The Center for Zodiac And General Palm OS Users, But mostly Zodiac. :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Fitaly for Zodiac and SkinTW

fitaly on zodiac
Well, I've had an ongoing problem with this cool combination of software/hack from Textware (fitaly technology) and developer Alexander Pruss (SkinTW).... [Note there's also skinning work done by Velo who does an amazing job]

For those unaware, fitaly is an on-screen keyboard that is organized in a manner to allow quicker tapping of onscreen "keys", shortening the distance between taps and thereby speeding text entry dramatically. That is the premise, and I was skeptical when I first found out about it. But I have since become a believer.

Essentially, the most commonly used letters are nearest the center of the keyboard and less commonly used letters are further and further from the center. I've never verified this against any "English letter frequency" documents or anything, but I do know I can type significantly faster using the fitaly keyboard than the built in on-screen keyboard. (Or Velo's extended onscreen keyboards, which replace the DIA much as the fitaly keyboard, only without other extensions and organized in traditional QWERTY fashion)

[EDIT: snipped into the first comment]


Blogger fuhgettaboutit123 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005 8:11:00 AM

Blogger fuhgettaboutit123 said...

Anyhow, Fitaly for Zodiac is a hack. Tapwave never released info to Textware on how to officially modify/replace the regular DIA, but Pruss found a way to. So Textware licensed Pruss's SkinTW software, which was originally designed to simply skin the user interface of the Zodiac. (see Velo's site for lots of skins for Zodiac and other devices...)

Well, fitaly reacts to user input even when the DIA is hidden (using the "DIA minimize" button in the bottom right of the screen) which can be annoying. Still trying to resolve the issue, since neither Textware nor Pruss is willing to put time into a project which is not really seeing either of them make any money thus far. Not enough Tapwave users buying their product... so either I'm going to work on it whenever I get time to learn Palm OS dev and hack the fitaly software to work on disabling it when I minimize DIA, or some brave soul will come along and help out. Most likely neither will occur. Alas...

But it's cool stuff if you've got a few bucks to spend and do lots of text entry on your Zod!

Fitaly has many useful features, including an app launcher bar and a popup list/launcher for the most recent apps used. It also allows for an advanced shortcut mechanism called "sliding".

After creating a custom slide, you slide the stylus off a programmed fitaly key in the direction specified (any of the 8 cardinal directions) and it prints whatever text you have stored. It's like the built-in Palm OS shortcuts, only faster (at least in my opinion)

Thanks to Pruss's programming and Velo's skin design, the fitaly keyboard also works in landscape mode, though slides and other advanced features are disabled.


Wednesday, July 27, 2005 9:07:00 AM


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