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Two-Fisted Computing

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the kudos-to-submitter-for-spelling-complement-correctly dept.

Hardware 236

whiterat writes "3Dconnexion is selling a variety of input devices that provide a left-hand complement to the traditional computer mouse. The devices control the position of on-screen objects in design programs such as Adobe Systems' Photoshop and its 3D modeling application, Maya. That enables designers to work without constantly togging between 'view' and 'create' modes." Smash TV veterans need no extra training.

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in the name of love (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8687033)

one more in the name of love....

Adobe Maya? (2, Insightful)

hendridm (302246) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687034)

design programs such as Adobe Systems' Photoshop and its 3D modeling application, Maya.

Does Adobe own Alias?

Re:Adobe Maya? (5, Informative)

ChrisMG999 (308536) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687048)

No, but SGI does.

Re:Adobe Maya? (2, Informative)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687195)

Actually, its Alias Wavefront which owns Maya and SGI owns Alias.

Re:Adobe Maya? (-1, Troll)

erick99 (743982) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687050)

No, but Maya is a plug-in for Photoshop and I think that was the context within which that statement was made.

Have fun!

Re:Adobe Maya? (0, Redundant)

KrispyKringle (672903) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687081)

Maya is not a plug-in for Photoshop (at least, not the 3d modelling Maya). It's a 3d modelling suite by Alias|Wavefront, who is owned by SGI. It does modelling, animation, and a whole lot more.

Re:Adobe Maya? (4, Informative)

Brendor (208073) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687303)

No, but Maya is a plug-in for Photoshop and I think that was the context within which that statement was made.

Aah, no.

Maya [alias.com] is a high end 3d design and rendering tool used primarily in TV/ feature film and video-game production. The main relation it has to Photoshop [adobe.com] is that you can paint textures for objects using photoshop.

As for the article, this seems mildly redundant at best and useless a worst. Graphic Design is my living (not exactly by choice . . ), and despite the spin in the article, my left hand is often as useful or more so than my moue hand. I taught myself photoshop 3 and have been getting more efficient at using it since then.

To get the most out of its tools, access to the shift and alt(option) keys is nessecary (subtracting from a selection for example). Holding down the spacebar completely eliminates the need to use the scroll windows at all. Learning keyboard shortcuts eliminates the need for most menu operations in a session, not to mention being that "cmd(ctrl) L" is much more effecient than menu selecting "Image>Adjustments>Levels."

I'm sure this device is useful for CAD, but the description doesn't sound like it is easier than pressing the space bar in photoshop or the option key to navigate Maya.

Two handed computing is nothint new (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8687042)

My left hand finds the URL's
My right hand...........

Re:Two handed computing is nothint new (5, Funny)

Rellik66 (596729) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687223)

Manipulates the joystick

Re:Two handed computing is nothint new (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8687240)

My left hand finds the URL's
My right hand...........

wishes it was a gURL's

Re:Two handed computing is nothint new (4, Funny)

iantri (687643) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687275)

As a left-handed person, I must say we have it much better than you.

Generally, we learn to mouse with the right hand, as most computers are set up this way and changing it is generally not feasible except at your own.

Since our left hand is the dominant one, this has certain.. advantages....

Re:Two handed computing is nothint new (3, Informative)

nexex (256614) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687355)

its nice being left handed when your right arm/hand gets tired...every once in a while i will just swing my chair over and use my left hand on the mouse. I agree that lefties can 'fake' ambidexterity pretty easily (think driving, scissors, pdas, books, video game controllers, eating with manners, etc.

Re:Two handed computing is nothint new (1, Funny)

SlightOverdose (689181) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687302)

I prefer both my hands on my girls breasts, and her mouth playing with my joystick.

But thats just me.

Uh oh - from the patent infringement dept (2, Interesting)

adzoox (615327) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687044)


http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/powermat e/

Interesting - looks like there my be a patent infringement in the works here. The Griffin PowerMate is a super useful product for video and time code manipulation.

Re:Uh oh - from the patent infringement dept (1)

CodeSniper (744502) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687084)

From the Spacetraveler data sheet it looks like it is a lot more than just a volume knob.

Re:Uh oh - from the patent infringement dept (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8687160)

the powermate does a heck of a lot more than adjust volume!!!

