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New Apple tablet rumor: Larger form factor running Mac OS X - Page 4

post #121 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post

I still think we are all missing something here. These can't just be tablet Macs. The tablet form factor is inherently non-ergonomic and inelegant. Apple has something else going on here. There has to be a "One more thing" that none of us has thought of or seen.

A plain old tablet Mac is not going to be a money maker. A tablet Mac with that extra special Jobs sauce will. We just don't know what's in the sauce.

I'm not so sure about that. Talk of a 10" screen and the use of the dreaded word tablet has clouded the discussion. If the talk was that Apple was planning to take the next step in the evolution of the company's handheld line-up, there be less concern over Apple releasing a Touch with a bigger screen.

The way I see it, the current Touch is a compromise. It's cost-effective to have developed the Touch as a companion to the iPhone. But let's face it, for many of the applications that the Touch is used, the current form factor is poorly suited. Watching video would be better, playing games, reading, surfing, etc. if only the screen were larger.

The point is that while a larger version of the Touch would not be a form factor that would translate well to the iPhone, it is a no-brainer upgrade that Apple, surely, intends to carry out. It/'s simple, really. Build an iPod Touch only based around a larger screen, though not larger as in so much larger that the resulting device is a whole other device.

Right now in the U.S., the Touch line ranges in price from $229 to $399. Wouldn't it be logical to offer two additional models sporting larger screens priced at say $499 and $599? Lots of people would take that leap and as such, Apple would be crazy to not offer that product. The entry-level Touch Jumbo, or whatever, could sport the same memory as the top-end regular Touch. Today that's at 32GB. In a few days that will undoubtedly go up. Is there a market for a $499 Touch with let's say 64GB and a 7" screen? I would argue many would be thrilled with such a device.

To me the question isn't, would Apple make such a device, the question is, why wouldn't they?
post #122 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

... The TDP has been dropped from 16W to 7W, while the average power consumption has been halved to 2W.
http://techwoo.com/intel-atom-pineview-chip-photo...

None of this makes any sense given that the ARM chips Apple is already using completely outperform the Atom.

Why switch from a chip that's better to one that's worse? And that doesn't even take into account the fact that Apple is currently believed to be manufacturing an ARM variant of their own that outperforms the very best of the ARM chips you can buy or license today.

One of the more solid rumours about the purported tablet also, is that it was almost cancelled because the Atom chip they were using couldn't do the job so they decided to go ahead and design and manufacture their own ARM-based chips instead.

The idea that they will use "desktop" OS-X on a tablet is not very well thought out anyway, but een if they did, it would be quicker and easier to port Snow Leopard to ARM than it would to try and get performance out of intel's Atom chips on mobile devices.
post #123 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

None of this makes any sense given that the ARM chips Apple is already using completely outperform the Atom.

Why switch from a chip that's better to one that's worse? And that doesn't even take into account the fact that Apple is currently believed to be manufacturing an ARM variant of their own that outperforms the very best of the ARM chips you can buy or license today.

One of the more solid rumours about the purported tablet also, is that it was almost cancelled because the Atom chip they were using couldn't do the job so they decided to go ahead and design and manufacture their own ARM-based chips instead.

The idea that they will use "desktop" OS-X on a tablet is not very well thought out anyway, but een if they did, it would be quicker and easier to port Snow Leopard to ARM than it would to try and get performance out of intel's Atom chips on mobile devices.

*

This really is the nut of it, isn't it? On one hand we have the proven (and implemented) ARM (RISC) solution and on the other hand the unproven (and unimplemented) Atom (CISC) solution... but it is more than that, really, it is the symbiosis among the CPU, GPU, h264 (media) encoder/decoder and the OS.

The OS is, relatively incidental (whether Mac OS X or iPhone OS X, they are both OS X). What may be more critical is to adapt applications that don't, presently, use a touch interface, to the tablet.

I believe that Apple will set the stage by adapting iLife and iWork to the tablet touch UI. If Keynote were to be enhanced to be able to use pp presos, then we're far along the road to meet the requirements that most users would require

iWork will need to formally include an SQL database... ...hmmm

The beauty of all this is that the content can reside:

-- on the tablet
-- on your (web-accessible) home computer
-- on Apple's MobileMe servers
-- on the web, wherever
-- any combination of the above

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post #124 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shogun View Post

My money's on OSX.

As someone wrote a while back, Snow Leopard has technologies that will make a tablet much nicer to use. Expose in the dock, for example. Smaller size, for example.

Over 110 features were added to ENABLE easier MOUSE interaction with the system... Um, yea.... Mouse...
post #125 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

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This really is the nut of it, isn't it? On one hand we have the proven (and implemented) ARM (RISC) solution and on the other hand the unproven (and unimplemented) Atom (CISC) solution... but it is more than that, really, it is the symbiosis among the CPU, GPU, h264 (media) encoder/decoder and the OS.

The OS is, relatively incidental (whether Mac OS X or iPhone OS X, they are both OS X). What may be more critical is to adapt applications that don't, presently, use a touch interface, to the tablet.

I believe that Apple will set the stage by adapting iLife and iWork to the tablet touch UI. If Keynote were to be enhanced to be able to use pp presos, then we're far along the road to meet the requirements that most users would require

iWork will need to formally include an SQL database... ...hmmm

The beauty of all this is that the content can reside:

-- on the tablet
-- on your (web-accessible) home computer
-- on Apple's MobileMe servers
-- on the web, wherever
-- any combination of the above

*

The correct CPU to use in this Situation would NOT be an ATOM. ULV Penryn ALA MacBook Air or the RRRRULV CPU in 1.2-1.6ghz. (that's an exageration RRRRRRRRRR realy realy... but the CPU does exist).

Atom is IN SEQUENCE processing only cpu. Or in English, your not running HD video or working with half the iLife suite with it.
post #126 of 164
I think the Tablet is going to be Apple's answer to the Kindle. Baby Boomers will have to usher this thing in if its priced as high as they're saying, and boomers are flocking to the Kindle and eBooks more than ever. I think "El Jobso" will hand them his answer on a silver platter: great eBook reader and new eBook section on iTunes, perhaps a magazine reader (magazines really only work in color), internet browser, and iTunes media center (including Apps of course). Think about it: we had good mp3 players before the ipod and good cell phones before the iPhone. Now we have good eBook readers out from the likes of Sony and Amazon. My prediction is Apple is going in for the kill in this market too. We'll see. And it will be interesting to see what they actually name it too. Can't wait.
post #127 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by xwiredtva View Post

The correct CPU to use in this Situation would NOT be an ATOM. ULV Penryn ALA MacBook Air or the RRRRULV CPU in 1.2-1.6ghz. (that's an exageration RRRRRRRRRR realy realy... but the CPU does exist).

Atom is IN SEQUENCE processing only cpu. Or in English, your not running HD video or working with half the iLife suite with it.

Pair it with the Nvidia 9400M, which is marketed as Ion, and you have a powerful enough system for HD video. However, I don't think it would work great for many CPU heavy apps, like iLife, unless they get OpenCL working with that platform. I think Ion is a muh better fit for the next AppleTV.
post #128 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

None of this makes any sense given that the ARM chips Apple is already using completely outperform the Atom.

Why switch from a chip that's better to one that's worse? And that doesn't even take into account the fact that Apple is currently believed to be manufacturing an ARM variant of their own that outperforms the very best of the ARM chips you can buy or license today.

One of the more solid rumours about the purported tablet also, is that it was almost cancelled because the Atom chip they were using couldn't do the job so they decided to go ahead and design and manufacture their own ARM-based chips instead.

