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A One-Handed Keyboard For $25

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the you-knew-there-was-a-catch dept.

Hardware 349

Bruce Perens writes "Slashdot has often featured attempts at improvement upon the QWERTY keyboard. Here's a one-handed USB keyboard that you can buy for $25 online, or a bit more at the CompUSA. There's one catch: someone will have to design a keying pattern and hack up software for it. It's a task just crying out for an Open Source project." Bruce has also included on the linked page code with which to read the output from the device.

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349 comments

Oh Jeez... (5, Funny)

bje2 (533276) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938130)

let the stream of one-handed web surfing jokes begin...

example: (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9938139)

"yes, but is it left-handed?"

Re:example: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9938305)

you should always alternate the hand otherwise it will get bent after some time, looking pretty strange

Re:Oh Jeez... (1)

Capt'n Hector (650760) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938202)

The thing is, I always surf using my mousing (right) hand. ya know how most people have asymmetric arms because they prefer their right over their left? Lets just say I'm a bit more... ahem... even.

Re:Oh Jeez... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9938203)

Spelling? Jeez?

Obviously (-1, Redundant)

2Bits (167227) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938131)

This is designed specifically for /.ers: one hand working on the keyboard, the other hand doing some unspeakable thing.

yes well (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9938136)

as well all know, linux users are wankers

Cue joke (5, Funny)

3eyedlie (706075) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938138)

about what the other hand is doing. "I tried to have phone sex, but the holes were too small" - Sage Francis

Re:Cue joke (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9938183)

Please remember to wipe receiver after phone-sex :)

Re:Cue joke (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9938354)

Why, do you cum out of your ear? You should see a Doc about that.

Then you can't buy a one-handed keyboard for $25.. (5, Insightful)

Brento (26177) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938140)

Saying that you can buy a one-handed keyboard for $25, but you have to roll your own software, means you're not buying a one-handed keyboard for $25. That's like saying you can buy your own crystal meth for $25 - sure, the ingredients are only $25, but you have to know the recipe and risk life and limb cooking the stuff.

Not that I'd know about those things. (And that applies to both coding my own keyboard drivers as well as cooking meth.)

Re:Then you can't buy a one-handed keyboard for $2 (2, Informative)

Chess_the_cat (653159) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938156)

Mod this up. This isn't even close to a one handed keyboard. It's just a Belkin Speedpad that gamers use for FPSs. They've been out forever. The link is just some blogger speculating about what might be done with it. Belkin isn't marketing one handed keyboards. Just one handed keypads. Stupid post.

Re:Then you can't buy a one-handed keyboard for $2 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9938174)

"some blogger"!?

Re:Then you can't buy a one-handed keyboard for $2 (5, Informative)

DocSnyder (10755) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938161)

Saying that you can buy a one-handed keyboard for $25, but you have to roll your own software

man xmodmap

As long as the one-handed keyboards gives any kind of output, it can be mapped al gusto.

Re:Then you can't buy a one-handed keyboard for $2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9938162)

but you have to know the recipe and risk life and limb cooking the stuff

The nazi method is fairly safe with some basic precautions. Now, getting the ingredients is hard.

Re:Then you can't buy a one-handed keyboard for $2 (2, Interesting)

calibanDNS (32250) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938167)

First, you will not risk life and limb writing your own keyboard driver, unless you've somehow decided to add in a force feedback option.

Second, my bet is that there will be an open source driver for this thing by the end of the week. Just keep watching the comments on this story and someone may have a link by later today.

Re:Then you can't buy a one-handed keyboard for $2 (3, Informative)

The_Dougster (308194) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938325)

I have one of these things and it works fine. You could probably use joy2key to use it as a keyboard. I'm not sure if the shift functions work or not.

Re:Then you can't buy a one-handed keyboard for $2 (2, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938169)

KDE (and, I believe, Gnome) allows you to configure shortcut keys to more or less anything, based on keys/key combos.

It wouldn't be all that difficult for someone with a modicum of experience to configure a one-handed keyboard so it becomes very usable - at least for whatever it is you'd want to use a one-handed keyboard for. No need to write code.

slow news day already? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9938142)

this is a joke right? is it really a slow news day already?!

whaw (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9938143)

Looks pretty armless to me ;-)

Age old question answered! (5, Funny)

elSpike (678416) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938144)

What is the sound of one hand typing?

Re:Age old question answered! (1)

Dizzle (781717) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938269)

Same as someone with the clapper turning their lights on and off and on and off and on...