Re:Uh oh - from the patent infringement dept (1)

pangu (322010) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687089)

The spacetraveler is $600, the powermate is $40, looks like the legal fees are built into the cost.

I doubt anyone'll mind (1)

LiberalApplication (570878) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687108)

...considering the Spacetraveller's SIX HUNDRED DOLLAR [journeyed.com] price

Re:Uh oh - from the patent infringement dept (1)

nametaken (610866) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687166)

Did anyone notice this thing is like $599? The Griffin one is $40.

nothing new... DIALS AND BUTTONS!!@ (3, Interesting)

minnkota (576497) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687237)

The "new" SpaceTraveler knob reminds me of the "dials and buttons" that SGI (Silicon Graphics Inc) used to sell with their workstations years ago:
http://www.rrzn.uni-hannover.de/Grafik/sgi/onyx/di als-and-buttons.jpg [uni-hannover.de]

Basiclly two panels... one covered with programmable buttons, the other with programable knobs. These, plus a SpaceBall, and you really didn't need to spent much time using the keyboard. I see that Magellan/Logitech still sells Spaceballs--they're sure neat, especially when using an app that supports two-handed modeling... one hand "holds" and moves the 3D model (usually in wireframe mode) with the 3D spaceball, while the other hand uses the mouse to work on the wireframe itself.

Two quite different devices - I think (3, Informative)

mistermund (605799) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687322)

I've got a Powermate [griffintechnology.com] right here, and though it's a very cool and quite useful gadget, the SpaceTraveler seems to be in a different league.

I think it's a spinoff of the old SGI SpaceBall [schrotthal.de] pointer devices, which allowed for multiple axis input - you can push, pull, and move it left and right. The powermate just turns left and right on a vertical axis and can be pressed as a button. Looking further at their other products [3dconnexion.com] , the SpaceBall 5000 [3dconnexion.com] looks a lot like the old SGI unit. The SpaceTraveler's just a smaller portable version.

Of course, they don't seem to mention how many axes of input the thing provides on the website, so I dunno.

Subject. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8687045)

I only have one hand, you insensitive clod!

Pointless (1)

chrispyman (710460) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687046)

Seems kinda pointless unless theres some sort of driver hack or the applications/games support this.

Re:Pointless (5, Insightful)

Amiga Lover (708890) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687078)

I remember back in the early 80s your response was the same one that many people used when the Mouse first appeared. It was pointless, applications would need extra more complex code to support it, and nobody would end up buying one because there was no application support.

Now they're ubiquitous.

On another point, I once worked as a computer operator for landscaping data. We had tablets with large areas for digitizing maps where the 22 button tablet (yes, as large as a mouse) was used for tracing outlines, a 5-key chorded keyboard used on the left for other functions, and key pedals used for switching context. It didn't take long to get used to, and for the purpose it was needed for saved a great deal of time on a keyboard+mouse only. Everything has its uses

Re:Pointless (2, Interesting)

BigDumbSpaceApe (749732) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687167)

Yeah I don't see this having alot of use outside of graphic art and CAD really soon. I mean, as a programmer, i already use my left hand quite a bit for hot keys (though it might be able to get more out of it with a better input device.)

Maybe this will catch on if and when stuff like 3D desktops and Project Looking Glass [sun.com] become more mature.

There's an SDK - Also for Unix/Linux (1)

mistermund (605799) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687345)

The company distributes a SDK [3dconnexion.com] .

For the older version of these devices, before they were spun off by Logitech - seems they're supported navitely by OpenGL.

From this page [bmc.uu.se] .

Linux GLut-OpenGl-X. Glut v3 seems to support the Spaceball directly. Should try aeroplane demo.

flanders (0, Funny)

golfsportila (760666) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687051)

Following the approach of ned flanders

Re:flanders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8687184)

How is this offtopic?

Think, guys, LEFTORIUM.


Smash TV (1)

Chuck Bucket (142633) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687052)

I used to skip classes in college to play Smash TV with a friend. I got the classic arcade collection last month that has Robotron, Smash TV and other classics (the GameCube controller is great on Defender). I always thought that if you had hand eye co-ordination for Robotron or Defender, you'd have skills to do something; be it driving, construction, race car driver, something.

