Mechanical hangover

When I was in boy scouts, as part of learning Morse code, I was told that the inventor of the typewriter originally put the letter 'e' under
the left middle finger, just below its present position. The typist was often too fast and the print bars would jam. I heard the same story when I took a typing class. This led me to wonder if 't' might have been moved from the home row for the same reason. 'E is dit and T is dash, under middle and index the print bars would clash'. If e and t on the home row made the human 'typewriter' too fast for the machine, now that the machine can keep up, wouldn't it be a good idea to put these letters back where they belong? My letters over the years to various publications and keyboard companies have often been answered with the observation that the Dvorak keyboard, the gold standard, hasn't done very well in the market place and that even small changes have big costs. Several days ago an employee Segin suggested I try 'keytweek'. I hope that you will email, or even publish, the following for anyone who might be interested.
The transposition of the letters dfjk with etni on a standard keyboard increases the amount of text typed from the four keys under the middle and index fingers by five times, from 7.5% to 37%. While not as efficient as the Dvorak keyboard, it is much easier to learn. The transposed keys remain under the same fingers and feel very natural. The transposition can be thought out without benefit of a keyboard map. For those who might worry that they will not be able to go back to qwerty, the experience of many Dvorak users is that a typist can be bikeyboardal. The letters etni are fairly easy to get used to but you may find yourself trying to type dfjk from their old locations.
I have found a keyboard remapping program that is free, downloads quickly and is very easy to use. I am typing this email on a keyboard remapped to the 'etni' transposition layout. The program is called 'Keytweak 2.11' and can be googled up by that name. It is available from several sites, includeing PC magazine and recommended by several keyboard manufacturers, includeing TypeMatrix. The creator of the program is Travis Krumsick.
1) After you have loaded the program hit start. 2) Click the keytweak icon and a graphic of a keyboard will appear. 3) Click the 'Full teach mode' at the bottom of the screen. 4) A box will appear. Click 'begin teach mode'. 5) Press the key you want to reassign, then the key you want it reassigned to. In this case d and e. 6) Click 'remap key#1 to key#2' 7) The box will disappear and the scancodes of the keys will appear in the 'pending changes' window at the bottom right. 8) Follow the same procedure (from 3) for the remaining seven remaps. 9) Click 'apply' and you will be asked if you want to turn off the computer to apply the changes. At the top there is also a clickable 'restore defaults' to give you back your qwerty layout. I was able to remap in under three minutes and restore qwerty in thirty seconds, not includeing the restart.
If you would like to determine if etni on the home row is comfortable for you, you might try typing the paragraph below in pretend mode.
Google is going to have a service that grants a location search option, it gives unique results in the place where you are. Recently a company began selling a wrist computer that uses the palm pilot operating system and entry character set. It has real potential to receive emails, cell phone text messages or the google service. Perhaps 'may I have the time' will become 'may I have the time and weather'. This will come out as shown below.
Googld ks gokjg fo havd a sdrvkcd fhaf grajfs a locafkoj sdarch opfkoj, kf gkvds ujkqud rdsulfs kj fhd placd whdrd you ard. Rdcdjfly a compajy bdgaj sdllkjg a wrksf compufdr fhaf usds fhd palm pklof opdrafkjg sysfdm aje sfylus djfry characfdr sdf. Kf has rdal pofdjfkal fo rdcdkvd dmakls, cdll phojd fdxf mdssagds or fhd googld sdrvkcd. Perhaps 'may I havd fhd fkmd' wkll bdcomd 'may K havd fhd fkmd aje wdafhdr'. Fhks wkll comd ouf as showj bdlow.
sfdphdj
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Dear skearney:
...

