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A chord stenograph keyboard: a possible solution to the learning problem in stenography

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2 Author(s)
Beddoes, M.P. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., British Columbia Univ., Vancouver, BC, Canada ; Zhongzhi Hu

This paper shows that the chord principle, used to couple chords one-to-one with phonemes, can be applied to the design of a new and powerful keyboard for the stenograph. The new keyboard is called the minimum chord stenograph (MCS). The training time is quite short. Within the limits imposed by no more than 50 hours' training, MCS' input data rates are superior to those from the old stenograph. One can definitely state that MCS requires a modest time to learn the code and, in return, gives a means for rapid entry of phoneme-based speech. A review is given of relevant features of the standard typewriter (QWERTY), chord keyboards, and the normal stenograph. Detailed insight into the operator-and-machine as a unit is provided by interval measurements t p(r) taken directly from tests when MCS is being operated. t p(r) is the time measured from the end of one chord and the end of the next chord r. A pseudochannel capacity Cp(r) is used to show that MCS' performance gets better as training time is increased. Although QWERTY works with alphabet letters as input and MCS works with phonemes as input an attempt is made to compare QWERTY and MCS in terms of “words per minute”. The two methods are not very different in time to acquire a first competence, but MCS's top speed after 50 hours of training is a little better than QWERTY's speed for operators all of whom had at least a year of training and usage

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Systems, Man and Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:24 ,  Issue: 7 )