Ok, that's all I have, I'm still trying to get over the bike girl's nuke pics.


Only classes? (1)

Groo Wanderer (180806) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687207)

I have a Robotron and a Smash TV downstairs. Took me 3 years to find a Smash TV, non-origional cabinet, crappy monitor, but it works! Happy happy, joy joy.

Now, there are only 2 questions left, can I ever make it by Scarface on a single credit, and does anyone have a set of the v8.0 roms to sell me.

Damn it, now I have to go play.......


Re:Only classes? (4, Funny)

Hrothgar The Great (36761) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687278)

I LOVED Smash TV, although when I first became obsessed with it, it was the SNES version. Me and a friend played it pretty much every day until we beat it, at which point the game started over approximately four times as fast. We proceeded to play it every day until we finished that as well. (Hint: there's no reward for this other than YOUR MIND GETTING PERMANENTLY FUCKED)

That was about five years ago and I'm still twitching.

Two-Fisted Computing (0)

Nutt (106868) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687056)

The first thing I thought of when I saw the title was: "Wow, those spam messages for "enlarging" certain aspects of one's anatomy actually work!".

And I fail to see why there's a demand for this. Is the keyboard really so hard to use? I'm not a graphics developer but would this really make people's jobs easier?

Re:Two-Fisted Computing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8687109)

Yes, it would.

Can someone with some experience in these programs (1)

bc90021 (43730) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687062)

...please explain how this might be handy? (Pun intended. ;) ) Seriously, though, as I rarely use PhotoShop, and have never done any CAD, I don't see how having a second device for the other hand would be of use. (The article doesn't go into it exactly.)

It even mentions spreadsheet jockeying, but that just makes me more confused, as I would think you'd be taking your hands off both devices for data entry.

Re:Can someone with some experience in these progr (5, Informative)

KrispyKringle (672903) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687104)

Maya isn't CAD, just so you know. CAD is more for engineers; Maya is for design in the sense of cool-looking things (as opposed to architectural diagrams--NB being that I've never actually done CAD, but I do know Maya).

The deal with Maya is that to easily create in 3d, you actually work in a 3d environment. Navigation, just as in a video game, is done with one hand on the mouse and one on the keyboard. The keyboard hand is used to select tools, etc, and to choose what mode the mouse input goes in. The mouse is used to rotate, scale, and pan the object in front of the camera (or the camera around the object, depending on your philosophy). For example, holding CTRL while using the left mouse button rotates (if I remember right--I really can't tell offhand without actually doing it).

So because input is so odd in such a program, I can imagine many ways to do it differently (unlike, say, typing, in which there really is only one obvious paradigm--one key per letter). I don't know specifically how they implement this, and I do personally feel relatively comfortable with the current setup, but it could be neat.

On a tangent, though, I think personally the big issue with working in 3d is not input per se, but the fact that the input and display are both two dimensional, despite the goal being to create something three dimensional. So for example, how two dimensional movements on a mousepad translate into three dimensional rotation can be kinda hard to get used to, and quite hard to be precise with. Also, I occasionally found myself, when I was first learning Maya, trying to move my head to look around the edges of an object (quite silly, I know). So the limitations of a two dimensional screen are also clear.

Most of us work with 2 hands in the real world (1)

texchanchan (471739) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687174)

I've been waiting for a 2-mouse system for many years. Pick up this text here with one, this text here with the other, and swap them--operations like that.

Operating with just one mouse has always made me feel like a bird using its beak to weave a nest. Birds can do a lot of manipulation with a single pointy beak. They can build pretty fantastic nests. But who wants to do projects that way if they don't have to?

We work with both hands at once all the time in 3D space. Why not on-screen too?

C. Crowley--Mouse user since 1980 (and that first one had about 12 sharp little buttons on it)

Re:Can someone with some experience in these progr (4, Interesting)

ruprechtjones (545762) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687281)

Well, being a left-hander, I do things a bit differently. I was raised with the mouse in the right hand, and that's the only way I can use it (I feel wierd using a left-handed mouse). Several years ago I got a Wacom tablet, which is a natural fit for my left hand. So now I find myself always having the mouse in the right hand, and the Wacom pen in the left, dropping both to use the keyboard, of course. It's so natural, everything flows. Mouse scroll-wheel to go through web pages, pen to quickly click on things or get down to business in Photoshop. Not sure about this new approach, I'll probably stick to what I've got. Maybe it's different for all you right-handed freaks out there. heh heh

Early Jihad Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8687073)


Down with Slashdot! Down with the editors!

