Not To Be Trusted With Knives











{July 25, 2008}   I heart my new keyboard redux

Leave it to my blog readers to keep me honest. I totally phoned in yesterday’s blog entry by not including a photo. In Dave‘s words:

Whyfor no picture? I’ve seen pictures of all the outfits and shoes you’ve worn since 1984 but no keyboard picture. Whyfor?

Far be it from me to deny my blog readers a requested photo:DSC_5550 by you.

Also in response to yesterday’s comments: Chris said:

A full-size keyboard? On the bus? That would be difficult imo.

Personally, I just adapted to the size of the keyboard (on a Treo 750).

I’m fine with the size of the keyboard on my Treo 700 so long as I’m only typing a few words – maybe an entry into my calendar, or a contact’s phone number. But typing up an entire blog entry, or a longish email, no way – it just takes *forever* on the tiny keyboard. The full-sized is the only way to go. And it works just fine on the bus – so long as (a) you get a seat, and (b) your seat is a forward facing one, not a side facing seat. Since the Palm Pilot just sits on the keyboard, if you are sitting in a side facing seat, the Palm slides back and forth out of the range of the infrared every time the bus accelerates or decelerates. Which, on the bus, is like every 2 blocks. But get a forward facing seat, like I do pretty much every day on the way to work, and you’re golden.

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Chris says:

Yay! I’m famous!

I now realize that I had given up using the Treo for anything longer than a tweet or entering a task item and just waited until I was at a computer to do bigger things, including checking urls in sms tweets I receive. I had tried using it for more prolific things in the past (having owned an iPaq 5550 and a full-sized bluetooth keyboard) but the keyboard on the Treo just does not work for that.

The keyboard on the iPod Touch/iPhone, on the other hand, is much quicker to get the hang of. I occasionally find myself two-thumbing on my Touch whereas I’ve never been able to do that on my Treo or any other Windows Mobile/Pocket PC device I’ve owned, and I’ve been using those since 2001.



I think I went to school with a Chris Magnusson.

Cool keyboard though! I need to find myself a short-keystroke desktop computer that isn’t going to cost me over $100!



I never had a handheld that had a physical keyboard, only pen-ones. I could write quite long notes on my old Palm(s) that had the original/”primitive” graffiti system because I could write blind. The new ones with the more handwriting-like graffiti bug me.

On the old ones: /\ = a. You can do that fast and without looking.



Dave says:

Nice! And, she manages to work into the picture her outfit AND her footwear status (which happens to be negatory).

Is that beer bottle on top of your headboard?



Kalev says:

Why on EARTH did you get an INFRARED keyboard and have to worry about it “sliding out of range” when you could have got a bluetooth one, which would be mutli-directional?!



Beth says:

@Kalev – A much better question would be: Why on EARTH would anyone buy a bluetooth keyboard, when (a) it costs twice as much, (b) it sucks the life out of your battery to use bluetooth and (c) you have to worry about it sliding off the keyboard just as much as the infrared one?! Even though it won’t be “out of range,” are you really going to keep typing on your bluetooth keyboard when your Palm slides off the keyboard and onto the floor/bus seat/person next to you?! If the bluetooth keyboard slides away, you can’t see what your typing, so you stop typing and catch it anyway – I really see no benefit to the bluetooth one.

@Dave – thought you’d like to see my outfit and shoelessness at the same time. And note that my feet are very clean – no dirty foot hippies here! And nope, not beer – it’s aromatherapy!

@Jan – Ya, I find I’m much faster typing than doing graffiti. Who hands writes anything these days?

@Tyler – It is pretty cool, isn’t it? I get looks on planes and buses and the occasional stunned “what IS that?”

@Chris – I spend a lot of time on the bus, so I really like to be somewhat productive when I can (where productive = writing blog posts). And, yeah, I know, I know, the iPhone rocks and Steve Jobs is the king. But I got my Palm a long time ago, before the iPhone was out, so I just have to make due. =(



Kalev says:

@Beth: Well, I can’t claim to know what the bluetooth vs. infrared keyboard battery consumption rate is but I kinda doubt it drains it so much that you’d have to charge your Palm more than once a day, which is usually pretty feasible. Maybe because you have a “smartphone,” your battery life is more of a concern but my Palm can last at least a few days without being charged when I’m using it regularly, although that is when I don’t use the keyboard with it. However, when I was using the keyboard with it regularly, I don’t recall ever having battery issues.

And since I have a bluetooth keyboard for my Palm, I know exactly what the benefit is. The benefit is that I can put my Palm somewhere secure on my lap where it’s visible and not propped up ready to slide off the keyboard and I can type and the Palm will still receive the input. So even though my keyboard comes with a stand, I rarely use it because it’s simpler just to lie the Palm securely down on a surface and type away.

Since you wanted to use the Palm & keyboard on buses and there’s absolutely no guarantee if you even get a seat that you’ll get a forward-facing one, it just seems weird you’d pick a “solution” where you constantly have to put your Palm in a precarious position for the keyboard to work with it. How does cornering work for you? 😛

As for the looks you get, I got those too because I guess people aren’t used to free-standing keyboards and itty-bitty things with screens, but honestly I found it really annoying after a while. Of course now you could say: “Oh it’s a cheap–I mean, ‘poor’ woman’s iPhone.”



Kalev says:

Damn… strikethrough doesn’t seem to work in comments. Or does it?



Kalev says:

Oh okay, <strike> works but <s> doesn’t. *sigh*



Beth says:

I almost always get my pick of seats on the bus to and from work, so it’s really not a big deal if once in a while I get no seat or a side facing one – I don’t actually *have* to be typing at all times. Cornering, of course, means that you need to stop typing for a second to hold on to the phone (as most Translink drivers seem to take corners like maniacs), but I would imagine you’d need to do the same thing if your Palm was sitting on your lap. And I do prefer having the Palm on the rack since it’s on a better angle to read than if it were flat on my lap. Come to think of it, I don’t even know if there would be room on my lap for both the keyboard *and* the Palm lying flat. I’m small and thus have a wee little lap! =)

And yeah, I find that having bluetooth on totally sucks up the battery, and since my Palm is my phone, I really don’t want the battery to run out so anything that takes less battery is a good thing.



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