new keyboard

Subject: new keyboard
From: holland -at- CVAX -dot- IPFW -dot- INDIANA -dot- EDU
Date: Sat, 20 Mar 1993 18:50:31 EST

Okay, I am tired of the paradigms discussion, already. Lemme throw out
something else....

In the beginning, keyboards were a display (as well as an input) device: Each
key displayed what would appear if you pressed it. Then somebody got fancy
and invented the Shift key, but the keyboard remained _fairly_ WYSIWYG: The
shifted numbers produced punctuation, but it, too, appeared on the key.

Then along came computers, and with them came lots of Shift keys (Alt, Ctrl,
Esc, &c). And all was lost.

WHAT IF somebody developed a keyboard that recaptured the display function:
When the computer is off, the keyboard is BLANK. When turned on, the keyboard
display is loaded by whatever program (or op system) the computer is using.
Thus, the A key would routinely display "A" but if the Ctrl key were pressed
and Ctrl-A meant "Abort," the keyboard display (LCD, probably) would say
"Abort." The f---ing F-keys would display WHATEVER THEY WOULD DO AT ANY GIVEN
TIME! (The COMPUTER knows what it'll do when Shift-F9 is pressed; it can damn
well tell us!)

Think of the $million$ in training that would be saved. Think of how much
easier it'd be to write manuals. Think of how happy the software writers'd be,
since they'd have to create (and sell!) new versions with keyboard drivers
built into them. The template saleshumen, of course, would have a fit; but the
rest of us'd be on Easy Street.

Any budding E.E. types out there who wanna get rich and famous?

Steve Hollander
holland -at- cvax -dot- ipfw -dot- indiana -dot- edu

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