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Ask Slashdot: Calculators With 1-2-3 Number Pads?

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the count-backwards-divide-by-zero dept.

Hardware Hacking 393

dotancohen writes "Although the telephone has the 1-2-3 key on the top row, most calculators and keyboards have 7-8-9 on the top row. Switching between the two destroys muscle- and spatial- memory. Do any slashdotters use a scientific calculator with 1-2-3 on the top row? I've already scraped and resoldered my Casio fx-82 calculator to have 1-2-3 on the top, and remapped the numpad in Kubuntu, but if there exist any calculators like this already on the market, I'd buy two."

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Don't you have anything better to do? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37502804)

Seriously.

Re:Don't you have anything better to do? (2)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502986)

Don't blame the person who submitted the question.

Blame the person who posted it.

Or blame no-one and JFGI [android.com] .

Re:Don't you have anything better to do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37503104)

RPN android calculator!!

Thats awsome...

(I'm assuming everyone knows all my calculators were made by HP years ago)

MOD PARENT DOWN. (-1, Flamebait)

Karganeth (1017580) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502992)

Don't you have anything better to do than to troll websites? Why not go post on WoW forums telling them they should spend their time more wisely?

Re:MOD PARENT DOWN. (2)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503156)

WoWs troll quota is filled for the day.

He was waiting at Home Depot for the job, but they didn't take him.

Re:Don't you have anything better to do? (0)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503042)

Either way, it's a wasted question. Years ago, when Ma Bell was the only phone company and they came out with touch-tone phones, they patented the arrangement with 1-2-3 at the top. So if you want to make a calculator that uses that, you'll have to pay a fee.

Re:Don't you have anything better to do? (1)

Isaac-Lew (623) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503164)

That patent (if it even existed) would have expired years ago.

Re:Don't you have anything better to do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37503172)

I think you are very wrong [dialabc.com] about royalties.

Re:Don't you have anything better to do? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503056)

LOL, The last person I heard complaining about this issue was a 029 keypunch operator. [columbia.edu]

Really?? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37502806)

Really? It's that hard to switch between number pads on calculators and phones? That's what you're posting to slashdot?

Have you considered getting out more often?

Re:Really?? (4, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502972)

While I don't enjoy it, I switch between my own home dvorak and qwerty at clients multiple times a week. It look a lot to get used to... but I did with a lot of stumbles on the way. I can understand the frustration, I guess, but I'd just stick with the calculator numpad. Dialing phone numbers is largely on the way out, isn't it?

Re:Really?? (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503192)

Agreed, I was just going to say the same thing because I use Dvorak and Qwerty layouts, but add something else. What's wrong for the brain to learn both layouts?

Re:Really?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37503024)

Useless fucktard response. Dude, just practice data entry from a grocery list a few times (to increase typing speed) on your keyboard's num pad. what's the big deal? What I really miss are the quality key pads from old-school HP calculators before MBAs took over the big decisions and ruined HP calculators.

Re:Really?? (1)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503086)

...and why are you dialing a phone so much that it ruins muscle and spatial memory? Having a preference for an upside-down number pad is fine of course, but this is the part I don't understand. Maybe look into "speed dial," or one o' them fancy new mobile phones with voice dialing, and switch fulltime to the qwerty style that is everywhere? Or maybe Zyprexa or Abilify is the answer. Seems like a lot of thought and effort for a non-problem.

Re:Really?? (1)

Doctor Morbius (1183601) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503242)

Besides, you use your thumbs for entering numbers on cellphones anyway. While on calculators you don't use thumbs at all. So this post gets more idiotic the more you think about it.

Here's an idea: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37502814)

Get a life! Seriously!

Not a problem for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37502824)

I hardly (if ever) type the same number on my computer keyboard as on my phone, and my spatial/muscle memory isn't destroyed as I hardly actually remember the number instead remember the pattern or shape on the pad.

I don't believe I've ever seen a calculator with "1-2-3" on the top row.

