Tracy R Reed treed at
Mon Jul 18 20:36:41 PDT 2005

Hash: SHA1

Stewart Stremler wrote:
> What's _too_ expensive?  They claim less than a good phone, so I'm
> figuring it'll be in the $300 range.

I would consider it for this price range. Especially if it were built to

>>In addition, nobody wants multiple keyboard layouts.  First, it breaks 
>>your muscle memory.  Second, how many of customers really work in 2 
>>languages roughly equally (if you only use one occasionally, the 
>>keyboard makes no sense)?

Who really has muscle memory besides you and me these days? People have
a mouse so they don't have to develope muscle memory. Most people just
hunt and peck.

> Actually, I could think of a few things to do with such a keyboard...

I can think of LOTS of things to do with such a keyboard. You mention
some very good ones. Remember those annoying little pieces of paper that
used to come with word processors that would overlay your keyboard and
tell you what all of the function keys etc did? They seemed to be pretty
popular at one point because it seemed like most keyboards had one. They
were certainly useful in learning the application. This would be like a
super version of that. A lot more flexible and the stupid paper wouldn't
keep falling off of the keyboard.

Some things I can see myself using this for:

Finally really learn emacs
Give dvorak keyboard a serious go
Do some gaming such as counter strike. One of the main reasons I never
bother is because I hate learning all of the keys.

And I bet people could come up with many more creative ideas if
remappable keyboards become popular. It would finally allow a much more
flexible user interface. Anyone remember the APL language? With a
mappable keyboard people could more easily explore very different ways
of doing things including programming.

> Same with vi(m) -- <esc>: causes the "w" key to display "write",
> "q" key to display "quit", etc.

Very clever!

> Run tail -f on system log files into the spacebar.

eh...I doubt I would ever look at the space bar unless I was scanning
the keyboard for some particular function.

I hope they provide a smart interface to displaying the symbols on the
keys. Something that application programmers will find very easy to use
yet will be flexible enough to allow the sort of great ideas mentioned here.

- --
Tracy R Reed
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