[NTLK] Cursive Writing Recognition and Microsoft

Contact queryus at me.com
Sat Jan 23 13:21:14 EST 2016


This is what my research has got me to:

1. CalliGrapher has the cursive engine along with the print engine that ended up over at Microsoft: Microsoft owns the technology as they bought it.
2. Apple was a long way toward having their own cursive engine, but they never finished it.
3. Microsoft has their own technology glued onto CallliGrapher’s. 

"Which is too bad, and completely unnecessary, because the handwriting recognition on Tablet PCs these days is quite decent. It's a combination of the much-improved ParaGraph recognizer and some homebrew recognition software from within Microsoft. It has its flaws, but in the limited experimenting I've done, it seemed genuinely useful to me. Basically, I think their recognition is about on a par with ours, plus they do cursive, and we don't.

(I was working on cursive when ATG was killed off quite a few years back. Was probably about 3/4 of the way there. Still have the modified codebase, but have never had time to go back and work on it again.)”

Our internal handwriting recognition work didn't get into the Newton until much later, with the release of Newton 2.0 and the MP130 (though I believe there was a mid-generation release of MP120s with Newton 2.0 and our software, but I'm not 100% certain of that). We kind of thought we might have "saved the Newton", and I still think the company and product could have been rescued, but that's yet another story.

ParaGraph was responsible for the first generation handwriting recognition in the Newton OS[.] They later developed a cursive recognition system for the Newton 2.x a [sic] system, the latter licensed to Microsoft who now uses it in their Windows XP Tablet PC Edition. The software is still available under the name Callligrapher. ParaGraph is now PhatWare.

http://arstechnica.com/apple/2005/06/508/

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> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
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> Message: 1
> Date: Sat, 23 Jan 2016 00:24:11 -0800
> From: Contact <queryus at me.com>
> To: newtontalk at newtontalk.net
> Subject: [NTLK] Cursive Writing Recognition and Microsoft
> Message-ID: <39DB1545-DCEB-4304-8F55-E280397BE799 at me.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8
> 
> Hello:
> 
> I?ve been looking into what happened and to see if anyone can confirm. I know Jobs killed the Newton when he got back to Apple, and made a deal with Microsoft to ship Internet Explorer with Macs. He also took an investment from Microsoft. 
> 
> When Inkwell showed up in OS X Jaquar on the Mac some years later, it gave the Mac the functionality to recognize printed text and convert it into typed text. However, what was absent is Cursive recognition. Did Microsoft get the exclusive rights to the cursive recognition engine or simply buy it? 
> 
> Interestingly, the print recognition in OS X Inkwell is a port from Newton: the settings in System Preferences are effectively the same as they are on the Newton OS. But again, Cursive recognition is absent. 
> 
> I seem to recall discussions about Cursive recognition existing within Windows and that perhaps even the cursive recognition on the MS Surface is, in fact, from the Newton. 
> 
> If this is the case, it would seem to fit since Gates was bullish on stylus-driven tablets and made a real run of it in the early 2000s. Not to mention Windows mobile back then and how the stylus featured prominently on it as an input method. In other words, I could see Gates seeing value in the cursive writing technology back then.
> 
> Regards,
> 
> Ryan
> 
> 
> 
> ------------------------------
> 
> Message: 2
> Date: Sat, 23 Jan 2016 22:29:44 +1100
> From: David Arnold <davida at pobox.com>
> To: newtontalk at newtontalk.net
> Cc: David Arnold <davida at pobox.com>
> Subject: Re: [NTLK] Cursive Writing Recognition and Microsoft
> Message-ID: <9E49A770-4EB0-405E-9E9A-7CE5A77EB143 at pobox.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8
> 
> The cursive recogniser was not Apple-owned technology: it was licensed from ParaGraph, and was called CalliGrapher.  I?ve never heard that Apple licensed their print recogniser, but Larry Yaeger used to be on this list, and he?s likely to know for sure (although he might not be at liberty to say).
> 
> See http://shinyverse.org/larryy/ANHR.html for some of his notes.
> 
> So, while there?s possibly common history with the Surface, I think the root of that would be ParaGraph, not Apple.
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> 
> 
> d
> 
>> On 23 Jan 2016, at 19:24, Contact <queryus at me.com> wrote:
>> 
>> Hello:
>> 
>> I?ve been looking into what happened and to see if anyone can confirm. I know Jobs killed the Newton when he got back to Apple, and made a deal with Microsoft to ship Internet Explorer with Macs. He also took an investment from Microsoft. 
>> 
>> When Inkwell showed up in OS X Jaquar on the Mac some years later, it gave the Mac the functionality to recognize printed text and convert it into typed text. However, what was absent is Cursive recognition. Did Microsoft get the exclusive rights to the cursive recognition engine or simply buy it? 
>> 
>> Interestingly, the print recognition in OS X Inkwell is a port from Newton: the settings in System Preferences are effectively the same as they are on the Newton OS. But again, Cursive recognition is absent. 
>> 
>> I seem to recall discussions about Cursive recognition existing within Windows and that perhaps even the cursive recognition on the MS Surface is, in fact, from the Newton. 
>> 
>> If this is the case, it would seem to fit since Gates was bullish on stylus-driven tablets and made a real run of it in the early 2000s. Not to mention Windows mobile back then and how the stylus featured prominently on it as an input method. In other words, I could see Gates seeing value in the cursive writing technology back then.
>> 
>> Regards,
>> 
>> Ryan
>> 
>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
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