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Interfaces


Interfaces

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Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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Interesting responses.

My wife says Dragon is great, but with ambient noise, and enough mistakes, it isn't good enough. There's also the fatigue factor, and it doesn't go nearly as fast as she can type. I think some of it is that you don't necessarily know what you want to write. You put something on the screen and then might want to change it, reword, etc. For that, a keyboard works much better.

Perhaps it's not a bad alternative to switch to at times. I know Jerry Pournelle (sci-fi author) uses it quite a bit and likes it.

Star Trek does use keypads, and I get that, but they're inconsistent in how the computer responds. I see so many places where the computer just "knows" when they're talking to the computer and when they're talking to people. Granted, it's staged, but it does show some of the issues you might have.

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James Rochez
James Rochez
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If you really want speed and accuracy for input you should try a wireless brain-wave reader. The only problem is that the words I misspell in my head still come out wrong...nothing you can't fix with a good ol' spell checker.
Going the other way, the image implanter (again, you have to go with the wireless version) works great! You can "see" much more than even what a dual monitor setup can show you. ;-)



Ben Holcombe-270296
Ben Holcombe-270296
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All you need to do after the wave reader is hooked up is pipe the data over to Twitter.
OCTom
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A good interface is what ultimately works for the end user without regard to how hard we have to work to make the data right by scrubbing, storing, backing up, etc. We exist only for the end user. Whomever it is, they are our customers. A good interface that works for the intended users can make our jobs more difficult. It is a challenge I welcome.
Bob Abernethy
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Charles Kincaid (4/23/2009)
jay holovacs (4/23/2009)
[BTW am I the only person who HATES laptop touch pads? They slow me down enormously, and are very fatiguing. I can't imagine doing any serious work with one of those)


You are NOT alone. Every work with a laptop that had the Joy-mouse button in the center of the keyboard? A little red stud that stuck up between the keys. Push it toward the Q row and it moves the cursor up. Push it toward the Z row and it moves the cursor down. Left is toward A and right is toward L. It's slow but much more precise than the pad.


You are definitely not alone. I don't see why they were even invented, but maybe that's just me. :-D

Give me a good 'ol keyboard and mouse. That's all I need. I do recommend the Microsoft ergonomic keyboard which helps with the arm positioning problem and potential carpal tunnel.
Chris Harshman
Chris Harshman
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James Rochez (4/23/2009)
...you should try a wireless brain-wave reader...

I wouldn't dare subject a computer to the things in my head! Hehe

It'd probably crash and reboot like on this week's episode of Better Off Ted where the computer thought all the employees were crammed into a backpack and launched into space.
Manie Verster
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I haven't worked on VR before but I can just imagine that it cannot work as well as a keyboard. I have to say though, that I hate typing and if someone would invent a really good VR system then I would be glad. As someone said, I don't think that would work good on programming.

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Ewan Hampson
Ewan Hampson
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I guess a lot of us grew up seeing the Star Trek interface as the ideal - "Computer, compare the occurrences of this with the data on that...". But even assuming human-level undertanding, did you ever hear "No, computer, I wanted the nulls included, but not for the whole galaxy, just the main road past my house". That's a speech-to-meaning convertor you need there - another level of complexity!
jay-h
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People fail to realize how intimately human speech and language is related to the human brain and physiology. It's not just an information transfer, far more information is not said than actually is. Complex levels of thought structure are build within the listener's mind to approximately match structures in the speaker's mind and this is facilitated by the organization of language itself.

Not just any mathematically possible language makes a usable human language. We are born with complex structures that expect various characteristics of language (parts of speech, organization of words, modifiers etc) and these are not random. As different as human languages appear to be, they are actually far more similar underneath than they are different.

The specialization goes beyond that. There are only a limited number of sounds used in all the world's languages. These are the sounds that our brains are programmed to recognize, with minimal confusion from background noise, variations in speaker voice etc. Most languages use most of them, but not all of them. Young children become adept at hearing (as well as pronouncing) the sounds in their language environment; the one's they are not exposed to often atrophy. There are sound intonations in Vietnamese, for example that adult English speakers often cannot even hear, much less pronounce. There are sounds in English that confuse many foreign speakers.

VR is not just pattern matching. A VR system needs to identify these phonems consistently from different speakers and voices, against background noise, colds, conflicting conversations etc. Additionally it requires at least a basic understanding of meaning before it can become reliable.

We are a long way from that.

...

-- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers --
Ewan Hampson
Ewan Hampson
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jay holovacs (4/24/2009)
There are sounds in English that confuse many foreign speakers.

.. and indeed English speakers. 'scuse me while I kiss this guy
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