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Proposes keyboard product

Proposes keyboard product

I use an HP 200LX (three years now!) and like it a lot. I have seen the Newton keyboard setup and it piqued my interest.

My brother has a Newton computer and its keyboard, so I gave it the extensive test and decided that I really prefer the genuine PC keyboard, for several reasons.

With the Newton keyboard, one has to use the same technique as with the palmtop to get the page up/down keys, i.e., holding one key while pressing another. This also goes for all the special function keys and Blue keys. Thus, to my way of thinking, it is only one step up from the LX in size and typeability(!) but less than one step up in actually being able to type as comfortably fast, as on a regular PC keyboard.

There is an interesting Web site for a company that specializes in keyboard modules, and interfacing PC keyboards to serial RS-232 ports http://www.hagstromelectronics.com)

I have contacted this company and they say they are keen to build my Dream box, which is a tiny module with a PC keyboard female socket on one side, and either an RS-232 port, or maybe a cable with the LX connector on the other side.

I have contacted the Japanese programmer who wrote the Newton keyboard TSR program, and he said it is OK to modify the assembler code for the different keyboard codes that will be coming out of the box from Hagstrom.

My idea is to have this tiny (about the size of a Zippo lighter) box, maybe with a button cell battery, but pocketable, so that any time you are near a PC with an under-utilized keyboard, you could borrow it and knuckle-bone data into the palmtop much faster and easier.

The next idea is a PC keyboard frame. Possibly out of aluminum, it would clip to a keyboard and fold out from under to cradle the LX above the keyboard and maybe have a couple of extendible plates to stabilize the keyboard upon ones legs if typing without a table.

I guess I should be copywriting this stuff, but I just want palmtop users to have the best of both worlds, so I am giving you these ideas to do with as you please. I am not a programmer (yet!), so would not be able to do the coding to make a TSR program work.

David Lawrence

katana@clear.net.nz

iPhone Life magazine


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