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PC simulated microWriter

MicroWrter input device simulator with PC or phone keyboard
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Microwriter is an alternative type of keyboard input device, with less keys than usual. (See link)

Maybe if people make games to "teach" microwriter type keyboards, their usage would become widespread, then sell the hardware for your alternative input as phone/pc keyboard.

See link.

Thanks bigsleep!

pashute, Feb 05 2009

MicroWriter http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microwriter
Thanks bigsleep! [pashute, Feb 05 2009]

IBM Keyboard Interface http://www.beyondlo...keyboard/keybrd.htm
I've only scanned it, but if I read correctly, some keys just send repeated 1-byte signals based on a time delay - meanwhile, control keys work on a different way, sending a different 1 byte code when they are depressed, and another when released, allowing the driver to figure out the combinations. [zen_tom, Feb 05 2009]

Datahand Keyboard http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datahand
baked [Spacecoyote, Feb 05 2009]

[link]






       wow! that's the fastest I got a response ever. Thanks [anonymous]
pashute, Feb 05 2009
  

       I've never used a Microwriter. Perhaps for that reason, i think they're deeply marvellous. Someone else on the HB has both used one and hated it enough to give it a bad review, so i wouldn't be at all surprised if they were a bit of a pain for a lot of people very soon after they started using them. Having never had the chance to be in that category right now, i like your idea. I also think it would probably be quite easy to make one at home for nothing using a small aubergine.
nineteenthly, Feb 05 2009
  

       "I am Anonymous!"
"No, I'm Anonymous!"
"I'm Anonymous and so's my wife."
Seriously though, it was me.
nineteenthly, Feb 05 2009
  

       How many simultaneous keystrokes can a standard PC keyboard reliably report, though? The MicroWriter is a chording keyboard
BunsenHoneydew, Feb 05 2009
  

       I think we might have got our wires crossed here. You can't do Microwriter-style typing on a QWERTY keyboard because the keys are not in the right pattern. What i imagined was a keyboard which looked exactly like a Microwriter, perhaps on the back of a mouse. The chords can be represented as six bit binary numbers, then there could be a conversion table, maybe a ROM with the ASCII codes for the corresponding characters at the right addresses, then some way of interfacing with either a PS2 interface, a USB or an RS232. The joy of the last one is that it would be exactly what the Microwriter itself did, so you could even use a real one for all i know. Also, since mice can be interfaced via an RS232, it seems peculiarly apt in that way also.
nineteenthly, Feb 05 2009
  

       What [Bunsen] said - only some key combinations on a regular keyboard are transmitted, most keystrokes are sent to the buffer individually - and rightly so - to do this *properly* assuming a keyboard with 104 keys, and the requirement of being able to send tuples up to size 10 (assuming you're not going to augment your typing with your toes, nose or other extremities) - that's approximately 1.4802 x 10^20 possible combinations - you'd have to have a 68-bit unsigned memory address to manage that (more likely 3x32 bit addresses assuming general backward compatibility) which is doable, but unwieldy, and (I'm guessing) outside of the realms of current production keyboards.
zen_tom, Feb 05 2009
  

       Actually, having re-read the [linked] interface manual - it sounds as though all keys send one code for pressed, and continue to send that code on a repeat basis until released, at which point an additional 'released' signal is sent - this code is F0 followed by the key code that's been released.
So if I press A, and the A's code is 1C, and hold it down for 5 seconds, the keyboard will send:
1C
1C
1C
1C
1C
F01C
Presumably, if I hold down A and B for 5 seconds (B's code is 32) it will send
1C
32
1C
32
1C
32
1C
32
1C
32
F01C
F032
  

       So, as long as the BIOS is clever enough to manage multiple <start> and <end> blocks, it could potentially recognise multiple key-presses - but like I said earlier, I'm not convinced this is the current standard - meaning that if you're writing software emulation, you're probably going to have to get down and root around in the BIOS.
zen_tom, Feb 05 2009
  

       A PC needn't have anything plugged into its PS2 interface to function. It'd be feasible to use a USB or RS232 instead. Do they still have RS232s? This one has of course, but what about new PCs? The thing is, what with a Microwriter already having one, the problem would be virtually solved already. You'd presumably just have to replace the ROM.
nineteenthly, Feb 05 2009
  
      
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