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* Posts by Dave 126

4046 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Caterpillar B15: The Android smartphone for the building site

Dave 126
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Re: No led?

You'd have thought so, but torches can be like pencils or tape-measures... "It was here just a moment ago!"

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Dave 126
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>I like those rugged devices - shame the spec is always lacking.

Yeah, but at least you now get most of the way there with high-end hardware- both the Galaxy S4 Active and Xperia Z are waterproof. Then all you need is a very sturdy case, if any are sold.

(http://www.engadget.com/2013/07/09/galaxy-s4-active-hits-uk-shops-starting-at-495-contract-free/)

Hopefully, toughness and waterproofing will become standard features for phones.

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Are driverless cars the death knell of the motor biz?

Dave 126
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Re: higher sales ?

Thank you for the clarification, Sparky_Boy. A minibus would be the easier solution, though a local pub here in England had to abandon their scheme, due to a change in regulations leading to prohibitive insurance premiums.

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Dave 126
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Re: I was intrigued up until the point

>I was intrigued up until the point where there may be other people in the car when it pulls up.

Then simply pay a premium to use the vehicle by yourself. Your preference in this matter will probably be part of the profile you create when you sign up for the service- or chosen on a trip-by-trip basis, if some days you are feeling more tolerant.

The whole gist of the article was based on economic factors. If you want to save money by sharing the lift with others, you can. If you want to spend a little more for the privilege of travelling by yourself, you can.

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Dave 126
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Re: Maintenance cost increase

The maintenance cost per mile will probably be lower; with the vehicle in use much of the day, the engine will spend more time at its optimum temperature.

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Dave 126
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Re: all I'm hoping for...

AC wasn't using the word 'shaft' to mean defraud (which of course does put up premiums). He was looking forward to a transport system with far fewer accidents, thus greatly reducing the level of insurance required and perhaps the need for many individuals to have to deal with insurance dealers at all.

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Dave 126
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Roadside recovery

Should the vehicle you are in break down, you won't have to wait on the roadside for an hour... the vehicle will have already informed the Controlling System that it cannot proceed, and a lift will soon arrive for you - followed by a repair / tow vehicle sometime later.

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Dave 126
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>The idea that a large portion of people might give up car ownership because a car can drive itself doesn't hang together for me.

It might not cause existing drivers to give up their cars, but it might delay the age at which a young person chooses to buy their own car... perhaps indefinitely.

It's not just the cost of ownership of a car, but in the second-hand market mechanical faults can unexpectedly occur, landing them with a repair bill of a few hundred pounds that they haven't budgeted for (plus the inconvenience of being without a vehicle, and missing whatever engagement they had that day).

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Dave 126
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>Another idealized vision that lacks a grasp on the realities of living outside of a major metropolis

The article clearly stated that there will be people who will need to own their cars.

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Dave 126
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Re: So what the author is suggesting is...

>Ah yes, known in France as "coffins on wheels"

Or as "cars for the blind" in one town in Brittany, at least!

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Dave 126
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Efficiency

Warm engines are more fuel efficient than cold ones... keeping a car in use through out the day makes it more efficient per mile, as well as increasing the life time (measured by distance) of the engine.

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Dave 126
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Re: higher sales ?

>There are many hard-to-predict market effects.

The survival of the rural pub, one hopes. Though excessive beer duty might still destroy the hubs of our communities...

There was a recent story about a county in Ireland that proposed to give some people living in remote locations permission to drive slightly drunk - it was calculated that the health risks of isolation and loneliness outweighed the risks of driving after a few pints on mostly empty roads.

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Dave 126
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Young children you would obviously want to escort yourself. However, this system could be used to get older children to a pre-determined location without adult accompaniment (to a rural school, for example, or a friend's house).

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Dave 126
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Re: So what the author is suggesting is...

Actually, a variant would word well in the countryside. City dwellers have the option of buses, light rail and taxis- or facilities are close enough to just walk or cycle to. Here in a smaller town, public transport is very poor.

The proposed system would allow young people (even those with driving licenses currently face crippling insurance premiums) to travel to the cinema in the next town, for example. (Only this morning, the local paper tells of a coroner's finding that two young men died in a car crash due to the driver speeding so as beat an 11 PM curfew imposed by his insurance company and enforced by a TomTom-manufactured GPS logger. )

In the UK, there have been trial schemes of a service akin to a bus/taxi hybrid... one rings up to with a request to travel from A to B, and you are contacted later with the time at which you can expect a minibus to turn up. The idea is to lump together people to make efficiencies in a time when local bus routes are being cut back. It was aimed at an older demographic, and before adoption of the smartphone (a GPS-equipped device can only aid services like this, if its users have the inclination and ability to use one).

