[NTLK] Apple Newton Cadillac

Robert Stewart robertdylanstewart at gmail.com
Tue Jan 3 08:55:29 EST 2012

On Jan 3, 2012, at 7:00, Matthias Melcher <mm at matthiasm.com> wrote:

> On 03.01.2012, at 13:46, James Fraser wrote:
>> Hello,
>>> "Annoying" was the word that jumped to my mind.
>> :D
>> That's why I was looking for that word: I'm hoping to gently persuade a local 
>> grocery chain to please not purchase any more point-of-sale machines that 
>> feature tethered/electronically-linked styluses.
>> It's not the "tethered" part that's so hideous: it's the electronically-linked 
>> part.  After a few hundred customers have yanked on the tether, the stylus no 
>> longer works.  It's not much fun watching the checkout clerk play "musical 
>> styluses" at 2am when all you want to do is get out of the store with your 
>> groceries. :(
> That's on purpose. In a public place like a grocery store, a pen without an umbilical cord will be gone in seconds. Even the cheapo ball pens in banks are attached with chains to the counter.

His point isn't that a structural tether is bad, but that an electrical one is, because it's fragile. Ignorant people twist the cord to the point that it breaks, which causes the device to operate sporadically. A Wacom pen with steel cable epoxied to it would be just as secure and a lot less delicate. A resistive touch screen would be a terrible idea, though, because they need to flex to work, and people who write with their whole hand rather than their fingers would destroy them rapidly.


Robert D. Stewart - AC5ZH
Sent from my phone

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