Our New Machine, Pandora

Should this thread die?

  • Yes, kill it now!

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teggun

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Personally what I would like to see on the craiginator is a totally new, revolutionary keyboard. Something that allows fast input of text, whilst using much larger buttons (than is possible on a tiny qwerty keyboard), something similar to those BlackBerry's with 2 digits per key.

This would open up all the PDA options, terminals, web access etc. and allow for extra buttons (which are large enough to be used effectively) during gaming.

However this is a crap solution as it would be near impossible to create the software to enable the keyboards full potential.
 

lubidog

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Nova said:
Tobriand said:
Well, I can think of several reasons it'd be worthwhile.

Firstly, it opens PDA appliactions that weren't real options before. My dad has already expressed interest if and only if it has a keyboard, so presumably there is a market there. Obviously this assumes the presence of apps like calendar, word-processing, and spreadsheets being ported, but this seems likely.

Secondly, web-apps. I want to be able to chat and write emails at the very least on this. An onscreen keyboard lets you do that but every time I've used one it's destroyed my typing speed, because it's rare that they register keypresses fast enough, even if you can move the stylus quickly.

Third, old text-based games. The number of games I'd love to play but don't feel able to on the 2x is extensive. Particularly the Sierra adventures, and even more specifically, the Quest for Glory series. Let alone Police and Space Quests, and even Hugo.

Fourth, extra buttons. Inevitably some games need more buttons than a standard layout can provide... a keyboard provides these.

Fifth, it makes terminal actually useful, which in turn makes file management on-the-fly a lot more straightforward. Let alone coding on the fly - e.g. if Fenix is an interpreted language, as I believe it is, you could actually just edit the game there and then on the console, then test it out, edit, test etc. Would open another avenue of activities for use of the actual handheld.

That do? Most of those could be partially solved with virtual keyboards, but a physical keyboard has the advantage every time in terms of speed of input and response time, let alone leaving a good bit more of the screen unobstructed by a bloody great keyboard!

/Rant
Seconded.


Thirded. And this should be the end of it, as it will have a keyboard!
 
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Billy Lee

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Still no pictures?! Okay, I know it's great that Craigix is making this machine but I'm not happy about being strung along with promises of new info and pics and then failing to deliver. This has been going on for ages.
 

Squidge

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God Ginrai said:
Wouldn't it be better to have a new key that isn't already predisposed to do different things on OSes than alt? Like a 2nd key, or something to that effect.
There already is, just as I used 'alt' as I didn't want to disclose too much about the current keyboard layout until it's more open :) (or of course, until Craig allows us to do so)

At the moment, all the keys fit quite nicely into the console, so we don't want to start adding other random keys, as that would mess the entire thing up.
 
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A_SN

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Well I think that would be great if the keyboard layout could be fully customized, and actually I think the coolest thing was if there was an utility built in the firmware allowing to load a custom layout from a file, and optionally an editor for these layout files. This way, using a tiny script one could easily customize they keyboard layout for every program they'd use. Of course the layout used by the calling program (the menu/the X server) would be restored once the program would be quit.
 

atomicthumbs

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Tobriand said:
Third, old text-based games. The number of games I'd love to play but don't feel able to on the 2x is extensive. Particularly the Sierra adventures, and even more specifically, the Quest for Glory series. Let alone Police and Space Quests, and even Hugo.
And Magnetic Scrolls games!

God Ginrai said:
Wouldn't it be better to have a new key that isn't already predisposed to do different things on OSes than alt? Like a 2nd key, or something to that effect. It would do the same thing, but Alt would be free to do other things, and any programs that were ported that have Alt+whatever shortcuts can still be used.

-God Ginrai
It's called AltGr.
 
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God Ginrai

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realyst said:
God Ginrai said:
Wouldn't it be better to have a new key that isn't already predisposed to do different things on OSes than alt? Like a 2nd key, or something to that effect. It would do the same thing, but Alt would be free to do other things, and any programs that were ported that have Alt+whatever shortcuts can still be used.

-God Ginrai
(Look, see I don't have to quote the whole thing, just the relevant text. Neat, huh?)

Alt has always been used to select special characters. That also hasn't stopped it for being used for other things. No program worth its salt uses Alt+#key for a shortcut as keyboard controllers have that reserved.


The regular Alt button isn't used for that. As atomicthumbs states in the quote below, it is AltGr:

atomicthumbs said:
God Ginrai said:
Wouldn't it be better to have a new key that isn't already predisposed to do different things on OSes than alt? Like a 2nd key, or something to that effect. It would do the same thing, but Alt would be free to do other things, and any programs that were ported that have Alt+whatever shortcuts can still be used.

-God Ginrai
It's called AltGr.


atomicthumbs, I knew about AltGr, but had forgotten what it was called. ;P (I just wanted to get the point across that normal Alt should not be used for such a task)

-God Ginrai
 
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Squidge

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A_SN said:
Well I think that would be great if the keyboard layout could be fully customized, and actually I think the coolest thing was if there was an utility built in the firmware allowing to load a custom layout from a file, and optionally an editor for these layout files. This way, using a tiny script one could easily customize they keyboard layout for every program they'd use. Of course the layout used by the calling program (the menu/the X server) would be restored once the program would be quit.
I don't see why this shouldn't be possible, for combinations of keys we really need to know how the keyboard would be connected. I'm hoping for a simple scan code system where you get events such as "key x down, key x up." etc which would occur for every key (including 'special' keys such as 'shift'). That's really a question for MJW I suppose.
 