The idea that they will use "desktop" OS-X on a tablet is not very well thought out anyway, but een if they did, it would be quicker and easier to port Snow Leopard to ARM than it would to try and get performance out of intel's Atom chips on mobile devices.

Yes, but there is a problem. Using an Intel Atom (aka, x86) chip does not require recompiling, debugging and optimizing for any new chip. Thus, all current Mac OS X applications can run on the new tablet.

Whereas using ARM would mean a gigantic effort, as when moving from PowerPC to Intel (for Apple and other developers as well). Time will tell what Apple does, but if Intel offers an Atom that competes with ARM by 2010 as they have promised, chances are that Apple will wait and use it. ACTUALLY, THAT MAY BE THE MAIN REASON why the famous Apple Tablet has not been shipped yet!

Because the tablet needs Mac OS X (optimized for small touch screens, of course) and not the OS X found on iPhone and iPod touch that is too crippled and limited as a Desktop OS. That is the key to success, because people want the tablet to carry their Mac stuff with them on their pocket, bag or purse, all the time, wherever they go.
post #129 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

Yes, but there is a problem. Using an Intel Atom (aka, x86) chip does not require recompiling, debugging and optimizing for any new chip. Thus, all current Mac OS X applications can run on the new tablet.

Whereas using ARM would mean a gigantic effort, as when moving from PowerPC to Intel (for Apple and other developers as well). Time will tell what Apple does, but if Intel offers an Atom that competes with ARM by 2010 as they have promised, chances are that Apple will wait and use it. ACTUALLY, THAT MAY BE THE MAIN REASON why the famous Apple Tablet has not been shipped yet!

Because the tablet needs Mac OS X (optimized for small touch screens, of course) and not the OS X found on iPhone and iPod touch that is too crippled and limited as a Desktop OS. That is the key to success, because people want the tablet to carry their Mac stuff with them on their pocket, bag or purse, all the time, wherever they go.

First, Mac OS X and iPhone OS X (and AppleTV OS X) are basically the same OS with different components, APIs and frameworks appropriate for the targeted devices. For example, Apple did not include Apache Web server or PHP on the iPhone because 99.44% of the users do not need that capability on an iPhone or iPod Touch. But, if you JailBreak the iPhone you will see the same OS X structure as on the Mac-- yes Virginia, the apps on the iPhone go into the Applications folder (just like on the Mac). Now, if you want to install Apache Web Server and PHP on the iPhone you can do that with ease, using the same procedure you'd use on Linux, Unix, Mac OS X. iPhone OS X does multitasking-- you play music while you surf the web and receive mail, SMS messages, Push notifications and phone calls. Within an app you write, you can start multiple threads, say Parsing an XML file can proceed while populating the screen with images in a custom view. What you are not permitted to do is have your (3rd-party) app continue running while other 3rd-party apps are running. There are several reasons that apple does not allow this on the iPhone: battery drain; performance; limited resources; security. IMO, this limitation makes sense on these small devices.

The iPhone OS X could easily be enhanced for larger devices like a tablet-- include more Mac OS X components, frameworks and APIs, permit multitasking of 3rd-party apps, share data among apps, etc.

For the iPhone, it is a simple recompile to run an iPhone app on the device (ARM) or the simulator (Intel).

There are a few high-profile Mac OS X app that are not written in Cocoa, and are difficult to port to any platform. However, these apps would also need to be rewritten to use a touch interface. So, likely, these will not be ported.

If you need these apps to run on a tablet running Mac OS X, then an ARM tablet is not for you. (An Intel tablet probably wouldn't be acceptable either, because of the UI).

For other people, and I suspect that they are a large majority, an ARM tablet would be fine. Apple could port iLife and iWork (if they haven't, already) and that, plus some enhanced iPhone apps would satisfy the needs of many users. This is especially true if Apple targets the ARM tablet to a new class of users.

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post #130 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

There are a few high-profile Mac OS X app that are not written in Cocoa, and are difficult to port to any platform. However, these apps would also need to be rewritten to use a touch interface. So, likely, these will not be ported.

If you need these apps to run on a tablet running Mac OS X, then an ARM tablet is not for you. (An Intel tablet probably wouldn't be acceptable either, because of the UI).

Unless Intel offers an Atom chip as efficient as ARM (as they have promised by 2010), and Apple (not requiring the other developers necessarily) tunes the UI for Mac OS X to run on a tablet (as suggests their dozens of patents). THAT WOULD ROCK because allows to use the current Mac OS X applications on the Apple Tablet!
post #131 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

Yes, but there is a problem. Using an Intel Atom (aka, x86) chip does not require recompiling, debugging and optimizing for any new chip. Thus, all current Mac OS X applications can run on the new tablet.

You make a fundamental mistake here in that you seem to associate running an app with said app being useful. Apps built around the Mac Os/X / Cocao interface can not automatically be considered useful on the a tablet. Apps built around even older APIs don't have a chance of functioning well.
Quote:
Whereas using ARM would mean a gigantic effort, as when moving from PowerPC to Intel (for Apple and other developers as well).

There is nothing gigantic about running existing iPhone apps which ought to be a snap. Plus many developers are into iPhone because they smell the money, if the new tablet even remotely appears to be successful we will have more apps than we know what to do with. For exanmple the current app store.

The other part of this equation is that people have wild expectations about what a tablet could realistically be useful for. Tablets will never run many of the productivity apps well that people use laptops for. The history is sound here, marketing a tablet as an alternative way to run the same apps that you have on a laptop is doomed to failure.

In fact it is so important that people not think of this machine as a laptop alternative I can see Apple maintaining software restrictions on the device just like they do on iPhone. That won't be because of any evil intent on Apples part but rather a need to make sure people don't get the wrong idea about running normal Mac software. Trying to shoehorn a regular Mac app into this device will lead to all sorts of consummer dissatisfaction.
Quote:
Time will tell what Apple does, but if Intel offers an Atom that competes with ARM by 2010 as they have promised, chances are that Apple will wait and use it. ACTUALLY, THAT MAY BE THE MAIN REASON why the famous Apple Tablet has not been shipped yet!

Well anything is possible but in this case I believe it is highly improbable. First PA Semi was purchased for a reason which frankly has never been complete spelled out. Second no matter what Intel does ARM will always be a lower power device. The ARM core is so small that it beats Intel even when intel uses the most advanced processes known. On top of all that I can see PA Semi souping up ARM in ways that make it even harder for Intel to compete. In the end ATOM fails because Intel packed to much legacy crap into the hardware.
Quote:

Because the tablet needs Mac OS X (optimized for small touch screens, of course) and not the OS X found on iPhone and iPod touch that is too crippled and limited as a Desktop OS.

Here we go again, somebody that doesn't know what they are talking about saying iPhone OS is crippled. Of you keep saying that you will criple any credibility you may have. Come to think of it you just assasinated your credibility.

Learn a little bit about iPhone OS and you will realize it is the closest thing on the market right now with full blown UNIX. Sure there are limitations due to hardware shortcomings and Apple design decisions. Realize this though, all of those issues can be changed with new hardware specs.

While it may be obvious I will point out that the tablet is new hardware and will come with (you guessed it) new specs. So ram and CPU resource issues go away. As will other iPhone short comings such as hardware ports.

In any event don't listen to me. Rather go look at the Jailbreak sites and see what developers there have accomplished with poor tools and zero support. It is actually impressive that there is so much capability in Apples Touch devices.
Quote:
That is the key to success, because people want the tablet to carry their Mac stuff with them on their pocket, bag or purse, all the time, wherever they go.

Nope not at all!!!!!!! I just want a bigger iPhone like device that gives me more control. By control I mean resouces to access the file system, the ability to multi task and packaged software that allows for file system access. Oh and one more thing I/O, this to allow backing up my DSLR on the road.