Two-Fisted What? (0)

Nuclear Elephant (700938) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687074)

There's a reason most geeks only use one hand to navigate.

I'm left handed (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8687076)

I'm a lefty and have to say this doesn't affect me because I'm so accustomed to using the mouse on the right side. Although this is a nice development, there is no way I'm going to give up the ability to use stylus with a digitizing tablet while at the same time using the mouse. Maybe right-handed people can make use of this.

I'm left handed too (1)

Simple-Simmian (710342) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687138)

my marble mouse is on the left side. Since I don't use any thing but it for games/mousing it's not of any advantage to me either.

Now they just need to make ambidexterous people (3, Insightful)

RalphBNumbers (655475) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687079)

I don't know about you guys, but I can't move my left hand anywhere near as quickly and precisely as my right.

On a digital device like a keyboard, where I either do, or do not, hit a target I can get away with this, but an analogue pointing device like a mouse is another question. And I expect using two similar pointing devices in different hands will add some disorientating effects on top of that.

The device is an interesting idea, now they just need to engineer the people who can use it efficiently.

Re:Now they just need to make ambidexterous people (1)

CodeSniper (744502) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687123)

Well, in response to your post I tried using the mouse with my left hand for a little bit. It does feel weird and clumsy, but its only slightly slower and it probably wouldn't take to long to become proficient using the mouse with your left hand.

Tendonitis learns you good, fast (4, Interesting)

DenialS (21305) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687175)

I'm a righty, but I switched to a left-handed mouse about five years ago after a one-week motorcycle trip around the Great Lakes (intense vibration) followed by a one-week click-fest through the original Fallout RPG.

Because I make my living as a computer geek, I was surprised and dismayed to find just how messed up my right wrist was after that boneheaded combination of events. I tentatively switched over to using the mouse left-handed, meaning to do it temporarily, but discovered that within a week I was pretty comfortable, and within two weeks I had fully adjusted.

Five years later I'm still using it left-handed, which seems to mess up both righties and lefties when they try to use my workstation. I used to use xwrits [lcdf.org] to remind me to take regular mouse breaks so I don't (&%# up this wrist too, but I've been bad lately.

I've thought about a two-mouse system, but editing code and writing tech docs really lends itself to a keyboard. If I was an artist maybe a two-mouse system would let me switch brushes and colours midstroke, but I'm no artist. Just a recently minted ambidextrous person. I suppose if I were in Russia, I could say that the mouse manipulated ME...

Practice (1)

bluGill (862) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687179)

Left handers learn to use their right hand, you can learn to use your left. You might not ever be as good, but you can do just fine. I can use the mouse in either hand, I like to switch to save my wrists. You can too, if you practice. In fact for some tasks your left hand might be better on the mouse since it frees your right hand to use the keyboard. Or in this case a different mouse.

Re:Now they just need to make ambidexterous people (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687227)

There are some people born with it. I can, for example, switch between left and right mouse without blinking!

I can even eat using chopsticks, with my left hand, and I'm right handed.

Maybe if you tied your right hand behind your back for a week, you'd become a *lot* more dextrous with your sinister hand!

portable 6 DOF spaceball + 8 buttons (2, Informative)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687080)

It's a miniture spaceball with a six degree-of-freedom knob and 8 programmable buttons. website [3dconnexion.com] picture [3dconnexion.com] and pdf [3dconnexion.com] .

Looks nice, but the buttons are placed around the rim and look like they'd be easy to confuse because they're identical.

(sorry for using the words spaceball, knob, and rim in this post)

price (2, Informative)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687117)

it's also $599 on their net store!! (most of their other controllers are $499 except for the low-cost $399 and the $299 keyboard version)

Re:portable 6 DOF spaceball + 8 buttons (1)

minnkota (576497) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687259)

This is nothing new... the original SpaceBall is almost 15 years old, as are Dials and Buttons: http://www.reputable.com/~skywriter/twintower/00DA NDB.jpg [reputable.com] *Very* handy when working on 2D CAD or 3D models all day long. Too bad most modern software is only SpaceBall aware these days.

