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palm graffitti question

I'd like to get a palm wich I'd like to use to blog, read and write e-mail while traveling.

Since I am a poor student in a third world country, I'll have to make a financial effort in order to pay for it.

So, I'd like to ask you a question: when writting graffitti (when writing with the pen on the palm device), what is your writing speed?

How many WPM can you write graffitti at?

Is it comparable to the keyboard typing speed?

Does your hand get tired?

I'd like to get a device that is confortable for typing, yet very light and easy to transport, and which allows connection to my mobile phone.

Friday, February 13, 2004

I have noticed that Handspring offers palm models which have little keyboards, instead of graffitti.

Are these models more confortable to type on than models with graffitti? Is the diference large, or small?

Friday, February 13, 2004

The writing speed can be horrible. The more committed you are the better you'll be. If you are a crazy fast touch typer you should consider buying the foldable keyboards for Palm, that way you can be an average graffittier and get away with it.

Li-fan Chen
Friday, February 13, 2004

Thumb keys also take a while, but it won't feel as satisfying and magical as seeing palm recognize the 95% of your illegible writings.. but if you touch pad it has very little learning curve. I presume the keyboard versions also have Graffiti in the OS rom?

Li-fan Chen
Friday, February 13, 2004

Graffitti is very slow.  You can pop up an on-screen keyboard, which is much easier to use.  An acquaintance of mine performed a serious test comparing these methods; he used each one for a week.  His conclusion was that with enough practice it's possible to reach the same speed on the Graffitti as on the keyboard (but it takes many more pen strokes).

Friday, February 13, 2004

My graffiti skills are poor so I avoid writing as much as I can. I find entering a simple note lunch "Jim - Lunch" slow enough that I avoid anything lengthy. But another friend would compose emails on his palm. It really depends on you, your patience and motivation.

David Fischer
Friday, February 13, 2004

I used Graffiti to take all of my school notes through university, including math and engineering courses.  My Graffiti speed was well over my writing speed (which is what you compare; not typing speed...).  My wpm were around 30, which was phenomenal because I also had an "idiopathic neuropathy" (nerve condition similar to carpal tunnel) in my writing hand which made it impossible to write legibly on paper with any speed.

I couldn't have completed my courses without Graffiti.  Now, because I couldn't write on paper, I was highly motivated to learn, which seems to be the secret.  I also was patient with mistakes at the beginning - who cares if your m comes out as an n, when on paper it comes out as a random wiggly lines :)

This was with the original Palm pilot.  I used to put a piece of tape over the writing area in the screen for protection, and I wore through three or four pieces of tape.  In the years since, the operating system has become much more impressive, but Graffiti has really gone downhill. By the time they hit the OS 3.0, the software's responsiveness had slowed down considerably.  My wpm dropped down to about 15, and I hardly use the Palm anymore because it is annoying to wait for it.  They might have fixed this in later versions; I'm not sure.

Anyway, I would try it out as much as possible before making a commitment :)

Friday, February 13, 2004

You may want to look into Quikwriting from New York University.

I've used an older version on my Pocket PC, and it works great.  Takes a bit of time to get adjusted to the system, but once you do, you can acheive reasonable speed for a pen device.  I've seen claims of 20 to 30 words per minute.

Friday, February 13, 2004

I find Graffiti easy enough for short notes, but for anything more than a couple lines in the DateBook I use the Palm Desktop software or a keyboard like this:

If you get a keyboard, keep in mind you have to have a firm flat surface to put it on; your lap won't work without a book on it.

I used to have a thumbboard-type keyboard, but those can be tedious for the same reasons as Graffiti.

Friday, February 13, 2004

My personal favourite on both Palm and PocketPC is the FITALY soft keyboard. It's quite inexpensive, designed specifically for poking one character at a time with the stylus, and with practice you should be able to get to a large fraction of your normal touch-typing speed.

My touch-typing speed on full-size QWERTY keyboard is just over 60 wpm. My FITALY speed on the handheld is just under 25 wpm, but I feel that I could probably come close to doubling that if I actually did more typing (and especially made use of the training modules!). I never made it past about 10 wpm with Grafitti, 18-20 with QWERTY soft keyboards, and never got the hang of some of the other more esoteric input methods.

I've sent emails to all the device manufacturers telling them that I won't be buying anything with an integrated keyboard unless they offer the FITALY layout. Not that that'll do any good of course :)

Ron Porter
Friday, February 13, 2004

One more vote for FITALY.  Within a day or two, you can hit 30wpm, and with some practice, as high as 50 or 60.

Friday, February 13, 2004

I've been using Graffiti-based Palms for years, and I *hate* Graffiti.  Even with all this practice, it's still slower than writing, and it constantly misrecognizes certain pen strokes (it's particularly bad with the numbers).  The only reason I don't buy a refurbished Handspring with a thumb keyboard is that I'm currently a student and therefore broke.

Foldable keyboards make it a little more usable, but they're only worth carrying around if you're going to be in one place for a while (e.g., taking notes in class).  However, they do leave enough room on your desk that you can keep a pen and paper handy for the doodles, math, and diagrams you can't enter with a keyboard.

Sam Livingston-Gray
Friday, February 13, 2004

"Even with all this practice, [Graffiti]'s still slower than writing, and it constantly misrecognizes certain pen strokes (it's particularly bad with the numbers)."

One thing to note is that the harder you push, the worse it is at recognizing the letters, probably because it senses a fatter stroke.  Trouble is, when it doesn't recognize your letters the first time, it's human nature to push harder the second time.  I got one of these...

...which doesn't cure the recognition problem but helps a lot.

Friday, February 13, 2004

I have used Graffiti for quite some time; and I'd like to try a keyboard.  One advantage, though, of Graffiti (or the Newton MessagePad's HWR) is that you can take notes without having to look at the device.  Not only is this useful for notetaking in general, I find it essential to maintain eye contact at meetings.

Can keyboard-based handhelds be used without looking at them, in a "touch-typing" sort of way?

Friday, February 13, 2004

I have a sidekick (hiptop) for about 6 months so far.  I'm getting much better at touch-typing, although I still look down on the screen.  I can type on this without looking on the screen, as I am doing right now, watching people walk by the cubicle.

Until I can easily feel the keyboard's tits with my thumbs, I will continue to have problems.

Friday, February 13, 2004

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