As it is right now iPhone delivers about 80% of what I need while traveling. A new device could easily deliver 100% and not become grossly more expensive. Just a bit of I/O and more freedom with access and apps. What is notable here is that some of this is already in iPhone as can be seen via a jailbreak.



Dave
post #132 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

Unless Intel offers an Atom chip as efficient as ARM (as they have promised by 2010), and Apple (not requiring the other developers necessarily) tunes the UI for Mac OS X to run on a tablet (as suggests their dozens of patents). THAT WOULD ROCK because allows to use the current Mac OS X applications on the Apple Tablet!

I sit here as a MBP owner and as an iPhone owner and can't possibly understand how you could come to that conclusion. The differences in the User interfaces is so great that I can't see success at all running straight Mac Cocao applications. To much of the Mac world is ancient history, things like the menu bar are not Touch friendly at all. Plus it is obvious that many Mac apps have been designed around a mouse as an interface device.

The problem with mouse based interfaces is that they work great visually, that is when you can see the pointer move over an interface element and easily click or double click on it. Doing so via Touch can be frustrating. The basic problem is you need interface elements design around a finger.

This doesn't even delve into the idea that many Mac Programs are resouces hogs. Try running them on a resource thin device and it will look like sludge. Part of keeping a tablet snappy will revolve around best practices for resource usage. New and limited APIs mean proper acceleration of the things that matter.

On top of all that a tablet gives Apple the opportunity to break from the past. In part this would be seen in focused APIs and new input methods. Couple that with a little AI and we are on our way to interacting in radically different ways with the platform.



Dave
post #133 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The other part of this equation is that people have wild expectations about what a tablet could realistically be useful for. Tablets will never run many of the productivity apps well that people use laptops for. The history is sound here, marketing a tablet as an alternative way to run the same apps that you have on a laptop is doomed to failure.

Dave

I agree with almost all of your post! And I agree, to a point, with the above paragraph.

But, there are creative people (artists, designers, songwriters, etc.) doing creative tasks with tools that hamper the creative mind. A touchable, graphical UI could be implemented to be less a barrier to that creative mind.

A simple example: Aperture, iPhoto and other, similar, apps could use a tablet as a light table where control of individual (and stacks of) images is at your fingertips for rotating, resizing, and other visual effects. You could gather items into a stack with a single swipe of the hand, try various effects, then disperse them with a flick of your fingers.

Or, you want a 3D effect of, say, fingerpainting or raked sand (as in a Japanese rock garden)... How do you do that with a keyboard and a mouse?

Or, you are using FCP to composite a video track with an audio track of a different length. Wouldn't it be nice if you could 2-finger tap the audio track, then drag/drop it onto the video track where the software matched the length and time while simultaneously maintaining the pitch and beat of the audio.

My point here, is that many of the creative apps, as we know them (am I allowed to use that phrase) were implemented within the constraints of the UI tools of the time: the kb and mouse. If we were to rethink these apps from the perspective of a creative user with a new, multi-touch, graphical, tool bag, we could develop superior apps.

We've all seen the TV ads and demos of HP touch, MS Surface (and a few others). Fantastic! What if those kinds of UI elements could be applied to the tasks (apps) that we do on a day-to-day basis.

I am willing to bet that an Apple multitouch tablet will open new doors, and minds! And that they will revolutionize how we do what we do!

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post #134 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

I agree with almost all of your post! And I agree, to a point, with the above paragraph.

But, there are creative people (artists, designers, songwriters, etc.) doing creative tasks with tools that hamper the creative mind. A touchable, graphical UI could be implemented to be less a barrier to that creative mind.

A simple example: Aperture, iPhoto and other, similar, apps could use a tablet as a light table where control of individual (and stacks of) images is at your fingertips for rotating, resizing, and other visual effects. You could gather items into a stack with a single swipe of the hand, try various effects, then disperse them with a flick of your fingers.

Or say, you want a 3D effect of say, fingerpainting or raked sand (as in a Japanese rock garden)... How do you do that with a keyboard and a mouse?

Or, you are using FCP to composite a video track with an audio track of a different length. Wouldn't it be nice if you could 2-finger tap the audio track, then drag/drop it onto the video track where the software matched the length and time while simultaneously maintaining the pitch and beat of the audio.

My point here, is that many of the creative apps, as we know them (am I allowed to use that phrase) were implemented within the constraints of the UI tools of the time: the kb and mouse. If we were to rethink these apps from the perspective of a creative user with a new, multi-touch, graphical, tool bag, we could develop superior apps.

We've all seen the TV ads and demos of HP touch, MS Surface (and a few others). Fantastic! What if those kinds of UI elements could be applied to the tasks (apps) that we do on a day-to-day basis.

I am willing to bet that an Apple multitouch tablet will open new doors, and minds! And that they will revolutionize how we do what we do!

*

This is along the lines of my thinking, as well.

Many folks have focused on text entry as being the achilles heal of a keyboard-less tablet, but for the apps you mention touch control might actually enhance the user experience.

Your example of video editing is a good one, as I have mentioned the newest iMovie had some perplexing UI changes that actually make sense if you imagine that Apple had touch optimized iLife apps in the pipeline. Not to mention Quicktime X's adoption of similar conventions for trimming.

Audio editing? What ever happens in an audio editing program that requires keyboard and mouse precision? Adjustment sliders, track select, EQ, effects are all perfectly amenable to touch, and waveform editing could actually benefit from pinch zoom and timeline dragging. I know I'd rather change the timescale on a timeline through direct manipulation than fussing with widgets or keyboard shortcuts. Just scrub to my desired location by dragging my finger, spread my fingers to zoom in, or use a heads up numeric keypad to enter timecode. Drag the wave form directly, or tap parameter sliders for pop-up adjustments.

Maybe not ready for studio duty, but for casual to prosumer audio editing it could a revelation.
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post #135 of 164
In my personal opinion, the much-rumored tablet computer from Apple will be shown for the first time in October during the public event to unveil the next-generation MacBooks and MacBook Pros.

Based on what Andy Ihnatko said on the current MacBreak Weekly podcast, we may be looking a device running a special version of MacOS X 10.6 ("Snow Leopard") with the OS running in firmware and possibly as much as 128 GB of SSD memory storage. Because of its size (about 10" diagonal), you can forget about an OLED screen, but an LCD screen with LED backlighting is very likely.
post #136 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

This is along the lines of my thinking, as well.

Many folks have focused on text entry as being the achilles heal of a keyboard-less tablet, but for the apps you mention touch control might actually enhance the user experience.

Your example of video editing is a good one, as I have mentioned the newest iMovie had some perplexing UI changes that actually make sense if you imagine that Apple had touch optimized iLife apps in the pipeline. Not to mention Quicktime X's adoption of similar conventions for trimming.

Audio editing? What ever happens in an audio editing program that requires keyboard and mouse precision? Adjustment sliders, track select, EQ, effects are all perfectly amenable to touch, and waveform editing could actually benefit from pinch zoom and timeline dragging. I know I'd rather change the timescale on a timeline through direct manipulation than fussing with widgets or keyboard shortcuts. Just scrub to my desired location by dragging my finger, spread my fingers to zoom in, or use a heads up numeric keypad to enter timecode. Drag the wave form directly, or tap parameter sliders for pop-up adjustments.

Maybe not ready for studio duty, but for casual to prosumer audio editing it could a revelation.

Now, that's creative thinking! Exactly! You have described a work flow based on what you are trying to do (experimenting, actually) where a mouse and keyboard are a deterrent (at best) to the creative process.

Why use a mouse & kb to press the keys on a [virtual] piano-- use your fingers.

