Coffeehouse Thread

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Newton video

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  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    Here.

    It may be 14 years old, but I want to know why many of the features seen on the Newton, especially in the handwriting recognition, are still somewhat half-baked on Microsoft's TPC platform?

    Or standing out even more: Windows Mobile.

    My (now dead) HP Jornada 545, the original PocketPC used by Microsoft as a marketing example (before switching to the newer Casio Casiopea, as seen in the background of the "devices" screen in WMP7) offered handwriting recognition and drawing in Pocket Word, yet WM5's Word Mobile removed both drawing and handwriting recognition.

    And despite using a smooth 192dpi display (that beats the pants off the passive-matrix 160dpi display of the Newton), VGA WM devices still take notes as if they were running as QVGA, the result is the Notes program (the only handwriting app out there) handles handwriting terribly, and is horribly inaccurate and offers no interface to the recognition neural-network the Newton and TabletPC do, I don't think it even supports learning anymore either, since there's no way of pointing out corrections or mistakes.

    Apple can't have patented this totally, since TPC uses them, as did PPC2000 (to a lesser extent).

    So Microsoft, please improve WM5 handwriting and improve TPC's handwriting too: it needs more resolution and accuracy. I've stopped using my TPC in slate mode more often since it's just easier for me to make notes in Word by typing.

    The main improvement I can see is the ability to write in a smaller amount of space, I've got a 120dpi and 190dpi display on my M4 and X51V respecitvly, so let me use it, rather than pretending everything's running at 96dpi and requires me to use a 1.5cm letter height. I can write ultra-fine with a fountain pen, why not a styus?


  • User profile image
    TimP

    They sold me. Where can I get my Newton? Wink

  • User profile image
    Kevin Daly

    Handwriting recognition, like speech recognition, is a hard problem.
    It's going to take time to get it right...a lot of progress has been made though - on the Newton it was a joke, whereas on the J545 it was just very crappy Smiley
    The recogniser for Vista is an improvement over the previous version...small mobile devices are going to be a problem for some considerable time because of the obvious limitations in memory and CPU speed.

    You can still get handwriting recognition from Word in WM5, it's just a matter of selecting the appropriate input method.
    The handwriting recognition's still pretty crappy though, and I have to admit that I don't use it (next time I buy a Pocket PC I'll definitely go for one with a keyboard, but a slide-out one rather than one of those idiotic Blackberry-wannabe things).

  • User profile image
    Massif

    I don't know, my handwriting's pretty bad, and my dad's Windows Mobile phone could recognise most of what I was writing. (Available in any program at any time as well.)

  • User profile image
    Another_​Darren

    W3bbo wrote:

    And despite using a smooth 192dpi display (that beats the pants off the passive-matrix 160dpi display of the Newton), VGA WM devices still take notes as if they were running as QVGA, the result is the Notes program (the only handwriting app out there) handles handwriting terribly, and is horribly inaccurate and offers no interface to the recognition neural-network the Newton and TabletPC do, I don't think it even supports learning anymore either, since there's no way of pointing out corrections or mistakes.

    Apple can't have patented this totally, since TPC uses them, as did PPC2000 (to a lesser extent).


    'dpi' is printer measurement, I think you mean 'ppi'.

    As for patents by Apple the majority of patents are for MULTI-touch not touch or handwriting.  They have stuff around the typing that makes it understand what you are trying to say so that the predictive text shows the best match.

  • User profile image
    apoc

    The WM Team could learn something from UIQ HWR, the best I've ever used. It doesn't steal any screen area for the SIP, and has an excelent accuracy(as fast as writting on paper in my case). They divided the screen in 2 main areas and a horizontal middle line, in the top you write the symbols and numbers, on the bottom all letters, and in the center line( indicated only by a small arrow tip on the right ) every letter is recognized as uppercase. By doing so the HWR has a reduced scope of posibilities, like they did with Vista Voice Recog. limit the number of possibilities to improve accuracy.



