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Aug 17, 2010


al Dean

plug in a mouse. or a trackball, or something ralph. I mean really. If you can't recall the gestures, it's that easy. thought I do get that its confusing for people with ingrained habits and predilection for over complexity. Maybe that comes with age ;)



How's anyone gonna remember all those combinations and permutations?

I don't know, Ralph. How do us CAD users remember "all those combinations and permutations" in any case? In fact, why do we need the silly Home key, etc. Only a couple of people know what they do...

Kevin E.

"It's bad enough that Apple expect people to touch their trackpad with two fingers, because the thinking-differently company couldn't be bothered splurging on two buttons."

Yes, it would be terrible to have to use 2 fingers.

R. Paul Waddington

Great entertainment you are providing in these posts is Ralph. Can I suggest reading the article in the Time dated August 16 and titled “Inside The Minds of Animals”.
It was great and as you will see if we keep going along the path your defining we will soon be able to communicated just like the Bonobo Kanzi and his mates who are currently in detention in a ‘research’ centre in Des Moines.
It appears you are defining a development path for we humans that is slowly retraining us to communicate as we did prior to the development of the spoken language.
Does this mean software developers have already mastered this new level of communications and can therefore qualify as APES?

Rick Damiani

It seems that no idea is too silly to keep coming back over and over again. Gesture-based interaction and touch-screen computers are just the latest revivals, hot on the heels of multi-button pucks (they call them gaming mice now).

Gesture-based touch screen interaction demos well. Look at how cool Tom Cruse looked at his workstation in Minority Report. Cobble together some '80s or '90s tech, give it a new name, and you can get lots of press and maybe even a nice IPO.

Seeing around the finger prints on the screen will get old fast though. As will dealing with the sore neck and shoulders you'll get trying to use these awesome 'new' input methods regularly.

Next up: light pens (draw directly on your screen!) and digitizers. Yay.

With that said, the only gestures I use on my MacBook are:

- Two-finger right click
- Three-finger scroll

The keyboard is fine for everything else.



All those permutations? There are 4. 1 finger, 2 fingers, 3 fingers and 4 fingers. 4. Do you have problems remembering your bank PIN code? That has 4 figures as well.

I certainly hope the readers of your new CAD for Mac books do not read your blog. Because they will surely be wondering why they wasted the money on a book from a person who cannot accept new technology.

I would have loved to have seen this blog being written when the mouse was first introduced. "What? They want me to remove one hand from the keyboard? Blasphemy!"

You complained that the Apple did not have a dedicated "scroll" section of the track pad. So you obviously used the trackpad for scrolling. Is it really that much of a stretch to put down a (GASP) second finger.

Try it. Try it for a few weeks. I guarantee you it will become second nature.

Or as Al said, plug in a mouse and stop whining.

Stefan Boeykens

FWIW, I don't use all the gestures on my Macbook Pro and at the office, I use an external keyboard, so the trackpad is hidden away in the closed laptop anyway, but I don't have a problem remembering the gestures. If you use them a few times, it comes naturally.

Twofinger scrolling, three finger wiping, four finger wiping. Sure I don't remember them all, but it's easy to try. It's the same when switching CAD or 3D software and having to remember if you had to press ALT or SHIFT or CTRL and use the right (or middle? or left) button of the mouse for orbiting and panning. Why don't they all use the same combination of mouse presses? And why do the 3D software packages don't all use Z as the vertical world axis? Just convention.

E.g. Expose (showing different windows next to each other to pick one and then shuffle them back on the right screen position is something I constantly use. It is also available as the side button on the "magic" apple mouse.

And horizontal scrolling (with the round button) is something I wish ALL CAD software would support. But the scroll button of this apple magic mouse is too sensitive for zooming in/out and gets stuffed with filth, so not all is fine on the Apple side.

Ken Elliott

Ralph, I think your points may have been missed by the Mac faithful. Both you and I remember the days of 16-button digitizers, and all the key cords (alt+Button3) gave us 128 commands at our fingertips. At the time, Apple publicly blasted the second mouse button - common on Windows - as being too complicated.

Knowing that history, I was amused with you going on about the complexity of Apple's multi-touch. I grasp the irony of Apple's rant against the second mouse button, only to create something "hidden" from view and more complex. I don't think the Mac crowd caught your meaning. But I did and was quite entertained.

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