Messagease PDA text entry

I just discovered Messagease, a superior system for entering text on a Palm device (freeware). It’s intuitive, that’s to say, it works although I haven’t read the instructions yet.

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The system is a grid as for noughts and crosses, containing these letters:
A N I
H O R
T E S
123 space

These are the most frequently used letters and you tap the square to enter them. For other letters, you stroke the square outwards: for instance, around the O are smaller letters:
q u p
c O b
g d j

On the 123 square you can switch to a numbers keypad.

You have to copy the text into memory and paste into another application.

I discovered this in the comments on Philip Greenspun’s weblog, where he reports his Handspring Treo has died and wonders whether to get a Pocket PC. The comments are worth reading. I suspect the best advice comes from those who advise ‘neither’. I don’t use a PDA much, but it’s very useful if I am away for a while.

The program was recommended by Ted Marcus.Philip Greenspun teaches electrical engineering and computer science at MIT. He photographs (especially his samoyed Alex, at present shorn for summer; good photography links) and flies, and is learning to fly a helicopter. And writes well (often entries along the lines of ‘Flew to Alaska for breakfast; interesting art exhibition; helicopter lesson – managed to keep it in the air for 5 seconds – I’m glad I spent 20 years flying ordinary planes first’).

There are some really good U.S. weblogs out there with commentaries, and then sometimes I read something along the lines of ‘All Germans support Saddam’ and wonder who it is I’m reading.

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