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Input Devices Hardware

Engelbart's Keyboard Available For Touchscreens 160

An anonymous reader writes "Doug Engelbart should be known to everyone on Slashdot — he did invent the mouse after all, among many other inventions all of us rely on today. There was one more obscure device he came up with that never really took off, though. It was called the Chorded Keyboard, and consisted of a system that allowed you to type using just one hand. The key to this system was finger combinations, which allowed up to 32 different characters — more than enough for the alphabet. Now that one-handed keyboard has been ported to work with touchscreens, and it could end up being quite popular. The key benefit is the fact you can type anywhere on the screen and don't even need to see where you are typing. The only difficulty is learning all the key combos, but once you have them cold you may be able to type faster than with two hands on your smartphone or tablet." Bonus: being software-only and open-source, it's much cheaper than a Twiddler.
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Engelbart's Keyboard Available For Touchscreens

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  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Thursday February 09, 2012 @07:29PM (#38989743)

    Stenotype, which is used for both court reporting and closed captioning [] can typically be operated at 300WPM.

    It has the advantage that you can already take classes in it, and that there are tons of people already trained to use it.

    I guess Paul Wittgenstein [] might appreciate it.

    -- Terry

  • Re:Shoot me (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 09, 2012 @09:36PM (#38990855)

    I remember, long ago, when the guy first brought out this keyset. Some University, MIT as I recall but that may be wrong, tested the learning curve with two groups of people. One learning typewriter type touch typing and the other doing the same exercises and investing the same number of hours on this thing. At the end the "chorded keyset" students tested almost twice the speed with approx. the same error rate. Supposedly a few "freaks" were able to type two different documents at the same time using both hands.

    They were sold for a few years. I always wanted to get one but never seemed to have the time.

    In the early 90's I remember reading that the military tested a modification of the idea that used a wrist strap with sensors to detect the movements of the fingers without actually using a keyboard. The idea was that astronauts in zero-G and pilots under high G could use it.

    Seems like that could be a terrific solution for tablets and desktops alike. Make the wrist strap wireless and away you go.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Thursday February 09, 2012 @10:19PM (#38991169)

    Since it is very common to hold a tablet with one hand, it would be interesting if someone would build a tablet with pressure senors on the back and side (for your thumb) so that the hand holding the tablet could type just be squeezing. Make the entire back of the tablet pressure sensitive so you don't have to worry about lining your fingers up, just let the software figure out which finger is which based on the relative location of each press/squeeze.

  • OpenGenera for Linux (Score:5, Interesting)

    by klapaucjusz ( 1167407 ) on Friday February 10, 2012 @03:59AM (#38992971) Homepage

    I deeply desire to have a Symbolics machine of my own some day—or at least a version of OpenGenera that boots properly.

    You won't have one properly licensed, since the courts were unable to agree who owns the copyrights to Genera. On the other hand, that means you cannot be sued by the copyright holders, since nobody is quite sure who the copyright holders are.

    You'll need:

    Setting it up requires a little bit of work (you'll need to set up a local NFS server and to tweak your X server's modifier mappings), but I warmly recommend it -- it's complete enough to do some real work in Emacs, and the full sources and documentation are there for your greater enjoyment.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.