Easy (0)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502830)

Just hold the phone upside down.

Re:Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37502882)

Then it would be 321, not 123

Re:Easy (3, Funny)

TheABomb (180342) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503200)

You've clearly never looked at a photo of a girl on MySpace or a dating website. Phones are always held in front of bathroom mirrors, so it all works out.

Re:Easy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37502948)

*whines* But that puts the 0 in the wrong place!

Its the phone company that caused the problem (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37502834)

When ATT went to push button phones, they intentionally put the numbers backwards from 10 key adding machines everyone used back then. Then didn't want the fast typers to outpace their new phone system and punch the numbers in to fast.

Re:Its the phone company that caused the problem (1)

retroworks (652802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502966)

^ mod up informative

Re:Its the phone company that caused the problem (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503008)

Mod down as nonsense.
Pushbuttons didn't arrive until they had digital switching which was fully capable of buffering even into the old crossbar switches.

Re:Its the phone company that caused the problem (3, Interesting)

GerryHattrick (1037764) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503178)

I have a fully mechanical pushbutton dialler, that outputs pulse codes just like an old (UK) rotary. You can hit the buttons at any speed, but must then wait while it does it all inside using the energy from keypresses. Still works here.

Re:Its the phone company that caused the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37503220)

It wasn't the switching that was the issue. It was the analog tone generation/detection and a highly variable line quality. The tone oscillators in the phones do not run all the time, only when a key is pressed, so that they don't pull any unnecessary current from the line which supplies the operating power. It takes a minimum amount of time for the oscillators to energize and the output to stabilize when a key is pressed. Likewise, the analog detection circuits at the other end need to see a steady tone pair for a minimum time before they recognize the signal. This is especially true to reliably operate with noisy, low level, or crosstalk-prone older wiring that has to carry the audio tones. It is still true today, and many cordless/microprocessor-based phones have a 'long tone' setup setting to deal with cases where the other end equipment doesn't reliably recognize the default tone length.

Re:Its the phone company that caused the problem (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503250)

Even if true, that proves nothing in regard to the claim that the button arrangement was designed to slow users down.
People who dial phones all day can get lightening fast.
You never had to wait for the buttons, they buffered it, even in the earliest pushbutton phones.

Re:Its the phone company that caused the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37502976)

I'm sure now it's a patent problem.

Re:Its the phone company that caused the problem (1)

SkinnyChick (546560) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503076)

Well, Wikipedia says: The reason that the keypad of keyboards and calculators are different is that the first security keycodes had been invented before the touchtone telephone, and did not require the extra + - % / keys and so the touch tone adopted this 1, 2, 3 at the top rather than 1, 2, 3 at the bottom as it too only required 12 keys. [citation needed] ... if you trust them.

Re:Its the phone company that caused the problem (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503090)

When ATT went to push button phones, they intentionally put the numbers backwards from 10 key adding machines everyone used back then. Then didn't want the fast typers to outpace their new phone system and punch the numbers in to fast.

I doubt it. *MY* unverified explanation that I remember hearing somewhere is: They put the one in the upper left to make it more similar to the familiar rotary dial, where the numbers increase clockwise starting from upper left.

Anyway, is there a calculator on the market that has a phone-style rotary dial? Now that's something I might buy.

Re:Its the phone company that caused the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37503236)

My rotary phones go counter clockwise starting from upper right (from 1 near 2-o'clock position, to 0 at 6 o'clock).

Re:Its the phone company that caused the problem (5, Informative)

Nethead (1563) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503106)

Not true:
http://www.vcalc.net/Keyboard.htm [vcalc.net]

On a side note, back in my teens, I would make $5 for swapping the top and third rows of buttons on a standard WECO 25xx phone so that they matched an adding machine. The ladies in the office loved it.

Re:Its the phone company that caused the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37503216)

It's more likely because the old rotary phones had 9 at the bottom of the dial and they wanted to mimic the rotary number positioning in the touch phone number grid.

