[MUD-Dev] OT: Usability and interface and who the hell is suppo

coder at ibm.net coder at ibm.net
Tue Oct 14 12:24:16 CEST 1997

On 06/10/97 at 09:17 PM, caliban at darklock.com (Caliban Tiresias Darklock)
said: >On Sat, 4 Oct 1997 19:46:20 PST8PDT, tlair at mailzone.com (Todd Lair)

>>[On 09/25/97 "Travis Casey" <efindel at polaris.net> said]

>>I can whole heartily recommend IBM's Trackpoint II Keyboard.  

The little button between the 'G' and 'H' keys is called a "TrackPoint". 
It was developed at IBM Hursley Labs over 10 years agao, but never taken
advantage of until recently (its an interesting story in its own right).

>This does not address the mental context shift necessary to go from
>verbal to visual, which is the interface concern at issue. It's not a
>'moving your hands' thing, it's a 'switching your gears' thing. 

I've noticed that recently there is no such shift for me.  The interface
is visual at base, and the verbal context is so implicit it becomes
ignorable.  As such moving from visual to verbal just doesn't happen any
more -- its all visual.  This of course doesn't handle my aversion to
taking my hands off the KB for the trackball (I use large ball style
trackballs with balls about the size of billiard balls (Qtronix makes a
nice one, as does MicroSpeed) -- abhor the peanut size ball trackballs, or
assymettrical trackballs).

>And finally, the cost/benefit ratio sucks. When my keyboard breaks, I go
>buy a new $15 keyboard. 

I spend ~$100 per keyboard if new, $$30 - $50 second hand.  Trackballs I
typically spenmd about $30 - $40 for (I mostly get them at clearance
houses), but I suspect that I'll slowly start getting some industrial
trackballs which will run around the $200/ea range just to finally get
something that I don't have to worry about or ever replace.  

I will *ONLY* use the old heavy tactile feedback, lound click etc IBM
keyboards.  Its the closest thing I've been able to find to a Selectric
typewriter yet.  I've been buying them up at auctions, yard sales, flea
markets etc for a couple years now -- got about a half dozen spares
stashed in the closet right now.  Want to get about another dozen or so
(they're mostly out of production (only RS6K left)) before I'll feel safe

Outside of the feel requirements for me:  101 key style (seperate
alpaha/digit block, cursor block, numeric pad), large backsapce key
(double key length), large ENTER key (not L-shaped and double key length),
backslash above the ENTER key, Alt and Ctrl on both side of the space bar,
and ESC __must__ be in the upper left.

Its at the point that I bring my own keyboards from job to job with me. 
Pissed the hell out of my manager at HP when he found taht I had brought
my own keyboards, trackballs, etc and tossed the ones that came with my X

>Right now
>I'm on the last of my stock of NMB keyboards with
>honest-to-God individual mechanical switches under every key instead of a
>damn circuit membrane and a rubber sheet with plastic bits molded into
>it. If anyone knows where I can get more of these (Model RTB255C+),
>please tell me. ;)

Go for older IBM PS/2 keyboards.  They're around in fair quantity, but
they cost.

J C Lawrence                               Internet: claw at null.net
----------(*)                              Internet: coder at ibm.net
...Honourary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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