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

But the Commodore CBM 3016 and followups had a full keyboard with
numeric keypad and some of them also a control key (maybe only from
the 8032 on). This was before 1980, and those were serious bureau
machines (and for research use).

--
Best Regards, Dr. Peter Kittel       // http://www.*-*-*.com/ of PIOS



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


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.

The Atari 400 had a flat keyboard.  Flat.  Like most microwaves have today.
Well, slightly better than microwaves, because the Atari had a ridge around
each key so there was some provision for tactile feedback; though you didn't
get a nice satisfying click when you typed, you could feel around for the
right key if need be.

I still prefer the Atari 400 to any TImex-Sinclair keybard I've seen.
I've seen Sinclairs at thrift stores with keybaords which were not only
flat, but undersized and without the ridges the Atari had.  And I"ve
used the Sinclairs with the {*filter*} keyboards with no space bar, too.
And I must say, I could probably deal with an inconveniently-placed
space key, and after a time I would be able to memorize the maze of
weird-ass commands and shift modes you needed to typpe with the thing,
but I just could not deal with having to hold down keys and wait half
a second for them to show up.  It's exactly what you'd expect in a
$99 cmoputer when the Commodore 64 costs $595.

At least you could buy a {*filter*} overlay for your Atari 400 that could
improve its keyboard.

Also, it's only fair to mention that the Atari 800 had a kick-ass
keyboard.