Re:Its the phone company that caused the problem (3, Informative)

koala_dude (1104777) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503234)

My understanding is that Bell Labs tested a number of layouts before settling on the 1-2-3 matrix we use now as being simplest to master (see R. L. Deininger, Human Factors Engineering Studies of the Design and Use of Pushhutton Telephone Sets [alcatel-lucent.com] , 1960, Bell System Technical Journal [PDF]).

I'm not sure if calculator / comptometer manufacturers had their competing studies; I've heard that when Bell asked for an explanation, the answer was a shrug...comptometers were about 80 years by then, so I think the origins of their layout are as opaque and full of folk explanations as the QWERTY layout.

Regardless, I've encountered OP's request before...but for phone layouts which matched calculator layouts. I was working in an operations office a few years ago run by a person who was a fan of "Cheaper by the Dozen" who wanted to optimize our phone dialing speed (this was a fun place to work, even if this request sounds odd). We didn't have any success, but it was an interesting thought.

I'd rather have a phone with 789 at the top... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37502840)

...given that I use keyboards more frequently than telephone number pads.

Re:I'd rather have a phone with 789 at the top... (2)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503078)

Are you nuts!? I'd have to change my TV remote if I do that!

Re:I'd rather have a phone with 789 at the top... (1)

ejtttje (673126) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503102)

Seriously, I don't even use the telephone number pad when making phone calls, even basic phones have address books built-in.

Re:I'd rather have a phone with 789 at the top... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503270)

In the time until I've found the entry in the phone book, I've typed in the number three times. I only use the phone book for numbers I use seldom enough to not remember them.

Re:I'd rather have a phone with 789 at the top... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37503246)

so just rotate the phone 180 degrees before dialing. you'll have 7-8-9 at the top. or at least 9-8-7.

if you've done both since childhood (2)

hxnwix (652290) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502842)

Then the muscle memories for each should be well compartmentalized such that you may switch between the two with high competency in either layout.

Why not change your phone layout instead? (1)

MSRedfox (1043112) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502848)

I spend almost no time dialing phone #s. I just pick a contact. Phones were reversed because people used to be able to dial faster than the phone system could handle. If you want a modified number layout, get a smartphone and reprogram the dialing interface. Leave the calculator at its default layout, it's a good setup.

Re:Why not change your phone layout instead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37502918)

This. Why would you want to make all your devices crappy like a phone? Your phone should adapt to your other devices.

Come on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37502852)

"Switching between the two destroys muscle- and spatial- memory."

You're one strange dude.

there is an app for that (0)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502854)

Hundreds of calculator Apps in all the app stores. Get a phone or tablet and buy the app

Don't see the problem. (1)

d3m0nCr4t (869332) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502858)

I switch from mobile to calculator/numeric keypad and I never seem to make any mistakes. I switch automatically without even giving it any thought.

duh (1)

eyenot (102141) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502862)

create: memory{ ^muscle; "calculator" };
create: memory{ ^muscle; "phone" };
create: shut{ ^the fuck; "up" };

Use your phone? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37502868)

Use your phone as a calculator

Aha! (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502876)

So, you're the guy who keeps making wrong number calls to my phone, because you're trying to touch-type telephone numbers.

Did you (2)

JustOK (667959) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502880)

Did you mean 2 or 8 ?

Fail (1)

Aighearach (97333) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502888)

Switching doesn't destroy muscle or spacial memory. The problem is simply of increasing the amount of memory used.

Considering that numpads get longer use, and millions of people are very fast on them already, that is the correct mapping to use, not the telephone. The telephone is usually only used for 10 keypresses at a time when used for the numbers.

As for phones, on modern smart phones you can just swap them in software.

You can also use voice dialing to help avoid spending memory on the physical dialing.

WTF (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502896)

Sounds like you are calling far too many people to have time to be doing calculations.

Re:WTF (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503134)

Sounds like you are calling far too many people to have time to be doing calculations.

Calling too many people without the use of an automated directory of some sort (of which there are many many available). I mean hell, are you sitting there with a paper phone book just calling people for shits?