Re:Age old question answered! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9938334)

What is the sound of one hand typing?

Everyone from DPPH at somethingawful knows the answer to that question is "FAP!"

Re:Age old question answered! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9938336)

It's usually accompanied by "fap fap fap..."

One handed Dvorak (4, Informative)

Shard013 (530636) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938145)

Dvorak allready has keyboards designs for both left and right hand only. These could probably be put on the new kb easy enough. Not that I can read the article, mirror anyone?

Worth a try (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9938147)

My daughter only has one hand. I used to think she had a really hard time typing because of the style of typing she used on AIM, it was very fast but did not make much sense. Then I realized all the kids type that way. She can type about 15-20 wpm with just her one hand. I guess it depends on how handicapped someone is but if someone handicapped learned to type with this device, they would be "stuck" using this device any time hey needed to type.

Re:Worth a try (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9938209)

you really cant use this to type. this is an 'enhanced version' of a previous belkin product, the n50, which i own. it simply doesnt have enough keys to do more than keyboard shortcuts and macros.
think forward, back, and up a directory, not
'all good men are created equal'
in terms of what this device can do

Re:Worth a try (1)

cwebb1977 (650175) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938253)

Well, if it's any successful, there will soon be new products available: portable and useable wireless via Bluetooth or whatever, so she could just use it on almost any PC anywhere.

Maybe (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9938149)

Writer must be stuffed, this couldn't possibly become a successfu... oh Bruce Perens, ^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h
Wow, great idea! Lets start coding! Where's the source-forge page?

DVORAK keyboard (4, Insightful)

w.p.richardson (218394) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938154)

Some would argue that a Dvorak keyboard is an improvement over QWERTY. Why hasn't it taken over? Simple - there is no real cry for an improvement.

This idea is akin to changing the steering wheel in a car to a joystick; possible, but why change something that is a functional standard?

Re:DVORAK keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9938248)

This idea is akin to changing the steering wheel in a car to a joystick; possible, but why change something that is a functional standard?
Because you can only manipulate the steering rack along one axis?

Re:DVORAK keyboard (1)

cwebb1977 (650175) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938270)

Because steering and reacting works way faster if you just react without thinking. New drivers learn driving in a third of the time using a joystick. It has been tested before...

Re:DVORAK keyboard (3, Insightful)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938271)

There's a proper reason for having a steering wheel in a car and that is accuracy and usability. You have to turn the wheel quite a large distance to go from full lock left to full lock right. With a joystick it would be a foot at the most.

Other reasons include feedback, you simply wouldn't get the right feedback from a joystick. A stick is ideal for a plane as you are banking the plane towards the left and to the right, in a car you are rotating the wheel and so a rotating control method works best.

Also, to use a stick you would need control systems, fully powered hydraulic steering, this would be prone to faults and in the event of a system failure you would lose steering. Currently cars have power assisted steering but standard steering still functions in the event of a fluid leak etc.

Other problems with a stick system? how about requiring the engine to be running for the system to work? this would make getting your car onto a recovery truck rather difficult if the engine won't run. What about getting towed? impossible without the engine running.

So while it might be possible to change cars to use a joystick it is simply a bad idea.

Re:DVORAK keyboard (1)

SagSaw (219314) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938303)

This idea is akin to changing the steering wheel in a car to a joystick; possible, but why change something that is a functional standard?

In the case of the steering-wheel-to-joystick change, there are advantages in the area's of cost, weight, and amount of power required. You could save in all three areas by going to a joystick + steer-by-wire.

The reason why that doesn't happen is not that there is no cry for improvement, simply that drivers are used to the current interface and are unlikely to accept change even if there were large advantages. This is actually one of the major problems with automotive *-by-wire systems: You have to make the electronic system look, act, and feel exactly like the mechanical system, even if it means negating some advantages.

I suspect that keyboards are the same way: No matter what the improvement, computer users are so used to the QWERTY arangement that no other layout will ever achieve a significant portion of the market no matter what the advantages.

Re:DVORAK keyboard (3, Insightful)

Cska Sofia (705257) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938330)

Some would argue Mac OS X is an improvement over Windows. Why hasn't it taken over?

Just because a technology is established across the vast majority of users doesn't mean that alternatives wouldn't be a great improvement. QWERTY is so firmly established that despite the common knowledge that it was designed to put common letter combinations as far apart as possible, most users do not even consider looking for an alternative. There are many reasons - lack of knowledge, lack of learning resources, cost - but don't think that, all else being equal, users wouldn't pick the alternative that is designed for the greatest speed, comfort and accuracy.