    I know WM has something similar(Letter Recognizer), but it takes up some screen space and isn't as accurate. Also, it is possible UIQ's solution is patented.

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    W3bbo wrote:
    Here.

    It may be 14 years old, but I want to know why many of the features seen on the Newton, especially in the handwriting recognition, are still somewhat half-baked on Microsoft's TPC platform?



    Have you ever actually used a Newton? Sure it looks impressive in their advertising video but it wasn't actually all that great in reality. The Tablet PC recognizer is light years ahead (not surprising given the relative difference in hardware).

  • User profile image
    Massif

    AndyC wrote:
    
    W3bbo wrote:Here.

    It may be 14 years old, but I want to know why many of the features seen on the Newton, especially in the handwriting recognition, are still somewhat half-baked on Microsoft's TPC platform?



    Have you ever actually used a Newton? Sure it looks impressive in their advertising video but it wasn't actually all that great in reality. The Tablet PC recognizer is light years ahead (not surprising given the relative difference in hardware).


    Surely anyone who's watched Nelson use his on the Simpson's knows that.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    AndyC wrote:
    Have you ever actually used a Newton? Sure it looks impressive in their advertising video but it wasn't actually all that great in reality. The Tablet PC recognizer is light years ahead (not surprising given the relative difference in hardware).


    Well yeah, I've heard plenty of bad things aout the Newton's accuracy, but how is my TPC more accurate when the pen is 3px wide but Newton's is 1px?

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    W3bbo wrote:
    

    Well yeah, I've heard plenty of bad things aout the Newton's accuracy, but how is my TPC more accurate when the pen is 3px wide but Newton's is 1px?


    Well the TPC occasionally gets words right for one thing.... Tongue Out

  • User profile image
    PerfectPhase

    W3bbo wrote:
    
    AndyC wrote: Have you ever actually used a Newton? Sure it looks impressive in their advertising video but it wasn't actually all that great in reality. The Tablet PC recognizer is light years ahead (not surprising given the relative difference in hardware).


    Well yeah, I've heard plenty of bad things aout the Newton's accuracy, but how is my TPC more accurate when the pen is 3px wide but Newton's is 1px?


    I would guess it couldn't care less about the width of the pen, especially as rendered on the display, what it's watching is the vector paths created by the movement of the pen, and if available the pressure used in the gesture.  The digitizers accuracy is normally way sub screen-pixel anyway.

  • User profile image
    Another_​Darren

    W3bbo wrote:
    
    The main improvement I can see is the ability to write in a smaller amount of space, I've got a 120dpi and 190dpi display on my M4 and X51V respecitvly, so let me use it, rather than pretending everything's running at 96dpi and requires me to use a 1.5cm letter height. I can write ultra-fine with a fountain pen, why not a styus?


    At least Apple can see the future, they've patented and implemented "Resolution Independent UI" for the next release of OS X.  Obviously a great benefit for porting OS X onto the iPhone.  But since it's patented not sure how MS could implement what you want, maybe they can work around it but it would probably be a kludge.

  • User profile image
    PerfectPhase

    Another_Darren wrote:
    
    At least Apple can see the future, they've patented and implemented "Resolution Independent UI" for the next release of OS X. 


    Can't be bothered to type, c'n'p from the web...

    ---
    The idea of doing this for user interface is not new either (XAML being one example of this...).

    What's supposedly new according to the patent is the method associating numerical values (essentially placement information) to a 'material map' which as I understand, is just a data structure containing the controls of a window... and a method to use this information to layout the said window.
    ---

  • User profile image
    Angus

    This is really strange. I was thinking of posting the exact same video yesterday.

    The video looks great, but I suppose most companies can make a product look great. I do like some of the features, but I think the size is too large for my use.

    Thanks for the link.

    Angus Higgins

  • User profile image
    Xaero_​Vincent

    C'mon people. This thing was probably totally awesome in 1993.

    It's handwriting recongition is far better than my Palm i705, which only recongizes handwritten symbols.

    I'd totally trade in my Palm for this thing if no extra money were involved.

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