Can't Touch This! (Though I can TYPE this because I have the hardware, and the keyboard…)

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2012/04/24 07:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2012/04/24/10297008.aspx


Just yesterday, I received a Lenovo X220 Multi-Touch Tablet from Microsoft.

The first computer I've ever gotten from them (I have a habit of buying my own hardware!).

It's an awesome little toy, too small to be a laptop -- I wonder what it'll be when it grows up? :-)

The first thing I did was install Windows 8.

And it is a whole different product when you have something touch friendly!

Anyhow, the first thing I did was something I've wanted to do ever since I blogged The On-Screen Keyboard vs the Touch Keyboard: 2 very different Windows 8 things… and Can't Touch This! (unless you have the hardware, I mean).

I went to Settings | More PC Settings... and the General option.

I won't bore you with what the old one (the pre-Touch one) looks like.

Because there are a lot of new cool options when you have a machine with Touch support!

General Settings get awesome on Touch hardware

Note the all-important Make the standard keyboard layout available option -- the one option not turned on.

They are optimists in Dublin, aren't they! :-)

So anyway, you turn it on, and then let's go back to our soft keyboard:

The so-called optimized Cherokee Phonetic layout

Now when you hit that button in the bottom right corner, you get some new options:

The hidden option choosing the Optimized layout

See those five horizontal buttons?

The one on the far left is the one currently selected.

Let's instead press the one fourth from the left/second from the right:

The hidden option for choosing the standard layout

And voilà!

We now have a whole new keyboard:

The hidden ACTUAL Cherokee Phonetic layout

Oh. Maybe that wasn't exactly what I was hoping for?

On the other hand, I'm not sure what I was hoping for!

Let's take a look...

I mean, it does have the six Cherokee vowels, appropriately placed:

 And all of the other letters there are indeed the ones you would naturally use to write Cherokee letters.

 Thus:

t + l + makes , and

t + makes , and

g + Ꭰ makes ,

spelling: ᏟᏔᎩ!

and so on!

Okay, once I thought about it, this actually might have some possibilities!

I'm going to need Roy Boney and Joseph Erb and Jeff Edwards and Tracy Monteith to confirm my suspicions, but I'm thinking this might work well!

For the bonus round, I'll hit the CAPS LOCK, and see what we get:

hit the CAPS LOCK and it is a plain old kbdus!

Yep, the regular old English keyboard, just like it was designed.

I feel like saying Woo Hoo! but I'll wait until I hear from some of my Cherokee friends and colleagues, first. :-)

Alright, this means we only have two problems here:

First of all, the fact that this Make the standard keyboard layout available setting only exists on Touch hardware is extremely lame, as there are genuine cases where it may be a better choice.

And Second of all, we'll need some feedback to be sure, but I certainly found the Cherokee Phonetic keyboard layout to be much more intuitive in this form than in the optimized layout. My experience (as a non-native speaker who is only starting to learn the language) may not match that of a native speaker, but if their experience is the same than this might be a case to consider making the standard keyboard layout may in fact be a better default chioice....

Alright, it's a brand new day now, and either way I'm excited. And not only because I'll be in Albuquerque next weekend with my girlfriend, showing her this keyboard, the way I'm enjoying it now. :-)

But also because until now (to me) Windows 8 was just mainly some new locales/keyboards/fonts -- other stuff was there but I wasn't looking at it.

But now I'm gonna interact with Windows 8 on this tablet, and see what others have been seeing all along!


Alex Cohn on 24 Apr 2012 12:20 PM:

One setting that yours truly finds extremely important to turn off, is spelling. Autocorrect. When you use anything beyond the basic standard vocabulary for q well established Culture,  the keyboard wize suggestions become a nuisance.

Michael S. Kaplan on 24 Apr 2012 1:18 PM:

Ah, very good point!

Thankfully though, that setting can be turned off here, too. :-)


referenced by

2013/04/17 One of these days you'll want to stand back, as I am working to ARM myself with another Surface RT!

2012/08/30 I have some good news and some bad news (aka Occupy Input!)

2012/08/29 And they seem to have thus shipped what rightfully should have been exiled from the product

2012/05/08 Can't Touch This! Feedback and Questions....

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