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-   -   Portacomp- How does that 5-key system work (http://www.travellerrpg.com/CotI/Discuss/showthread.php?t=37313)

kilemall February 19th, 2017 06:19 AM

Portacomp- How does that 5-key system work
 
I never could figure out back in the day how the 5-key portacomp worked. Did somebody work out or publish how that UI worked?

Clone95 February 19th, 2017 01:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kilemall (Post 559075)
I never could figure out back in the day how the 5-key portacomp worked. Did somebody work out or publish how that UI worked?

I'm thinking like a PSP, maybe? D-Pad with five symbols on the opposite side?

I've always thought them more function than UI friendliness.

aramis February 19th, 2017 01:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kilemall (Post 559075)
I never could figure out back in the day how the 5-key portacomp worked. Did somebody work out or publish how that UI worked?

Could be like the existing 5-socket keyboards, where the key is slid, not pushed, giving 4, 6, or 8 values per button.

Or, it could be a menu navigation...

4 arrows and an enter.

kilemall February 20th, 2017 01:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aramis (Post 559091)
Could be like the existing 5-socket keyboards, where the key is slid, not pushed, giving 4, 6, or 8 values per button.

Or, it could be a menu navigation...

4 arrows and an enter.

Hmm, the latter makes more sense, especially as a space thing- one isn't going to be tapping out anything on such a small screen with a suit glove, but menu selection works.

tjoneslo February 20th, 2017 06:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kilemall (Post 559075)
I never could figure out back in the day how the 5-key portacomp worked. Did somebody work out or publish how that UI worked?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chorded_keyboard

By pressing the keys in a pattern you can produce any keys or menu options needed.

nobby-w February 21st, 2017 05:06 PM

This is what I was about to say. Chorded keyboards go way back to early experiments in the 1970s - they were available as an option for the Xerox Alto workstation. There are some ergonomic advantages to them, as you can hold the keyboard in your hand, and operate it with just one hand.

You can actually still get chorded keyboards for one handed applications1 (or could within living memory), although the idea never really caught on in the mainstream.


1 Stop it at once you filthy minded degenerate.

aramis February 21st, 2017 06:11 PM

there's also a variation where each finger goes into a well with 2-5 sensors...

With 4 (UDLR) inputs on 5 fingers, you get 20 inputs; at 5 (UDLRI) per finger, 25. Add chording and you get white a range...

kilemall February 24th, 2017 03:35 PM

Hmm, I could see chorded keyboards being something very desirable for suits as an override/backup to voice command. But I would expect it more like switching on finger movement sensors in the glove, or tapping on a suit-mounted touchscreen.

AtlanticFriend March 4th, 2021 05:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kilemall (Post 559693)
Hmm, I could see chorded keyboards being something very desirable for suits as an override/backup to voice command. But I would expect it more like switching on finger movement sensors in the glove, or tapping on a suit-mounted touchscreen.

Foldable film-like keyboard perhaps? Doesn't have to be physically connected to the Portacomp, just unfold it on any flat/curved surface and type away.

wbuthod March 4th, 2021 06:11 PM

project a keyboard image onto some part of the suit helmet visor and tap it. Arrange characters in reverse order horizontally so as not to jam up touch-typists.


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