Defending the rodent (was Re: Defending the Python lanuage...)

Quinn Dunkan quinn at
Mon Feb 4 23:21:33 CET 2002

On Mon, 04 Feb 2002 06:19:25 GMT, Jacob Kaplan-Moss <jacobkm at>
>In article <mailman.1012606383.28987.python-list at>,
>James_Althoff at wrote:
>> Of course, if Douglas Englebart had had his way, this would all be moot.
>> Englebart -- who invented the computer mouse -- didn't like moving his hand
>> off the keyboard either.  So for his famous NLS system he devised a
>> one-handed "chording" keypad on which he typed (all characters) using his
>> left hand while manipulating the mouse with his right.  Decades later he
>> still maintained that this is *the* way to do it.  :-)
>Have you ever tried a chording keyboard?  It's absolutely amazing; I can
>type about twice as fast on a chording keyboard as I can on a QWERTY one
>(although I probably couldn't now -- I haven't used one for years).

Really?  Intuitively it seems to me that they'd be slower.  Even pianists can't
play a vertical figure nearly as quickly as a horizontal one, and I'm not even
a pianist.  I suppose if you used a chording "macro" keyboard you could
potentially go quicker, but *twice* as fast as on qwerty seems to indicate that
maybe you were a poor qwerty touch-typer back then :)

I've seen blind people chunking away at chording braille typewriters, and they
go at quite a clip, but the actual letters come out pretty slowly.

>Jacob (who now wants to get his circa 1990 serial chording keyboard to
>work with his palm for taking notes in class)

I noticed that there are some places online selling them.  Tend to be
expensive, but someday I mean to try one.

My old idea for an ideal "keyboard" was a glove that responds to finger and
wrist twitches.  The you could chord those, stick your hands in a tub of hot
water, put your feet up in the air, and kiss RSI goodbye.

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