Penless PDA

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by friendlyghost, Nov 15, 2002.

  1. friendlyghost macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2002
    Just wanted to throw this out there:
    If and when Apple finally graces us with their take on the PDA or PDA\Cell combo, I honestly hope that it is NOT pen based.

    I carried around a Philips Nino based on Windows CE and then had an ipaq for a couple years. I enjoyed them both, but have always found that using the pen interface an awkward experience at best. Handwriting recognition is still hilarious ("Eat up Martha") and even if you learn one of the many Grafitti-like input methods, it's still far too slow.

    It's always disappointing to me to see fan art of possible future PDAs are basically tiny slates with a pen. I truly hope that isn't what they release.

    As a result, it's my hope that they adopt the mini keyboards that we see on some products. If anyone could do it right it would be apple.

    I look at the danger hiptop, and really could see apple do a much smarter version of this with a matching bluetooth earpiece.

    Just thinking.
  2. Timothy macrumors 6502

    Jan 2, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    Try the Newton...

    If your experience with pen-based computing is with Grafiti and the Palm OS...I agree with you, it was not a useful system.

    Did you ever try the Newton's latest release? It had gotten pretty good; I was able to write about 35 words a minute without errors. It was more than adequte, it was extremely efficient.

    So, when Apple finally releases their next iteration of a PDA, I am very hopeful that it WILL be pen-based. If it is at least as good as the Newton was, then I will be very happy with it...
  3. Cappy macrumors 6502

    May 29, 2002
    I'll take graffitti over a mini-keyboard any day. Those wanting a keyboard over something like graffitti just need to practice more with it. The advantage of a mini-keyboard is accuracy for the clumsy not speed.

    *If* Apple ever does release some sort of device that uses handwriting recognition(and I think they will at some point...could be 20 yrs from now), I think they'll do it when they feel their handwriting system really works for the average guy/gal. Graffitti isn't that system currently.
  4. Timothy macrumors 6502

    Jan 2, 2002
    Seattle, WA

    Apple already owns technology that is superior to grafiti.
  5. xelterran macrumors 6502

    Dec 28, 2001

    ThinkPad... :cool:
  6. gambit macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2002

    Anyone up for the Treo!:D
    Well... you said penless...:D
  7. iMac macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2002
    Re: Try the Newton...

    Either you are truly fast, or you are lying through your teeth (i think it's the first one)! My newton is so annoying, it never gets the letters right EVER! it's also, really slow, b/c u have to go back and correct it five hundred tiems.
  8. Timothy macrumors 6502

    Jan 2, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    No lying here...

    I tested this after I had owned my Newton for about a year. I had gotten pretty good with it, and just wanted to see how good. For some reason, my handwriting style and the Newton seemed to work well together; I think I learned to write to the Newton as well, which basically means writing letters as we were originally taught to write them.

    I had hoped, when I bought my palm-based Handspring Visor that I'd be able to get close to this as never materialized. I couldn't even write a full paragraph of information on that tiny and lousy screen. Writing letter-at-a-time instead of word-at-a-time like on the Newton proved to be too slow and cumbersome. Being forced to write in a little window was frustrating as well.

    Like I say, the Palm-based PDA's are mere toys, not delivering the promised functionality that the Newton truly did deliver.
  9. Gus macrumors 65816


    Jan 1, 2002

    He is not lying. The Newton OS 2.1 was fantastic. I wrote in cursive all the time on mine, and it was at least 95% accurate. When I did write in printing style, then it was even better. I didn't have to wait for the "training" period either. Inkwell is based on the old Newton OS HW recognition, and if Apple chose to make a new PDA, I'm sure that it would be great.

    HOWEVER, I do agree that pen-based computing has had its chance, and it is just is not what I want. On the same token, I don't want a keyboard either. I remember reading an editorial in MacWorld (I think...) about how disappointed the author was that almost 20 years after the Personal Computer has taken hold, that we still rely on 100+ year-old technology--the keyboard. I wish someone could figure out voice-recognition SW that is practical and works. There will be mistakes, but remember, no keybardist goes without the occasional mistake either, and we've had all of this time to practice. :)

  10. davidc2182 macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2001
    Sin City
    i got me an idea!!

    OK pen input is out unless they use the newton's technology, well apple should license the tech for web tablets and tablet peecees and make it mandatory that whenever one of those computer starts up there is a big flippin apple logo on the screen so everyone knows its apples genius and no microsloth. anyway, next topic is voice recognition, umm ok yeah sure again apple has it pretty down packed on voice recognition for general operation of a system, at my local applestore some guy demonstrated how he used an emac with the built in mic meanwhile there was a ton of background noise in the room, and it rocked! but its still going to be a ways away to figure out how to type with ones voice accurately especially when on the move with wind hitting the mic or the airplane engine humming about. next is keyboard, yeah ok its old but its tried and true unless its tiny! (treo=crap) ok next is one of my 2 ideas, put an optical sensor into the PDA or tablet computer that tracks your eye movements as you look at letters on a virtual keyboard and types it for you, they already have an eye tracking mouse! and finally my idea that i think will be the next iteration of input for a pda, recently there was a virtual keyboard developed that projected a keyboard layout onto any surface from a device the size of a film roll, and it tracked your typing and is very accurate, now couple that with a bluetooth connection to your device and bingo accurate and compact data entry for any type of computing device. Or we could go johnny mnuemonic on people and get a pair of RF gloves and a sensor mat on your lap that tracks movements of the gloves to type, but to me thats annoying! what do you think?
  11. lmasanti macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2002
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Re: Newton

    Remeber that "behind" the keyboard we still rely on a circa 100.000 years old "technology": the man.
  12. Timothy macrumors 6502

    Jan 2, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    I like the pen...

    I want pen input. I like it. I don't want voice recognition; there are very few times when I want to speak my thoughts out loud. If I'm sitting in a restaurant, on a plane, on the street...I don't want to be talking out loud for everyone to hear. And, that is the main drawback of voice recognition. Additionally, I don't think as clearly when I talk as I do when I write; and if I have to add to that a worry that I am sounding like a dork to the guy next to me, then my thought process will be hindered that much more.

    In the end, I still think pen input is the best solution for ultra-portable computing.
  13. cubist macrumors 68020

    Jul 4, 2002
    Muncie, Indiana
    I like the recognition on my Newton 2100...

    ... now that I have Graffiti for it.:) There are other recognizers for the Palm, such as Jot, but for some reason they have not caught on.

    There could be a small chord keyboard you hold and operate in one hand. But it will be hard to teach people how to use it.

    If the screen is big enough - I think the Newton's is the ideal size; tablet PCs are too big and Palms are too small - why can't we just write with our finger?
  14. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    The NY Times did a story a while back about a one-handed portable keyboard, it strapped into your palm and used a series of "chords" to type. The guy said it's pretty fast... sorry i cant post a link...

    I'd like to see something interesting like that drive a PDA/subportable... i'm surprised wearable equipment has taken this long to take off...


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