In France, people who never gained a driving licence in the first place (usually the old) may drive a specific model of low powered car, limited to around 30 Mph. Sometimes they are bought by people who have lost their licence due to drink-driving. Also in France, I see that young people are allowed to take passengers on their mopeds.

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The Yawhg vs XCOM: Enemy Unknown. How small devs can win against the big boys

Dave 126
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Re: Very true

I'm glad to hear the Syndicate team are making a game for tablets... I've never understood why people have been so keen to port First Person Shooters to tablets, when tablets seem to naturally lend themselves to games like Syndicate, Cannon Fodder, Monkey Island, Sim City, Worms etc.

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Google loses Latitude in Maps app shake-up

Dave 126
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Apparently you don't have to update if you don't don't want to - but I'm really a babe in arms with my Android phone, so please do seek out an expert.

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Dave 126
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Re: You are the Product.... Just accept it

People say good things about Nokia's offline maps. Anyone here care to recommend a good offline Android map app?

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Dave 126
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Re: B0rked

I don't know what the hell this 'Latitude' of which you speak is. Offline maps disappearing? Grr. I use it in places like Devon (poor signal) or France (too expensive to use data)- on home territory I don't need any maps. Apparently, the Google engineers weren't happy about it it either, and so it maps can still be cached by typing 'okay maps' into the search box. (I haven't upgraded or tested this myself).

I tried to set my old man up on Open Maps on his tablet, but he was mistrustful after a vector error placed a lake over a road and town in Italy.

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Ciseco Pi-Lite: Make a Raspberry Pi trip light fantastic with 126 LEDs

Dave 126
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Re: Any one remember ...

Those columns of a single row of LEDs? Massive Attack used green ones in their comeback tour a few years back.

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Acer Iconia W3: The first 8-inch Windows 8 Pro tablet

Dave 126
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Re: "This is no tablet for photographers."

Actually, having a camera on a tablet is useful for things like Google Translate, which can use OCR to translate, say, a French newspaper into English. (data connection required)

"No tablet is a tablet for photographers." is a little ambiguous - as a companion to a real camera, a tablet is a useful device for reviewing photographs in the field... especially since many of them have better screens than those found on most laptops.

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Inventor lobs spherical, throwable camera

Dave 126
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Re: Nice idea but

>IR is used in rescue scenarios that don't involve fire because the buildings in the other cases are cool, making human body heat stand out on the person and whatever they touch.

There was a recent example of a IR-equipped quadropter being used by a fire brigade in England this year, to find (and successfully rescue) a person from a fast-moving flooded river.

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Dave 126
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Re: Nice idea but

Demolition Man was a documentary, damn you!

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Dave 126
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Extra kudos to Mr Hollinger...

... for including a 'skip intro' link on the video. That was very civilised of him. The number of times I've had to manually skip through an overly 'arty' product video just to get to the gist of how it works is ridiculous.

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Dave 126
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Re: Not new though

That's not prior art with respect to this patent.

Mr Hollinger's patent is for HOW the thing works: "the processing unit instructing the camera to capture an image in response to an electrical signal generated by the at least one position sensor and the at least one orientation sensor. " - http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/srchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8477184.PN.&OS=PN/8477184&RS=PN/8477184

i.e, the frame rate of the camera isn't fixed, but is triggered by by position and orientation sensors.

If you read through the patent, you will see a summary of prior related art and how his device differs.

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Seven snazzy smartphones for seven sorts of shoppers

Dave 126
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Re: Audio DAC

I don't, sorry - though the guys on this site seem keen on discussing such things:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/661448/us-samsung-galaxy-s4

Apparently the octa-core S4s hve Wolsfsons, the US and UK dual core variants have Qualcom DACs.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/601535/dac-of-sony-xperia-s

If this is for home listening, many Android handsets support USB-Audio, so you might want to look into using an external DAC of your choice. When looking into portable 192Khz 24bit portable players (there aren't many), I saw that some people use iPads with external DACs through the 'camera connection kit', too. Otherwise, I'd go for a Sansa Clip player, or read up on a Colorfly C3 (24bit).

