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Re: Feeling lost without tabs

From: Bob Proulx
Subject: Re: Feeling lost without tabs
Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2014 17:33:47 -0600
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.23 (2014-03-12)

Emanuel Berg wrote:
> Yeah? :) Then I have the coolest suggestion for you -
> why don't you have six keyboard - all in different
> colors and with no marks on them - at to vertical
> levels - on front, and one on each side?

If anyone does this please post a photo! :-)

> While I love shortcuts, actually, my dream would be to
> never use them but to have a complete 1-1
> physical/hardware-functional/software interface. Can
> you imagine how cool it would be to never, ever stumble
> on a shortcut?

Yes.  But at some point the brain can become overloaded.  I have some
ham radios that have had feature creep to the point that they are no
longer possible to be operated without the manual open beside them.
That is bad.  Was it left function, right function, then action
button?  Or was it push and hold left function 1s until beep, then
action button?  Or right function hold 1s, left function, then action?
I have truly awful "computerized" radio like that.  Others with less
features are more usable because sometimes you don't have the manual
in front of you.

> How do fighter pilots do it? Then it must be super-fast,
> and no "fumbling" can ever be allowed?

Actually no.  I am a general aviation pilot (not a fighter pilot, I
fly taildragges) but the concept for fighters is HOTAS.  Hands On
Throttle-And-Stick.  Put the switches you need on either the throttle
or stick so they can be reached without removing hands from the flight

Mostly when you do need to manipulate a switch not on either throttle
or stick you keep one hand on the control stick, leave the throttle in
the friction lock to hold it in place, and use the throttle hand to
flip switches.  And especially with radios there is always a lot of

> I remember a flight simulator for the Mac, F/A-18 Hornet. It took up
> almost the entire keyboard.

Because the keyboard is a general purpose interface for human text it
doesn't really make a good match to an airplane cockpit.  Meaning that
it will be more complicated because there is a mapping from one to
another.  The keys are binary.  Most flight controls are analog.  And
therefore all are a compromise.

Note that many modern airliners have a full keyboard in the cockpit.
It is useful for entering flight plans and other data specific
details.  It folds up out of the way when not in active use.  But in
that role it is dedicated again to the task and not mapped to flight
controls as in the games.

> It was considered very realistic (at the time) but I take it reality
> is even more complex.

More and less.  When you are centered in the cockpit you can turn your
head and look around and everything makes sense around you.  But in a
game display this is difficult to achieve.  Plus the real aircraft
includes feeling the movement in your seat which also gives you
clues.  Perhaps it is more like flying an RC aircraft.

> They say programmers often take to flying when they get
> rich... (E.g., Woz, speaking of the accursed Apple world.)

When I get rich I will let you know.  Until then flying is one of the
things keeping me poor.  But I wouldn't give up flying for money.  It
is the other way around.


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