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The Ultimate Qwerky Keyboard

Posted: 02 Apr 2019, 17:19
by yogi
Built like a tank ... this might be worth looking into.


Re: The Ultimate Qwerky Keyboard

Posted: 02 Apr 2019, 17:35
by Kellemora
I played with something similar at the store, looked like an antique typewriter.
I honestly didn't like it, and would hate to have to use it all day long.
To be truthful, I don't like very many keyboards at all. I guess I got spoiled with the cheap ones I buy by the case.
When I sit down at my wife's computer, I'm always messing up because of where the keys are placed.
I make extensive use of the Home, End, Delete, and Scroll Lock keys during the day, and when writing or editing I use the backspace and arrow keys a lot.
I know I could get used to keys placed differently that what I've become accustomed, but the last dozen keyboards I've bought, and gone through 11 of them now, have me pretty much locked into this brand and placement of keys.
Besides, they fit my keyboard drawer perfectly too, hi hi.

Re: The Ultimate Qwerky Keyboard

Posted: 02 Apr 2019, 18:25
by yogi
The cost of this keyboard probably could buy you two cases of those cheapies you are accustomed to using. Aside from the cool factor the only other thing Qwerky Keyboard has going for it is it's heavy duty construction. I'm getting tired of the gaming keyboards I've been experimenting with and this legacy keyboard would be just the thing to counter what I'm using now. I'd rush out to buy one today, but the $250 price tag is a little extravagant even for me. LOL

Re: The Ultimate Qwerky Keyboard

Posted: 03 Apr 2019, 16:28
by Kellemora
I used to pay between 100 and 135 dollars each for all of my keyboards. It was the only way I could get ones that had the right touch, the right weight on the keys, and would hold up. Many of these had replaceable key units too. They were also fairly heavy and in some cases quite large.
But then like everything else, they kept making them cheaper in quality, but holding the higher prices.
I never did like the cheaper keyboards at all until I ran across the ones I now use, and have used for the last decade at least. They had the exact same weight as my favorite expensive keyboards, but were naturally made cheap. The letters were painted on so wore off fast, which didn't bother me, I never look at the keyboard anyhow. But then so did the expensive ones quit making the key letter go all the way through the plastic, so they wore off too in the end.
By buying a case of 6 keyboards, I got my first case for only 10 bucks maybe 12 bucks each. It took about 5 years to wear them out, so I bought another case of 6, and only have one left after about 9 years. This last case cost around 19 dollars each, and I checked recently and can still get them on special order, while supplies last, but they are now 24 dollars each. I don't type as much as I did either, other than my own writing, but am still at the keyboard almost all day. Use a mouse quite often instead of typing.

What I really need is a keyboard that types what I'm thinking and not what my fingers decide to type, hi hi.

Re: The Ultimate Qwerky Keyboard

Posted: 03 Apr 2019, 19:57
by yogi
One of the surprises I discovered with my Android clever-phone was its ability to translate my voice into text. In the past my experiences with that technology has been disappointing to say the least. This Pixel phone has the art pretty well down pat. I'm fairly certain I could do away with the keypad on the phone altogether if I made an effort at it. There are times when it will make a mistake but the damned thing learns from it's mistakes. LOL I'll retype what I intended and the next time it will get it right. It also has a predictive text algorithm and will suggest text phrases as I type along. That too is amazingly accurate but less perfect than the translation function. They claim Google is ahead of the curve in voice recognition, but I've never put much confidence into such claims. Well, I can say now that they are pretty damned good. Too bad Windows can't come up with something like this of their own.

Re: The Ultimate Qwerky Keyboard

Posted: 04 Apr 2019, 16:12
by Kellemora
I used Dragon Point n Speak for a few months. Took longer to go back and make the corrections than to type it out the first time by hand.

