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Laptop Touchscreen Not Recommended
Old 06-11-2014, 11:42 AM   #1
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Laptop Touchscreen Not Recommended

We talked about this in another thread ...

I like using the touchscreen on my Nexus 7, and I thought a touchscreen would be a great feature on a laptop, but it turns out that I never use it.

Today I wrote a long post on another forum, then used my finger to get a piece of dust off the screen, and lost all my work. It's not the first time something like that has happened.

So I just now disabled the touchscreen.

I thought I'd pass that on, for those of you looking at laptops.
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:55 AM   #2
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Al, I can sure understand your reasoning and I would probably shut it off too. That said, I do manage to lose an occasional long post even without a touchscreen and find that experience to be very aggravating. Sometimes I remember to write the post in Wordpad and then copy/paste it into the forum, but often I get lazy and suffer the consequences.

The reason I did not get a laptop touchscreen, is that unlike many people, I actually use my laptop on my lap. It is at a distance that is the best focal length for my trifocals. The distance to the keyboard is just right, but I would have to kind of "lunge" to touch the screen, with my arm/elbow fully extended. I'd probably mess up my back. Plus, such a lunging blow to the screen would tip the laptop which is just balanced on my knees.

I just can't see that working for me.
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:57 AM   #3
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Thanks for the warning. At some point I'm going to be in the market for a new laptop and it sounds like this is one feature I don't want.
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Old 06-11-2014, 12:01 PM   #4
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If you use google docs, your work gets auto saved. If you use Word, maybe the feature is turned off.

Reminds me, has anyone used the new docs and sheets for Google?
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Old 06-11-2014, 12:02 PM   #5
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DW and I have iPads that we use for e readers. Originally thought we'd use for many things but I've concluded that I simply don't like anything without a real keyboard. Even the few keystrokes you use surfing I find annoying on a tablet. Like W2R, I use my laptop on my lap; it's a Macbook air and if find the touchpad most agreeable for navigation. I think I'd find swiping a screen on a laptop very, I dunno, awkward. Plus I like a clean screen! By the way, I really prefer a paper book but the convenience of instantly downloading what I want sort of trumps that sometimes.
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Old 06-11-2014, 12:15 PM   #6
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It's probably just resistance to change.

I grew up with 3270's (green screens). One can fly through a well designed form (screen layout) using the tab and backtab keys. Tab also works well for well-designed forms on web pages. It is painful for me when I see someone moving from field to field using the arrow keys or by reaching for the mouse.

If all you ever used was a touch screen that would be all you know.

The first time I used an iPad I spent significant time looking for a tab key before somebody told me there is not one.
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Old 06-11-2014, 04:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
...
So I just now disabled the touchscreen.
Yes, sometime the things that we think will be great, just don't work out that way.

Early on, I thought a trackball would be so much better than a mouse that you need to lift and slide back when you run out of desk space. But when I tried one, I hated it. They don't seem very popular today either.



Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
... Sometimes I remember to write the post in Wordpad and then copy/paste it into the forum, but often I get lazy and suffer the consequences. ...
I simply make a point to 'select-all', 'copy' (using the key combos) if I've written anything a bit long. That puts it in the copy buffer, so it can be recovered easily. I also use a 'clipboard manager' app on my Linux and Mac machines, I'm sure they are available in Windows - save as much copy history as you want.

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Originally Posted by target2019 View Post
If you use google docs, your work gets auto saved. If you use Word, maybe the feature is turned off.
But the input boxes in a browser for a forum don't auto-save (at least not yet, or none that I am aware of). Opportunity for some coder!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustward View Post
It's probably just resistance to change.

... It is painful for me when I see someone moving from field to field using the arrow keys or by reaching for the mouse. ...

The first time I used an iPad I spent significant time looking for a tab key before somebody told me there is not one.
I don't think it is resistance to change (he likes it on the tablet), I think it just doesn't work for most people on a laptop/desktop.

Agree on mousing for everything - I just want to rip it out of people's hands sometimes and show them the key-combos. Use the tool that works the best for the job.

And yes, there are things like that that still make an iPad/tablet seem very awkward for some things, and smooth as silk for others.

-ERD50
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Old 06-11-2014, 07:26 PM   #8
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Early on, I thought a trackball would be so much better than a mouse that you need to lift and slide back when you run out of desk space. But when I tried one, I hated it. They don't seem very popular today either.
In my eleven-hours-per-day programming life, I developed real problems with my wrist, elbow and shoulder. I needed to stop using a mouse, I even purchased a foot-mouse which did not work out well.

My solution was to use a trackball with my left hand!

I also hated it at first, but I eventually got so used to it that it had that same unconscious control that I'd had with the mouse.

