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'[PICLIST] [OT] Microsofts Tablet PC'
2000\11\13@104120 by ser, Carl Woodrow, JR (Carl)

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I am intrigued by Microsofts proposed Tablet PC that will use "digital ink"
technology
to convert handwriting into digital form.  Looks to me to be the ultimate
Engineers Notebook,
or general Notepad.  Personally, I think this is HOT STUFF and will be a
dominate item
in the future.

I have seen that Cross Pen's tried to do this with their "CrossPad" but
appears to be flop.
I note too that Seiko and Fujitsu are trying to gen up something too.

Sure would be nice to see some technology applied to the plain old pad of
paper - that is
if the plain old pad of paper can be improved up - so far no one has done
that :-(

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2000\11\13@121157 by M. Adam Davis

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A few reasons the 'notepad' computers have failed:
Not light enough
Not enough time per charge
Display isn't a good resolution for reading

I suppose lithium batteries are going to help with the first two, and
perhaps transmeta's chips will help as well, but the biggest thing is the
last one.  This is the reason we don't have electronic books.  IBM,
however, has introduced some of the first large 200dpi LCD screens (normal
monitors are, at most, 100dpi, and generally 75-90dpi), which should help
in this area quite a bit.  They are sending some to lawrence livermore
labs (22" 200dpi screens - each screen is controlled by 4 video cards, in
excess of 3500x2600 pixels, or over 9 million alltogether.  Of course,
lots of pixels means a higher current draw, thus more battery weight or
less operating time.

One can never win.

-Adam

"Moser, Carl Woodrow, JR (Carl)" wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2000\11\13@124017 by Bill Westfield

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>    Not light enough
>    Not enough time per charge
>    Display isn't a good resolution for reading
>
>    I suppose lithium batteries are going to help with the first two, and
>    perhaps transmeta's chips will help as well, but the biggest thing is the
>    last one.  This is the reason we don't have electronic books.

We DO have electronic books.  I've got a Franklin "erocket" electronic
book that looks pretty reasonable, reading wise (too heavy for a tablet,
and not programmable.)  My wife has a Palm III that's pretty reasonable
in the battery life, weight, and UI (input) department (but the screen
is too small for eBook use, and the battery life WOULD suck with
full-time backlighting as is used on the Franklin.)  (It occured to me
IMMEDIATELY that I wanted a "pad" that combined the two technologies.
As thin a Palm and programmable, with 5x7ish VGA screen and rechargable
batteries.)  Shucks, a slightly reconfigured Sony Vaio would make a nice
notepad...


Microsoft's recent entries into this area seem to me to be yet another
attempt to replace/screw existing "near-standards" with "something
microsoft."  Blech.

IMO, past attempts at tablets computers have failed because they aren't
sufficiently general, nor sufficiently cheap.  No one wants to carry
around a tablet ($1000) AND a laptop ($2500), and the laptop does an OK
job at being a bad tablet, while a tablet is pretty awful at simulating
a keyboard...

BillW

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2000\11\13@192529 by Brian Hopkins

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Hi Carl:
You could add to your list, the Anoto pen and paper technology. Dots on the
paper, camera and Bluetooth transceiver in the pen. Still seems to be
concept, so far. Looks interesting.
http://www.anoto.com

Plain old Paper enjoys a considerable headstart over all new comers. Still
one on my favorites.

Brian Hopkins

> I have seen that Cross Pen's tried to do this with their "CrossPad" but
> appears to be flop.
> I note too that Seiko and Fujitsu are trying to gen up something too.
>
> Sure would be nice to see some technology applied to the plain old pad of
> paper - that is
> if the plain old pad of paper can be improved up - so far no one has done
> that :-(
>

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2000\11\15@151046 by Bruce Cannon

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I'd say myself that the SOLE impediment to the concept is adequate
handwriting recognition.  I can't wait until the keyboard can become what it
essentially has always been at heart: a bizarre remnant of a bygone era,
utterly stupid in a modern context.

Bruce Cannon
Style Management Systems
http://siliconcrucible.com
(510) 787-6870
1228 Ceres ST Crockett CA 94525

Remember: electronics is changing your world...for good!

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2000\11\15@152122 by Andrew Kunz

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>I'd say myself that the SOLE impediment to the concept is adequate
>handwriting recognition.  I can't wait until the keyboard can become what it
>essentially has always been at heart: a bizarre remnant of a bygone era,
>utterly stupid in a modern context.


I can type faster than my secretary.  I prefer keyboards to pens any day, and
command lines to trackball clicks _most_ of the time.  (Dragging & dropping
multiple files is lots nicer, gotta admit).