I subscribed to a website a couple of years ago that converted voice to text. I'm pretty sure it used a Google program, although the website didn't say. Because it would make the same mistake from my voice as my frau's cell phone does, or this Alexa monster sitting on the kitchen counter.
In any case, I was happy with the output, very few corrections were necessary. It even corrected words I may have used improperly, which threw me for a loop at first.
But then I didn't need it until I was ready to do another round of rough draft work, so cancelled my monthly subscription, and when I went back to use it again, they were gone, along with a couple of other writing websites I used.

What I didn't like about Dragon, was it also controlled the computer. And if you used one of the key control words in a sentence, it would do that instead of write it down, hi hi.

Right now I'm pulling my hair out, I forgot how to do a couple of Formatting operations, and checking how-to's on-line, is not how I did it before. It was much simpler than the instructions they now give.
When I did find the correct way to achieve what I wanted to do with the formatting, I couldn't get it to change and only work on the pages I needed it to work on. Plus it would go back and change what I already had the way I wanted it. Grrr.
Don't worry about it though, I'll get it figured out again. I know it is simple, I just forgot how. I'll figure it out again.

Re: The Ultimate Qwerky Keyboard

Posted: 04 Apr 2019, 23:31
by yogi
Voice recognition as we know it today is still in its infancy, or possibly early childhood. I recall taking a class at Motorola that explained how it all worked on telephones. Each syllable uttered by humans translates into a hex number and the manipulation of those numbers is how translations get done. Duplicating voice sounds is critical to telecommunications devices, but even back then they were tinkering with voice to text algorithms. Apparently it's harder than it seems because each word in the English language can be said with different accents and intonations. Our brains are pretty good at figuring that all out, but not so with computers. It will get better, much better, in the not too distant future. There are already robots that look, feel, and smell like humans. Many of them can talk like humans too. We will soon see human-like robots flipping burgers at McDonalds, which I'm guessing would be cheaper than paying people $15/hr to do it.

I hope you figure out the format problem before you lose all your hair. LOL I know that I had tons of problems getting CSS to format a web page the way I wanted it to be. Page layouts have got to be a nightmare.

Re: The Ultimate Qwerky Keyboard

Posted: 05 Apr 2019, 16:00
by Kellemora
We have so many duplicate words in our language that have totally different meanings, I'm surprised just hearing them doesn't cause the voice recognition program to crash the computers, hi hi.

On another note, I saw a translation once done by a computer that used almost all the wrong words. I had a copy of it hanging on the wall for a long time. The translation was based on the definition of the word, and hunted for words with equivalent definitions in our language. The translation made no sense whatsoever, unless you looked at each individual word, and thought of its meaning, and then tried to come up with the correct word it should have used.
It was so convoluted, I can't even remember an example to give you.

OH, I figured out where I went wrong in my formatting. There are two or really three types of page breaks.
When I was trying to add the headers, page numbers, and topic text as a Page Style, it would change everything like as if I altered the Master Page Style that covers the entire document.
I would click on a Page Break line to Edit, Modify, or Delete it, selecting Delete and it would not delete.
OK, here's the problem I forgot about.
There is a natural Page Break controlled by the Master Page Style which shows the break between each page.
Then we have the Page Break I inserted to make like the Title Page only have the Title on that page. This type of break can be added or removed, but still uses the Default Master Page Style. So if you go to Modify Page Style, it does it for the entire document, since a normal inserted Page Break is just that, only a page break.
Now, if you want to have different Page Styles on different pages, you have to use a Manual Page Break, which is a little confusing. From the Drop Down List, instead of selecting Page Break, you select Manual Break, then from the next box that pops up you select the words Page Break. This is almost the equivalent of a Section Break in msWORD, except applies to the whole page, not just a paragraph or column break.
Once I figured out a Page Break, and a Manual Page Break were two different animals, it jogged my memory, and I got everything back in order again.
You use a different Page Style for the Cover, a different Page Style for the Title Pages, another Page Style for the Front Matter (Preface and Copyright pages), then another Page Style for Body Matter (where the Chapters of the story are). There is also Back Matter if you need to have yet another style.
So what's the difference?
Front Matter uses lower case Roman letters for the page numbers.
Body Matter uses normal Arabic numbers for the pages.
And Back Matter (Appendix, Source Data, etc.) is normally not numbered, but some do use a continuation of the books page numbers. Source Data often uses superscript numbers within the body of the text, which corresponds to an item in the Source Data area, also called End Matter.