Robotron 2048 (2, Informative)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687085)

I think Robotron 2048 had the double-joystick controls long before Smash TV came around...

Re:Robotron 2048 (1)

black mariah (654971) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687193)

The editors are making the smart assumption that anyone old enough to have played Robotron either have Alzheimers and forgot it by now, or are too stricken with arthritis to care about any kind of handheld devices.

Smash TV (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687088)

For those who wasted more than a few bucks on the game:

"More Money! More Prizes! I Like It!"

Err... (3, Interesting)

Xenographic (557057) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687092)

I don't know about others, by my left hand rests on the keyboard.

What I wish is that there was a one-handed keyboard so I could type with one hand and mouse with the other.

Traversing back & forth between using the keyboard and the mouse causes noticable slowdown when you use the computer all day.

Maybe that's why I like CLIs so much? *shrug*

Don't get me wrong, I use GUIs all the time, too, but you can't type in data with a mouse... (at least, not with any program I have)

Re:Err... (2, Informative)

MyHair (589485) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687154)

What I wish is that there was a one-handed keyboard so I could type with one hand and mouse with the other.

I'm sorry, you must release your 557057 user ID and go to the back of the line. :-)

There are Dvorak one-handed keyboard layouts for your system, whatever it is. In Windows you can change to it in the control panel; In X I know it can be done but don't know how offhand. Several Slashdotters use this scheme, and at least one will probably beat me to a reply since I'm using the old slow QWERTY layout.

I suspect there are free Dvorak typing tutors out there, but I'm not sure about that.

And if you're really geeky, there are several projects that attempt to let you type with the mouse, and many more for typing with a stylus. (Gestures, vectors, special keypads, etc..)

I'm too lazy to use Google and give you links right now, so I leave that as an exercise for you.

Re:Err... (1)

Xenographic (557057) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687218)

I'm using the Optimoz [mozdev.org] mouse gestures in Mozilla now, not to mention the convenient password manager. The password manager is the only one that really saves me typing instead of just making clicking more efficient, but they're still nice... :]

Re:Err... (2, Interesting)

bluGill (862) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687161)

First of all, have you sat with a stopwatch and timed yourself, or does the mouse just feel slower? When TOG created the mac he did that, and discovered many tasks where the CLI felt faster, but by the stopwatch the mouse was. This includes time switching back and forth between the keyboard and mouse! Note that this is a more limited statement than most mac users think, the mouse is not a perfect input device. Nobody normal person writes a novel with only the mouse.

As for data, when you are working with graphics the mouse is often the best tool for entering it.

Re:Err... (1)

Xenographic (557057) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687232)

I'm a touch typist.

Unless I have to type something really convoluted or an odd key combination (fsck is strange to type, with that unnatural key combination, it lends itself to mischevious typos... unless you alias the typo to the command) or perhaps browsing a complex man page (even the sendmail man page beats having to deal with Clippy *shudder*), there are some things that a CLI is just better suited to.

Not to mention that you can pipe multiple commands into each other without having to wait for the intermediate processes to finish in a CLI (something I'm not quite sure how to do in a GUI, even if you can drag & drop a mass of files into certain apps)...

But it could just be me :]

Re:Err... (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687330)

You are missing his point. He didn't say that the mouse felt slower than a CLI. In fact the entire desire for having a one handed keyboard is driven by the fact that you know the mouse is faster and you don't want to keep taking your hand off of it.

I used to do a lot of CAD work when I was younger. Like most any graphics programs you constantly alternate between choosing your tool and providing direct input with the mouse. The two methods of doing this were either to type the command, or click the correct tool on the tool pallet. Both of these were annoying. In the first you were constantly moving your hand from the mouse to the keyboard and back, while in the second you were constantly moving the mouse out of the drawing area and back. I finally got lazy and learned how to type all of the common commands with one hand. Now I don't know which of the original two was faster but the one handed typing was much better than both of them.

Re:Err... (1)

brucmack (572780) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687163)

Well, it would be difficult to make a one handed full keyboard... Maybe by having key combos and fewer keys, but still tricky. However, an interface could certainly just constrain itself to using keys on the left side of the keyboard to allow a user to effectively use it with one hand on the mouse. The Windows clipboard hotkeys are actually quite good for this.