Why have a calculator? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37502900)

This is something that has bugged me for years: why do people still use calculators? Take an interpreter for your scripting language of choice or take emacs or whatever and you can do anything a calculator does and even more. For example you will never have to type all those number columns because you can just copy and paste them or read them from files.

Re:Why have a calculator? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502968)

This is something that has bugged me for years: why do people still use calculators? Take an interpreter for your scripting language of choice or take emacs or whatever and you can do anything a calculator does and even more. For example you will never have to type all those number columns because you can just copy and paste them or read them from files.

There are still occasions when I use a real calculatot. Like going to the hardware store to buy tiles and working out how many of each size I would need and what it will cost. Yes I could take a computer but a calculator in my jeans pocket is much more practical. Plus if I drop it when stacking the tiles in the car its not much of a loss compared to a computer

Re:Why have a calculator? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37503002)

uuh ? just use your phone calculator ?

Re:Why have a calculator? (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503072)

some of us still believe in the concept of privacy and consequently do not want to wear a bug and tracking device with us all the time....

Re:Why have a calculator? (2)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503240)

You've spent years -- years -- wondering why people use calculators instead of carrying a computer with them at all times in case they need to use emacs or matlab or wolfram or python or tex or metapost or c++ templates to add a couple numbers together?

At any point did you consider asking someone that was using a calculator?

You know what, maybe you should submit it to ask slashdot. It could be front page material.

Get a smart phone (3, Insightful)

steveha (103154) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502906)

Get an Android smart phone and write some custom Android software.

Either customize a scientific calculator program to match the phone dialing keypad, or write your own phone dialing software with a calculator keypad.

Plus there is the option of calling your friends from your address book and not even dialing the phone, or using Google Voice Search and just saying the digits.

I don't know what to tell you about lock keypads, public phone keypads, and the like. Just avoid them I guess? (Where I work, I can't use a bathroom without using a phone-style keypad.)

I agree with you that the incompatibility is annoying. I never bothered to do anything about it; I just adapt. But if you want to make your own custom solution, that doesn't seem sillier to me than the people who insist on using Dvorak keyboards or whatever.

steveha

Ask Slahdot: Calculators with Rotary Dial? (5, Funny)

makubesu (1910402) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502908)

Although the telephone has a rotary dial for dialing numbers, most calculators and keyboards have button pads. Switching between the two destroys muscle- and spatial- memory, as well as ability to use commas. Do any slashdoters use a scientific calculator with a rotary dial on it? I've already scraped and resoldered my Casio fx-9000 calculator to have a rotor, and plugged a USB rotor phone into Gentoo, but if there exists any calculators like this already on the market, I'd buy three.

Re:Ask Slahdot: Calculators with Rotary Dial? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502996)

Although the telephone has a rotary dial for dialing numbers, most calculators and keyboards have button pads. Switching between the two destroys muscle- and spatial- memory, as well as ability to use commas. Do any slashdoters use a scientific calculator with a rotary dial on it? I've already scraped and resoldered my Casio fx-9000 calculator to have a rotor, and plugged a USB rotor phone into Gentoo, but if there exists any calculators like this already on the market, I'd buy three.

I'm looking for a car with a wheel to turn to put on the breaks and a string pull horn. Switching from a steam locomotive to an Audi destroys muscle- and spatial- memory

Re:Ask Slahdot: Calculators with Rotary Dial? (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503158)

"Switching from a steam locomotive to an Audi destroys muscle- and spatial- memory"

Witness the unintended acceleration associated with the Audi 5000. Casey Jones, you better watch your speed.

Nope. (4, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502912)

You don't dial a phone with the same fingers you punch a calculator with. At least, not if you're a touch-typist. And if you aren't, why would you worry about this in the first place?

I learned the 10-key calculator in middle school and have never, ever had a problem with the fact that some keypads are upside-down from the standard 10-key layout.

This is seriously a non-issue in every regard.