As an aside: When formatting books for publishing, carriage returns cannot normally be used, other than to end a sentence. They are not used to create blank lines, or to center a single line of text vertically on a page. The parsing engines that convert a book to electronic format will interpret more than as single carriage return as a special formatting instruction. In many cases, two carriage returns in a row means to insert centered starred ellipse, and three in a row mean to skip an entire page, causing a blank page. If you want each new chapter to begin on the right page, and the last chapter ended on the right page, you may want to force a blank page which will then be the left page in the printed book. But there are better ways of doing this, like using Page Breaks instead of carriage returns. I forget now what four carriage returns in a row does, it might force a normally right printing page to print on the left, I just don't remember. Nevertheless, we don't use carriage returns when we can do it a better safer way.

Re: The Ultimate Qwerky Keyboard

Posted: 05 Apr 2019, 19:40
by yogi
Styles are something best left for making web pages. LOL Even then they should be avoided whenever possible. I have limited need for styling in the letters I write, but sometimes I do try to get creative. There is a default style that comes with Libere Office and I don't touch it. Any special formatting I do is done within the default style. Needless to say I don't do a lot of formatting. I do know what you are talking about because the CSS style sheet idea is similar. Styles cascade down and carry inherent properties. It is indeed possible to mix several style formats within a single document, which is where I frequently get lost. So I avoid styles as much as possible. And, of course, writing here is a no brainer as well as very little styling.

Language translation probably never will be perfected. There are too many variations on the same theme. Translating voice to words, however, seems to be moving right along in the proper direction. The word meanings are sorted out by artificial intelligence that reviews the word in context and how it was used historically. In this way the translation is learning about you and your speaking habits as an aid to writing. It's pretty scary when some of the suggestions come up with something you were only thinking about.

Re: The Ultimate Qwerky Keyboard

Posted: 06 Apr 2019, 16:29
by Kellemora
I don't think publishing a book without having the use of page formatting styles would be possible.
Without styles, you couldn't have the small Roman numeral pages, followed by the Arabic numbered pages.
Or keep Headers and Footers off of some pages, but have them appear on other pages, or only in certain sections.

Sure, it could be done manually on each page without using styles, but then you make a change to a page, and you suddenly find you have to renumber pages 118 through 364 by hand, one at a time, and change the margin settings on each for right or left hand pages. We would go crazy without having styles to use, hi hi.

AI is moving along at a clip faster than I like to see it. Some day we will be replaced by computers running the world, after they gain dominance, hi hi.

Re: The Ultimate Qwerky Keyboard

Posted: 06 Apr 2019, 19:41
by yogi
I read an article not too many months ago that discussed the level of intelligence AI has come to. There is a consensus that at some point AI will surpass the intelligence of human beings. The most optimistic guesses say that will happen in about 5-6 from today. 13 years is the absolute worst case. These same people also were leaning toward strict control over the development of AI because they weren't sure what would happen once the bots got smarter than us. Unfortunately, we in the USA are not the only people moving along the AI path. Some nations who are not exactly on friendly terms with us are pretty far along too. Just think about using AI to fight the next war. It's frightening.

Re: The Ultimate Qwerky Keyboard

Posted: 07 Apr 2019, 15:18
by Kellemora
We will have to worry when computers can start controlling themselves.
NASA has a few computer modules used on space ships that can repair themselves, have for years.
But then to, this is all programmed to perform that function, not exactly AI.
Sorta like the Internet finding the shortest fastest path to deliver a message.

I use a few grammar helping websites to read my paragraphs and offer suggestions, or I can let it fix the paragraph itself.
Some of these computers are getting so smart, they can actually write a book for us, as we input the info we want contained in the book. But they still miss the human touch of course.

