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A mouse-controlled text entry system, designed for the disabled, and apparently good for avoiding RSI[Homepage here].

FAQs / Vitenka's diary


Drag left, and back out of your stream, IIRC. --CH
Space is always white and shown as an underscore. Select the "English Alphabet with lots of punctuation" from the Alphabet option. Capital letters are then in yellow, punctuation and numbers in red and green (which way round depends on the version you have), and space is always in white at the bottom.  --AlexChurchill
Ah, handy; that's amuch better selection of punctuation! This paragraph is being completely Dashered, including the tricky double square bracket needed for that link. I do seem to have missed a space back there, though. Ah, well. --CH
Clipping corners only activates the letter if you stay in it.  --CH
Well, there's a limit to how fast you (I) can track spinny letters and the prediction only becomes useful about two letters in. It's the start of each wiord that slows me down - aswell as the occasional back track. I guess that more training will help as right now it is almost impossible to choose other than it wants you to. It makes its guesses so very huge that I can't (easily) find the alternatives.  --Vitenka (It's good if you don't want to use complicated words though)
If you're really finding the prediction too strong, go to Advanced Options and increase the Degree of Uniformity a bit. Don't overdo it though - the prediction is one of Dasher's strongest features --AlexChurchill (who is currently Dashering with uniformity increased to 10 from the default 5)
It's not that the prediction is bad, but when it is wrong it can be almost imposisble to see the alternatives.  I changed it lower, but I still can't get above 10wpm or so.  Wrist strain or not, I can't take such slowness.  --Vitenka (I wonder if dragon-dictate has gotten any better in the last few years?)
Increasing the uniformity makes the boxes differ in size less - so the most likely letters will be smaller and the less likely ones bigger. I find the slowness frustrating too. But when I can't use keyboard Dasher is by far the best option for me. I preferthe speed set to 5, where the homepage suggests an "expert" at Dasher may use 4... I guess I'm around 20ish wpm, but I really don't know. But if you've not actually got wrist strain then being sensible with your keyboard should be just as fine as using Dasher.  --AlexChurchill
The breakthrough for me was realising you don't usually have to backtrack - you can leave the boxes through their top and bottom edges and go to the correct choice just by going up or down, even if several incorrect letters have been selected. - MoonShadow
I got that - my problem is that the unselected ones get so tiny so quickly.  I think the fish-eye effect is overdone.  I'll give it another try with higher speed and uniformity settings, but I don't find it as natural as typing.  If typing can be said to feel natural.  --Vitenka
No, me neither - I much prefer the keyboard. I can see myself getting used to it if I had to, though. - MoonShadow
Nope, neither does mine.
You can add them. Go to your Dasher installed directory, edit the text file "alphabet.english.xml". Find the "English alphabet with lots of punctuation" section (you are using that alphabet, right?) Find a suitable point - I put it after the $ symbol - and add this line:
 <s d="&#x00A3;" t="&#x00A3;"/>
That's ampersand, hash, x, zero zero A three, semicolon (inside each pair of quote marks). Works for me. --AlexChurchill
Ooo... much better, thanks! -- Senji
Wow - its learned -- Senji already! -- Senji
Hello, Security? We have another RealWorld fanatic in the building... You're sending it round now? Excellent. --AlexChurchill
When security arrived, I pointed out that they were part of the RealWorld.  They promptly arrested themselves and frogmached themselves off to the cells.  --Angoel

Pavlovian Blarks


Oh, and one last thing: don't let a crazy woman come over and write the word "Blark" with it several hundred times, as every capital B you type from then on will suggest "lark" as following letters
So why did you let her do that? -- Senji.
When dealing with ObstreperousFemale?s, if their activity isn't actively DestroyingTheWorld? then sometimes the best solution is to just smile, leave them alone, and tidy up afterwards. I could reset its learnt letter frequencies, but I'm not that fussed.  (It's only really after "Bl" or "Bla" that it gets silly.)  --AlexChurchill
OK, then, so why did she do that? -- Senji
Ah, WhyDidSheDoThat.. - MoonShadow
Who is the ObstreperousFemale? in this instance, will she forgive me for using the term, and do you have any small inkling of WhyDidSheDoThat? --MJ
She will probably be no less inclined to forgive you than previously - in fact she probably delights to be called obstreperous at the moment. The word "Blark" itself only acquired meaning (to the point of being a recurring joke) when we were walking around American cities to gether, which as we all know are divided into BLARKs... --AlexChurchill
Ah, ABC --MJ


Random Walks


Of couse, you can have fun just letting it make up its own sentences by moving at random:
In's ive news made to Newburybus are there ind&oodshabuMobens D.Cavad !ogy. I nisatWifiP?'d have  hoSR'd liked thought is cannot bFiftchinFub?,.. InsjobalMl?, cancckleclasper'Dotho?.