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post #137 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

This is along the lines of my thinking, as well.

Many folks have focused on text entry as being the achilles heal of a keyboard-less tablet, but for the apps you mention touch control might actually enhance the user experience.

Your example of video editing is a good one, as I have mentioned the newest iMovie had some perplexing UI changes that actually make sense if you imagine that Apple had touch optimized iLife apps in the pipeline. Not to mention Quicktime X's adoption of similar conventions for trimming.

Audio editing? What ever happens in an audio editing program that requires keyboard and mouse precision? Adjustment sliders, track select, EQ, effects are all perfectly amenable to touch, and waveform editing could actually benefit from pinch zoom and timeline dragging. I know I'd rather change the timescale on a timeline through direct manipulation than fussing with widgets or keyboard shortcuts. Just scrub to my desired location by dragging my finger, spread my fingers to zoom in, or use a heads up numeric keypad to enter timecode. Drag the wave form directly, or tap parameter sliders for pop-up adjustments.

Maybe not ready for studio duty, but for casual to prosumer audio editing it could a revelation.

I know this is about a straight up tablet device, and I agree wholeheartedly with everyone that the only way this would be feasible is if there is a new UI that is designed for touch, but I think that there is a more important and more useful solution for some of the things you mention above and for general computing in general.

I think that making that large, button-less, multi-touch, glass trackpad that all Mac notebooks, sans the MBA right now, also output visual data for select apps that are in the foreground. You could have your regular notebook setup and when editing audio you could have EQ sliders on the trackpad. If you are in Calc you could have the buttons on the trackpad like you are using it on an iPhone. Same goes for cropping video in Quicktime X. You could even have non-input effected visual outputs like a stock ticker or iStat system stats running at the top part of the trackpad.

Apple could even make the trackpad take up an even larger section of the palm rest area which is basically used for the most part. The iPhones touch interface is more than sophisticated enough to know when that many capacitance points are touching to know not to initiate an input in that area.

Im sure many are going to disagree with me on this, but I have no use for a tablet as its been mocked up and even discussed with having its own OS that is more robust like Mac OS X core but with a tailored made touch UI. I dont doubt that Apple has many things like this in R&D, I just dont see a market for it as its been presented, but I do see a market for making notebooks considerably more useful using iPhone tech and in ways that Windows and PC vendors couldnt possibly keep up. Is anyone even using Synaptics multitouch trackpad drivers that just came out a year or two ago? I think this is the future of Mac computing.
post #138 of 164
Whatever it is, we need the Apple Tablet for full blown Keynote and PowerPoint presentations via a video-out port for the videoprojector connection and a USB port for the remote control. Because even the MacBook Air is too heavy and too large. We are looking for something like the OQO, but with Mac inside (either tablet or clamshell will do). Thus, we need to run Apple Keynote and Microsoft PowerPoint aplications to run the NATIVE ".key" and ".ppt" files. Thus, we need Mac OS X inside. Thus we need x86.
post #139 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

Whatever it is, this is what we need tha Apple Tablet for full blown Keynote and PowerPoint presentations via a video-out port for the videoprojector connection and a USB port for the remote control. Because even the MacBook Air is too heavy and too large. We are looking for something like the OQO, but with Mac inside (either tablet or clamshell will do). Thus, we need to run Apple Keynote and Microsoft PowerPoint aplications to run the NATIVE ".key" and ".ppt" files. Thus, we need Mac OS X inside. Thus we need x86.

You keep saying this and it still makes no sense. You dont need to have Mac OS X running to be able to run Keynote and Powerpoint files. This talk of it being native or not native makes even less sense. If the OS and apps are compiled to run on ARM then they are native.
post #140 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by SactoMan01 View Post

In my personal opinion, the much-rumored tablet computer from Apple will be shown for the first time in October during the public event to unveil the next-generation MacBooks and MacBook Pros.

Based on what Andy Ihnatko said on the current MacBreak Weekly podcast, we may be looking a device running a special version of MacOS X 10.6 ("Snow Leopard") with the OS running in firmware and possibly as much as 128 GB of SSD memory storage. Because of its size (about 10" diagonal), you can forget about an OLED screen, but an LCD screen with LED backlighting is very likely.

One of the anchors holding back Windows is its need to support "legacy" applications.

Apple, quite deftly, has been able to avoid this situation with a few noticeable exceptions.

Snow Leopard, draws a line in the sand for Apple's PPC legacy apps. Though they still run on older hardware, and prior versions of OS X, these apps must be rewritten to take advantage of the latest, greatest hardware and software technology.


Now, Apple has a new opportunity that may be even more significant. Because of the success of the iPhone multitouch UI, Apple can draw a new line in the sand for UIs for apps (and for the OSes on which they run).

What if Apple were to say:
-- Here's the hardware: a large multitouch display, no keyboard, no mouse, no stylus input (except as clumsy, inconvenient and expensive options).

-- Here're some virtual keyboards and the interactive tools to customize them, and use them in any or all apps. Braille, StenoType, QWERTY, Dovorak, ThumbType, Emoji-- yeah, we can do those, and much, much more!

-- Here's some virtual styli or pens/hockey pucks. Just tap on the screen where you want the pen to start, then position your finger(s) wherever convenient so as not to block the input, then drag your finger(s) to begin drawing

-- You want pressure sensitivity? Just press harder or softer while dragging your finger(s) and the line width will change accordingly.

--You want handwriting? Just position the thumb, index and forefinger as you would if you were holding an invisible pencil (Apple patent applied for), and write as you would on paper (pressure sensitivity works here, too).

--You want assisted drawing? Just tap the option (virtual) button and you will be drawing perfect circles, ovals, squares, rectangles, and smoothed (or unsmoothed) irregular shapes.


--You want to reshape an object? Just pinch and drag with multiple fingers and the app will adjust the bezier curves accordingly. Or tap the shape to show finger-friendly anchor and control points.


Apple can cut the cord with legacy UIs.

It needs to be done!

It is time!


I suspect that an enhanced iPhone OS X is better suited for this than Mac OS X.

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post #141 of 164
*

Many of the posters, here, feel strongly that a keyboard and mouse are needed to make a computer a "real" computer.

Why?

Probably because that is what they are familiar with: a display, a kb, a mouse, some computing hardware, etc.

Maybe that is all they have ever known (about computer configurations).

But it was not always so.


The first microcomputer (arguably) was the Altair and it came on the scene in 1975,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altair_8800

It is interesting that the Altair had neither keyboard nor display and the mouse was still in the Xerox labs. To input data you set a series of eight switches on or off to represent the eight bits of a byte. You entered this, then moved on to the next byte... entering all your program instructions and the data. The output was displayed in a series of lights that showed the on/off status of each bit in a byte. Advancements came where a paper tape reader could be used read in programs and data at, say, 10 bytes per second. Later, there were interfaces to [frustratingly unreliable] magnetic tape cassettes, at, say, 30 bytes per second. Bill Gates got started selling a BASiC (programming language) interpreter for the Altair.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altair_BASIC

Concurrently, some were experimenting with teletype and typewriter keyboards. Also there were some experiments using CRTs (like TV Tubes) for displays.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TV_Typewriter



That was the state of the art for microcomputers for the next few years. The Apple I of 1976 was just a circuit board.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_I

In 1977 Apple came out with a redesigned circuit board, single case keyboard, power supply and external interfaces (including TV adapter interface) all nicely packaged in a molded (expensive) plastic case. A breathtaking 40x24 display (40 white, uppercase characters and 24 lines or 40x24 blocks of any of 16 colors). That set the bar for the next few years.

