A satisying thumb keyboard

    Entering text on a PDA, even a larger one like an Apple Newton, can be challenging. I've owned a Palm of one type or another for 7 years, and I've tried a variety of input methods. I'm not picky about formatting, as I'm an advocate of LCD, Least Common Denominator, so plain old ASCII text is fine by me. Never met a platform I couldn't use ASCII text on. Even with such simple requirements, I haven't found the perfect text entry method for me.
    Then again, I collect pens and enjoy using a variety of different ones, depending on my mood, so there may very well not be a perfect text input method for me. But I've thought a thumb keyboard might work well for me. I've tried on screen thumb keyboards, like dotnote and Thumboard, but wasn't satisfied. I purchased a clip-on thunboard for an M series Palm, hoping it would work with my Palm T3 since it has the same Universal Connector, but alas, it fit, though tight, but did not work.
    I don't really care for the Palm Treo PDAs, as they seem to be too much of a compromise on both a cell phone and a Palm, so I haven't tried the keyboard on one. My love of gadgets drew me to the Sharp SL-5000, having seen one that a friend had. Well, I got tempted by eBay again, and bought an SL-5000 to play with. It really is a Linux PDA, complete with text boot messages and X-Windows. And the button panel slides down to reveal a thumb keyboard. Now I don't see this replacing my Palm T3 anytime soon, but it is fun playing with Linux on the go. And I really do like the thumb keyboard. I find it quite usable, at least for the 2 thumb typing I do. I wrote this blog with it while flying home from Charlotte, NC. I'm just starting to play with it, so I'll have to beam this, which I can do, to my T3 to post, since I don't have a blogging app on here yet. Looks like I'll need to get a new battery, as the one that came with it doesn't hold up as well as I would expect, but it's fun, and i may post more about it if I can get the Palm emulator and/or Basilisk II working on it. :-)
Comments:

[Trackback] A Linux box ... or a Palm T3?...

Posted by Phones on February 08, 2007 at 05:22 PM EST #

Both. The Sharp SL-5000 is a Linux based PDA, which acts much like Linux on a desktop. It is based on QTopia by Trolltech, and this is the device with the thumb keyboard. This is my new gadget I am testing out. My primary PDA is a Palm T3, from which I often post to my blog, including the post on thumb keyboards, which I wrote on the Sharp SL-5000 using the thumb keyboard, then beamed to my Palm T3 and posted from the Palm T3. Does that answer your question?

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