Re:Err... (2, Informative)

kistral (757265) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687197)

Oh, but there are several one [slashdot.org] -handed [halfkeyboard.com] keyboards [half-qwerty.com] .

That was the plan (4, Informative)

steveha (103154) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687202)

The original creator of the mouse, Douglas Engelbart, always assumed you would use a one-handed "chord" keyboard with one hand, and use the mouse with the other hand. From what I have heard, if you invested the time to learn this, you could really rock.

http://sloan.stanford.edu/mousesite/1968Demo.html [stanford.edu]


Re:Err... (3, Informative)

dutchdabomb (248104) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687220)

You could always get a Twiddler [handykey.com] , one of these one-handed keyboards [infogrip.com] , or one of these [frogpad.com] .

Re:Err... (1)

mjackson14609 (69635) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687228)

What I wish is that there was a one-handed keyboard so I could type with one hand and mouse with the other.

DE's famous original setup *did* have a chord keyboard for the left hand, for entering a few characters between mouse actions without shifting both hands to the main keyboard. For that matter PARC's Alto could be so equipped, although in practice this was fairly rare.

In my experience three mouse buttons plus a couple of modifier keys active on the main keyboard give enough expressiveness that learning how to use a chord keyboard doesn't seem worth the hassle. Your mileage may vary.

Re:Err... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8687263)

Ohere are two one-handed keyboard layouts (one for each hand). The numbers and some of the punctuation keys are moved off to the side so all the letters are reachable with one hand. Here's the one that XP calls "Dvorak for Right Hand":
` 1 2 3 4 j l m f p / [ ] bks
tb 5 6 q . o r s u y b ; = \
cal 7 8 z a e h t d c k - ent
shft 9 0 x , i n w v g ' shft
And "Dvorak for Left Hand":
` [ ] / p f m l j 4 3 2 1 bks
tb ; q b y u r s o . 6 5 = \
cal - k c d t h e a z 8 7 ent
shft ' x g v w n i , 0 9 shft
I haven't actually tried either of these other than to type the layouts, but they look usable enough for normal typing (ie not code).

Left Handed Dvorak (1)

gotr00t (563828) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687272)

Yes, one handed keyboard layouts do exist, the best known are the left and right handed Dvorak layouts. They are included with all versions of Windows past 98SE.

Pretty much all they're useful is when one of your hands has become disconnected from your body, as it much slower to type with one hand(50WPM max or so), even slower than it is to switch the right hand from mouse to keyboard rapidly.

I'm still looking for this layout for KDE3/XFree86 4.4, or how to make my own layouts.

Re:Left Handed Dvorak (1)

iantri (687643) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687344)

Ask, and ye shall receive!

Unless you want to define a whole god damn system-wide keyboard with XKB (THIS IS NOT FUN!!!!), the easiest way to do this is to create an xmodmap that maps the keys to the positions you want.

I know little about Dvorak keyboards.. I'm going to assume that the function keys and arrows of a regular Dvorak keyboard match the same keycodes as a left-handed dvorak. In that case, you could set your keyboard to Dvorak layout (KDE provides an easy facility for this) and then fix the keys with xmodmap.

See here: a HOWTO on TLDP [tldp.org] .

Also, you may find a program called XKeyCaps useful -- it shows or allows you to create visually an xmodmap file on a representation of a keyboard.

Good luck.

Symmetry: (1)

Three Headed Man (765841) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687124)

My mouse is symmetrical, and yet ergonomic. Theere is considerable wear on the mouse buttons, where the colored part has worn away to the bare plastic. Google Image Search provides a graphic. [epinions.com]

Mouses that are designed with lefties in mind have been around for a while, like mine, and there's nothing really new about the hardware.

However, the concept of using two mice at once to better manipulate graphics is an interesting and useful one. I'll have to look into jury rigging something like this on my computer.

The topic title? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8687125)

You can't be serious, to approve an article with a title like that, THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

Looks kinda like an actually useful version of (1)

KrispyKringle (672903) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687128)

this [griffintechnology.com] . Which clearly is designed to just look cool (and is successful, I'd say).