Re:Nope. (1)

cheeks5965 (1682996) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503176)

true. aside from the fact that the post is stupid, you point out why it is jus flawed.

Destroys memory, I suppose it depends. (1)

lpfarris (774295) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502922)

I have never had any such problem. For one thing, I'm never typing nearly as many numbers on the phone as I do on the computer and calculator number pads. For another, I'm usually dialing phone numbers with my thumb, and numbers on the computer, calculator, or adding machine with my fingers. And speaking Italian or Spanish also fail to destroy my memory for English.

Muscle memory? (1)

gmf (810466) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502924)

Spatial memory, maybe; but this has nothing to do with muscle memory. The way you hold a cell phone is very different from the way you "hold" a PC keyboard. I for one have never wanted to type on my PC's numpad using my two thumbs...

The different layouts are kind of the point (1)

PacoCheezdom (615361) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502926)

Telephones and calculators (well, adding machines) have opposite layouts for a reason: slowing down the key presses on your phone. Try dialing a long number (like an account number) into automated phone tree on a phone quickly: a good cell phone will 'cache' the numbers and send out the DTMF sounds more slowly than your rapid keypresses. On a landline dialing too fast will often result in errors since they usually lack this feature.

You can read more about Bell/Western Electric's development of the telephone keypad here. [porticus.org]

Ditch the phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37502930)

I can't even remember the last time I typed in a phone number manually. All the numbers I use are stored as contacts. How about just abandoning your quest to build phone muscle memory and just use the calculators stress free?

But seriously, if you're not trollin', just buy a phone with a physical num pad and a calculator, that way you use the same num pad for both.

Get a Android smartphone (1)

Githaron (2462596) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502934)

and create a custom dialer app that switches the layout to a calculator's. It would be a lot easier than trying to find a calculator that switches the layout to a phone's.

remap (1)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502940)

I think I'd rather remap my phone's keypad to have 7-8-9 on the top. Especially since so many phones now have the keypad on a touchscreen, where it all can be done in software.

HP12C (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37502942)

Can't beat the HP12C calculator, with reverse polish notation.

people still dial phone numbers? (1)

doogless (1863452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502950)

I thought everyone had long since switched to making virtually all their calls via the phonebook function in their cellphone.

"Destroys muscle memory" (1)

Suddenly_Dead (656421) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502952)

Switching between the two destroys muscle- and spatial- memory.

No, it doesn't. I can type with either very quickly without looking at what I'm doing. The brain is a wonderful thing.

Re:"Destroys muscle memory" (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503114)

Easy for most of us, I discovered recently I even retain the muscle memory for rotary phones too; but the story poster must be an idiot-savant who somehow has the gift of remapping keys.

Change it back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37502958)

I am the attorney for the group of people who own the patent on telephone keypads . Change you calculator keypad back or you will be sued

Two distinct spacial/muscle maps is possible (2)

DaphneDiane (72889) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502964)

Have you considered holding you hands slightly different between the keypads? For example I touch type 7-8-9 number pads like it was a normal keyboard with the hand normal hovering over the home row centered on the five. Where as with 1-2-3 keypads I normally type those using my thumbs. This allows me to have two different special memory patterns that I can switch between and use without thinking about it. I actually do something similar with Dvorak vs Qwerty keyboards. Depending on how I hold my hands near the keyboard a different set of spacial memory is triggered. I still occasionally while type using the wrong style but then notice that I was holding my hands wrong and instantly switch without having to really think about the differences between the layouts. I use a more normal home position for Dvorak and angle my hands slightly more for qwerty. Urp .qamln. cu C abin. mf dabeo gl nct. ydco C yfl. ',.pyf and now with my hands back to the other position I switch back to Dvorak. ( I had to tweak the previous since auto-correct messed up angle to "a bin." instead of "abin.". I was surprised it didn't change more of it. )

Are you kidding? (3, Funny)

Any Web Loco (555458) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502970)

F***ing Google it. Seriously - is this what Ask Slashdot's become?

