touch typing (was Re: wanted IBM 5100) 
Author Message
 touch typing (was Re: wanted IBM 5100)

Quote:

> But you can't beat the Sinclair Spectrum (Timex in the US).  {*filter*}
> keys, no space bar (a space key instead) and all BASIC commands encoded
> onto a key press, eg. to load a program you'd just type 'J'.  

No? Try the Spectrum's predecessors, the ZX80 & -81 (the ZX81 was the
T/S 1000; I don't think Timex ever sold the '80). No real keys *at all*:
just a flat capacitive "keyboard". And the interpreter worked the same
way as that of the Spectrum (the T/S 2000 in the US). After that any
keys were an improvement, even {*filter*} ones...

Quote:
> How efficient, how easy, how quickly your eyesight deteriorated squinting at
> the fading commands printed on the case.

But at that stage, who needed the lettering any more? The key
combinations were encoded in your DNA by then :-).

                Greetings,

--
                        Marco van den Bovenkamp (who started on a ZX81,
and still owns one :-)).

        CIO EMEA Network Design Engineer,

        Lucent Technologies Nederland.
        Room: HVS BZK 38
        Tel.: (+31-35-687)2724



Sun, 03 Dec 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 touch typing (was Re: wanted IBM 5100)

Quote:


> > We've nattered and argued about keyboard layout but have not yet touched
> > (how appropriate!) on keyboard feel. On the PC side my favorites are the
> In my opinion, the best keyboard I have EVER used is the
> IBM Selectric typewriter keyboard.

> There is no computer keyboard available that I know of
> that has the same excellent tactile feedback that the
> Selectric possesses.

> If anyone knows of one, please let me know about it.

> Bob

One of the best PC keyboards I've found was the IBM/Lexmark model 92G7461.
Excellent feel, plus it had the IBM TrackPoint mouse between the G and H keys
(as found on the IBM ThinkPads). IBM was giving them away a few years ago in a
promotion, and I don't know if they or Lexmark still make them, so I have
jealously protected mine ever since.

Not quite a Selectric, but as close as I've seen on a PC.

--
Christopher Lett
Citibank
909 Third Avenue
28th Floor, Zone 1
New York, NY 10022

(voice) 212-559-2074
(fax) 212-793-2900
(email) christopher dot lett at citicorp dot com



Sun, 03 Dec 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 touch typing (was Re: wanted IBM 5100)

Quote:

>Hmm, it appears that nobody has mentioned the original Mac/Mac Plus
>keyboard.  The heaviest computer keyboard I have ever used, almost
>but not quite as heavy as a manual typewriter.

I once used a Tempest VT100. The keyboard was _extremely_ heavy.

Quote:
>As for really bad keyboards... the best of the truely bad was the original
>TRS-80 Color Computer keyboard---at least you got some feedback from it
>(it was still pretty bad, much worse than even the mushiest modern keyboard...
>too little travel, too uneven etc).  My commiserations to those who owned
>the Atari 400 and had to type on them.

I'm not certain what "best of the truely bad" is supposed to mean, but
surely the Atari 400 couldn't be worse than the Sinclairs.
--
Roger Ivie
Design Analysis Associates
75 West 100 South
Logan, UT  84321

phoneto:(435)753-2212


Sun, 03 Dec 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 touch typing (was Re: wanted IBM 5100)



Quote:
>Hmm, it appears that nobody has mentioned the original Mac/Mac Plus
>keyboard.  The heaviest computer keyboard I have ever used, almost
>but not quite as heavy as a manual typewriter.  I used to hate it
>until I started to type in a huge chunk of text.  It bounced back
>so much quicker than all the newer Macintosh keyboards that it was
>very very fast to type with.

Oddly, the mac portable has a good keyboard, as well.  But then, this
isn't surprising:  no compromises were made in the interest of weight;
with carrying case & poer supply, it's weight was the same as the
all-in-one macs of the time (26 lbs).  I hurt my shoulder carrying it
through the airport  . . .

Quote:
>As for really bad keyboards... the best of the truely bad was the original
>TRS-80 Color Computer keyboard---at least you got some feedback from it
>(it was still pretty bad, much worse than even the mushiest modern keyboard...
>too little travel, too uneven etc).  My commiserations to those who owned
>the Atari 400 and had to type on them.