I'm glad I'm back to mousing, and my new Microsoft Sculpt mouse has a nice touchpad on the side. I can assign macros to an up or down swipe on it. There are eight ways of controlling things altogether.
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Old 06-11-2014, 07:42 PM   #9
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I have bad problems now with tennis elbow in predominant arm. What has helped is to switch off to other input devices. The ergonomic keyboard helped, as did trackball. I had a stylus for various computers, and that also uses different muscle sets. On mobile devices SwiftKey has ben of great help.
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Old 06-11-2014, 07:48 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
But the input boxes in a browser for a forum don't auto-save (at least not yet, or none that I am aware of). Opportunity for some coder!
I was trying to address the OP problem of having lost a long post. Just have a Google doc open, and compose there.

My method is to use a text editor (metapad) and compose in that window. Many times I start a reply, and may not finish. So I have it in a text window, and save these temporary files to the desktop. There are "stickies" apps that would do similar.
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:02 PM   #11
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Thanks Al for confirming my intuition on this.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by target2019 View Post
I was trying to address the OP problem of having lost a long post. Just have a Google doc open, and compose there.

My method is to use a text editor (metapad) and compose in that window. Many times I start a reply, and may not finish. So I have it in a text window, and save these temporary files to the desktop. There are "stickies" apps that would do similar.
Right, if you are composing in a separate editor, then auto-save can save you from a glitch anywhere in the system.

I was thinking about typing from within the browser itself - those don't have auto-save, AFAIK.

-ERD50
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:41 PM   #13
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I just bought a new laptop and saw a lot of inexpensive options that offered a touchscreen. I didn't see the benefit on a laptop since I usually plug in an external mouse or wireless mouse for ease of navigation. And who wants fingerprints all over their laptop screen?

I also wonder if the hinge holding the monitor and lid to the main chassis is reinforced. I imagine swiping and touching would cause more stresses on the hinge and case than regular open/close forces.

And +1 on the ctrl-A, ctrl-C right before I hit "submit" on a forum. And for long posts, I'll give it a ctrl-A, ctrl-C every so often just in case something happens like I hit ctrl-F4 or click on the little x on the tabbed browser window instead of a few pixels to the right on the "New Tab" tab.
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Old 06-12-2014, 06:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Right, if you are composing in a separate editor, then auto-save can save you from a glitch anywhere in the system.

I was thinking about typing from within the browser itself - those don't have auto-save, AFAIK.
Since browser fields don't normally auto-save, I use a text editor.

I haven't had a system crash wipe out a text application window and lose all my work. I have had and have seen many times where the browser does not behave well.

The user is in control, and it's your choice how to best address browser problems.
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Old 06-12-2014, 08:01 AM   #15
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Also keep in mind a touchscreen usually adds around 0.5lbs of weight to a laptop.
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Old 06-12-2014, 08:33 AM   #16
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Since browser fields don't normally auto-save, I use a text editor.

I haven't had a system crash wipe out a text application window and lose all my work. I have had and have seen many times where the browser does not behave well.

The user is in control, and it's your choice how to best address browser problems.
Absolutely, everyone should figure out what works best for them, and that can be different based not only on personal preference, but on how they work. Using a text editor has advantages.

I find that just typing in the browser window, and hitting CNTRL-A, CNTRL-C is good enough for me, and seems a bit more convenient than a copy/paste from a separate app. But to each their own, and for others the advantages may outweigh what I see as a slight inconvenience.

I will use a text editor and a mono-spaced font when I want to post something with columns. Just get the items aligned as you want, then enclose it in those "[ CODE ]" tools ( under the "#" icon above ), and it will come out just as you see it in the text editor. I find that easier/faster than the table tool.

-ERD50
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:05 AM   #17
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There are addons that support autosave. Here is one for firefox, https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/fir...extarea-cache/

I've used the notepad method as well
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Old 06-12-2014, 10:59 AM   #18
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Nowadays I keep my comments short and to the point. Not much to loose.
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:22 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
In my eleven-hours-per-day programming life, I developed real problems with my wrist, elbow and shoulder. I needed to stop using a mouse, I even purchased a foot-mouse which did not work out well...
Oh yes, I remember reading about that, way back 20 years ago or more. Some called that a "rat".
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Old 06-12-2014, 12:21 PM   #20
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There are addons that support autosave. Here is one for firefox, https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/fir...extarea-cache/

I've used the notepad method as well
That's good to know, thanks. I'll get that. Many web sites are good about at keeping you from leaving the page by mistake or protecting you in general, but not all.

I guess the "flick some dust off the screen" gesture is the same as "send my text to the dust bin" gesture, but that won't happen to me again.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Early Retirement Forum mobile app
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