How 20th Century (1)

Ropati (111673) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502982)

Why use keypads?

I've learned to do verbal calculations with my Android phone. Just say the calculation you want into voice search and Google will return the results. There is no need to carry both a phone and a calculator, and speaking the formula is much easier than trying to use a miniature calculator keyboard.

I always figured the phone was wrong (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37502998)

Being as everything important that I use has the 7-8-9 on top, with the exception of the phone, I figured the phone had it wrong. And considering how seldom anyone touch dials anymore, the phone being the odd one out seems less relevant all the time.

Really, when was the last time you dialed something on your phone by its number? Every number I call often on my phone is in the memory of my phone, so I'm dialing by name. The memory of my phone far exceeds the total number of people and places I have any reason to call, so I just enter every number once and save it under a name I can remember.

Wrong question for geeks (2, Insightful)

Okian Warrior (537106) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503012)

This is the wrong question to ask geeks. They have no muscle or spatial memory, and don't care whether anyone else does.

Or haven't you noticed?

Across all of your free/OSS software:

1) What keys do you type to search for text?
2) What keys do you type to activate File->Save?
2a) Is File->Save greyed out if there are no changes?
3) When you hit shift-ctrl-end-del, does this take out the trailing CR/LF or not?
4) Where are the preferences - under "File", "Help", "Document", "Edit", "Tools"?
5) Are the preferences called "preferences", "options", "settings"?
6) Using the debugger - which F keys activate step-in/step-out/step-over?
7) When you click in a text box, does it insert the cursor or select the entire line?

Geeks care not one whit about compatibility. They make their interfaces by what "seems" right at the time, with no regard for the greater universe of programs in the world.

Good luck with your answer. Maybe you can create your own calculator online.

Re:Wrong question for geeks (1)

inhuman_4 (1294516) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503186)

VIM!

1) : /
2) : w
2a) Everything is grey!
3) d $
4) .vimrc
5) Good question.
6) Good point.
7) What is this "click" you speak of?

You make a good point about FOSS. The lack of standardization is a headache and led me to just write everything I can in Vim.
However I think the issue has more to do with the users than the programers. Geeks tend to learn everything about the programs they use, and this can be a serious time investment. It would take a very long to become as proficient in program B after having used program A for years, so many people just don't bother.

I think this is why Vim and Emacs still have such a big following despite being so old. Once you have learned all the neat little tricks, going to any other system is painful because you don't know how to do stuff anymore. I know I will never switch from Vim to Emacs, not because one is better than the other, but because I have spent so much time mastering Vim that switching to Emacs would be to painful.

Re:Wrong question for geeks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37503238)

M-x viper, a text editor in elisp

wtf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37503016)

Don't most people use a computer numpad more than dialing phone numbers? I'm confused, unless you have an ancient phone that you text a lot using the numpad for?

Why can't they... (1)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503030)

Make a phone pad like the number line on the top of my keyboard... all digits straight in a row... duh!

5138008 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37503034)

707

Shouldn't be the other way around? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37503068)

Almost universal availability of "smarter" phones and contact lists are constantly phasing out the need for phone keypads altogether while the keyboards/calculators are probably going to stay for a while longer so wouldn't it make more sense to mess with your phones instead if you are so set on it?

On the other note (unless you are using skype etc. instead of your phone and mobile instead of calculator all the time) phone key pad and keyboard numpad are very distinct devices and that allows for different sets of muscle/spacial memory so many people (me included) can operate both at high speeds without looking at them - in other word the memory is not destroyed (although it might take longer to learn if you try to cross-reference them subconsciously I guess). Furthermore by restricting your learning to one kind of keypad you are crippling yourself for those times when you have to use an unfamiliar machine (main reason why I am not learning Dvorak).

One of the most stupid /. questions EVER (2)

bLanark (123342) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503096)

I am rich with mod points, but almost every comment is bang on the nose - I can't seperate them. Consider yourself +1 insightful, if you posted.