Still Doesn't Change (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9938157)

the fact that most people only type with two fingers which I guess will now be one finger...

Direct link (4, Informative)

Brama (80257) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938158)

http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process ?Product_Id=157024 [belkin.com]

Seems the technocrat site is already slashdotted.

Re:Direct link (4, Informative)

Blind_Justice (544387) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938190)

Here is the text of the page:

One-handed keyboards sell for $99 to $350, but here's one that can be had for $25 at a well-known net merchant, and a little more at the CompUSA. Of course, it's intended for gamers, but can easily be made into a one-handed chording keyboard to nurture your inner cyborg, if you just...

design an appropriate keying pattern and learn it, and write a little software. This is just crying out for an Open Source project. You can help handicapped people, perhaps even influence a new generation of low-budget cyborgs!

The Belkin Nostromo n52 Speedpad has 14 typewriter-style keys that chord (meaning they can all be read individually), LEDs, a dial, and a game controller with firing button. That's easily enough to make a chording keyboard. You can use the game controller as four shift keys (your thumb rests upon it).

To make the job easier, here's C code to read the device on Linux. To finish the job, you'll also have to push key events back into the Linux console or X Windows. Code to do that is already available on the net, it's been written for use with other USB devices.

Bruce missed a couple of trains here (2, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938348)

Of course, it's intended for gamers, but can easily be made into a one-handed chording keyboard to nurture your inner cyborg, if you just...

Yeah, so why buy a $25 gaming thing with 14 buttons when you can get a numeric pad? those have 17 keys, have been around for ever and can be had for a buck at your friendly computer recycler.

What's so different with the gaming pad? why didn't Bruce propose the same thing with numeric pads? hell, why didn't he propose the same thing with the numeric pad section of a normal keyboard?

Chording support? (2, Insightful)

SeanDuggan (732224) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938393)

Correct me if I'm wrong, as I've only seen a few peripheral numpads (generally for laptops), but my impression is that they tend to be built the same way as the average computer keyboard. You know, where you can't press two keys at the same time if they're in the same row? If this device allows you to detect which keys are pressed as individual signals, then chording is much more feasible. And I would not be surprised if they indeed allow for multiple keys being pressed as this is one of the major problems with playing FPS games using a keyboard.

Re:Direct link (1)

YOU LIKEWISE FAIL IT (651184) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938333)

Ah, thanks. With that link I can see that the "keyboard" is in fact a Belkin Nostromo game"pad". Australian slashdotters might be interested to know that older revisions of this thing ( bundled with a mouse ) occasionally turn up in Electronics Boutiques across the country marked down at a very, very low price. ( A$45? )

There's been several times when I've considered picking one up to turn into a chordboard, but when I weigh up the extra clutter on my desk from yet another input device, the time to train up the other computer users with it, let alone writing the driver, I've never been able to bring myself to buy one.

Whats the point.. (1)

rf0 (159958) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938159)

(Article is /.'ed but hey). Why would a company bring a prodcut to market if there is no support. Its not like you ever see people like Sony or Epson bring things to market and not have any drivers at all. OK The drivers might be for Windows and flakey but least they tried

Rus

Re:Whats the point.. (1)

Errtu76 (776778) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938194)

If there is a point, it could be 'bringing the hardware to the public'. A cry for help: "Help us give something (hardware+software) to the people who need it".

Maybe they just lack the knowledge or time or resources to develop the software and want to make the product available to those who _can_ develop it. Face it, what place better than Slashdot to cry out for (open source) help?

There is a point (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9938246)

There IS software for the product. It's a gaming "keypad/keyboard [belkin.com] ". The idea of the poster is to use it for other stuff too. Like normal typewriting for handicapped or to leave one hand free. for using the mouse i guess... :?

good job quoting the article... (-1, Offtopic)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938165)

I like how the summary includes direct quotes from the other page, but has a block quote around that and paraphrased stuff as well. A wee bit too early in the morning for a post, perhaps?

The picture says a thousand words! I would bet that the thumbpad either gets completely in the way, or makes scrolling super-easy. (obligatory)Imagine a beowulf cluster of those!

QWERTY is imperfect so? (2, Insightful)

Fallen Andy (795676) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938173)

...what isn't imperfect. I live with it comfortably,
with no RSI or anything else. Why squander brain power on yet another weird device? If you really are sitting there pounding away at 100wpm all day then what kind of coding bot are you anyway?
(and are you thinking about what you're coding?)