I bought my Apple ][ in July, 1978 with 8 KB (yes kiloBytes) of RAM for about $1900 (approx $5000 in 2009 dollars) Plus, I had to buy a TV modulator $15, TV $200, and several cassette recorders ($250 total). Floppy disks were not available until 1979 and a 5 MB Hard disk came out in 1980 for $4,000 (about the size of 4 loafs of bread).


Do you think it was possible to do word processing and spread sheets on a single case kb with a single-case, 40-column, 24-line display and no mouse?

The answer is a resounding YES!



The mouse first appeared in general use in the famous 1984 Mac. I had a terrible time using the mouse-- it just wasn't intuitive for me and I couldn't get that little arrow positioned where I wanted it. An Apple ad at the time showed an infant, in diapers, using a mouse-- no problem for him as he didn't have anything to unlearn. But one Apple executive had his own set of problems with the mouse, or as he called it, the "click and point" interface.

The Mac was the convergence of the computer, high resolution graphic display, OS, UI, mouse and keyboard (heavy on the OS and UI).

A respected developer of that time said (paraphrased): "all software and hardware development from this time on will stand on the shoulders of the Mac".


So, for 25 years now, we've been using the keyboard, mouse and graphic display as the "standard" for I/O.

But, it is worth remembering that it hasn't always been so.



Today, I can do more, easier, faster, and better on my $399 iPhone than I could on my $5,000 plus Apple ][.

Give me a larger screen and apps with a touch UI, and I will outperform anything you could do on the 1984 era Macs.


It aint the keyboard and mouse that made the computer successful, they were incidental, best of class accessories, for their time. Nothing more, nothing less!


We have seen various touch and multitouch UIs in the last few years from different sources. In typical fashion, Apple assembled the best ideas and packaged them into a workable, deliverable: the iPhone:

In the iPhone, the integration of OS, UI and apps provides a user experience that is better than the keyboard/mouse paradigm.


IMO, it is time for us to stand on the shoulders of the iPhone!

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post #142 of 164
The mouse was invented in 1963 and widely demo'd in 1968 in the landmark Englebart demo...

The demo was freaking amazing.

http://sloan.stanford.edu/MouseSite/1968Demo.html

That demo (and team) is where the ideas (and some of the folks) at Xerox PARC were born.

The reason that a keyboard and mouse are considered important to computing isn't historical but technical. Information content creation is still faster with a keyboard and mouse than alternative mechanisms...handwriting and voice.
post #143 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

The mouse was invented in 1963 and widely demo'd in 1968 in the landmark Englebart demo...

The demo was freaking amazing.

http://sloan.stanford.edu/MouseSite/1968Demo.html

That demo (and team) is where the ideas (and some of the folks) at Xerox PARC were born.

The reason that a keyboard and mouse are considered important to computing isn't historical but technical. Information content creation is still faster with a keyboard and mouse than alternative mechanisms...handwriting and voice.

Yeah, I know about "the demo", I've posted about it many times. But, the mouse remained at Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center), until Steve Jobs and a few compadres went to see a demo of the Alto. Apple took the Xerox invention and birthed it to the world in 1984. Otherwise, it likely would have been an interesting footnote, as a PARC lab experiment.

As an aside, I toured PARC and saw a demo of the Alto before 1984. I was impressed with the network and the full-page graphic displays... the mouse, not so much.

In the Engelbart [sp] demo video, I was more impressed with the remote access and chording (1 hand) keyboard. Engelbart maintained that with a few hours training, people were were more efficient with the chording kb than with a QWERTY kb.

"Engelbart proved that trained typists, after just a few hours of training, could perform more efficiently using a chord keyboard than a conventional QWERTY keyboard."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chorded_keyboard

So, I agree with you mas o menos!

But it doesn't change the fact that it is time to move on....

*

In that era, I owned some computer stores in the area. One of our customers was Xerox PARC. They were buying (and smuggling in) Apple ][ computers to do design and analytics for the Lab's projects (think VisiCalc). The managers had a $500 limit for discretionary purchases. So we would bill them, separately, for the various components of an Apple ][: circuit board; case power supply, keyboard...

Same drill for IBM Palo Alto and the IBM San Jose Plant & Los Gatos Lab.
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post #144 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Yeah, I know about "the demo".

Then you should be well aware that the mouse and other direct manipulation devices like the light pen were in development and would have been used in computing regardless of Apple.

Quote:
Apple took the Xerox invention and birthed it to the world in 1984. Otherwise, it likely would have been an interesting footnote, as a PARC lab experiment.

If it were not Apple then someone else. DRI demo'd GEM in 1983 and shipping in 1984. Gary Kildall might be remembered a little better in that alternate universe without Apple.

Quote:
But it doesn't change the fact that it is time to move on....

Yes, because that whole written word thing is thousands of years old and passe...the keyboard and mouse will go away like the keypunch when something better comes along. Thus far there hasn't been anything yet.
post #145 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Then you should be well aware that the mouse and other direct manipulation devices like the light pen were in development and would have been used in computing regardless of Apple.

Yes, but they didn't!

Quote:
If it were not Apple then someone else. DRI demo'd GEM in 1983 and shipping in 1984. Gary Kildall might be remembered a little better in that alternate universe without Apple.

No, Gary would be remembered if he had kept his appointment with IBM. CP/M was a microcomputer implementation of an OS that mirrored IBM's CP-67/CMS and far superior to the OS that MS appropriated as DOS.

Quote:
Yes, because that whole written word thing is thousands of years old and passe...the keyboard and mouse will go away like the keypunch when something better comes along. Thus far there hasn't been anything yet.

Yes, I've moved on from cuneiform and clay tablet... there are better solutions out there if we open our minds...

*

P.S. I can remember when the replacements for keypunched cards was keypunching directly to mag tape. Where are these companies today? Gone! They were borked by a technology and process that eliminated the need for keypunching.

Really, the time has come...

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post #146 of 164
Then, what is holding Apple from releasing such a device once and for all? They have the patents and the software. Unless they are waiting something from Intel or else.
post #147 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Yes, but they didn't!

So you're arguing that without Apple we never would have had a GUI interface? Ever?

Nice to be so sure.

Quote:
No, Gary would be remembered if he had kept his appointment with IBM. CP/M was a microcomputer implementation of an OS that mirrored IBM's CP-67/CMS and far superior to the OS that MS appropriated as DOS.

According to DRI folks Dorothy McEwen always handled licensing negotiations and Gary was delivering software. Yes, that was an opportunity lost but that doesn't negate the fact that GEM was shipping in 1984. GEM was the second missed opportunity.

Quote:
Yes, I've moved on from cuneiform and clay tablet... there are better solutions out there if we open our minds...

Then pray tell what are they?

I've been worked with voice recognition systems (on and off, mostly off) since 1985. I've used handwriting recognition systems since the early 90s. And I've done mutli-touch work since around 2001 when we got a DiamondTouch. These systems are not yet ready to replace the keyboard as a the primary textual information input device.

Quote:
P.S. I can remember when the replacements for keypunched cards was keypunching directly to mag tape. Where are these companies today? Gone! They were borked by a technology and process that eliminated the need for keypunching.

Really, the time has come...

Which has nothing to do with replacing text entry as a primary means of content input. You know, like on the internet, like right here in this forum.

Keypunch to mag tape never made it big because teletypes had been in use since the 50s and glass "TTYs" existed by the time they appeared (what? late 60s?). Plus paper tape entry was never that great which is what it was directly replacing...not keypunch machines.
post #148 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

Then, what is holding Apple from releasing such a device once and for all? They have the patents and the software. Unless they are waiting something from Intel or else.

