Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 12th Jul 2004 08:45 UTC
Editorial This article describes some of my annoyances in computing. If you had any problems reading this article, then skip this one. It will only be a waste of your time. There are a lot of annoying things in the wonderful world of computing. Of course, nothing is perfect, but that doesn't mean we are not allowed to complain and scream and throw our keyboards at our monitors when yet another irritation pops up.
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@ Painkiller
by dpi on Mon 12th Jul 2004 15:13 UTC

"My wife works in a bank, all of their keyboards have separated keypads, and needless to say this is primarily because they have to replace the keypads more often than the keyboards. I prefer them myself whenever I'm inputting a decent amount of numbers (more than 3 for instance), but I would really prefer that keyboards were made without the row of number keys and fixing the number pad to have the same shift operations that the number keys on the main keyboard body have. It would slow mixed typing a bit, but would help me when dealing with currency and percentages in my typing ;) "

Point taken. Nice one. I didn't knew these existed. Some people also argue AZERTY is more user-friendy than QWERTY. I've never used an AZERTY though. They are hard to get. I don't even know if they're still produced. Yet, we stay with the QWERTY system, leaving alternatives which might be better unavailable. Then there are multimedia keyboards which ought to add functionality, but the basic of QWERTY remains whereas other alternatives *might* be better; frankly i don't think the current keyboards have a good layout, and different people have different needs. It might even depend per language typed! As a result of this all, i found the pages which described AZERTY's usefullness interesting in such way that i'd like to test one out.

Spaceballs aren't ofcourse used in the gaming world. That's not what they were meant for either. Has anyone here actually used a Spaceball to get serious work done and if so what was the advantage?

Judging on the pictures i've seen of some Spaceballs versus the Trackball i used on the Amiga, the Spaceballs should be more RSI friendly because you have your hand actually straight, not over the trackball itself. You still use your handpalm (middle of hand) to move the pointer around, but the buttons are on the backside of the device so that you can push multiple buttons with your hand straight. My Trackball OTOH (or my friends Trackball actually) had all the buttons besides the ball so i had to lay my hand around the ball and move my fingers in rather strange directions. I never used it "24/7" or something near that though. Not all Spaceballs work like this because i've also seen some which are more like the Trackball _however_ you can lay your hand more around the ball because the ball is more round than the Trackball which had the ball more inside the device. More theoretic though, and i've forgot some details probably.

For those interested, here are some products:
http://www.3dconnexion.com/spaceball5000.htm
http://www.alsos.com/Products/Devices/SpaceBall.html
http://www.mindflux.com.au/products/spacetec/3003flx.html

3dconnection has some claims about better performance. I just read one independant review which claimed that it is more efficient when you have to scroll a lot.

Minus gaming, the supported software list is rather impressive: http://www.3dconnexion.com/applicationlist.htm

Has anyone here actually used a Spaceball? I'm interested in hearing detailed experiences.