It's far too late to educate anyone about the merits of a new device that replaces an old device wot works. Try convincing the Brits or US that metric is a good idea? 3/8" bolts on the ISS (yuk). (and I'm old enough to remember (ouch) don't want to comment...).

Perhaps the open source world needs to discuss what we ought to play with (gee: i have this neat
idea for photographing emperor penguins...) rather
than the old well worn stuff. Try a sci fi style
workshop maybe?

sidenote: Wagtails wag their tails in order to create turbulence. Prove me wrong.

Re:QWERTY is imperfect so? (1)

Errtu76 (776778) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938215)

Well ... another post in this thread speaks about his daughter who has only one hand. Still think this device is useless? It's (one of) the best reasons i've read so far to develop this device.

As for your opinion about being to late to educate ... I thought "It's never too late to learn" was a commonly accepted sentence ;)

Maybe you need to expand your horizon a little, and try to look at what others might need, not only yourself.

Re:QWERTY is imperfect so? (1)

mrsev (664367) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938260)

....er in Britain we are mostly metric.

Sure we like our beer in pints for reasons of tradition and because to move to half liters would be a reduction in size and there would be a revolution.

There is no doubt that there are many advantages to the metric system and so the goverment made the choice to change. To use money with Pounds, shillings, pennies..etc was insane. Many people argued that it was no problem for them but there is no doubt that the metric syste is better.

In the same way we text message (SMS) using our thumbs on numeric keypads on our phones but I can honestly say that it sucks and I will be very unhappy with a status quo.

Bring on new technology.. if not for you then for the kids. They will have no problem with any of it.

Re:QWERTY is imperfect so? (1)

BarryNorton (778694) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938295)

Too right!

And as far as "convincing the Brits [...] that metric is a good idea" - we were convinced in 1862!

"...no nation which has adopted the Metric system has failed to derive the greatest benefit from such adoption, or, after adoption has shown any desire to abandon it."
Report from the Select Committee on Weights and Measures (1862)

Re:QWERTY is imperfect so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9938319)

um... last I checked a half liter was larger than a pint. A liter is larger than a quart and a pint is half a quart but if you don`t believe, http://www.i4at.org/lib2/metric.htm
scroll a bit down, a pint is .47 liters so really if brits are switching for that reason, you got some deeper problems than I want to go into.

I say go for it, right now I love qwerty because I know it and its all we got but who knows, show me something easier and maybe I`ll pick it up. The hardest thing I think wtih a one handed keyboard is getting all the necessary buttons. I guess you could do it with 28 or so. 26 letters. 2 types of shift, free`s up enough room so go for it. I might not switch but one day I might have kids who laugh at me for still using two hands to type, thats progress for you. I guess you might also need a spacebar but if we all switch to japanese, we won`t even need that.

By the argument that qwerty works, well, so did a horse and carriage. But you know, very often people try to invent things that improve on what we can do. If its better, time will tell.

Re:QWERTY is imperfect so? (1, Informative)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938388)

um... last I checked a half liter was larger than a pint.

Larger than an American pint, but quite a bit smaller than a British pint.

One US pint = 473.176475 ml
One UK pint = 568.261485 ml

Those Eurocrats will take my 68.261485ml from my cold, dead hands! Or, at least, from my incapably pissed hands...

The first three posts.... (-1, Redundant)

Scrab (573004) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938177)

are all masturbation jokes.

Yup - this is definately /.

Obligatory Simpsons Quote (2, Funny)

laserbeak (794029) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938179)

Bart: Did, did you lose your arm in the war? Herman: My arm? Well, let me put it this way: Next time your teacher tells you to keep your arm inside the bus window, you do it!

Maybe someone can explain.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9938184)

Why this is in the "Linux" section?

Re:Maybe someone can explain.... (2, Informative)

gorre (519164) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938195)

Why this is in the "Linux" section?

The article contains some C code by Bruce Perens and further suggestions on how to get this device working on Linux.

Re:Maybe someone can explain.... (1)

bje2 (533276) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938222)

The vast majority of one-handed computer users choose Linux!

Re:Maybe someone can explain.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9938313)

Why this is in the "Linux" section?
Because if it were in the IT section, it would look like this [slashdot.org] .

wow (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9938187)

Imagine what you could do with two of those!