--

~~~~ ~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Fri, 08 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.

The Apple //e, from the early 80s, has both upper and lower case.  The IIc,
from 1984, also does.
--



Sat, 09 Dec 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 touch typing (was Re: wanted IBM 5100)

I've seen _at thrift shops_ genuine IBM 101-key keyboards go for $5
(Canadian!) or even less. Even the odd Fujitsu! So if you don't really
need those extra Windows 95 keys, the ultimate in typing luxury is readily
attainable.

John Savard



Sat, 09 Dec 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 touch typing (was Re: wanted IBM 5100)

: The Apple //e, from the early 80s, has both upper and lower case.  The IIc,
: from 1984, also does.

But did it the //e have this capabilty by default?  ISTR that you could
only get lower-case letters if you got the 80-column card.

--

A society without religion is like a crazed psychopath without a loaded .45

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



Sat, 09 Dec 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 touch typing (was Re: wanted IBM 5100)



Quote:
> The Apple //e, from the early 80s, has both upper and lower case.  The IIc,
> from 1984, also does.

Wouldn't doubt it for a second. If we can <*ahem*> get back to the Apple
II for a sec, a typed-in diagram I have here (my II Plus is at home ;-])
shows that the keyboard lacked the characters [ ] \ | _ { } ` and ~
(yeah, you couldn't type `APPLE ][', which appeared on boot-up).
Assuming that those keyboards weren't made specially for Apple, at least
at first, I can't help but wonder where Woz picked them up and what they
were originally used for.

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



Sun, 10 Dec 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 touch typing (was Re: wanted IBM 5100)



Quote:
>Wouldn't doubt it for a second. If we can <*ahem*> get back to the Apple
>II for a sec, a typed-in diagram I have here (my II Plus is at home ;-])
>shows that the keyboard lacked the characters [ ] \ | _ { } ` and ~

Well, the PROM couldn't handle lowercase letters, so it would be a stretch to
expect the keyboard to produce ` { | } ~ but the other characters should have
been there and weren't.  Beagle Bros. (remember them? a whole thread in itself)
published a tip explaining how to hold down three keys and push a forth, which
would trick the keyboard matrix into coughing up [ \ _ (the keys involved were
slightly different in each case.)

The keyboard could produce ] and even used the M key to do it (just like the
Teletype) but used Ctrl instead of Shift.  This means you were robbed of ^N

been for [ \ _) worked OK.

Quote:
>Assuming that those keyboards weren't made specially for Apple, at least
>at first, I can't help but wonder where Woz picked them up and what they
>were originally used for.

That, I don't know.

-- Derek



Sun, 10 Dec 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 touch typing (was Re: wanted IBM 5100)

Quote:


> : The Apple //e, from the early 80s, has both upper and lower case.  The IIc,
> : from 1984, also does.

> But did it the //e have this capabilty by default?  ISTR that you could
> only get lower-case letters if you got the 80-column card.

The original II and II Plus had uppercase only.  Everything that came
later, including the III, IIe, IIc, etc., all had lowercase as original
equipment.

eric



Sun, 10 Dec 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 touch typing (was Re: wanted IBM 5100)



Quote:
> Well, the PROM couldn't handle lowercase letters, so it would be a
> stretch to expect the keyboard to produce ` { | } ~

[Glances at ASCII table] Ah-ha. Got it.

Quote:
> Beagle Bros. (remember them? a whole thread in itself)...

Yup, the name rings a bell.

Quote:
> ...published a tip explaining how to hold down three keys and push a
> forth, which would trick the keyboard matrix into coughing up [ \ _
> (the keys involved were slightly different in each case.)

Not to cast doubt, but it says on page 8 of this here _Apple ][
Reference Manual_ that those three characters, plus FS (^\) and US (^_)
(and what the authors call RUB [7Fh] -- but heck, I don't think IBM's
keyboard/BIOS combination produces that either, 'cept if you use Alt)
"are not available on the Apple keyboard." It evades the subject of
right square bracket altogether. Totally weird.

Quote:
> The keyboard could produce ] and even used the M key to do it (just
> like the Teletype) but used Ctrl instead of Shift. This means you were

> (which would have been for [ \ _) worked OK.

Not in CP/M you weren't -- the o.s. must have turned those character
codes into control codes, 'cuz ^N, ^M, and ^P worked exceedingly well in
WordStar, the CP/M command interpreter, and everything else I tried them
in (I didn't use Apple DOS for much besides Choplifter ;-]). Good thing
they did, too; taught me all I needed to know to see through the Redmond
Ripper's {*filter*} on everything right about computing.

Neat prod, the Softcard. Thank ye muchly, Bill.

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



Sun, 10 Dec 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 touch typing (was Re: wanted IBM 5100)

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.

> The Atari 400 had a flat keyboard.  Flat.  Like most microwaves have today.
> Well, slightly better than microwaves, because the Atari had a ridge around
> each key so there was some provision for tactile feedback; though you didn't
> get a nice satisfying click when you typed, you could feel around for the
> right key if need be.

> I still prefer the Atari 400 to any TImex-Sinclair keybard I've seen.
> I've seen Sinclairs at thrift stores with keybaords which were not only
> flat, but undersized and without the ridges the Atari had.  And I"ve
> used the Sinclairs with the {*filter*} keyboards with no space bar, too.
> And I must say, I could probably deal with an inconveniently-placed
> space key, and after a time I would be able to memorize the maze of
> weird-ass commands and shift modes you needed to typpe with the thing,
> but I just could not deal with having to hold down keys and wait half
> a second for them to show up.  It's exactly what you'd expect in a
> $99 cmoputer when the Commodore 64 costs $595.

> At least you could buy a {*filter*} overlay for your Atari 400 that could
> improve its keyboard.

In the UK at least, you could buy various replacement keyboards for the
Sinclair/Timex machines. The kind that clipped over the existing
keyboard and had keys with full travel on them (kind of, anyway), and
for the ZX Spectrum (UK, don't know the stateside brand name) you could
buy various replacement keyboard/case combinations in which you
installed the guts of your existing machine and discarded the old case
and {*filter*} {*filter*} keyboard that came as standard. This would of course
invalidate your warranty if the machine was still under it.  

Quote:

> Also, it's only fair to mention that the Atari 800 had a kick-ass
> keyboard.

Agreed, but this was reflected in the relatively high price of the 800
compared with the 400 and other contemporary machines IIRC.

--

Regards,

Gordon Holland.


NOTE: Remove "**NO_SPAM**" From E-Mail address to reply via mail



Mon, 11 Dec 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 
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