They could be waiting for P.A. Semi to make a custom CPU (since there's a rumor that the tablet will be using a P.A. Semi CPU).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage

Putting Mac OS X on a tablet is like putting a steering wheel on a motorcycle.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage

Putting Mac OS X on a tablet is like putting a steering wheel on a motorcycle.
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post #149 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Then you should be well aware that the mouse and other direct manipulation devices like the light pen were in development and would have been used in computing regardless of Apple.



If it were not Apple then someone else. DRI demo'd GEM in 1983 and shipping in 1984. Gary Kildall might be remembered a little better in that alternate universe without Apple.



Yes, because that whole written word thing is thousands of years old and passe...the keyboard and mouse will go away like the keypunch when something better comes along. Thus far there hasn't been anything yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

So you're arguing that without Apple we never would have had a GUI interface? Ever?

Nice to be so sure.

Don't put words in my mouth! I initially made the point that mouse was in the labs. That point has now evolved to include the graphics display and software-- the GUI.

At that time, several other companies were offering pieces of the solution:

--198x Several companies offered experimental hierarchical, character-based, keyboard-driven applications managers (or desktops). AIR, The Grid computer had one, and there was a company called DesQ. Even Dave Winer experimented with using ThinkTank as a desktop/applications manager.
--1982 Corvus Concept computer with full page graphics display (CRT)
--1983 VisiCorp VisiOn graphic desktop requiring $295 mouse and optional applications
--1983 Apple Lisa - Hardware, mouse, GUI, Applications all in one $10,000 package

So, all the GUI components were available separately and in packages, It took the 1984 introduction of the Macintosh to make it popular and affordable. The Mac had fewer applications, smaller display, was relatively closed hardware and software, but it hit a sweet spot. The Mac survived, and the others are distant memories.

All I meant to say was that Xerox and several others (including Apple) had the opportunity, and foresight to exploit the GUI... but for various reasons they didn't, and the Mac did!

Quote:
According to DRI folks Dorothy McEwen always handled licensing negotiations and Gary was delivering software. Yes, that was an opportunity lost but that doesn't negate the fact that GEM was shipping in 1984. GEM was the second missed opportunity.

Yeah, that's the hindsight version. At the time, the story being told was that IBM execs had scheduled a meeting with Gary, but cooled their heels for several hours waiting for him to show up. Gary stiffed them and it pissed them off, so they left.

Based on my experience with IBM, they would only deal with the person at the top, and would not tolerate being kept waiting.

Quote:
Then pray tell what are they?

I've been worked with voice recognition systems (on and off, mostly off) since 1985. I've used handwriting recognition systems since the early 90s. And I've done mutli-touch work since around 2001 when we got a DiamondTouch. These systems are not yet ready to replace the keyboard as a the primary textual information input device.

Take out a sheet of 8 1/2 x 11" paper. Lay it on the table. It is nothing, a blank sheet. It conveys nothing, it has no content.

Now, with a few tools (pencil, pen, marker, paint, gesso, fingerpaint, glue, stamp & stamp pad, typewriter, printer, silk screen, etc.) you can add content.

You can use a computer with a GUI, keyboard and mouse to substitute for many (but not all) of the above tools.

Now, visualize an object with about the same shape and surface area as the paper, and about 1/2" thick. This is a hires touch-sensitive graphics display/computer... a tablet. Turn it on-- it too, is a blank slate!

Here's the difference: you can do all the things you did with the sheet of paper (and more)... but you don't need any separate tools!

You appear to assert that:

1) power text entry is what makes the physical mouse and keyboard necessary
2) power text entry is required for a computer to be useful to the majority.


Consider the mouse: most available mice have multiple, say 3, buttons and some sort of scroll wheel. Using this device you can manipulate a cursor, precisely, between 2 adjacent characters or scroll a page of text. Once positioned, you can enter text (via the keyboard) or, through a combination of buttons and keystrokes, command the computer to do something (select, copy/paste, print, etc).

Now, consider a tablet with your hands acting as the mouse. You could have 10 separate cursors (mice) or a single 9-button mouse. You can scroll or pan with ease. Not, only that, you could use this same device (your hand mouse) to zoom in or out to position the cursor where you want,

Ok, now back to your physical keyboard. Having positioned the cursor by using the mouse with one hand, you now must release the mouse and move that hand back to the home row (thank the deity for dimples... pimples, actually)! Once your hands are positioned, you need to stretch your fingers and physically depress and release keys. You can get into a rhythm, and gain speed and accuracy. Hopefully you have a keyboard that fits your hands well, and is comfortable to use-- with just the right combination of: key size and placement; physical pressure; keystroke distance; and tactile feedback. But, even then, the physical moves can be uncomfortable and tiring. And certain combinations, say a list of expenditures or table entries do not lend themselves to touch typing. From time-to-time you need to reposition your hands on the home row. Then, when you want to change some text somewhere else in the document. You stop typing, remove 1 hand and place it on your mouse, use the buttons and scroll wheel to reposition the cursor (and maybe select some text). This is where we came in.

Now, consider a virtual keyboard on our tablet. You have just positioned the cursor with your hand mouse and now you want to start typing. Both hands are already positioned on the surface in a typing position (why not). You signal the tablet that you want to start typing (rather than mousing) by tapping, say 3 fingers on either hand. A virtual keyboard heads up can be displayed, if desired. The GUI recognizes the size and shape of your fingers and adjusts the size of the keys (and keyboard) accordingly (or you could have custom-configured the virtual kb in a setup step). There is no need to move your mouse hand, nor to find the home row-- the home row is wherever your hands are positioned. Now you can power type by using a keystroke similar to a physical key board and get adequate tactile feedback with a vibration or click. Or, you can take advantage of an intelligent virtual keyboard... maybe just lay your fingers on the keys and type with a slight up down movement. Or, maybe just wiggle or press a finger slightly to accomplish a keystroke. No longer do you need to make long stretching motions to position your fingertips precisely over the desired key. The tablet can detect a shorter finger movement and infer the positioning to the another key. By a combination of: analysis (of hand and finger size); custom keyboard setup; and AI; the tablet can learn what your finger movements mean. While this would be unfamiliar, at first, with a little usage you could become quite proficient-- and likely, exceed the speed and accuracy of a physical keyboard.

You might say that a physical keyboard and a mouse pad would offset some of the advantages, I've outlined. I agree, some but not all.

So, yes, I believe that I have described one power text entry process that is superior to the physical keyboard and mouse (or mouse pad).

But there are other possibilities, as you mention (and a few I added): hand printing recognition; hand writing recognition; voice recognition; scanning and OCR (Apple has applied for a patent where a display could have thousands of sensors intermingled with the pixels and would be used as a scanner and/or camera).

One interesting possibility for power text entry is chording. Engelbart maintained that typists improved their efficiency [over a QWERTY kb] with a few hours training on a one-hand chording kb. Consider the possibilities of a 2-handed virtual chording keyboard.

So the question remains: is technology far enough advanced to let us abandon the physical keyboard and mouse. I suspect it is. But we'll never know until someone tries. All the signs suggest that: that someone is Apple.



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post #150 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Don't put words in my mouth! I initially made the point that mouse was in the labs. That point has now evolved to include the graphics display and software-- the GUI.

I said:

"Then you should be well aware that the mouse and other direct manipulation devices like the light pen were in development and would have been used in computing regardless of Apple. "

And you replied:

"Yes, but they didn't!"

The implication is that they never would have in the context of your response.

Quote:
At that time, several other companies were offering pieces of the solution:

Yes, I pointed that out.

Quote:
So, all the GUI components were available separately and in packages, It took the 1984 introduction of the Macintosh to make it popular and affordable. The Mac had fewer applications, smaller display, was relatively closed hardware and software, but it hit a sweet spot. The Mac survived, and the others are distant memories.