Nah! Use voice recognition, and eliminate the keyboard.
David A. Smith
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Dear David,
I have a friend who always tells me the same thing, even when it comes down to wrist computers. I think voice recognition for a limited vocabulary will come soon, but for general dictation I think the results will be much like apple's newton pda's recognition of handwriting, more hilarious than practical.
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Dear skearney:

Voice recognition has been getting much better. Dragon is really good. I have ViaVoice and it is not bad. I wouldn't mind having my desktop space back, that is currently occupied by a keyboard.
Of course then how do you run those old DOS programs, and configure BIOS, and I don't like a mouse, so I use a trackball... and its driver periodically requires me to use the keyboard to reboot.
Tweaking keyboards is a hobby. Been practiced for more than 100 years. Don't think it'll improve the world. ;>)
David A. Smith
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N:dlzc D:aol T:com (dlzc) wrote:

comes
good. I

space
BIOS,
years.
Most highly esteemed David,
Have you ever used either of these voice recognition programs to compose a post to a newsgroup? Even wigh 99% accuracy, wouldn't you occasionally have to use a keyboard to make a correction? What about when you want to work quietly or listen to talk radio while you are composeing? How soon do you think before VR takes over 50% of the text entry market? I can't seem to get those telephone VR systems to understand me. Tweaking keyboards may have be software possible for more than the last thirty years, but its never been easier than with keytweak. The Aset keyboard may not improve the world, but it may give a small increase in the comfort of using a keyboard. And how about that metric system?
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Dear skearney:

Hello Steve this is the result of responding with [my wars] Via Voice.
That sentence was entered: 1) after upgrading to a different sound card, and 2) a faster machine, and 3) my sinuses are acting up. If I retrain it, every six months or so, it wouldn't have messed up on "Via Voice".
I could have posted this with just my trackball and VR, yes.

Already used quite extensively in transcription. Will it take over the desktop? No, the desktop will go away, and portables will be the rule of the day. They haven't left yet, because Maw and Paw can build their own desktop (and expand it). Once they realize that portables can hang on the belt, if there is no keyboard, then the pressure will really

A great deal of English communication is intonation (but nowhere near Chinese). Computers are trained to do very little with that extra information. So they get confused by it...

To each his own.

I think it will measure up...
David A. Smith
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I'm guessing 'my wars' means 'my words'. Did you use your VR for the rest of your post? In one of the reviews I read, 'seconds' was taken as 'sicilian'. I'm truly astonished that the software preforms as well as it does. Years ago in reading about the subject it was thought that the ability of our brain to put the words in context was essential. If the phoneme 'eal' is minus d or s to distinguish it as deal or seal, it will be understood correctly by the rest of the sentence. Arthur C. Clark had a wrist thingamagig that worked as a logbook-adviser in one of his SF books. Fossils new wrist PDA has 8M of memory. The future dosn't seem so far away. Maybe VR will save the pda from its declining sales. I still like my keyboard though. What do you think of the idea of using half kilograms, four liters and thirty cm as easy to understand metrification?
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Dear skearney:
No, "Via Voice".

No. I will miss the keyboard. But it must die.

Lots of people have degrees in voice recognition.

Agreed. But in not too many years, it will be like 160 kb 8" floppy drives...

That is a lot of dough for flapjacks! Got any syrup?
If that was not the context for SI, you'll need to give me a tad more of a hint...
David A. Smith
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Do you think americans would be more likely to accept metrics if it came in measures close to the pounds, gallons and feet that they are used to? When, if ever, will America be a metric country?
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Dear skearney:

Absolutely not.

The easy argument is that we are already metric. All the imperial units in common use have been adjusted to conform to the definitions of standard SI units, with a simple multiplier. For example 1 inch = exactly = 25.4 mm.
The answer you seek: When the entire country is treated with a heavy dose of radiation, all the bodies buried, all the tools and equipment are stored in hazardous waste, and "native-SI-ians" move in to repopulate the continent.
I thought we'd convert to liters when the price of gasoline went over $1.00 per gallon, to keep from converting all the pumps over. They converted the pumps, usually to include pay-at-the-pump.
I thought we'd convert to mm when all the cars were assembled from parts in metric sizes. Only "specialists" can service today's cars, so Ma and Pa don't have to use their tools on cars.
Metric tools are available. Some government contracts require all documentation to be in standard SI units.
But the "mph" scale is still on the outside of my speedometer. The cheapest pressure gauges (assembled in places all over the world) come in units of "psi" and have 1/4" male national pipe thread (a tapered thread) as connections.
Until it is cheaper to go SI, it ain't going to happen.
Just my opinion.
David A. Smith
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Dear David,
By 'Absolutely not' are you saying that Americans would be no more likely to accept bastardized SI, or jumping the gun and stateing that it would be wrong to cater to the rabble, that it is a bad approach even if it did slightly increase the possibility of acceptance. My theory is that the difficulty of having to deal with fifths, quadruples and 3.33333...would place in such a system the seeds of its own obsolesence. One could argue that with the exception of international trade, change is ALWAYS more expensive. If lug, foul and tred for 500 g, 4 L and 300 mm respectively, could hasten the day, I would embrace it.
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Dear skearney:
...

