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Computerized Abacus

why mess with a keypad ?
  (+4, -1)
(+4, -1)
  [vote for,

Half the world's population grow up (or grew up) with the abacus as a means of arithmetic manipulation; along comes the computer and presto, now in order to do a calculation you have to use a numeric keypad; not very intuitive.

The solution? USB Abacus: so when you have to add a couple thousand numbers together (don't laugh; think accounting department) a familiar device is right there.

The standalone version optionally plugs into a papertape printer.

FlyingToaster, Jan 21 2008

Electronic abacus for the visually impaired http://forte.fh-hag.../BARKER/Barker.html
Read bead positions with microswitches? [jutta, Jan 21 2008]


       Ah, sweet. Old technology for the present day.   

       <Awaits USB flint, USB spear and USB pig on a spit> [+]
theleopard, Jan 21 2008

       Actually, one fo the iPhone might be a cute demo
theircompetitor, Jan 21 2008

       // Why USB? Why not write an abacus program and use mouse movements?   

       Because if you know how to use an abacus, using your muscle memory to move little beads around just right is a *lot* faster than doing it by click-dragging. (Fitt's law and all that.) Compare touch-typing with clicking on a keyboard on screen.   

       There are a bunch of design patents for calculators with integrated abacuses, but the approaches to actually transmitting bead position are pretty experimental. It would be especially cool to also output into bead position in some electromechanical way.
jutta, Jan 21 2008


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