[ExI] [Robotgroup] Alternative human keyboard interfaces

Harvey Newstrom mail at harveynewstrom.com
Tue Jun 9 14:06:41 UTC 2009

Court stenographers use a small chording keyboard with only 22 keys using both 
hands.  They achieve phenomenal speeds by using a phonetic shorthand.  First, 
they spell things as they sound phonetically.  Second, they type whole 
syllables at a time.  The left hand chords the consonants beginning syllables 
while the right hand chords the consonants ending syllables.  I don't remember 
how they coded the middle vowel sounds.  But by using this method, they 
punched a whole syllable of spoken language at a time.  They are required to 
be able to type at 225 words per minute.  Many reach over 200 words per 

The second idea that might help you from this, is that they never used the 
special characters you speak of.  They chorded out words for everything.  
(This was because all testimony in court was verbal.)  So if someone said 
"question-mark", they would actually punch the chords for the syllables KWES-
CHUN-MARK.  This would be three chords that are no more difficult than the other 
syllables.  I could see spelling out code using words, as I have done before 
in verbal discussions with coders.

   if [ i = 1 ] ; then echo "one!" ; fi



The third idea is that they now use automated software to translate their 
syllables into english text.

Don't know if this helps, but it might give you some ideas.

Harvey Newstrom <www.HarveyNewstrom.com>

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