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  1.    #1  
    While playing with my visor in school today, I had a thought. How about a chorded keyboard for the visor, using the six (including arrows) hardware keys? You would only need to have each character be the press of two keys. For instance, pressing "address book" followed by "to-do list" could make an "E", while pressing "address book" twice in a row would make a different letter. Then you could hold the Visor in your hands and type with your thumbs! I'd think that the common characters, like e, t, s, and space would use buttons on different sides, as you can use one thumb followed by the other faster than you can use the same thumb twice. There could be a second layout which would be one-handed, and you could place the visor down on the table and type with one or two fingers of the same hand. It would take some time to learn the system, but I think it would be very fast. With 6 keys, there would be 36 possible "two-key letters". The most commonly used punctuation could use some of the extras (beyond 26), and there could be a character for "shift" and "symbol" just like there is in Graffiti. Disabled people use chorded keyboards like this, with only a few keys which, used in combinations, make different characters. I'm not disabled, but I've tried some of them, and after some practice one can reach 40-50 wpm and more. I'm also not a programmer, but there are already programs - like apphack - that use the hardkeys in combinations to do different tasks, so it seems like this would be a relatively simple thing to do. There could even be a client-side editor, to allow each person to map the keys to the characters they wanted. Is anyone up to it? I'm ready to start typing fast!!

    ~CYMagic
  2.    #2  
    Just thought of this also -
    Pressing the first key in a 2-key sequence could display a little "guide". After pressing a key, there would be six possible letters you could make, so each one would appear above its corresponding key. This would help to reduce the learning curve, because you wouldn't have to memorize a chart. With tiny letters, the program could even display the six letters possible for each button above each button, but I think that this would be messy and ultimately unnecessary. Any thoughts?

    ~CYMagic
  3. #3  
    I like the concept here but have one concern... the buttons on my Visor seem to take an extra amout of effort to push. I've tried a few games that use the buttons and they just didn't respond well. This might cause some level of fatigue and/or discomfort in some people... not to mention the ergonomic concerns. But, as I said, I like the concept.

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    MarkEagle - Ice is nice!
  4. #4  
    It would need a way to co-exist with AppHack! I hardly use my launcher anymore with AppHack (with launches apps in the way you have described for typing letters).
  5.    #5  
    It would need a way to co-exist with AppHack! I hardly use my launcher anymore with AppHack (with launches apps in the way you have described for typing letters).
    I agree - AppHack is a great utility. I can think of a few ways to deal with this. First, the program could have an "off" key combination. It wouldn't need an on combination, because it could have a separate program that starts it. Then, you map that program to one of your AppHack choices, and voila! AppHack runs normally, and when you want to use the chorded keyboard, you push your two buttons that start the program. Then the program runs in the background, and when you want to use AppHack again, you push the key combination for "off". (If you're smart, you'll use the same key combo for "on" and "off"). An on/off switch would probably be desirable anyway so that one could use the scroll keys.
    Another way to deal with it would just be to have the program run all the time, and use a key combo to mean "the next two buttons pressed are for AppHack". I'm not quite sure how you'd program this, because it seems like you would have to just include something like AppHack in the actual program, rather than have it be a workaround for AppHack itself; but then again, I'm no programmer so I don't know if this is true or not. Anyway, then the chorded keyboard would still be running, so after AppHack does its little thing, the program takes control of the buttons again.
    Yet a third way may or may not be possible; I'm not sure whether the hard keys recognize continuous input, but if they do, there could be a setting in the program where you hold down a key, and while holding it, press the two keys for AppHack. It would have to be configured so that you could hold down ANY key, so that you could press one that you didn't need to use for the particular key combo you were using for AppHack (e.g. if you have AppHack configured so that "memo", "to-do" starts your mail program, you might want to hold down "calendar" while you're pressing it. However, another time you might want to use "calendar", "address book" in AppHack, and then you might want to hold down "memo" while you press it).
    Any of the above ideas could be used to maintain functionality of the hardkeys for the original purpose as well.

    I like the concept here but have one concern... the buttons on my Visor seem to take an extra amout of effort to push. I've tried a few games that use the buttons and they just didn't respond well. This might cause some level of fatigue and/or discomfort in some people... not to mention the ergonomic concerns. But, as I said, I like the concept.
    I thought this might be a problem as well. I also am not sure whether such repeated use of the hardkeys will damage them in any way. Perhaps the fact that they are so hard to push means that they are sturdier and wouldn't break. Or maybe some ambitious individual wants to crack open their visor and modify them a bit. Personally, I'd shoot myself before I did that. I'm not sure just how difficult it would be to type on such a keyboard, but I do know that I'm anxious to find out. Only with a test can one actually tell for sure.

    ~CYMagic

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