[FoRK] GQOTD: Any Morse keys set up as computer keyboards?

Benjamin C. Wiley Sittler bsittler at gmail.com
Wed May 25 14:56:36 PDT 2005

"Russell Turpin" <deafbox at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Are there any Morse keys set up to act as
> a keyboard for a computer? I'm imagining
> a key with USB connector, that to the
> computer looks just like a keyboard. I can
> imagine several advantages.
> * Compactness. As form factors are pushed
> down, the screen and the keyboard are
> the two sticking points. Eventually, screens
> will roll. There are rolling keyboards, but
> this would be an alternative.
> * Ambidexterity. Easy to use by people
> who lack a hand or some fingers.
> * Easier on the hands and fingers.
> * Geek quotient.
> Of course, the big problem is special
> characters. I don't know that Morse has
> a way to do "ctrl-alt-delete." But there
> would be some reasonable mappings, and
> you don't use special characters all that
> often.
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Apparently such a thing is available. A bit of googling turned up
something called "Darci USB".

Quoting from http://www.westest.com/darci/usbindex.html :

"WesTest Engineering is pleased to announce the Darci USB, a Morse
 code based computer access device.  Using the experience we've gained
 from over 15 years in the assistive technology field, we've built a
 product that has the functionality of the Darci Card and is as easy
 to use as the Darci Too.  Truly the best of both worlds, the Darci
 USB comes with the following features:

    * "No Software Required! The Darci USB uses the keyboard drivers
       built into the Windows operating systems (Windows 98, ME, 2000
       & XP).  Software problems have been eliminated

    * "True Plug and Play - Your computer thinks that the Darci USB is
       the keyboard.  Just plug it in and it works.

    * "Portable - The Darci USB weighs only a few ounces and is
       packaged in a case that measures 5" X 5 1/2".

    * "No External Power - The Darci USB is powered by the Computer's
       USB port

    * "Audio Feedback- A miniature speaker has been built into the

    * "Built in Status Indicators

    * "User Adjustable Features - The Darci USB can be customized to
       match the user's capabilities. Timing, number of input switches
       (1, 2 or 3), switch connections and code set are stored in the
       device's memory. This allows you to take the Darci USB from
       computer to computer without changing your setup.

    * "Incredible low Price - After years of effort, we've been able
       to make a truly affordable input device.  The Darci USB sells
       for $199.95 plus $15.00 for shipping and handling.

"All of our assistive technology products have begun as devices that
 were originally built to provide Darci with computer access.  She's
 in college now (studying psychology at the University of Utah) so she
 needs a device that allows her to use the university's computers, her
 laptop and the desktop in her dorm.  USB provides the flexibility and
 portability that makes this possible.  It's also the most affordable
 interface we've worked with.  If you can't use a mouse or a keyboard
 and you want fast input capability, portable access and low cost, you
 should consider using Morse input with the Darci USB.

"WesTest Engineering Corporation 810 W. Shepard Lane / Farmington,
   Utah 84025 Phone: (801) 451-9191 Fax: (801)451-9393 Web:
   www.westest.com E-mail: mary at westest.com"

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