Saw a video of a girl training auto-assembly robots. Don't remember much about it now. But it was interesting to watch what she taught them to do, using only her own body and hand motions.

I would like a robot to tend to my outdoor lawn and yard care chores, like keeping the hedge trimmed, etc.

Re: The Ultimate Qwerky Keyboard

Posted: 07 Apr 2019, 20:41
by yogi
Your robotic landscaper is closer to being real than you might expect. It's just a matter of time for the costs to come down.

As happens in much of technology the most innovative concepts have their roots in pornography. The latest push in that direction is sex dolls, which are not new in concept. The robotic dolls with AI built in have soft skin, perspiration, and even bad breath. LOL The most astounding feature of the current development is that they are trying to teach these dolls about emotions so that they can respond realistically to your needs. In fact they got them to the point where the dolls can learn about your habits and predict what you will do next, or want to have done. But to teach them sympathy, affection, happiness, and all the other feelings we humans have is beyond my comprehension. Eventually they will be successful, and then our big concern is what will those 'droids do when they feel anger and want revenge.

Re: The Ultimate Qwerky Keyboard

Posted: 08 Apr 2019, 16:02
by Kellemora
I've had a few robotic vacuum cleaners over the years. I tried a couple of lawn mowing robots, but they need a lot of work yet.
When our family lived next to the florist and greenhouses, we had a Cub Cadet tractor with a Sickle Side Bar that worked at all angles, including vertically. Dad had hedges all around the perimeter of his property, plus we had several on the farm itself. We used this little tractor with the vertical sickle bar to trim the hedges about once a month, so they always looked nice. Sorta wish I had something like that for down here. I live on a full-acre with a hedge completely around our property.
I'm not able to do that kind of work anymore, so it gets unruly really fast. Can't afford to hire someone on a regular basis either. And as our drug costs keep going up, we have to keep cutting out more and more of what we can have done.

You'll get a kick out of this. My uncle Andy used to mow his lawn while sitting in the shade of his front porch. All except the very corners of his property, and a couple of triangular spots the mower didn't hit.
What he did was take a self-propelled mower, and tied tether from it to one of his three trees in the front yard. He would let the mower go and it would wind itself up closer to the tree with each circle it made around the tree. When it got to the tree, he would move it over to another tree, and then another tree, and finish up by pushing it over the triangles it missed, and at the four corners.

He couldn't do that in the backyard because of the many trees and shrubs, shed, and other things back there. So he laid electric conduit on the ground, with long spikes going into the ground to hold it in place. He had a Pulley mounted on a bar sticking out of the front of the mower with a spring to hold it down onto the conduit. It worked fairly well, but would sometimes jump the track if too much debris or a twig landed on it. But once it make a couple of round around the yard, it didn't really matter as it would eventually find another conduit and either run alongside it, or remount itself onto the conduit.
As an aside, this is where I got the idea to make a small train for my kids in the back yard, only mine were tied together and could be taken up with ease, like sections of train track.

My uncle Herb tried the buried cable method to mow his grass, but it never worked very well at all. He kept trying larger and larger transformers that put the signal through the wire, but the mower would still lose its signal. Wasn't home brew, it was a bought system, so he was out a lot of bucks over that one.

Now if GPS is well enough for farmers to plant crops, seems it would be well enough to guide a lawn mower, hi hi.

Re: The Ultimate Qwerky Keyboard

Posted: 08 Apr 2019, 19:37
by yogi
I suppose things have changed over the years, but the last time I read about GPS systems the civilian versions were only accurate to within one meter. That might be good enough for a farm tractor, but it won't do for a lawn mower. Your entire family is pretty creative and I can see where your inventive mind came from. Since I'm not that creative and don't have a lot of time and patience, I'd just go out and buy the latest John Deere riding mower and sit down on the machine while it's going through its paces. LOL All of these homebrew inventions are very satisfying to the builders, but the robots coming down the line will be much different than the Roomba vacuum principle. The bots I'm thinking about will look like people and will communicate like people. They will probably mow my lawn like a people does now too.