More axes, more buttons (1)

mistermund (605799) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687353)

As a previous poster noted, these are 6DOF devices. You can push, pull, and tilt them. Also, they have more buttons. The SpaceTraveler has 8, the SpaceBall has 12.

Cost? (0, Redundant)

Inominate (412637) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687133)

For $500, I don't see how these can be justified.

Hell, you could rig a damned $50 joystick to do the same thing.

Re:Cost? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8687181)

Dude, this is Slashdot. These idiots buy Macs.

Need I say more?

why can't i just use a second mouse? (3, Interesting)

MikeLRoy (246462) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687135)

i guess this has to be asked... i use autocad and photoshop quite a bit. in photoshop, you have to constantly swtich to a zoom mode to move around the image you're working on. same in illustrator, pagemaker, etc, etc. in autocad, same deal, except your left (other) hand can use keyboard commands since there is a command line. anyways...

why hasn't someone written a driver which lets you use a second mouse/trackball as a "view" device. for example, in autocad, it'd have the same functionality as the main mouse, but would be dedicated to view commands.

Re:why can't i just use a second mouse? (1)

Bombcar (16057) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687200)

That's a very good question, and I've never seen an answer. I would also like the idea of multiple pointers, but my guess is that Windows or X couldn't deal with it.

They're called keyboard shortcuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8687243)

Learn to use them, bitch.

No. (3, Funny)

alexburke (119254) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687137)

I could really have done without the mental imagery associated with the concept of double fisting. Thanks for the headline. Not. :P

Hah! (0, Redundant)

General Sherman (614373) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687153)

I've been doing this for years. One hand on my mouse, and the other on my...nevermind.

Re:Hah! (2, Funny)

Talking Toaster (695539) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687361)

I've been doing this for years. One hand on my mouse, and the other on my...nevermind.


the left hand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8687172)

for the most part, the right hand moves and clicks the mouse to select the pictures and movies, while the left hand...
Well the left hand is busy on massaging certian parts of the anatomy.

Wasn't this the whole point of the three button mouse with the scrollwheel? So that one hand could be navigating on the computer while the other hand works on the body? Did the paradigm shift?

hey... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8687191)

I know a lot of people on slashdot that do a lot of ONE FISTED computing.

Those pics of Elisha Cuthbert are HAWT!!

Logitech extremely un-ergonomic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8687199)

Logitech is already known for extremely un-ergonomic devices like right-hand-only mouse-devices (left handers be damned), and early use of the useless scoll wheel that gets in the way of the left mouse button. I wonder if this item is designed in a similarly careless fashion.

left hand?? (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687205)

"3Dconnexion is selling a variety of input devices that provide a left-hand complement to the traditional computer mouse."

thought we already had a "device" for our left-hands...

Robotron story (1, Offtopic)

steveha (103154) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687217)

Of course Robotron: 2084 predated Smash TV.

Here's a story I heard about Robotron. I don't know if it's true.

I heard that Disney decided to sue Williams over the name "Robotron", since Disney owns the name "Tron" (from the movie). Williams lawyers, in court, argued that the name isn't actually "Robo-tron", but actually "Robot Ron".

If it isn't true, it ought to be. ;-)


well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8687225)

I AM left-handed, you insensitive clod!

er, the non-mouse hand is not doing nothing :/ (1)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687241)

Did they forget the other (non mouse hand) is constantly used for pressing quick-keys ?

Nostromo? (1)

st0rmshad0w (412661) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687245)

So why not just get someone to write whatever software/plugin/driver is needed to use something like the Nostromo Speedpad (designed for gaming)?

Big deal.

Two-Fisted (1)

dupper (470576) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687253)

*ahem* Chloe. Come on, you've seen the video.

student discount (1)

bullring1 (758908) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687260)

for a LIMITED TIME ONLY.... http://www.journeyed.com/cgi-bin/sgin0101.exe?FNM= 00&UID=2004032616202050&GEN0=&GEN1=&GEN2=&GEN3=&GE N4=&GEN5=&GEN6=&GEN7=&GEN8=&GEN9=index2.html&TRAN8 5=Y&T1=31886423&UREQB=1&UREQA=2&UREQC=3&UREQD= 4

My idea.. (3, Interesting)

iantri (687643) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687266)

Now this could be an incredibly bad idea in practice, but I've always kind of had an interesting idea regarding mice.