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MWeston

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The keypad is scanned on a row/column matrix, standard like most keyboards are. There will be a standard configuration for definitions of each key built into the Linux kernel, but I don't see it being impossible to create a configuration file the kernel can use to redefine each key. It is definitely one of the goals for this project considering its world wide distribution.

Currently the keypad is designed to handle one or two buttons pressed at once. Pressing three keys causes a ghost key which fakes a fourth key press. This is not a bug, but the functionality of a scanning keypad matrix. The easy solution is to put diodes on each key but it adds cost. Are some of the suggestions here to use three keys at once? If so, and if it is actually important and not just to get at that one favorite key you'd like to map, the extra parts will need to be populated.

I have another question for the group. What type of feel is your favorite for a mobile keypad? Obviously the travel is low and the button only presses down 1mm or even less, but would you rather it felt like a game button with the slight 'springy-ness' of those buttons, or be a more stiff press with that click sound (like a lot of cell phone numeric pads)?

What does the new Nokia N810 feel like? anyone know?
 

Alex.

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No, don't make the keypad clicky, that's annoying for both users and the people around them.

About the pressed keys, who and why would need more than two keys pressed at once? :)
 

teggun

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Alex. said:
About the pressed keys, who and why would need more than two keys pressed at once? :)

err I will for ctrl+alt+del when I load windows up on this badboy!
 
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Nova

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MWeston said:
The keypad is scanned on a row/column matrix, standard like most keyboards are. There will be a standard configuration for definitions of each key built into the Linux kernel, but I don't see it being impossible to create a configuration file the kernel can use to redefine each key. It is definitely one of the goals for this project considering its world wide distribution.

Currently the keypad is designed to handle one or two buttons pressed at once. Pressing three keys causes a ghost key which fakes a fourth key press. This is not a bug, but the functionality of a scanning keypad matrix. The easy solution is to put diodes on each key but it adds cost. Are some of the suggestions here to use three keys at once? If so, and if it is actually important and not just to get at that one favorite key you'd like to map, the extra parts will need to be populated.

I have another question for the group. What type of feel is your favorite for a mobile keypad? Obviously the travel is low and the button only presses down 1mm or even less, but would you rather it felt like a game button with the slight 'springy-ness' of those buttons, or be a more stiff press with that click sound (like a lot of cell phone numeric pads)?

What does the new Nokia N810 feel like? anyone know?
To be honest, the kinda tactile response i'd want is like that of a cell phone, wouldn't want something springy.

As for three keys, i'd only be concerned about it's use in a terminal or something, where copying is ctrl+shift+c or something like that (not used linux for a while)
 
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Dead Ghost

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Arrghh, when can we see some pictures of this? I'm refreshing this page each day, hoping some pics are posted. :rolleyes:
 

atomicthumbs

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MWeston said:
I have another question for the group. What type of feel is your favorite for a mobile keypad? Obviously the travel is low and the button only presses down 1mm or even less, but would you rather it felt like a game button with the slight 'springy-ness' of those buttons, or be a more stiff press with that click sound (like a lot of cell phone numeric pads)?
I think that it should feel like a miniature version of a computer keyboard, like a Jornada 720. NOT CLICKY. That is the most annoying thing in the world. And not a chiclet keyboard, else it'll feel like a ZX80.

Also, it should include an AltGr key.

teggun said:
err I will for ctrl+alt+del when I load windows up on this badboy!
No, you won't.
 
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Tobriand

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Whilst we're on the subject of keyboards, can I take this opportunity to suggest the designers p[oke a bit of fun at the standard PC Keyboard "Windows" key and include a variant - with a certain loveable penguin on it :)

Ok, probably not, but I couldn't resist throwing it in :)

EDIT: Re: The only-2-keys-at-once issue, I doubt it'd be a problem. There's a number of really simple software solutions to deal with it in programs where it would be an issue (e.g. word processors), the most obvious being "sticky" ctrl/alt/shift presses. No need to hold them, then, since at no point are more than two keys pressed, and depending on implementation, possibly only one; would depend on whether subsequent presses of special keys counted as combos, so if you needed CTRL+SHIFT in isolation, then you might run into issues if you needed CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-C since shift would have to cound as a combo with the first two (and thus reset the stickyness).

EDIT2: Another thought re: keyboard lighting. Just be careful, if you do go for a lighted keyboard, that it doesn't make it hard to focus on the screen. Bright lights draw the eyes, and in total darkness, it might become a nuissance. Maybe.
 

Vince2501

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Dead Ghost said:
Arrghh, when can we see some pictures of this? I'm refreshing this page each day, hoping some pics are posted. :rolleyes:
Yeah, this prick-tease is starting to wear thin.
 
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atomicthumbs

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CoMiKe said:
About keyboard lighting, what about a single white led under the screen, oriented to the keyboard?

Better if it could be switched off/on at user preference.
Me (and a bunch of people after me) have thought of this. :)

Ooh! How about a bluetooth dongle and remote?
 
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A_SN

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As for the feeling of the keyboard, I think the best would be clicky but as silent as possible. As for the number of keypresses, we will type with our thumbs anyways, so in a way it can be a good thing to make sure that you can't press 3 buttons at once, as it'll force devs to work around this, and thus allow us to only use our two thumbs and not more no matter what. Imagine walking around and having to press a 3 button combination? A pain in the arse, and an occasion to drop the machine in the process.

I think a single white flat led under the screen would do, but I know little about leds. An easy to access switch to turn it on or off would be swell.
 
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