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Rotary knobs for computers

Beside the keypad
  [vote for,

3x3 or 4x4 arrays of rotary knobs with assignable functions like zooming, panning, scrolling, and other "analog" movements we do every day on a computer. From there control volume, tone, effects in audio processing software; and use it for change fonts size, brush size, and the size of any other resizable object. Change the computer clock time easily. Control your webcam focus, and mic volume. Go fullscreen, or simply resize the active windows. Overclock the CPU. And gaming will be great .
piluso, Jul 25 2014

close. http://www.cnet.com...real-knobs-and-all/
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jul 26 2014]

closer http://southparkstu...ttacks-thumb-12.jpg
[DIYMatt, Jul 26 2014]

MIDI controller with knobs http://www.musician...rol-midi-controller
[ytk, Jul 26 2014]

More knobs http://www.sweetwat...n5L8CFcI7MgodSgMAiw
[ytk, Jul 26 2014]

Knobbies out the wazoo http://www.american...n5L8CFahaMgodPTIAPg
[ytk, Jul 26 2014]

Technofrolics Spin Browser https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Kgb5SUMehG4
[JesusHChrist, Jul 27 2014]

PowerMate USB https://griffintech...keyboards/powermate
[Laughs Last, Nov 04 2015]

HP 46085A Control Dial Box http://www.hpmuseum...lay_item.php?hw=684
Mentioned in my anno: 3×3 arbitrary knob array [notexactly, Apr 09 2019]

HP 45086A 32-Button Box http://www.hpmuseum...lay_item.php?hw=685
Mentioned in my anno: 6×6-except-the-corners arbitrary button array [notexactly, Apr 09 2019]


       These do exist. You probably have one on your mouse right now, in fact. My Wacom tablet has a built in touch ring that acts as a knob and can be configured to perform various actions. I very seldom use it, though. Keystrokes are usually much easier and more precise.   

       But you can buy MIDI controllers that have several such knobs, and configure them to do all sorts of things. Turns out that outside of some music design software and similar applications, there are surprisingly few practical applications for them.
ytk, Jul 26 2014

       Baked: most of Garmin's aviation product line. And I have to say, operating an advanced computer with nothing but knobs isn't as much fun as it sounds.
DIYMatt, Jul 26 2014

       //nothing but knobs // who said nothing but knobs? I think they would make a great addition. Add some blinkenlights, switches, and sliders.
Voice, Jul 26 2014

       And foot pedals.
pocmloc, Jul 26 2014

       // one on your mouse right now // This is the lame 1x1 version of the knobs array // MIDI controllers // We don't need piano keyboards with the knobs, and don't want a MIDI interface and another program to convert MIDI messages to keystrokes. // Garmin // I don't know about these, but surely are tied to specific applications. What I mean, is a computer keyboard extension, more friendly with our human hands than the mouse itself for several tasks. I want to go to the computer shop and ask for a keyboard with knob-pad.The mouse is a primitive pointing device that deserves to be complemented. //blinkenlights, switches, and sliders// //foot pedals// Sometimes less is more; let's start just with the knobs
piluso, Jul 26 2014

       ... as the actress said to the bishop, hur hur ...
8th of 7, Jul 26 2014

       And knee-levers.
pocmloc, Jul 26 2014

       //And knee-levers//   

       And maybe some other things as well [link].
DIYMatt, Jul 26 2014

       How about sliding quadrants like aeroplane throttles? Or perhaps more like a steam locomotive regulator?
pocmloc, Jul 26 2014

       //sliding quadrants like aeroplane throttles? //   

       Most lever-type aircraft throttles have much less than 90 degrees of movement; more like an octant, or at best a sextant.   

       If you're going to have a steam loco regulator [+], then you might as well add a screw brake and a reverser/cutoff lever. [++]
8th of 7, Jul 26 2014

       Damn you, I was saving the screw brake for my next anno.   

       Doesn't the cut off lever usually have notches so it's not continuously analogue?
pocmloc, Jul 26 2014

       Yes. But later designs had a screw-thread allowing analogue adjustment.
8th of 7, Jul 26 2014

       Ok, we are very creative today, would be nice if you say where you assign those clever improvements to the controlled PC (letting aside the disturbing "closer" link please)
piluso, Jul 26 2014

       This should be easily bakeable. You can get footpedals & steering wheels for racing games & driving simulators (not that I know about such things) so it shouldn't be too much of a challenge to plug a load of them into a USB hub & program them for use as Shift Lock, Page Down etc. You'd end up looking as though you were operating an old fashioned sewing machine rather than a PC.

In fact, that would be a much more interesting challenge, hooking up an old treddle powered sewing machine to your PC.
DrBob, Jul 26 2014

       //We don't need piano keyboards with the knobs, and don't want a MIDI interface and another program to convert MIDI messages to keystrokes.//   

       I'm not talking about a piano with knobs. I'm talking about a dedicated knob controller, that talks to the computer via MIDI. I've linked three examples, but you can find plenty more.   

       And yes, you do want MIDI. Unlike keyboards or mice, there's no native “knob” interface for the computer. MIDI is the closest you're going to get, and you can get software that can accept MIDI commands and use it to do pretty much anything via macros and programming. Basically, you need some kind of driver software, and MIDI is already an existing standard that is purpose-designed for such an application.
ytk, Jul 26 2014

       -Dedicated side screen for processor, main memory, disk, video processor, video memory, and IO usage
-Sliders for volume, brightness, and mouse sensitivity
-Active switches for horizontal and vertical scrolling, window selection, tab selection, browser forward and back
-Switches for caps and number lock
-Panic button to summon a computer whiz any time day or night (break glass to activate, $100+glass replacement fee per use)
-Blinkenlights for network status, power, USB device power, CD read/write status, and printer queue
-Gauges for power usage/available from bus for main and USB power, local and networked data storage availability, remaining bandwidth until cap, airflow, and CPU, memory, and GPU temperatures
Voice, Jul 27 2014

       //Dedicated side screen for// I presume this is the cheap ripoff version? The proper machine has all those as analogue dials.
pocmloc, Jul 28 2014

       [Voice], I think the fact that nobody has designed such a thing using an Arduino is a testament to the utter uselessness and impracticality of it. It sounds cool in theory, but all in all I'd rather just have the desk space.
ytk, Jul 28 2014

       Beats the push button adjustments on the old cathode ray tube screen.
travbm, Nov 02 2015

       As I'm sure I've ranted about elsewhere on the site, my otherwise mostly decent laptop has three little pushbuttons to control sound in software - up, down, mute - which take up ~2cm2.   

       For approximately 90c more they could have put a low-rise or countersunk dial, hardware or software don't care, with push to mute/unmute, that would have taken up 1cm2.   

       Ditto screen brightness which is two different <Fn> keys for up and down.   

       //MIDI// It's even money that you could now purchase USB knobs, without the 5pin dins, meant to support music production, but useable for anything.   

       Currently my laptop has a brilliant Kensington trackball plugged into it, which does twisting motion (which I, rather pedestrianly, use for scrolling).
FlyingToaster, Nov 04 2015

       What's a screw brake? Google gave me a bunch of stuff about attaching brakes using screws, and brakes for leadscrews.   

       // 3x3 or 4x4 arrays of rotary knobs with assignable functions like zooming, panning, scrolling, and other "analog" movements we do every day on a computer //   

       Decades ago, HP made a 3×3 knob array as well as a 6×6-except-the-corners button array, for use with their computers: [links] I found those yesterday while I was looking for mice with scroll balls.
notexactly, Apr 09 2019


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