Again, you imply that if it not been for the Mac it never would have happened. My contention is that it would have happened through a different company. This isn't to take anything away from Jobs because he has been the driving force for usable computing.

Quote:
All I meant to say was that Xerox and several others (including Apple) had the opportunity, and foresight to exploit the GUI... but for various reasons they didn't, and the Mac did!

Yes, and there's really room for one such success story. How many other companies equaled IBM during the mainframe era? How many other companies equaled DEC during the mini computer era? How many other companies equaled Sun during the workstation era? Yes, there were competitors but one market leader (Sun's a little weaker in this context perhaps).

Once you had Apple then GEM on the Atari or AmigaDOS on the Amiga is simply derivative. Same goes for Windows.

Quote:
Yeah, that's the hindsight version. At the time, the story being told was that IBM execs had scheduled a meeting with Gary, but cooled their heels for several hours waiting for him to show up. Gary stiffed them and it pissed them off, so they left.

Based on my experience with IBM, they would only deal with the person at the top, and would not tolerate being kept waiting.

Given that I wasn't there, this is he said, she said with a bit of spin on the part of Bill Gates to boot. That DRI missed a historic opportunity is a given. That they had a potential redemption in GEM had there been no Apple is a possibilility you cannot discount with any "proof" beyond your own opinion.

Quote:
Take out a sheet of 8 1/2 x 11" paper. Lay it on the table. It is nothing, a blank sheet. It conveys nothing, it has no content.

Now, with a few tools (pencil, pen, marker, paint, gesso, fingerpaint, glue, stamp & stamp pad, typewriter, printer, silk screen, etc.) you can add content.

You can use a computer with a GUI, keyboard and mouse to substitute for many (but not all) of the above tools.

Which can you not do with keyboard and mouse? Some are easier with direct manipulation...hence Wacom tablets and Cintiq. Then again, writing a novel length document is easier with a typewriter than a pencil.

There is a reasonable body of research into alternative input methods for text entry.

Quote:
Now, visualize an object with about the same shape and surface area as the paper, and about 1/2" thick. This is a hires touch-sensitive graphics display/computer... a tablet. Turn it on-- it too, is a blank slate!

Here's the difference: you can do all the things you did with the sheet of paper (and more)... but you don't need any separate tools!

Using a stylus would be more effective unless you like only fingerpainting.

Quote:
You appear to assert that:

1) power text entry is what makes the physical mouse and keyboard necessary
2) power text entry is required for a computer to be useful to the majority.

My assertion is that for a large form factor slate tablet to replace existing form factors it will have to be capable of comfortable text entry.

Quote:
Consider the mouse: most available mice have multiple, say 3, buttons and some sort of scroll wheel. Using this device you can manipulate a cursor, precisely, between 2 adjacent characters or scroll a page of text. Once positioned, you can enter text (via the keyboard) or, through a combination of buttons and keystrokes, command the computer to do something (select, copy/paste, print, etc).

And you can draw, pan, zoom, rotate, etc with a mouse. You can even scribble.

Quote:
Now, consider a tablet with your hands acting as the mouse. You could have 10 separate cursors (mice) or a single 9-button mouse. You can scroll or pan with ease. Not, only that, you could use this same device (your hand mouse) to zoom in or out to position the cursor where you want,

The point is that you will have to zoom in order to precisely place the cursor where you want as opposed to simply precisely move the cursor where you want.

Also, you are not obscuring the content with your hands.

Quote:
Ok, now back to your physical keyboard. Having positioned the cursor by using the mouse with one hand, you now must release the mouse and move that hand back to the home row (thank the deity for dimples... pimples, actually)!

There are also these things called "arrow keys". These can also precisely move you one letter at a time in any direction.

Quote:
Once your hands are positioned, you need to stretch your fingers and physically depress and release keys. You can get into a rhythm, and gain speed and accuracy. Hopefully you have a keyboard that fits your hands well, and is comfortable to use-- with just the right combination of: key size and placement; physical pressure; keystroke distance; and tactile feedback. But, even then, the physical moves can be uncomfortable and tiring. And certain combinations, say a list of expenditures or table entries do not lend themselves to touch typing. From time-to-time you need to reposition your hands on the home row. Then, when you want to change some text somewhere else in the document. You stop typing, remove 1 hand and place it on your mouse, use the buttons and scroll wheel to reposition the cursor (and maybe select some text). This is where we came in.

Thank you for such a long winded depliction of what it is like to type on a keyboard which I am SURE that few on this forum have any personal experience with.

It would be more helpful to actually analyze to steps required.

Repositioning cursor and begin typing requires the following steps (assuming mouse):

1) Mentally prepare - 1.2 seconds
2) Point object on screen - 1.10 seconds
3) single click - 0.10 seconds
4) Rehome the hand - 0.40 seconds
5) Mentally prepare to type - 1.2
5) Type

M+P+B+H = 4.0 seconds

Quote:
Now, consider a virtual keyboard on our tablet. You have just positioned the cursor with your hand mouse and now you want to start typing. Both hands are already positioned on the surface in a typing position (why not). You signal the tablet that you want to start typing (rather than mousing) by tapping, say 3 fingers on either hand.

Let us consider this statement more carefully.

To move position the cursor you did this:

1) Mentally prepare to select (1.2)
2) Mentally recall gesture and use a gesture to enter cursor positioning mode (0.58)
3) Position the cursor. This can be problematic given the finger size and text size, however let us assume that we have something like the Blackberry target mode and no zooming is required (or there would be 2 additional gestures involved). - 1.10 sec.
4) Mentally recall and use a gesture to enter typing mode...with BOTH hands or there will be no registration event for the other hand. (0.58)
5) Mentally prepare to type 1.2
6) type

M+G+P+G+M = 4.13

Gesture time based on studies of graffiti stroke time used in a 2005 study by Lou and John.

Actually, it's been a while since I have done KLM and I'm on travel so take those measures with a grain of salt.

Quote:
A virtual keyboard heads up can be displayed, if desired. The GUI recognizes the size and shape of your fingers and adjusts the size of the keys (and keyboard) accordingly (or you could have custom-configured the virtual kb in a setup step). There is no need to move your mouse hand, nor to find the home row-- the home row is wherever your hands are positioned. Now you can power type by using a keystroke similar to a physical key board and get adequate tactile feedback with a vibration or click.

Except that you cannot. I can rest my hand on my physical keyboard without potentially introducing a spurious key click. My home row provides tactile feedback to actual hand position relative to the keys. The travel in the keyboard provides sufficient offset to minimize accidental typing.

There is no tactile feedback to my finger positions on a virtual keyboard displayed on a touch screen (there is currently no ability to raise the touch surface to provide physical cues like say...dimples...this would greatly mitigate the disadvantages of virtual keyboards AND provide significant UI possibilities...alas they still do not exist).

If taps are used to enter keystrokes then the fingers cannot rest on the virtual home row and must hover when in typing mode (try typing on a flat surface on an imaginary keyboard while never lifting any other fingers and generating a spurious tap).

Plus you are now wasting a good chunk of your tablet display surface by obscuring it with your hovering hands. You can, of course, use two displays.

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Or, you can take advantage of an intelligent virtual keyboard... maybe just lay your fingers on the keys and type with a slight up down movement. Or, maybe just wiggle or press a finger slightly to accomplish a keystroke. No longer do you need to make long stretching motions to position your fingertips precisely over the desired key.

You still have to move your finger from the current key to the desired key. You are simply replacing the tap with a wiggle. The more gentle/subtle the movement the more likely spurious input will occur. You DO realize that physical keyboards could be made that require almost no pressure right?