Left hand? (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938199)

Unfortunately, I already have my left hand reserved for the mouse. Being right-handed, I prefer keeping my more dexterous hand on the keyboard. Dexterity would be particularly required for a novel alternative like this. But it looks like there is only a left-handed model available :(

Re:Left hand? -- similar device (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9938245)

theres a device similar to this, called the space devilfish [idizm.com] , thats ambidexerous.
it also supports force feedback and the ability to strap it to your leg. an astute reader will realize that these two features are complementary

was never any where near as popular as the nostromos (which were never that popular), and like them only officially supports windows/mac, so i dont know if theres any linux software avalible for it

Left Handed??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9938201)

One potential problem: Does it work equally well for left-handers as right-handers. The picture on the Belkin page looks like it's designed for lefties, which is fine with me, but probably a problem for about 95% of the population.

Re:Left Handed??? (2, Insightful)

wed128 (722152) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938254)

i am right handed, but i use a mouse for my right hand. Therefore, with a device like this, i wouldn't have to take my hand off the mouse. It's more efficient that way.

This keyboard is NOT for most of you (-1, Troll)

notthepainter (759494) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938212)

Get over it. Many of you have full use of both of your hands. That's great. This keyboard isn't for you.

Many people do not have full use of thier hands. There any many products on the market to support their needs. This is one of them.

Re:This keyboard is NOT for most of you (1)

calibanDNS (32250) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938274)

Actually, from the description at Belkin's site [belkin.com] , this keyboard is designed for gamers, not the physically challenged. It only comes in a left-handed configuration, so it wouldn't be very useful to someone who had lost the use of their left hand.

Re:This keyboard is NOT for most of you (0)

notthepainter (759494) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938292)

Teach me to read the /. comments before reading the article! Sorry folks. I've worked in the disabilities market before and am a little sensitive sometimes.

Re:This keyboard is NOT for most of you (1)

lachlan76 (770870) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938283)

This ISN'T for people without full use of their hands, it is marketed towards gamers.

Note the Up/Down/Left/Right pad, and IIRC, the keyboard is scriptable, to allow a single keypress to take the place of multiple keys.

No, this is a gamer product. (1)

c4miles (249464) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938324)

It is aimed at adding control to games, but it has been noticed that it could also form the basis of a particularly inexpensive and well-designed chording keyboard.

It is not designed specifically to support the needs of people with limited dexterity.

software for the n50 (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9938221)

the previous version of the nostromo, the n50 ( same thing w/ less keys and less orange ) had some linux software written for it avalible here [jimbomania.com]

Small Laptops (3, Funny)

Vandil X (636030) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938223)

My small form factor ThinkPad has such a small keyboard, it's essentially one-handed.

And it even comes with a nipple!

Re:Small Laptops (2, Funny)

CRC'99 (96526) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938356)

Or what we call, a 'clit stick' - cos we all know what it is, we all know where it is, but I'll be buggered if we can actually use it properly.

Left or right? (1)

levell (538346) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938228)

It looks from the picture like it might be designed to used with a left hand, i.e. there is a button that looks like it's supposed to be used by a thumb on the right.

Is this true or am I looking at the picture funny? I had a stroke when I was very young and type one handed but if there was a keyboard designed for just my right hand (that was cheap: I'm not how much faster I'd be than on a QWERTY), I'd give it a shot.

It is a game device, so the right is on the mouse (2, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938301)

so yes this is left handed and I doubt the manufacturer has the kind of production run that makes a left handed device worthwhile.

Re:Left or right? (3, Informative)

KiwiRed (598427) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938329)

You could always use the right-hand Dvorak layout here [pcguide.com] - windows can switch to it pretty easily (i use the standard Dvorak layout myself on MS Natural Keyboard Pro), and there are online stores [hooleon.com] where you can get 'custom' keyboards and keytop labels if you want them. (I'm not impressed with the keyboards though, which appear to have just had the keytops switched)

Brucie Bonus (1)

ReluctantBadger (550830) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938237)

A Bruce Perens article on Slashdot is a bit like Guy Fawkes Night. Lots of stupid geeks standing around with a gormless look on their faces going "ooooooooh..... aaaaaaaahhhh...."

To hell with the lot of you.

Re:Brucie Bonus (-1, Offtopic)

TechnologyX (743745) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938267)

Same thing for that Roland shit with the weblog

OOOHHHH NEW ROLANDPIPUQEUESLF BLOG ENTRY

Gaming Device (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9938238)

This is a gaming device. It is not a keyboard replacement. It has been around a long time. It also has no Linux drivers, so I'm not sure why it's in the "Linux" category.

Other than the title, category, subject matter and content - great post!