Re: The Ultimate Qwerky Keyboard

Posted: 09 Apr 2019, 14:41
by Kellemora
I wouldn't care if they looked like a people are the tin man, as long as they could do the job, and were affordable, hi hi.

As far as GPS goes, true the accuracy we have access to is 4 meters.
Commercial units could get it down to 3 meters.
But the units used on tractors for planting, and designing Corn Mazes, all use a 2 Frequency system, which brings their accuracy down to better than 1 meter. But the farmers claim it is accurate to within a couple of feet or better, but that is because of other computer programming. The GPS is only used to set the start point, and the stop point of row one. The computer handles all the rest of the field, with help from the GPS to make sure it is opening and closing the seed chutes within the tolerance range.

Re: The Ultimate Qwerky Keyboard

Posted: 09 Apr 2019, 23:56
by yogi
You've got to be a multimillionaire farmer or a corporation in order to be able to buy one of those computerized planting systems. I suppose if it improves the crop yields it might be worth it over time. But I don't know if farmers have that much time.

Speaking of computers, I think I told you about my laptop having fits. The basic problem is that it won't boot. I'm not sure it's even getting into BIOS, and if it is, it's not doing anything once it's in there. This leads me to the possibility of resetting the cmos chip to factory defaults. The normal way to do it is to remove the lithium battery and short out the terminals for a minute or two until all the capacitors discharge. That blows away anything BIOS might have been programmed to do so that it starts to reinstall itself when you turn it on next time. It's one way to determine if the problem is hardware or firmware related. I'm thinking there might be a virus in the BIOS, but until I can reset it I'll never know.

The laptop I have is well made to be accessible. There is one panel on the bottom with one screw holding it in place. Once removed the hard drive and the memory cards are revealed, and in most cases the cmos battery is visible. Well it's not visible in this laptop. That means I would have to remove the entire bottom half of the clam shell in order to locate the battery in question. Every time I've done that on other laptops it never went back together the same way. This irks me because everything seems to work except the BIOS. It would break my heart if I had to toss the computer just because the battery died ... or something like that.

Re: The Ultimate Qwerky Keyboard

Posted: 10 Apr 2019, 15:43
by Kellemora
Not really Yogi, I forget the name of the little yellow GPS box, DACA or something like that, and it can be used with a laptop computer and a controller driver program to operate the seed feeding chutes.
The planting systems claim that with setting the four corners of the field, or the top center and bottom corners of a rectangular field, they can control the seeding operation to within a few centimeters if they use twin frequency GPS.

Even in standard size computers, finding that CMOS battery can sometimes be quite a poser. Had to replace one in the computer the frau is using right now, and had to remove tons of stuff to get to it. It also stood on end which was unusual, in a tiny slot with a black plastic snap over cover. Thank goodness I could find the board on-line to see where it was else I never would have found it.

I was cleaning out a storage closet in the garage, the door has not been able to be opened since shortly after we moved down here, due to our stuff in the way. I found an old 286 laptop in there. Have not opened the bag yet to see how much corrosion the battery pack may have done. Still have several things stacked on top of the bag, mostly glass Christmas ornaments which don't weigh anything, but no reason to take them out of the closet either.

I hope you don't have too much trouble finding and changing the CMOS battery, and can get the case back together as it should be.

Re: The Ultimate Qwerky Keyboard

Posted: 10 Apr 2019, 20:26
by yogi
I think I know what has to be done to get to the battery in the laptop. The bottom will need to be removed. From the outside it looks like Toshiba did a pretty good job of designing the case. It might be possible that the bottom panel will be as easy to remove as is the access panel. I will attempt hacking it at some point, but not just right now. It's only a 50% chance that the firmware is corrupt and that it's not a hardware issue.