I'd like to be able to have two mice, two pointers, on the screen at the same time. Say you're working in Photoshop. It's a pain to have to go to the left-hand side to switch tools. What if you could select tools with the left-hand mouse and paint/select with the right-hand mouse? (This is different from what they are doing in that I would like two seperate, fully functioning mice and cursors.)

It ain't possible in Windows.. is anything like this doable with X under Linux?

I don't know, it could turn out to be a terrible idea in practice (end up something like trying to pat your head and rub your belly at the same time), but I think it would be neat to try..

Just get a YTREWQ keyboard (3, Funny)

modder (722270) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687269)

And put your mouse on the other side.

Microsoft's RTS game device? (1)

Hollinger (16202) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687271)

Didn't Microsoft make a device for RTS games that was essentially a moulded puck that your left hand rested on that let you scroll in whatever direction, and perform macro'd actions? I can't recall much about it though... It was probably a "Microsoft ____ Commander" of some sort.

Re:Microsoft's RTS game device? -- Link! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8687315)

You mean this thing [neoseeker.com] ? Yep, the "Microsoft Strategic Commander."

Yawn (1)

faust2097 (137829) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687285)

I already have a Shuttlepro v2 [contourdesign.com] that I use extensively in Photoshop and Illustrator.Ironically, I don't do video work but the thing is a godsend for undo/redo, zoom and other common tasks.

OUCH! (0, Redundant)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687287)

At between $400-$600 per device.. That two fisted computing is gonna cost you two fistfuls of cash...

Been there, done that (4, Informative)

K8Fan (37875) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687305)

The TDI Explore system (the 3D software that was purchased by Wavefront, merged with Alias and became Maya) was based on the SGI "knob box".

This was a set of 8 rotary encoders, and virtually every function used the knobs. For instance, X and Y movement would be handled by the mouse, and Z with a knob. Z, Y and Z scaling would be three more knobs. Z, Y and Z rotation would be another three.

The knob functions would change based on what object you were manipulating. So the camera would have "Field of View" as one knob, and while the mouse handled U and V translation around the target, a knob would handle "trucking" (movement towards the target).

This was everywhere in the program, and I found it to be the fastest 3D interface I've ever worked in. The whole idea of "one hand on the mouse, one on the keyboard" is actually a canard - most people actually type with both hands, and have to bring their main hand into play to type anything of any length.

Of course the system had keyboard shortcuts. But most keyboard shortcuts are used to switch the mouse's functions. With the knob box, we had 8 adjustable parameters, plus the mouse. There are few items on a 3D world that have more than 8 parameters to change at a time.

I miss it.

Won't somebody PLEASE think of the smokers? (2, Interesting)

dookie (136297) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687324)

Yes I know it's a filthy habit but substitute coffee/jolt/coke with a cigarette and that's what my left hand is being used for while doing any animation and/or general computing.

I can't do that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8687326)

I can't use 2 hands to use the computer, my other hand is most likely doing...other...stuff.

Yeah, paperwork.......


Do they have a driver for Blender? (1)

kallistiblue (411048) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687332)

It's always nice to support great GPL stuff.

BTW, I'm just learning Blender and would love to know how similar Blender was to Maya. Maya is too expensive for me right now.

Re:Do they have a driver for Blender? (1)

paradesign (561561) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687374)

no its not. try it yourself and find out how different it is.

maya ple [alias.com]

3D Rotation and CAD (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 10 years ago | (#8687370)

The devices control the position of on-screen objects in design programs

Makes sense to me; in fact I proposed such a device to Infogrip [infogrip.com] about 10 years ago.

This is not to claim that I'm some sort of genius, it just seems to be an obvious progression for someone that needs to access a lot of variable-level commands regularly.

For example, all the variations of copy, rotate, extend, offset, and the most important one: undo.

When working in 3D design, you need at least 2 views of everything since it's easy to lose perspective while you're thinking about the next move. Big, dual monitors are pretty much required becauseyou have to be able to see fine detail, and flipping screens tends to disorient the designer.

A two-handed control device is a good idea for this type of work.

Sorry if this doesn't make sense, I can draw it for you if you want.
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