Re:Gaming Device (1, Funny)

mr_z_beeblebrox (591077) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938284)

This is a gaming device. It is not a keyboard replacement. It has been around a long time. It also has no Linux drivers, so I'm not sure why it's in the "Linux" category.

That would be because it has no Linux drivers and close to a third of the content of the post (there was little content to the post) was about the fact that coding a driver would be a great project. Oh and the other reason, Bruce Perens could write about "the contemplation of my navel" and the editors would put it on linux./.

Re:Gaming Device (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938318)

This is a gaming device. It is not a keyboard replacement. It has been around a long time. It also has no Linux drivers, so I'm not sure why it's in the "Linux" category.

It's a keyboard replacement aimed at FPS games, where the simultaneous use of a keyboard and a mouse is essential. But who's to say it should be limited to games? I for one find it interesting. The arrow keypad part could even replace the mouse to some extent; imagine using this with a wearable computer.

Re:Gaming Device (2, Informative)

biglig2 (89374) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938328)

It's in the Linux category, because if you RTFA you'll see the story is not announcing the hardware, but announcing a call from Bruce Perens for a Linux driver.

/.ed? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9938278)

Why did this get /.ed?

Great for tablets? (2, Interesting)

mcgroarty (633843) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938285)

I've been looking for a cheap one-handed keyboard for use with my tablet PC, hopefully something I could velcro onto the back for use while holding the tablet. Photoshop and Painter are tedious without tab, alt, shift and ctrl. This could be just the thing to provide those.

Crying (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938307)

"It's a task just crying out for an Open Source project"

I'm on the case! Do you want the ability to use colours in your text editor?

I have one of these (-1, Redundant)

phildog (650210) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938332)

I bought a nostromo n52 a couple of months ago. I definitely wouldn't consider it a candidate for a "one-handed keyboard" but it is a good complement to your existing keyboard. Don't let the goofy Slashdot editor limit the potential of this device. The software that comes with it is already quite good. You can assign any macro you want to any of the 14 keys (and with the "shift" key that lights up 3 different LEDs, you can basically multiply that 14 by 4). It also has a scroll wheel, thumbpad, and button. All can be If you shop around a bit for keyboards with a large number of programmable keys, you will find that most are quite expensive. In fact, there is a thriving market over on eBay for the Gateway Anykey keyboard with 124 programmable keys, which I don't believe is even manufactured anymore. In reality, I don't actually use the nostromo all that much, as I rely more often on the terrific strickland

Re:I have one of these (2, Informative)

phildog (650210) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938360)

(please mod down parent, I accidently submitted before finishing editing)

I bought a nostromo n52 a couple of months ago. I definitely wouldn't consider it a candidate for a "one-handed keyboard" but it is a good complement to your existing keyboard. Don't let the goofy Slashdot editor limit the potential of this device. The software that comes with it is already quite good. You can assign any macro you want to any of the 14 keys (and with the "shift" key that lights up 3 different LEDs, you can basically multiply that 14 by 4). It also has a scroll wheel, thumbpad, and button. All can be set up to do whatever you want, launch programs, type snippets of text, etc.

If you shop around a bit for keyboards with a large number of programmable keys, you will find that most are quite expensive. In fact, there is a thriving market over on eBay for the Gateway Anykey keyboard with 124 programmable keys, which I don't believe is even manufactured anymore.

In reality, I don't actually use the nostromo all that much, as I rely more often on the terrific
Winkey [slashdot.org] to set up most of my macros. But I'm happy with my purchase of the $25 Nostromo and do use it from time to time.

It's 1968 all over again (4, Informative)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938337)

Funny, but one handed keyboards have been around since the Englebart demo.

Except for CAD, they never really took off - until the modern video game.

And while I certainly would not want to type a comment like this with a one-handed keyboard, I can see where they would be damn useful in editing a document - click-drag, button press for bold, click-drag, underline (or click-drag indent, click-drag create-subroutine-skeleton, click-drag lookup-definition).

Anyone remember the Quinkey? (2, Informative)

DrogMan (708650) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938395)

The Quinkey Microwriter... I had a left-handed one for a while, some ... 17 years ago, maybe? Look here [tiscali.co.uk] for a review of one. This item [newswireless.net] has a picture of one...

nothing new (1)

5m477m4n (787430) | more than 9 years ago | (#9938397)

Since the website is /.'ed I must ask the obvious question: What makes a keyboard one handed? I can slide my keyboard over to the side and type with one hand just fine. (Yes, I just opened myself up to many jokes)
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