OS of the OSK - or the Ongoing Saga of the On Screen Keyboard

by admin Email

How did we get to the point where the "state of the art" phones now use on screen keyboards as their input mechanism?

We've had experiments along the way:

1) physical flip-up keyboards

2) handwriting recognition (e.g. graffitti on the palm)

3) voice recognition

How have we ended up with a solution that barely works? Where:

1) the keys are too small for your fingers

2) the keys obscure the screen

3) you have to press numerous keys to get to further keyboards for different characters

Surely there's got to be a better way to input and manipulate text on phones? How can they become really useful until a better way is found?

A fork in the road

by admin Email

I've been thinking a lot about a fork in the road I took about 11 years ago.

I'd finished working at a company, having help develop a product which was gaining popularity, and the company looked set to become a real success.

I wanted to try something new.

I'd developed a couple of software products I could try to sell. The other option was to go to Silicon Valley and try and get into the heart of the computer industry there.

I went out for a week and interviewed at Adobe and HP, and went to a conference at Netscape.

HP offered me a job, and I reckoned Adobe would too - but then I blinked and decided not to follow that path.

There were a number of negatives at the time:

1) at the netscape conference people seemed very pigeon-holed into their specialities.

2) the size of the teams - with rows of cubes stretching into the distance made me feel agoraphic

3) the feeling of "corporateness" after spending most of my life working in small hi-tech companies

4) the car-culture of the area

I guess I realised I'm more middling sort of person, not one thing or another (not 100% tech or sales).

The path I chose was to remain in London, and plough a solitary furrow, first by trying to sell my products, and then going on to develop them for other people.

No comment :-(

by admin Email

I'm afraid I have to disable comments on this blog - again.

It hasn't taken the spammers long to find it and start filling it with links to their spam sites.

If you're a spammer - please STOP DOING THIS! It's really annoying that real people can't comment on what I write.

More geek chat

by admin Email

Link: http://frontrowcrew.com/

I'm loving the archives of Nerd TV so much I'm on the hunt for more of the same.

Perhaps I should have moved to Silicon Valley after all - I'm feeling rather isolated from the whole buzz at the moment.

One of my clients is in Palo Alto at the moment, and it brings back memories of my week there and what might have been :-(

MacPaint and Quickdraw source code

by admin Email

Link: http://www.computerhistory.org/highlights/macpaint/

Surprisingly readable.. although it would take some work to really understand the assembler stuff.

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