I sat down at one of them once in a slow moment.  I was stunned to find
that I could touch-type on the silly thing.

ANd then there was the TI 99/4.  The silly keys were bad enough, but the
; key wasn't even there--no key under the right pinky, leading your hand
to drift . . .

--
R E HAWKINS

These opinions will not be those of ISU until they pay my retainer.



Sun, 03 Dec 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 touch typing (was Re: wanted IBM 5100)


: > Hmm, it appears that nobody has mentioned the original Mac/Mac Plus
: > keyboard.  The heaviest computer keyboard I have ever used, almost
: > but not quite as heavy as a manual typewriter.

Ever used one of the old IBM 3270-series terminals?  The keyboard
alone would make a decent boat anchor, for fairly large boats.

They also had a mechanical interlock to prevent you from pressing
two keys at once.  It might have been a good idea at some point,
but as they got older, the response seemed to slow down.  It then
became necessary to type slower so as not to accidentally encounter
this feature.

: Or alternatively there was the BBC micro; with its system reset key
: right where you'd expect the backspace key.

Reminds me of the Power Mac 6100; the power button was right below
the floppy drive, which confused more than a few people who expected
a PC-style ejection button.

--

   "PS. All spelling and gramatical errors in the above piece of writing
    were 100% and completely intentional so help me Gaia." -Bob Allisat
Cookie's Revenge: ftp://ftp.rmi.net/pub2/tph/cookie/cookies-revenge.sit.hqx



Sun, 03 Dec 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 touch typing (was Re: wanted IBM 5100)



[ re: heavy keyboards ]

|> Ever used one of the old IBM 3270-series terminals?  The keyboard
|> alone would make a decent boat anchor, for fairly large boats.

I once killed an intruder with one.  When the police stopped by to
pick up the body, the PA1 key was permanently embedded into his
forehead.  Have you ever used x3270 to connect to an IBM mainframe
under X?  Try lifting your monitor after starting it up; I swear
it's at least fifty pounds heavier.  Don't ask me how they do it.

Regards,

--
Chris Engebretson - Raytheon STX Corporation | Ph#: (605)594-6829
USGS EROS Data Center, Sioux Falls, SD 57198 | Fax: (605)594-6940

Opinions are not those of  Raytheon Systems Company  or the USGS.



Sun, 03 Dec 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 touch typing (was Re: wanted IBM 5100)



Quote:


>> The Sinclair 1000 wasn't a laptop, but its keyboard was worse than those
>on most
>> $6 calculators. It didn't even have keys, just a sheet of plastic - sorta like
>> the buttons on a credit-card-size calculator.

I have one of those.  (Actually, I had the Sinclair version--the
ZX81.)  The keyboard was a self-adhesive sheet of plastic with various
layers to it.  Keep in mind, though, that this computer sold for about
the cost of a decent keyboard.

Actually, it wasn't that difficult to use.  Sure, the keyboard was
horrible, but all of the Sinclair Basic keywords could be entered with
a single keystroke.  That really reduced the amount of typing that
needed to be done.

Of course, you couldn't word-process with it, but who wanted to?

BTW, a company called Memotech offered (among other things) a real
keyboard for the ZX81.  It was apparently pretty decent except for
preserving the Sinclair layout too accurately--it had a space key, not
a space bar.

Quote:
>Atari once offered a computer where the "keyboard" was a labelled plastic
>sheet, and the IBM PC Jr. was originally equipped with a keyboard
>that

[snip]

Atari 400.  Have one of those too.  The "keyboard" was full-sized
though, had raised ridges around the "keys" and chirped when a key was
pressed, so that it was possible (but difficult) to touch-type.

It wasn't 'til the late '80s that a real keyboard was considered a
necessity on a home computer.

                                --Chris



Sun, 03 Dec 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 touch typing (was Re: wanted IBM 5100)


Quote:

> It wasn't 'til the late '80s that a real keyboard was considered a
> necessity on a home computer.