Some Nokias are said to have very good ADCs, so it's possible they have good DACs too.

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Dave 126
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Re: Yes, but how good are they as phones?

>flies walked on the monitor and browsed the internet.

Are you sure it wasn't a mouse getting amorous with a mouse?

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Dave 126
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Re: Note II ... 2 days battery life ??

>Something's wrong with your phone then.

Or his location, with respect to phone signal.

If you have WiFi in your hospital room, try turning off 'data' - it might be trying to pull down a 3G signal at the expense of its battery.

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Dave 126
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Re: sir henry

Along with "If I had all the money I'd spent on drink, I would spend it all on drink!"

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Dave 126
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Re: Yes, but how good are they as phones?

If it doesn't, there is a good chance someone at XDA will port it!

Hehe, I remember trying to buy a train ticket at a small station, under threat of a heavy fine should I board the train without one. Alas, the touch-screen ticket vending machine interpreted rain drops as my intention to travel from Truro to Gloucester by way of Edinburgh with a family of six, so I just swore at it. Sometimes a resistive screen is better -or, heaven forbid, just being able to buy your ticket from the train conductor like a civilised company.

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Dave 126
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Re: Camera

http://www.techradar.com/reviews/phones/mobile-phones/samsung-galaxy-s4-zoom-1160410/review

'Interesting' being the operative word, like Sir Humphrey saying "What a Novel idea"! : D

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Dave 126
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Re: Yes, but how good are they as phones?

>one problem with the xperia z is that the touchscreen randomly activates underwater, so I got a few still photos >captured along with the video.

Try this, if it gets rolled out for the Xperia Z:

http://www.xperiablog.net/2013/07/02/sony-intros-touch-block-feature-to-prevent-unintentional-touches/

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Dave 126
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Another option when asked by people in the pub which phone to get:

Stick with your candybar-Nokia or clamshell-Samsung, and get a 7" tablet for your car, jacket or handbag.

Just a thought.

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Dave 126
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Re: staff unfailingly polite, helpful and eager

Quite a few members of the public (or at least those who drink in the pub most evenings) have long referred (half-jokingly) to those of us who can use or fix a computer as 'whizzes', 'gurus' or 'geniuses', so I've always seen Apple's adoption of 'Genius Bar' as sharing a nod with their intended users.

It seems to work for that segment - look at the Consumer Association's ('Which?') retailer of the year award, compiled from questionnaires completed by their subscribers. Whether it works for us is irrelevant.

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Dave 126
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Re: Yes, but how good are they as phones?

A touch too subtle, Mr Hicks...

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Dave 126
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Re: Yes, but how good are they as phones?

There is also the Xperia ZR, which is more waterproof than the Z (apparently can film video underwater) and appears to have a more rubbery back than the Z (so hopefully minimising wet handed fumbles onto rocks). It' slightly smaller at 4.5".

Unfortunately, it doesn't yet seem to be available in the UK, only some European countries.

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Dave 126
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Re: One-handed operation is key to Many buyers' needs

I get on well with my Xperia P, which is about 4" diagonal across the screen. However, whilst the battery is better than it was when The Reg reviewed it (due to stamina modes in the ICS and then JB updates- fair play Sony) it's not brilliant.

I get the impression that many Android apps and browsers were developed for 4.5"+ phones - I can read everything, but it's nearly at the limits of my eyesight.

EDIT: It works very as a phone, too. Calls are nice and clear.

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Sleek Nokia Lumia details EXPOSED ahead of Thursday's disrobing

Dave 126
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Re: Lens Resolution

>Maybe I'm missing something,

You missed the link to the Reg write-up of the original Pureview... where you can judge the output for yourself instead of speculating. Tis easier.

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Dave 126
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Re: I'm still unclear who the target audience is

Just search the interwebs for comparisons of the previous Belle Pureview against things like the Lumix LX-5 before commenting... or, as the article suggests, the Reg write-up. The Pureview fits in jeans pocket; the Lumix does not.

There are more WinPho 8 phones in my local pub than the comments section of the Register would suggest. I haven't used one, but the users (be them converts from Nokia candybar dumb phones, older Android phones or 'feature phones') really don't seem bothered.

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Dave 126
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Sounds like Nokia could release a product to compete with the likes of GoPro, video cameras for 'extreme' sports (or duck-taping to quadropters). Obviously the market for dedicated camcorders is smaller than that for phones, but still!

http://www.theverge.com/2013/7/8/4503382/nokia-lumia-1020-sample-photo-joe-belfiore-flickr

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Microsoft preps UK Surface Pro 'pilot', tiptoes around Win 8 OEM rivals

Dave 126
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>Okay I get the fashion on here for hating surface but... What's not to like at the price?

