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[icon] A followup five years in the making - Wax and Wonderment
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Subject:A followup five years in the making
Time:02:11 pm
Current Mood:pleasedpleased
On October 18, 2002, I posted that I wanted some things:
[L]ike the TouchStream ST, which is a mutant cross between a keyboard and a touchpad, except it can register multiple finger touches, and tell your fingers apart, so in addition to being a mouse it can do all sorts of nifty gestures. (Heck, that list isn't even all of 'em.) I'd really really like to try it out, because it looks like it'd be insanely useful and cool.
I managed to pick one up a few weeks ago.

I got it for free -- the computing center had one they surplussed out to the rest of the campus computing people -- though of course it's only 'mine' in the same sense that the laptop is mine or the Treo is mine; it all belongs to the office. It's an ST/LP -- the difference between the two models being the unattached angled metal stand/wristrest. Learning the gestures has taken some time, but they can speed up things immensely, and I'm practically touch-typing on the thing now.

Drawbacks? The company has gone out of business (its R&D guys/owners are now working for Apple in UI development and are presumably responsible for the multitouch stuff in the iPhone). And the software to configure the device won't run on an Intel mac (though all the actual setup driving the device is in firmware, so you can configure on a Windows box or a G* mac and use it with an Intel mac fine).

I'm really liking it. If you were to try to buy one, it'd run $700-$1000 on ebay (current auctions and buy it now prices), so if it weren't for the Computing Center's yard sale and serendipity I'd never have gotten the chance.

(As for the rest of the post, I don't really watch TV anymore, so a DVR is a little pointless, and I'd now rather have the GP32's successor, the GP2X. Though there are other priorities...)
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chocorisu
Link:(Link)
Time:2007-05-17 07:10 pm (UTC)
That is a really snazzy device. What's it like to type on? It seems like the lack of tactile feedback would be peculiar but maybe that's just my preconceptions speaking.
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taper
Link:(Link)
Time:2007-05-17 11:35 pm (UTC)
That did take some getting used to, yes. The surface is a little elastic -- it's kind of like tapping your fingers against a rubber basketball, or maybe a tennis ball. There's foam rubber behind the plastic surface of the keypad.

The lack of feedback would have been worse, I think, if I'd been using a properly clicky keyboard or a real typewriter recently; as it is, mushy desktop and laptop keyboards have gradually habituated me to less feedback, so I don't miss it as much. (One of the faqs the webpage has asks about clicking _sounds_ -- they recommend a couple of keyclick noisemaker programs if you can't get used to typing in silence, though I've found it to be more of a series of tiny thuds.)

Each of the homerow keys has a tiny peak like most keyboards have on the Fs and Js, so it's easy for all your fingers to find their places -- and the giant split space/backspace area is quite efficient, as are things like being able to pop out things like // and -> and != with one chord. The toughest things to get used to are the chords that do bucky-actions -- drop all four fingers of either hand onto the home row for "shift", or the line above for "Command" -- but I did make the decision to use the more complicated version of those, and I think the learning curve is a decent tradeoff to the increased typing speed. I'm by now typing about as fast or a little faster than I could with a normal keyboard. And making about the same amount of mistakes, but correction is a lot easier.
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(Anonymous)
Subject:fantastic thing you are doing
Link:(Link)
Time:2007-07-05 09:40 am (UTC)
Hello

Great book. I just want to say what a fantastic thing you are doing! Good luck!


G'night



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[icon] A followup five years in the making - Wax and Wonderment
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