That seems a bit "pessimistic." The Apple II and the TRS-80, both
introduced in the late seventies and directed almost singularly to the
home market, had full-sized typewriter style keyboards.

--



Sun, 03 Dec 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 touch typing (was Re: wanted IBM 5100)



Quote:
>Atari 400.  Have one of those too.  The "keyboard" was full-sized
>though, had raised ridges around the "keys" and chirped when a key was
>pressed, so that it was possible (but difficult) to touch-type.

>It wasn't 'til the late '80s that a real keyboard was considered a
>necessity on a home computer.

Yes, but Atari did _VERY_ well, IMHO, on the 800's keyboard.  Very crisp
full strokes, and after having learned to type on a Selectric, I felt
quite at home on an 800.  The keys were resilient, and the keycaps had
a nice texture.  So Atari was perfectly capable of making a great keyboard.

..and then they came out with the 130XE...*shudder*.  Now that was a
bad keyboard.  Had the same layout, except instead of mechanical
spring-driven keys, it used a membrane under the keyboard which
frequently went bad (and had to be replaced at no small trouble).

--
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|  Clinton A. Pierce    |   "If you rush a Miracle Man,   | http://www.  |


+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
GCSd-s+:+a-C++UALIS++++P+++L++E---t++X+b+++DI++++G++e+>++h----r+++y+++>y*



Mon, 04 Dec 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 touch typing (was Re: wanted IBM 5100)



: [ re: heavy keyboards ]

: |> Ever used one of the old IBM 3270-series terminals?  The keyboard
: |> alone would make a decent boat anchor, for fairly large boats.

: I once killed an intruder with one.  When the police stopped by to
: pick up the body, the PA1 key was permanently embedded into his
: forehead.

The scary thing is that this is a believable story.  You probably
_could_ have killed someone with one of those, if you could throw
it hard enough, or lift it over your head.

:  Have you ever used x3270 to connect to an IBM mainframe
: under X?  Try lifting your monitor after starting it up; I swear
: it's at least fifty pounds heavier.  Don't ask me how they do it.

It's all those extra eletrons weighting it down.  You need a lot
of 'em to make 3270 emulation work properly.

--

  "Have you ever had your phones tapped by the government?  YOU WILL and

Cookie's Revenge: ftp://ftp.rmi.net/pub2/tph/cookie/cookies-revenge.sit.hqx



Mon, 04 Dec 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 touch typing (was Re: wanted IBM 5100)


Quote:


>> It wasn't 'til the late '80s that a real keyboard was considered a
>> necessity on a home computer.

> That seems a bit "pessimistic." The Apple II and the TRS-80, both
> introduced in the late seventies and directed almost singularly to the
> home market, had full-sized typewriter style keyboards.

Full-SIZE, yes. One was caps-only (though that may have been the fault of
the 'puter's built-in I/O routines), the other didn't have Ctrl. Not quite
Real Computer Keyboards.

Producers seemed not to consider real keyboards a necessity. Customers
thought differently. Mods to make Shift work on the Apple II and to add a
Ctrl key to the TRS-80 appeared soon after the machines were introduced.

Dan Strychalski                  dski at cameonet, cameo, com, tw (no _x_)



Tue, 05 Dec 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 touch typing (was Re: wanted IBM 5100)


   >Oh, you're missing out!  You can replicate that oh-so-clickity
   >feeling with a geniune IBM keyboard, they still make them!  They're
   >not the originals, but darn are they close.  And, guess what?
   >Right on the back, "Made for IBM by Lexmark".  The design is
   >copyright Lexmark, 1984.  I bought mine a few years ago at Best Buy.
   >Imagine that.  They're expensive, $110, but damn is it worth it.

They ARE the originals.  Lexmark was spun off from IBM several years ago.

Net-Tamer V 1.08X - Test Drive



Wed, 06 Dec 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 touch typing (was Re: wanted IBM 5100)


   >The keyboard on the original Compaq (the luggable) is the...
   >what's the opposite of antithesis?...not thesis, apotheosis?)...
   >of mushy.  A Compaq Concerto I have is also mushy. So, I'd
I think the word you are looking for is "epitome".

Net-Tamer V 1.08X - Test Drive



Wed, 06 Dec 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 
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