(I used to struggle a bit with this myself, 20 years ago, but these days I hardly ever dial a number. The PC layout is what I like now. )

Re:One of the most stupid /. questions EVER (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37503184)

You mad.

Timothy trolled slashdot for the lulz.

According to the fanbois (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37503116)

It should be trivial to "3D" print out a new calculator. Bre Pettis fanbois! Remove your tongues from Bre's butt crack and show me what you can do! After all, this is chnaging the world, right!?

Odd pads (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503124)

I understand your problem.

But only because the GF has a phone with a calculator style keyboard, it confuses me every time!

Use both. Your brain needs the exercise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37503154)

..and it will give you hugs for it later in life as you'll have increased your chances of avoiding illnesses like dementia or alzheimer's.

After CmdrTaco leaves, It all goes to shit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37503162)

This question is as bad as that "we should eliminate time zones" one a few weeks back.

Gimme a break (3, Interesting)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503180)

It is not difficult to "rememberize" 10-key layout versus reverse 10-key. This "feat" is well within the capabilities of subhumans who live in flyover territory, much less elite geeks who can get their questions approved on slashdot.org. I had no problem with it myself, back when I worked for a phone company and had to switch back and forth between the IBM-PC 10-key pad and the telephone reverse 10-key. The mouthbreathers I worked with picked it up after a few weeks.

Actually, now that I think about it, what's the big deal? Any uber-geek should be able to adjust to these circumstances quite quickly. And honestly: times aren't like they were years ago when I had to dial 50 phone numbers per day, and enter 50 results into the computer. Who the hell, in this day and age, sits down next to a "push-button" landline telephone and keys in the numbers for his friends? We all use mobile phones these days, it's all in the phone book. In the last...five, ten years? I've had to use my 31337 ten-key skillz exactly...zero times. When you meet a new person, you just punch in their number once: either by soft keyboard (iPhone) or by 1234567890 above qwertyuiop (one of those old-fashioned "blackberry" phones).

Oh, I think I see. On the submitter's web page [dotancohen.com] , we can see the following bit of sublime insight:

Why are the lights in microwave ovens inconsistent with the lights in refrigerators? The light in the refrigerator is on when the door is open, and supposedly off when the door is shut. The light in the microwave is on when the door is shut, and off when the door is open.

Yeah, he's an idiot.

swap hands? (1)

TempeTerra (83076) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503182)

I'm can't tell if this is a dumb idea or a brilliant one. What about training yourself to type phone numbers with your left hand? It might be just enough to segregate out the muscle memory. It would be moderately annoying while you're training yourself, but if you're re-wiring calculators and remapping keyboards it can't be much more troublesome.

Unfortunately I don't use either kind of numpad much myself so I can't try it - I would just to see if it works.

Calcu-what? (1)

Xanthanov (1116109) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503198)

What's a calculator? Do you mean a pocket-sized symbolic integration device?

Something of interest (3, Interesting)

guardiangod (880192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503212)

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2019/why-do-telephone-keypads-count-from-the-top-down-while-calculators-count-from-the-bottom-up [straightdope.com]

The story begins back in pre-calculator days, when there were cash registers. We're not talking cash registers that scan, but mechanical things where you actually had to push the keys hard to punch numbers. The cash registers were designed with 0 at the bottom, and the numbers going up. Why did cash registers choose this organization? I was unable to find any clear answer. These were the days before customer surveys and mass marketing opinion polls. The people who designed cash registers evidently just thought it was the obvious approach--lowest numbers at the bottom, highest numbers at the top.

In fact, the earliest cash registers had multiple keys. You didn't enter 7 and 9 and 5 for $7.95; there was a separate column of keys for each decimal place. Think of a matrix, with the bottom row of 0's, next a row of 1's, then a row of 2's, going up. The right hand column would represent single units (cents), the next column for tens, then hundreds, etc. So, to enter $7.95, you'd actually enter 700, then 90, then 5.