Nothing- just the fact that you can't get it at that price unless you are at either of the events mentioned in the article.

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Apple: Ta for blowing £££s on apps, fanbois. Now we've set them FREE

Dave 126
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Re: Wow, the blatant hatred of Apple really comes through in this headline...

Woz: "I think Apple is in one of these waiting periods waiting for the next big direction... ...you can't expect a whole new incredible revolution of a category of existing consumer electronics, you can't expect that every year. If you could have one every year it would be quite a surprise."

Reg: "[Woz] claimed that Apple had gone into a kind of creative coma since its godhead shuffled off his mortal coil."

Okaay...

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Your own £19 Pocket Spacecraft could be FOUND ON THE MOON

Dave 126
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I liked the 'Reward If Found' printed on the mock-up!

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What it was like to grow up around the world's first digital computers

Dave 126
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Re: Use case

Those single to three phase converters seem to go wrong for a hobby... you might be better off with a diesel powered 3 phase generator.

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Tickle my balls, stroke my button and blow the fluff from my crack

Dave 126
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Re: dos on the keyboard

>she avowed that she could draw a circle in dos using the keyboard...

What, by pressing the 'o' key? : D

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Dave 126
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There was a symmetrical Logitech mouse with five buttons: L, R, Middle (on the scroll wheel), plus Browser Forward and Back (reconfigurable, though). The trouble was that the Browser buttons were mounted one on each side of the mouse, where you might want to grip the mouse to pick it up.

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Dave 126
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Re: I have a 7 button mouse...

I've never been a fan of Apple mice - fortunately, I don't often have to use them! And that iMac 'hockey puck'... what were they thinking?

My favourite is a Logitech MX Revolution Darkfield - though I wouldn't have paid the full RRP for it. I mean, the ability to use it on glass is nice and all, but hardly essential to me. However, the button placement and 'hyperscroll' wheel are lovely.

I was a bit naffed off by the poor selection of mice in PC World, recently. Out of the two dozen models on show, all bar a few were generic two-button + scroll wheel models, and overpriced at that.

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Dave 126
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Mac Right Button

>Which is weird 'cos if you plugged in a 3 button MS mouse you could use the other buttons just like you can on a PC (or you could, it's a few years since I tried).

The right hand mouse button on a Mac is the same as using the left-hand button + Alt (I think, or is it Ctrl? I can't remember) so support fopr extra-buttoned rodents is easy to implement. Other keys in that area also modify the behaviour of the scroll-wheel (scroll up/down > Scroll left/right, > zoom in/out)

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Dave 126
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Mouse training

We had an Archimedes in primary school in about 1990- the only thing I remember on it was a a mouse-training jigsaw game, to get us used to the concept of dragging. We didn't really need it- many of us had Amigas, STs or an 8086 with Lemmings.

Up to the next school, and a whole room of Archimedes. RiscOS used 3 mouse buttons by default, IIRC. I can't remember having any difficulty in getting the hang of it, or using word processing or DTP. Two years later and we were all using Mac LCIIIs, with one button. Ah well.

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Dave 126
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>I’ve been forced to use a 3D CAD puck - my trainer would have loved playing with that word - which was about as intuitive as reversing an articulated lorry while blindfolded.

I've had a brief go with such a 3DConnexions Spacenavigator (a Logitech subsidiary), and didn't get on with. I guess I was just used to a different system of interacting with a 3D model, and it reminded me of the brief time I spent playing with Alias Wavefront- navigating felt like controlling a flight simulator, clumsily!

I'm used to navigating 3D models with mouse + modifier = rotate, scroll wheel = zoom (and one uses zoom out and in to effectively pan). Standard views are associated with a pie menu (hold right button and swipe towards cardinal compass point). This system is better suited to product design than it might be architectural or naval design (where one might wish to move around 'inside' a model of a boat or ship).

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Hanslope Park: Home of Britain’s ‘real-life Q division’

Dave 126
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http://www.scifiinterfaces.com/

Is a fun, if serious, blog about the fictional user interfaces seen in sci-fi and thrillers. And yes, they are mostly designed for the benefit of the viewer, not for the convenience of the fictional character who uses them.

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