Two only vaguely related gripes:
(1) I’m left-handed, and I’m proud to be part of the sinister 10 percent, but I’m still waiting for my left-handed digital camera. I’m tired of either holding the camera in my unsteady right hand or having to shoot two-handed. There appears to be a left-handed film camera available, here, but I’m not looking for a retro novelty. In this discussion, somebody suggests holding the camera upside down. Maybe. But look, you manufacturers, there’s a market here! We’re ten percent of the population! That’s millions of potential customers — a big fat bulge near the front of the Long Tail, waiting to be served.
(2) I’ve always bought Thinkpad laptops, in part because they’ve been hugely reliable in the years I’ve had them, but also because I vastly prefer the Trackpoint device to the much more common — and, to me, clumsy — trackpad. Recently I realized that I actually think the Trackpoint is far superior to the mouse as well. As usability experts have long maintained, the big problem with mousing is that you’re constantly switching modes and losing efficiency as you move the hand from the keyboard to the mouse and back. Wasted energy, wasted concentration. With the Trackpoint, you don’t have to do that at all — the “mouse” (pointer control) is right where your typing fingers already are. (Keyboard shortcuts are even better for those apps that support them, but they never give you 100 percent of what you need — unless, I guess, you’re a programming ace who lives and breathes emacs.)
So why aren’t desktop keyboards with integrated Trackpoint more common? I know IBM has made them over the years — I bought an old used one on Ebay — but they seem to be a hugely neglected market niche. Or is my Trackpoint preference even more of an eccentricity than my left-handedness?
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