Andy

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2000\11\15@152747 by Douglas Wood

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Amen to that!

Douglas Wood
Software Engineer

-----Original Message-----
From: pic microcontroller discussion list
[spam_OUTPICLISTTakeThisOuTspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU]On Behalf Of Andrew Kunz
Sent: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 2:22 PM
To: .....PICLISTKILLspamspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU
Subject: Re: [OT] Microsofts Tablet PC


>I'd say myself that the SOLE impediment to the concept is adequate
>handwriting recognition.  I can't wait until the keyboard can become what
it
>essentially has always been at heart: a bizarre remnant of a bygone era,
>utterly stupid in a modern context.


I can type faster than my secretary.  I prefer keyboards to pens any day,
and
command lines to trackball clicks _most_ of the time.  (Dragging & dropping
multiple files is lots nicer, gotta admit).

Andy

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2000\11\15@153547 by Lance Allen

picon face
Andrew Kunz wrote:

>
> I can type faster than my secretary.  I prefer keyboards to pens any day, and
> command lines to trackball clicks _most_ of the time.  (Dragging & dropping
> multiple files is lots nicer, gotta admit).
>

CAD would go down like guano sandwiches with just a keyboard but I agree with
Andy that I can type faster than I can write.
Maybe a direct mind probe is the answer?... now wheres that drill?


Lance

Embedded Systems Lab
CSE

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2000\11\15@162711 by Bob Ammerman

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I type faster than I write and talk faster than I type.

Speech rec?

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems
(contract development of high performance, high function, low-level
software)

{Original Message removed}

2000\11\15@163541 by Tony Nixon

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Lance Allen wrote:

> CAD would go down like guano sandwiches with just a keyboard but I agree with
> Andy that I can type faster than I can write.
> Maybe a direct mind probe is the answer?... now wheres that drill?

Wow! We can be PIC controlled Borgs :-)

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Tony

mICro's
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salesspamKILLspampicnpoke.com

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2000\11\15@170009 by Arthur Brown

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I still use Generic cadd6 most if not all the commands are 2 key presses.
faster than using the side menu also you can turn the menu off and gain 20%
work area.

I have it installed on a LS120 Disk that is bootable and have dos6.22 Cadd6
and have over 100Meg for files.

regards Art

{Original Message removed}

2000\11\15@174759 by Bill Westfield

face picon face
   I'd say myself that the SOLE impediment to the concept is adequate
   handwriting recognition.

Nonsense.  I can type much faster than I can write (and much more legibly as
well. :-) And I'm not a particularly good typist, nor am I using special
equipment (court reports go up to about 400 wpm.)

I can see a resurgence of some sort of shorthand, though.  A lost art,
now that it could be technically important.

BillW

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2000\11\15@210125 by Tom Brandon

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Ah yes, but can you type fast or accurately on 0.5mm x 0.5mm keys? I'd never
want to use such a device on a home PC and I'd always want an attachable
keyboard but being able to scribble something down and not have to type with
a pin wouldn't be too bad. Unfortunately I think it would take a Cray to
decipher my scrawl (so wait 2 years for handheld crays and I'm set).

I must say the Palm's special shorthand wasn't a bad idea. Maybe as
computers take over more they'll change the alphabet to better suit PC's.

Tom.

{Original Message removed}

2000\11\16@130114 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
>I'd say myself that the SOLE impediment to the concept is adequate
>handwriting recognition.  I can't wait until the keyboard can become what
>it essentially has always been at heart: a bizarre remnant of a bygone
>era, utterly stupid in a modern context.

And what exactly would replace it for the entry of symbolic data, knowing
that symbolic abstract data requires symbols (MANY of them) for
representation. Knowing that one way to represent them efficiently is a
code based on a fixed set of known symbols (like an alphabet). How many
gesture and trace based commands can be implemented and what is the
required number of commands to control even a simple text editor ?

imho learning to type has always been a good investment and will stay so.
Even if the keyboard will not look anything like todays.

Peter

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2000\11\16@190437 by Alan B. Pearce

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>Unfortunately I think it would take a Cray to decipher
>my scrawl (so wait 2 years for handheld crays and I'm set).

Maybe you could use one of these itty-bitty high speed Linux machines

http://www.lart.tudelft.nl/

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2000\11\17@120910 by staff

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Tom Brandon wrote:
>
> Ah yes, but can you type fast or accurately on 0.5mm x 0.5mm keys? I'd never
> want to use such a device on a home PC and I'd always want an attachable
> keyboard but being able to scribble something down and not have to type with
> a pin wouldn't be too bad. Unfortunately I think it would take a Cray to
> decipher my scrawl (so wait 2 years for handheld crays and I'm set).
>
> I must say the Palm's special shorthand wasn't a bad idea. Maybe as
> computers take over more they'll change the alphabet to better suit PC's.
>
> Tom.


