefore why should you bother searching through a tine 101 key keyboard?

    As for the keyboard itself, I will give them credit. The Clie keyboards are complete pooch screws. Who ever thoguht of typing fast on one of those had to be out of his mind.
    -- Kraythe
    -- Author: Hardcore Java, Published by O'Reilly and Due in stores January 2004.
  10. #11  
    Thanks!!!!!
  11. #12  
    Kraythe,
    "Sure, its a matter of taste. However, if you played with T9 a bit oyu would see that you can enter information much faster in T9 than in this little hunt and peck keyboard with the tiny buttons. "

    To play devils advoicate, Sure, it's a ,matter of taste. However, if you played with the tiny QWERTY of the T600 a bit, you would see that you can enter imformation much faster with a QWERTY than the T9 that most of the time guesses (keyword there, guess) the wrong word and you have to backspace and try again.

    This is just said for example. I don't want to come accross like I am try to argue or flame you. Just want to make that clear. It is a matter of taste, neither is wroing and I will not try to convince you that the QWERTY is the way to go. I still like the Volcan Mind Meld data entry method.

    You bring up some good points. I bet my poor view on T9 is due to the interface that the Samsung A-460 used. Perhaps I will try to use it with another device to see what you talk about.

    Best regards, Matt
  12. #13  
    Originally posted by Kraythe
    Sure, its a matter of taste. However, if you played with T9 a bit oyu would see that you can enter information much faster in T9 than in this little hunt and peck keyboard with the tiny buttons.
    I have T9 on my Nokia. I don't think I could ever get used to it. It's a neat trick but is isn't forgiving when it picks the wrong word, and you have to keep looking at the screen all the time. It's very slow, for me. Practice would help but wow it takes a lot of guesswork.

    The thumb board, any thumb board, is effortless for me. I don't know why you are having a problem. I think maybe you need some practice. With a thumb board you should be able to type at least 20WPM in complete darkness as a touch typist.

    On the Nokia I found an awesome IM program called AgileMessenger. It is free and connects to many IM systems. But on the phone with T9 it becomes nearly useless. I mean, what kind of typing rate are we talking about? Need at least 30WPM to converse. Can you do that with T9?
  13.    #14  
    Its a matter of software use case. QWERTY was not designed to be used with only the thumbs.

    As for T9, I encourage you to spend some time typing and entire letter into a t9 and then you will get much faster and see what I mean. But even t9 can be improved upon with a couple more buttons. For one thing, the word rotate should be a bigger button.

    I have a Siemens s45i and I have played extensively with the tungsten keyboard and I am MUCH faster with the siemens for things like messages and so on. If you require a lot of punctuation then it could be a problem. However, you should only need that if you are programmign on the palm and then god help you anyway.

    -- Robert
    -- Kraythe
    -- Author: Hardcore Java, Published by O'Reilly and Due in stores January 2004.
  14. #15  
    Originally posted by Kraythe
    Its a matter of software use case. QWERTY was not designed to be used with only the thumbs.
    You don't have to use your thumbs. Half the time I use my index fingers, or only one thumb. It depends. That's the thing I like about the QWERTY layout, it becomes second nature. Though punctuation is different on the many thumb boards I have. Hmm I think I have 6 of them; BB950, BB5810, Treo 300, Cirque, Q-Pad, Zaurus 5000. I haven't tried the Treo 600 yet, but I'm not too worried.
  15. #16  
    I don't know if its a particular failing of the MPx200 as its the only T9 device I've ever used extensively but T9 blows chunks. I use a fairly standard set of English and yet T9 recognizes my words only about 50% of the time.
  16. #17  
    I'm trying to give T9 a fair shake. Until I read this thread I didn't realize there was a key to cycle amongst different words. That makes a lot of difference. There also appears to be a way to outright spell the words or add to the dictionary. I need to read the manual and practice some more.
  17. #18  
    Originally posted by Kraythe
    Its a matter of software use case. QWERTY was not designed to be used with only the thumbs.

    As for T9, I encourage you to spend some time typing and entire letter into a t9 and then you will get much faster and see what I mean. But even t9 can be improved upon with a couple more buttons. For one thing, the word rotate should be a bigger button.
    If you want predictive text solutions for PalmOS, there are several like Quickwrite, Text Complete, Tengo for PalmOS, Ender and etc. Furthermore, there were several predictive text hacks on the Treo300 that utilized the thumbboard that I'm sure will eventually be ported to the Treo600...
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    Current device: Palm Pre
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  18.    #19  
    Originally posted by potatoho
    I'm trying to give T9 a fair shake. Until I read this thread I didn't realize there was a key to cycle amongst different words. That makes a lot of difference. There also appears to be a way to outright spell the words or add to the dictionary. I need to read the manual and practice some more.
    Man, without those two buttons, T9 would be useless.
    -- Kraythe
    -- Author: Hardcore Java, Published by O'Reilly and Due in stores January 2004.
  19.    #20  
    Originally posted by gfunkmagic


    If you want predictive text solutions for PalmOS, there are several like Quickwrite, Text Complete, Tengo for PalmOS, Ender and etc. Furthermore, there were several predictive text hacks on the Treo300 that utilized the thumbboard that I'm sure will eventually be ported to the Treo600...
    Im not looking for a predictive text solution per se. Im looking for someone to design an entry device suited to the palm and not one suited to 10 finger typing.
    -- Kraythe
    -- Author: Hardcore Java, Published by O'Reilly and Due in stores January 2004.
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