What Fitaly Users Are Saying...

Fitaly is Substantially Faster
by C. E. Steuart Dewar
Posted July 9, 1998 on alt.comp.sys.palmtops.pilot

In a previous article, Dean Schanzel asked:

Okay, I've tried it for a day and it doesn't seem to be faster. Rather than "hunt and peck" as on the Palm Keyboard, I "hunt, hunt, hunt, and peck" on the Fitaly. Have I tried it long enough, or should I continue to practice? What has your experience been?

If you hunt and peck on a regular keyboard, chances are you will hunt and peck on Fitaly too and the speed gain may not be that large. Fitaly is of the greatest benefit to "touch typists" i.e. people who know exactly where every key is and are therefore not hunting and pecking, but simply pecking - i.e. spending time moving to a known position. Once the new positions of the Fitaly keyboard are known, it is substantially faster, and also more accurate, since accuracy decreases as the distance between taps increases.

You could argue that the Dvorak keyboard is more efficient than the standard Qwerty keyboard, and yet it never took off. But I think the point that Dr. Ichbiah makes is very valid one: for most of us, tapping on an on-screen keyboard or using Graffiti is a new experience and environment ANYWAY, so learning a new environment which is KNOWN to be more efficient is worthwhile. As to how long it takes, a day is probably not enough (was a day enough to really get proficient in graffiti?). In a few days, certain combinations such as 'the' and 'and' will start to go very fast. The "Dom Perignon" contest was a good idea because it allows you to practice a particular sentence so that the true benefit of Fitaly begins to be apparent as the time spent "hunting" approaches zero.

Finally, one very significant benefit of Fitaly (as opposed to the standard Qwerty keyboard) is the fact that Graffiti is NOT disabled while it is running. Certain operations are more efficient in Graffiti (writing in the dark or while moving for example) and it lessens the switch over time to be able to use graffiti when it makes more sense.

And if you don't like the idea of spending a lot of time evaluating it, just pick a simple word like "interesting" and practice it on Fitaly until you are no longer hunting, just pecking. Now go back to the Qwerty keyboard or graffiti and compare the time - the point will be made for most people...

C. E. Steuart Dewar
Pimlico Software
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