Or keeping the pointer in one place, which gives something generally more readable:
Keep mdwoiA'path.Here by unfant sharo, from a deal of interview, fine Indians, some a drestoReesezenive in usemeDtrBNA?.He had wvocAs "Oh! Generally, night My dy,' saidZeall His fodanches of event emerger'refy, for themoLL PERSOM HIMormpze it, she capacitequentimated, have Aiumenne. Read

I particularly like the 4th word from the end in the second sentence. -- ViciousFish

Ah, very cool. I whole heartedly approve.  Though my typing speed is still abysmal with it. --Vitenka

The same from AlexChurchill: Leeyond the art,SWtln ; or institution artist of Consents ) with a concept,' said the even midn's got only ps.Joe visited State"-- ThermoIcroscopies? of1) to p~dak'dAvote.Fo's,' thousand electricago  veryfolder, and bution is,500,000 Dem.For comlumntponable pie fth's nation Y] 41 vently, in the second WJustrial

Random Praise



This program has saved me from great pain while typing my Head of Class report. I fed another of my reports to it to train it, and god help me if I want to type normal text, but it predicts scientific language really quite well. Once I cured it of Americanism. 20wpm without a keyboard's not too shabby at all - now I just need to get a bigger screen so I can get 40 out of it. --Requiem, who's used to touch typing at 50 - 60
Damn - how on earth can you get a sustained character recognition rate of 1/2 a second, let alone the 1/4 you are proposing?  Is there a trick to it, and if so, what is it?  That fast would be usable for me.  --Vitenka
It seems I can Dash at about 50 words per minute (280 characters per minute) under the rare circumstances when I've planned out precisely what I want to say so that I can test pure speed, but this suggests I'll be up at 20 or30 taking into account backtracking for typos etc. This is with speed at 5.5, which is quite high. It's also worth noting that the sooner you steer towards the letters you want, the smaller that steering has to be; so when you're InTheZone, you can write whole paragraphs with only the slightest movements of the mouse, as long as you're concentrating. The surprising thing is that this still feels slow compared to typing to me: I wonder if I actually touch type at 60-70 or more, or whether it's just psychological? --AlexChurchill
I've been touchtyping at a sustained 80wpm since secondary school, and get up to the 120 range for short bursts.  OTOH, I don't often think at 80wpm, and the more I'm thinking the higher my error rate goes up too, so there's a negative feedback effect -- Senji
I don't try to recognise individual letters, just 'where the word is' in the alphabet, especially if it's a common word. Having fed a scientific report in as training text, it tends to make the terminology I need occur in the largest boxes - and so I only need to concentrate on what letter it is on the rare occasion when the box is too small to see. I think that Dasher happens to think in the same way I do about language, so that helps a lot. My only gripes would be that it ought to go faster in reverse than in forwards, so you can correct typos as fast as you could with a keyboard, and that it tends to crash when used to input to Messenger and other Microsoft gunk. --Requiem




Having played with this for a while on Wednesday, I was actually quite surprised at how easily I picked it up, although I can't claim any great speed at this point.

I can see myself increasing in speed with practise to the point that it would be usable, but my main concern actually comes from the editing stage (correcting spelling errors, changing words, etc).  Is it usable for text editing or do you revert to keyboard at this point?  I was having trouble for some reason and I wasn't sure if this was a known problem or if it was just a knack I have yet to pick up.

As a second (less likely question), is it actually feasible to code using this?  I did actually find the 'extended punctuation' but, given that I nearly never write code linearly, I was wondering if this was possible --K



As a third (almost entirely irrelevant) question, what would be the result if our infinite legions of TypingMonkeys developed RSI and were replaced by DasheringMonkeys?? Are the chances of Shakespeare (or, more likely under the circumstances), Lewis Carroll improved? Zero? Is this question total nonsense? --SF




It's hanging when I try to select 'mixed mode'.  Is this normal?  Which prediction mode is the best, anyway?  --Vitenka



CategoryComputing; UI
SeeAlso: RSI

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Last edited November 30, 2005 9:14 pm (viewing revision 45, which is the newest) (diff)
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