I'm definitely with you on the "changing the alphabet" lateral
thinking stuff, but not the alphabet so much as the was you make
it.

Imagine a wearable computer on your left forearm, with five
"buttons" spaced for your five digits of your right hand.

A basic binary system of 5bits gives you 32 key combinations,
so enough for all the letters and some control codes. In using it
you could "rap" your fingers up and down in the same spots and
type one character per "rap". In real usage you would probably
have two buttons for the thumb and two for the forefinger, giving
more combinations etc.

The biggest advantage is that you dont have to relocate your
hand or fingers, so you could type with 100% accuracy in darkness
or while jogging, etc etc.

I would like to see wearable computers progress somewhat faster
than they seem to be, most of us piclisters have enough technology
to make them but it's no fun unless other people have them too. :o)
-Roman

PS. Having 100+keys for 10 fingers sounds *insane* to me!

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2000\11\18@180532 by Andy Howard

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> From: "Roman Black" <@spam@fastvidKILLspamspamEZY.NET.AU>


> Imagine a wearable computer on your left forearm, with five
> "buttons" spaced for your five digits of your right hand.
>
> A basic binary system of 5bits gives you 32 key combinations,
> so enough for all the letters and some control codes. In using it
> you could "rap" your fingers up and down in the same spots and
> type one character per "rap". In real usage you would probably
> have two buttons for the thumb and two for the forefinger, giving
> more combinations etc.

There was a device that was almost exactly that which was briefly popular in
the 80's. It was called Microwriter. One application claimed for it was that
you could type with your hands in your pockets. The system was called
"chording" because you pressed more than one button at a time IIRC.

I dimly remember a diagram showing how the coding was supposedly designed
such that the key presses corresponded when possible to a skeleton outline
of the letter with the thumb as descender, though in practice this was about
as obvious as star constellations looking like animals or humans.


A quick search produced the following:

The original:

http://www.nifty.demon.co.uk/images/odd/mw/


Similar devices:

http://www.infogrip.com/bat.htm

http://web.mountain.net/~roair/wearjunk.html

ftp://sac-ftp.gratex.sk/sac/utilmisc/7key.zip

http://www.bellaire.demon.co.uk/cykey.htm#CyKey

http://www.datahand.com/


There was also an early PDA (more like a Casio databank really) called
AgendA which had an alpha keyboard and also Microwrite-type keys.

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2000\11\18@181809 by rich+piclist

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Around that time (the joke goes) there was a similar device to be worn on
the back pocket, called the Ass-Key. The version for the front pocket was
never released because it could only generate EBCDIC.

On Sat, 18 Nov 2000, Andy Howard wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2000\11\18@191546 by Dwayne Reid

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At 11:06 PM 11/18/00 +0000, Andy Howard wrote:
> > From: "Roman Black" <RemoveMEfastvidspamTakeThisOuTEZY.NET.AU>
>
>
> > Imagine a wearable computer on your left forearm, with five
> > "buttons" spaced for your five digits of your right hand.
> >
> > A basic binary system of 5bits gives you 32 key combinations,
> > so enough for all the letters and some control codes. In using it
> > you could "rap" your fingers up and down in the same spots and
> > type one character per "rap". In real usage you would probably
> > have two buttons for the thumb and two for the forefinger, giving
> > more combinations etc.
>
>There was a device that was almost exactly that which was briefly popular in
>the 80's. It was called Microwriter. One application claimed for it was that
>you could type with your hands in your pockets. The system was called
>"chording" because you pressed more than one button at a time IIRC.

Circuit Cellar Ink (Computer Applications Journal) did a version as well -
full schematics and code.  I never did build one, though.

dwayne


Dwayne Reid   <dwaynerEraseMEspam.....planet.eon.net>
Trinity Electronics Systems Ltd    Edmonton, AB, CANADA
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2000\11\20@050214 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>The system was called
>"chording" because you pressed more than one button at a time IIRC.

Somewhere around I still have a photocopy of an article written by an IBM
employee about a "chord" keyboard. This was from the mid 1970's. I was quite
intrigued with it at the time. The letters were arranged so that simple words
(such as "the") had the letters in scan order on the keyboard. It was claimed
that a single keyboard operated with one hand allowed a person to type faster
than two hands on a qwerty keyboard. and with a left and right hand pair of
keyboards it was possible to do twice the speed! There was a patent pending on
it, but this must just about have run out now.

Each key had several letters assigned to it, but I cannot remember how they were
selected.

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