This laptop is multiboot. I have two flavors of Linux on it along with the Insider Preview of Windows. I've grown to dislike Linux immensely because of what it does with Grub. Whenever you install Linux, Grub is installed on the MBR regardless of what is there already. The first time I created a multiboot system it blew away the Windows MBR without getting my permission first. The only way you get a choice of which partition for Grub to be installed on is if you do a custom install. This requires some previous knowledge of how partitions work and why you would want to select one format over the other. My first experiences with Linux were spent learning the hard way how it works. Then, once Grub is installed, it becomes a small nightmare configuring it to boot in the preferred order. Linux, of course, disregards the fact that I need Windows to be first on the list of OS's to choose from. This is necessary so that I can perform an unattended software update. Windows reboots several times during its normal update process and I don't need to be flipping through an arrogant Grub program to keep telling it I don't want to see Linux first on my list. Well, you get the idea.

So, anyway, I'm familiar enough with multiboot systems now so that the only mistakes I make are out of carelessness and not out of ignorance. One of the two Linux distributions sitting on my laptop is a Debian version of Kali Linux. I'm an Ubuntu fan but since I also like what Kali offers I keep it on the laptop alongside Ubuntu and Windows. The last time around I decided to bypass Kali's UI and use the command line to update the software. I did a "dist-upgrade" which turns out to be a mistake because it installed every freaking program in the Debian repository whether it had anything to do with Kali or not. It also installed a new version of Grub.

When I discovered my mistake, I booted up Ubuntu and blew away the Kali partition. Ubuntu rebuilt Grub for the new configuration, or so I thought it did. The system did restart with no problem after I updated Ubuntu and Grub. But after that I could not boot anymore. So, blowing away Kali did something to Grub and it only looked like Ubuntu fixed it. At this point I put in a live CD version of Ubuntu and reinstalled it. It wiped out the original partition and installed Ubuntu into the partition that formerly contained Kali. This was fine with me even though I don't understand why it did it that way. I rebooted a couple times just to make sure Grup was behaving, and it seemed to be. Then I booted into Windows and Grub and/or BIOS has not been the same ever since.

You see, in the case of Windows there is a single repair program that is commonly available to fix the MBR of any Windows system. There are not six different configuration files that need to be changed in order to get Windows to boot. The only glitch there is that you must be able to boot the system in the first place in order to fix the Windows MBR. So that's where I'm at. I can't fix anything until I can boot the computer properly, and the more I think about it the more it looks as if GRUB broke the system.

I found a nice MSI laptop that will suit my needs. They don't support Linux, but some folks say it will work. Just don't ask MSI for help if it doesn't. If I can determine that GRUB is the culprit, that's not going to make me very happy. Way back when I did this multiboot experiment the first time I was talking to our deceased buddy Glenn about it. The idea came up back then that Windows and Linux cannot live peacefully side by side on the same computer. Up until now I've proven that idea to be wrong. The jury is still out, but I have an idea what I'm actually going to do to fix this problem. :mrgreen:

Re: The Ultimate Qwerky Keyboard

Posted: 11 Apr 2019, 15:02
by Kellemora
I have several Distro's on my computer also, and one of the problems is EACH OS installs a new version of Grub, and if Grub stage 2 points to a partition you may have deleted, BANG no more boot up.
Normally, the LAST OS installed is the one who takes control of Grub stage 2, unless you have created a special Grub stage 2 partition, which is too tricky even for me to figure out.

I couldn't take the chance of messing up my only computer, back when I only had one computer, so I installed a second hard drive and that is where I loaded my Linux OSs. I had to go into Bio's to select which hard drive to boot from, and this worked out OK for a long time.
Then I picked up a used computer to play with and installed Windows first, you always have to do Windows first, since it thinks it is God. Then I installed like six different Linux OSs and all was working well until I decided to start deleting some to make more room for data. That's when I learned Grub has a stage 2 on each partition, and only one of them, usually the last OS installed, is the working and up-to-date one.
Ever since, I never deleted an OS directly, I just overwrote it with a new OS install, and this saved a lot of headaches.

I preferred the old Grub over the new Grub, but with so many machines having EFI or whatever it's called, you have to use the compatible version of Grub. I just let the OS use the one it decides is best to use.