Sunday, July 17, 2005


In all probability, there are few things more aggravating than having a perfectly-working computer and a busted keyboard to go along with it. I knew I should have picked up a model that was made somewhere other than China.

You might be wondering exactly how I'm typing this. Well, it turns out that Windows has this nice tool for mobility-challenged users: the On-Screen Keyboard. I'm actually clicking away at a little keyboard-like display on my screen in order to compose this entry.

That's not to say that the arrangement isn't problematic, though. I'm typ... er, clicking at about one-fourth of my normal speed. The "keyboard" takes up a good amount of space on screen, which means that I have to shift it around in order to see what I'm writing. And I can assure you that the inability to hold and press keys is more than a little inconvenient whenever I want to place certain things -- like capital letters.

At the moment, though, I'm being very thankful for my experience in touch-typing; Otherwise I would be hunting and pecking like an inexperienced user right now. I find it strange that such a skill has suddenly meant the difference between keeping silent and being able to write.

That's not to say that I won't be replacing the actual keyboard soon, though. My arm hasn't cramped this bad since the time I had that fourteen-hour exercise marathon. (Don't ask.)

If you're interested in trying out the On-Screen Keyboard, chances are that you'll find it under Accessories > Accessibility. That's only if you're using Windows, though; I have no idea as to whether or not other desktop interfaces have similar allowances.

In the meantime, I'm going to toy around with a keyboardless computer for a while. I wonder if I can still play a proper game of Warcraft, for example...


black son said...

i knew your yahoo email address (as well as your LJ nick) are familiar...


p.s. i don't use this blogger id anymore. but i am a friend of noonshade (from lj).

Pat said...

Gyah yes, I've had that problem with typing on On-Screen keyboards. I have a pda, and that is the main option of input. The others are basically different forms of handwriting recognition, and inputting is just as slow there as in onscreen keyboards.

Perhaps it's also just a matter of being used to it..

I wonder how long will it take until voice recognition is mainstream (and passably low-error)..

Sean said...

Black Son: Yeah, I get around. :) How's Noonshade? Hope she's well.

Pat: I'd say that we've still got a while to wait for good voice-recognition software. Chances are that our grandkids will probably be playing with it, while we sit on the sidelines and mutter about "those darn-fangled things". :)