Sunday, 18 November, 2001

Fitaly Stamp

I had planned today to write about watching the Leonid meteor shower.  But when I went outside at 3:00 this morning it was completely overcast.  Bummer.  It was cloudy all week during the Mars approach last June, too, and I had my telescope all ready to check that one out.

A couple of weeks ago (see November 1), I mentioned a utility for the Palm computer calledFItalyStamp--a keyboard overlay that covers the Graffiti area on the Palm with a custom keyboard layout that was designed to minimize pen travel.  I downloaded and installed the software, and glued a laser printer copy of the keyboard layout onto the data input area of my Kyocera phone.  After just a couple of days working with it, I was hooked.  This is much better than trying to write in Graffiti.

The registered product, which you can order online with your credit card, cost $35.00 plus $6.00 for Express Mail shipping.  The package arrived two or three days later with the diskette, a small printed manual, and four nicely-printed keyboard overlays.  My phone is slightly smaller than the Palm m100, so I had Debra do some creative trimming of the keyboard overlay, but other than that I've not had a single problem with the setup.  I haven't reached the 50 words per minute data input rate that their marketing hypes, but I've achieved a sustained 20 wpm with some forays up toward 30 wpm.  It's the next best thing to having a real keyboard hooked to the Palm.  Tapping on keys beats scribbling goofy letters hands down.  Try writing Graffiti on an airplane in moderate turbulence.  Tapping keys, I was able to make notes with a minimum of errors.  I can "type" with the fitaly keyboard almost as fast as I can write on paper.

Highly recommended if you're doing any data input on your Palm.