Steve Dower | Musings and Mutterings

My Other Keyboard...

Or, “don’t spill water on your laptop.”

Luckily, my Dell XPS 15s has a touchscreen, and Windows has an on-screen keyboard, or I wouldn’t be typing this much. Haven’t decided yet whether to buy a new laptop yet or just a new (external) keyboard, since I already have new machines coming within 1-2 months, but luckily nothing apart from the keyboard and trackpad were damaged.

Slightly more fun than the touch screen is the speech recognition. After the training, it’s certainly faster than typing on the screen. It does add two spaces after every period, which is not my usual style, but since I don’t have a keyboard any more, I don’t really have a choice. Unfortunately, typing passwords is both insecure and close to impossible, since you cannot read what is actually being typed. Windows 8 improves this by allowing you to display the contents of password fields, but since I have not yet upgraded my personal laptop, this is not much help.

Once you’re past the password field though, the rest is not too bad. Each sentence is typically quite quick, but corrections take a while. As my last keyboard post mentioned, I type quite quickly on a good keyboard, and speech recognition is not going to replace that anytime soon for me. It does seem to be improving as I use it, which is promising, but it may take more patience than I have available. Maybe I will suffer this for a while, just to see how well it can work. I’ll probably break down and buy a new laptop…

Lesson learned.