"no more likely to accept".

Been cooking that way for years. Been converting units of money that way for years. They are only numbers.

I woudn't The English language has 400,000 words or more, no need in adding more, or adding yet other meanings.
David A. Smith
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snipped-for-privacy@accessbee.com wrote:

Skearney,
I heard somewhere that construction material in metric countries were always sold in multiples of three (ie, 300 mm, 900 mm, 1200...). This came up with a buddy of mine at school who also prefers SI, but thinks that the ability to evenly divide by 3 (although not entirely ubiquitous) is a positive aspect of English units.
Is that true in your experience? (I ask you here to avoid all the useless pedantry of /another/ NG)
\\paul (your ol' buddy from misc.metric-system)
--
Paul M. Hobson
Georgia Institute of Technology
  Click to see the full signature.
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Paul Hobson wrote:

that
its
change
300
This
thinks
In an ealier discussion on m.m I was introduced to the 'standard module' multiples of 300 mm that your buddy mentioned. It is used for everything from floor plans and window dimentions to courses of bricks. It is interesting that twelve inches and the yard sprang from probably the same multiples of three insight. You pointed out in a post to m.m that you had a good feel for the half kilogram because it was unitary with the weight of a full half liter bottle. With a good nickname for each, maybe 'lug' for weight, I think the average American could have the same appreciation. Perhaps three decimeters, 'tred', could capture the popular imagination as well. Thanks for your post, Paul. My idea 'don't get no respect' over at m.m, or from David.
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Dear skearney:
wrote: ...

You can thank the Babylonians (Sumerians even?) for that. This is largely why the year has 12 months, the day had 24 hours, etc. So that it can be subdivided by 2, 3, 4, and 6. von Daniken had some off-the-wall interpretation too...

The foot = 12 inch did. Not sure what "intelligence" went into the definition of the yard...

Sorry. It is hard enough to "do the job" and "communicate the message", without arbitrary inventions of words.
Such serves to separate the "black" from the "white" here now. Rap carries symptoms of such constructs, and it places broad understanding far down the list of priorities in that form of "communication". (And acid rock was no better, when I was a young 'un.)
When such things stand in the way of comprehension, I'm agin 'em.
David A. Smith
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On 3 Mar 2005 18:40:26 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@accessbee.com wrote:

Ahem...12 inches were not called a foot for nothing.....
As it happens, mine is only 11 inches long - but that's barefoot.
Brian W
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Brian Whatcott wrote:

for
bricks.
probably
Yes, but why was it subdivided into twelve parts and not ten or eight?
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On 3 Mar 2005 21:02:00 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@accessbee.com wrote:

Reasonable question: I reckon the answer involves the desire by old time codifiers to specify some universal feature of the kind that "chin to finger-tip" represents.
Brian W
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And the yard was originally the distance from the end of an outstretched hand to the tip of the nose - as used for time immemoriable to measure cord, cloth, etc. Archery probably comes in there somewhere as well.
Probably totally coincidentally, 3 is near enough the square root of 10. A 10:1 increase is a bit large to proportion by eye, but 3:1 is pretty easy.
Bruce.
Brian Whatcott wrote:

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Well hopefully they might decide to make English gas cheaper, which would save them having to convert the pumps when it goes over 1.00 per litre, as will happen soon. But I doubt the politicians would think of such a logical solution.
Chris
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