Monday, August 10, 2009

583 Number Pads

583 Number Pads

Would it help if the numbers on the telephone and the numbers on the calculator were in the same order? The phone starts with "1" and goes to "0" and the calculator starts goes "7-8-9-4-5-6-1-2-3-0." This is confusing. Especially if you regularly use both implements.

If you add the first two numbers on the calculator, the sum is 15. If you add the first two numbers on the telephone, the sum is three. Math isn't tough enough without this contortion?

There's no preference here for either system. Either will do. But both?

The original Personal Digital Assistants had the letters in alphabetical order. That was a pain in the brain for those of us who touch type. Now, they're standardized "qwerty" just like the typewriter was and the computer keyboard is. But there's restlessness in this department. The Pentagon has come up with a further "simplified" keyboard that is neither alphabetical nor qwerty. It says this is more intuitive, faster and more efficient. When the Pentagon calls something "efficient," forget about it.

What's non-intuitive about qwerty, anyway? Fortunately, the Pentagon keyboard has gained about the same level of acceptance as the metric system. Maybe even less.

But the phone and the computer are in wide use all over the world. And switching back and forth between them is often like when you first drive in the UK. It takes getting used to. A LOT of getting used to, especially if you don't look at the keypads.

There's really one solution. Pick your oppressor. The phone company or Texas Instruments. Someone has to win this war, eventually.

The problem is how do decide.

Probably the safest, slowest way is to leave it up to the US Senate. they can debate, filibuster and wrangle and eventually will come up with a solution. Unfortunately, the solution probably will take decades to "hammer out," as they say in the news business. Or they'll come up with a "third way." Something like having the numbers go in no particular order. say "2-5-8-0-1-4-7-9-6-3."

This will have us all learning new skills and it will give the accountants yet another new excuse for cooked books: "My fingers slipped on the new calculator format."


Shrapnel:

--Historic first Hispanic Justice, Historic first Hispanic Justice, Historic first Hispanic Justice, Historic first Hispanic Justice, Historic first Hispanic Justice, Historic first Hispanic Justice. Got it out your system now -- heard it enough? Great, now let theHfHJ get to work without that encumbrance.

--The HfHJ was sworn in over the weekend. They treat her like she's some kind of combination of the Virgin Mary and Godzilla. She is neither.

--The right wingers who decry "activist judges" (except their own,) are worried sick. Behind their "worries" are two things, (1) a need to think of the US as if it were the original 13 colonies and (2) racism. Thesecond's pretty funny since Hispanic ain't a race.


I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2009

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