Quote:
The tablet can detect a shorter finger movement and infer the positioning to the another key. By a combination of: analysis (of hand and finger size); custom keyboard setup; and AI; the tablet can learn what your finger movements mean. While this would be unfamiliar, at first, with a little usage you could become quite proficient-- and likely, exceed the speed and accuracy of a physical keyboard.

You will have to provide studies that even SUGGEST that behavior to make such assertions that "with a little usage" you could "likely" exceed the speed of a physical keyboard assuming the same keyboard layout.

The same optimization for virtual keyboards largely work for physical keyboards. You can apply Fitts Law for optimizing key placement in both virtual and physical keys for more efficient key layout. There are, in fact, quite a few optimized (for specific languages) keyboard layouts using several different algorithms (like shorthand patterning) in litereature.

To my knowledge, there is not a study that has shown that virtual keyboards have advantages over physical ones. There was at least one study that showed the contrary (higher error rates and lower speed). If necessary I will find the reference for you but its in an older research proposal I wrote and have to find again.

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You might say that a physical keyboard and a mouse pad would offset some of the advantages, I've outlined. I agree, some but not all.

So, yes, I believe that I have described one power text entry process that is superior to the physical keyboard and mouse (or mouse pad).

You can believe that if you like. You have failed to consider aspects of virtual multitouch keyboard that negate those advantages either in increased number of steps, increased cognitive load (gesture recall vs physical movement from mouse to keyboard), and increased error rates from lack of tactile cues. You have also assumed capabilities not present in current touch systems.

If I simply assume away technical challenges and ignore negative aspects of a design I can easily describe something "superior" to what actually has to work in the physical universe with current human technology.

Quote:
One interesting possibility for power text entry is chording. Engelbart maintained that typists improved their efficiency [over a QWERTY kb] with a few hours training on a one-hand chording kb. Consider the possibilities of a 2-handed virtual chording keyboard.

These exist already. It is possible that virtual chording keyboard will have a higher acceptance rate than physical ones.

I wouldn't hold my breath.

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So the question remains: is technology far enough advanced to let us abandon the physical keyboard and mouse. I suspect it is. But we'll never know until someone tries. All the signs suggest that, that someone is Apple.

I suspect otherwise and would love to be proven wrong by Apple. However, there are significant drawbacks to even those provided by Apple patents in providing the desired level of physical cues in a display based multitouch keyboard.

In a SLATE format, it is even less likely given that unless Apple has figured out how to make hands translucent you will be obscuring up to half of your usable display space with your hands.
post #151 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post


>snip

In a SLATE format, it is even less likely given that unless Apple has figured out how to make hands translucent you will be obscuring up to half of your usable display space with your hands.

Your premise appears to be that the way we do it [power text entry] now, is the best way.

Mine is that there are better, potential, alternatives.

There is no way either case can be proved, today. Only time will tell.

It will be interesting to revisit this thread in a year or two.

*
"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
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"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
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post #152 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Given that I wasn't there, this is he said, she said with a bit of spin on the part of Bill Gates to boot. That DRI missed a historic opportunity is a given. That they had a potential redemption in GEM had there been no Apple is a possibilility you cannot discount with any "proof" beyond your own opinion.

OK, I was there. I worked for IBM Data Processing Division from 1964-1980. From 1973-1980, I worked on Page Mill Road across from HP and about a mile from Xerox PARC. Commodore, Fairchild, Zilog and other pioneers were within a 5 mile radius.

From 1978-1989 I owned computer stores in Sunnyvale* (less than 1 mile from Apple HQ) and San Jose. We sold & rented IBM P/Cs to IBM (and others), and sold Apple ][s, ///s, and Macs to IBM, HP, Fairchild and many others, worldwide.

*Computer Plus, Sunnyvale (est Dec. 28, 1978) was the 5th computer store in Silicon Valley after 2 Byte Shops and 2 Computerland stores


I like to think I was abreast of the goings-on in the world of microcomputers. That was my business! (And I was successful at it until I sold it after 11 years).

I saw Trash-80's, Osbornes, Ataris, Northstars, Cromemcos, OSIs, Grids, PETs come and go....

I can honestly say that I never heard of DRI GEM!

You, apparently feel (from your comment, above) that Apple sucked the air out of GEM. Maybe! But who knew, or cared?

That's tech biz!

*


-----------------
All the Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
Layin' in the sun,
Talkin' 'bout the things
They woulda coulda shoulda done...
But those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
All ran away and hid
From one little Did.
-Shel Silverstein-
"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
Reply
"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
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post #153 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

OK, I was there. I worked for IBM Data Processing Division from 1964-1980. From 1973-1980, I worked on Page Mill Road across from HP and about a mile from Xerox PARC. Commodore, Fairchild, Zilog and other pioneers were within a 5 mile radius.

You weren't there. You were NEAR there. Therefore, at best, you had 2nd hand knowledge.

Quote:
I like to think I was abreast of the goings-on in the world of microcomputers. That was my business! (And I was successful at it until I sold it after 11 years).

I saw Trash-80's, Osbornes, Ataris, Northstars, Cromemcos, OSIs, Grids, PETs come and go....

I can honestly say that I never heard of DRI GEM!

So you saw Atari STs come in 1985 and go and never heard of GEM? Yah, okay. You were so abreast of the goings-on in the world of microcomputers you had zero idea that the UI for the Atari ST came from a company you claim sufficient knowledge to say were "there" when the IBM deal happened.

Yah, we really should take your word on what exactly went down between IBM and DRI because you worked as a tech support rep at DPD and owned a computer store on the same coast as DRI. Palo Alto was what? 800 miles from Seattle?
post #154 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Your premise appears to be that the way we do it [power text entry] now, is the best way.

No, my premise is that it is currently the best way and that alternatives are not yet available. Not that it is the end all and be all of entering text.

Given that technology takes about 10 years to mature enough to enter mass production, what's in the literature in the last decade or so gives you an indicator of what is most feasible in the near term.

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Mine is that there are better, potential, alternatives.

Yes there are. Currently not implementable and therefore the KB and mouse are not likely to disappear any time soon.

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There is no way either case can be proved, today.

I provided support as to why your better way is not, in fact, a better way and research that suggests it might be slower. You provided a lot of handwaving.

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Only time will tell.

It will be interesting to revisit this thread in a year or two.

Sure. I'd love to be proven wrong. It simply means not reinventing some wheel that Apple has already invented in their labs. More importantly, it means they likely have a semi-mature SDK pretty far along to release product in 2009. From my perspective, these basic UI capabilities are enablers...not end goals.
post #155 of 164
...one was running OS X - what was the other on running?
post #156 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpellino View Post

...one was running OS X - what was the other on running?

Dreams and fairy dust, like all rumored Macs that will never exist.
post #157 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpellino View Post

...one was running OS X - what was the other on running?

Seems like iPhone OS.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage

Putting Mac OS X on a tablet is like putting a steering wheel on a motorcycle.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage

Putting Mac OS X on a tablet is like putting a steering wheel on a motorcycle.
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post #158 of 164
I did forget to mention Swype. I haven't had a chance to try that (been at the wrong conferences) but it does look promising. No I don't believe 55 wpm though...but I'd bet at least 25-30 for the average user which is pretty good. Will take a bit of training though. A sample trial on a normal keyboard I could see a lot of extraneous movements that the system has to filter out to get the correct word subset.

Definitely needs to NOT use the QWERTY keyboard layout.
post #159 of 164
o, how i wish the title of this thread could be "New Apple mini rumor: Larger form factor running Mac OS X"...
born to lose, live to win
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born to lose, live to win
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post #160 of 164
I've had enough of these tablet rumors. I'll just check one out when's it's officially announced.
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