When calculators made their appearance, they copied the cash register format. In fact, some of the earliest mechanical calculators (ah, how my wife loved her Friden!) had multiple columns, like the cash register. The earliest calculators had keypads that were ten rows high and generally 8 or 9 columns across.

When hand-held and electronic calculators made their appearance, they copied the keypad arrangement of the existing calculators--0 at the bottom, 1-2-3 in the next row, 4-5-6 in the next row, and 7-8-9 in the top row, from left to right. So, basically, they evolved from the cash register.

The Touch-Tone phone emerged in the early 1960s. Before that, there were rotary dials, with the numbers starting at 1 at the top right and then running counterclockwise around the dial to 8-9-0 across the bottom. Why would "0" be on the bottom? Probably because the dialing mechanism was pulse, not tone. Since they couldn't do zero pulses for 0, they did ten pulses, and hence put the 0 at the end. (Thanks to Radu Serban for this suggestion.)

There seem to be three reasons that the Touch-Tone phone keypad was designed as it was:

(1) Tradition. People were used to dialing with 1-2-3 on top, and it seemed reasonable to keep it that way.

(2) AT&T (the only phone company at the time) did some research that concluded there were fewer dialing errors with the 1-2-3 on top (possibly related to the traditional rotary dial layout).

(3) Phone numbers years ago used alphabetic prefixes for the exchange (BUtterfield 8, etc.). In the days of rotary dials, no doubt it seemed logical to put the letters in alphabetical order, and to associate them with numbers in numerical order. The number 1 was set aside for "flag" functions, so ABC went with 2, DEF with 3, and so on. When Touch-Tone phones came in, keeping the alphabet in alphabetical order meant putting 1-2-3 at the top.

So there we have it. Basically, calculator keypad design evolved from cash registers, while telephone keypad design evolved from the rotary dial. Tradition has kept them that way ever since.

Alzheimer's prevention tip... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37503230)

Do things differently.

Why do you even need muscle memory for the phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37503252)

Why do you even need to type in digits so constantly in your phone to need fast typing reflexes?

Everyone I knows has those for the numeric keyboard (7-8-9), which is used to enter data in forms. Real Programmers can type almost as fast on the top row as they can use the numeric keyboard, which is quite fast enough for programming...

But anyone who needs to type in phone numbers that much, has something wrong with his toolset. Get an auto-dialer.

It is still idiotic to have phones with 1-2-3 layout, but...

Fix yourself first (1)

xrayspx (13127) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503262)

Rather than adapting every device you touch, maybe you should look at why you need to do this.

In fact, you've decided that the telephone way is "right" and that every computer keyboard is "wrong". Since you only interact with a couple of phones, probably, might it not be easier to change them than it is to change every computer, TI calculator, keypad, etc? Shouldn't be too hard to write an "inverted dialer" app for whatever phone you have.

I fly on a numeric keypad, I can also dial my phone fast. The reason for that is that these are two devices that do two different things. I don't seem to have any spatial memory issues since you interact with them in different contexts.

tldr; YIKES!

Not sure about destroying spatial memory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37503272)

I posit that having to continually switch between the two systems develop an improved fluency for new systems. Much like switching to different controllers depending on the game system, or speaking new languages when coming to another country. Perhaps creativity and dexterity alike are improved by having to switch between otherwise rote activity.

Never had a problem (1)

misosoup7 (1673306) | more than 2 years ago | (#37503274)

I just don't see why this is such a big deal. I've never found it difficult to switch between the two... I just automatically do it. You're brain is not so limited in that it can only remember to do one thing. If you use different fingers when you're using different things, you end up with three distinct sets of spatial/muscle memory that does not conflict.

For calculators, I use both thumbs
For phones, I use my index finger on the phone number pad. To type, I use both thumbs, I think this is left over from my TI-89 days in High School
For computer's number pad, I use Index, Middle, and Ring fingers for the 3 columns.

Of course it doesn't help if you're one of those people who only use their index finger to type everything....
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