Re: [NTLK] Quote of the day!

From: Jon Glass <>
Date: Wed Jul 11 2007 - 15:17:23 EDT

On 7/11/07, Steven Scotten <> wrote:

> > All of the above.
> >
> I find that very difficult to believe. Even among the most practiced,
> best-"learned" Newt HWR users, Newt HWR is slower than the slowest minikeyboard
> typing. For the vast majority of the world, Newt HWR will never be more
> accurate, and in ease of learning Newt HWR wins only for the lucky seven people
> (all of whom are on this list) in the world who got perfect HWR accuracy out of
> the box with no practice whatsoever.
> You're just being silly. I hope you're being silly anyhow, because the
> alternatives are all unpleasant.

Now, now, now, let's not be uncharitable here. It is most certainly
possible to be all of the above--without meaning supreme in all points
at the same time. I said something comparable in my own post earlier.

The Newton is the most comfortable--or maybe I should say it this
way--has the best balance of all those characteristics. To me, the
most comfortable is a full-sized keyboard--in my case, my Pismo
laptop, sitting on top of my desk. No full-sized--free-standing
keyboards slung from a keyboard tray (yuck!) but up high, and waaaaay
back towards the back of my desk (not very deep--computer starts about
a foot back, and keyboard another 4 inches) That is the most
comfortable and fastest way for me to enter text. Everything else
compares poorly to this. I've tried a thumb board, and don't like
them, though I could easily see myself typing _faster_ than with my
Newton. Same for Palm's Graffiti--it may be faster out of the box, but
it's less comfortable, intuitive and more constraining, to boot. (And
I use Graffiti Anywhere which lets me write on the screen, not in the
Graffiti area--I hate having to specify spaces, caps and
punctuation--it _really_ slows down one's thinking). All these
different schemes fall far short of the Newton HWR when it comes time
to _correct_ what you miswrote which you _most_ _certainly_ __will__.
Either you have to take up a stylus, which you can't hold while typing
with the thumb board, or fiddle with the strange, unnatural behavior
of the Palm text editing interface. In any case, it takes far more
effort, movement and time to correct yourself in all of these schemes
in comparison to the Newton. When you add in editing time for
corrections, the Newton can easily win, and it does all this far more
naturally and simply than any other method I've tried or seen--and
that, to the best of my knowledge, includes the iPhone.

Sure, you can type faster with a thumb board, but fix your errors?
Now, about the 1 in 7 number. My experience has been the opposite.
Most people I stick on my Newton catch on really quickly, and enjoy
the pleasure of seeing it recognize their handwriting. Heck, I
still--12 years later--enjoy writing on my Newton, just for the
pleasure of it. There are the odd people who can't get it to work, but
the numbers in favor are overwhelming. Yes, it's a bit odd that you
write on a piece of glass, and there is a bit of a disconnect--at
first, but it's not so hard as people make it out--it's more of a
mental thing--and the iPhone will have that to overcome above and
beyond the innate abilities of its keyboard.

So, while maybe the Newton doesn't come off in a head-to-head in
individual features, it certainly competes at a holistic level--and it
tends to win for me, and many others. I use a Palm, because I need the
software, I use T9 on my cell phone, because it's better than the
multi-tab (or shudder--my first phone--press and hold!). I will/would
use the onscreen keyboard or thumb board of the iPhone and Treo,
simply because this is the only way to interact with these devices,
but my vote will always be for the Newton--always. And so, yes, it
wins. ;-)

 -Jon Glass
Krakow, Poland
There is no such thing as public opinion. There is only published
opinion.   --Winston Churchill
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Received on Wed Jul 11 15:17:25 2007

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