Re: Well done, I hope this is a lesson to younger coders
> I'm glad you have recovered your ability
> to use the keyboard. I just hope your
> story also serves as a lesson to younger
> coders who don't think about their work
I'm 19 and I've already had the unnerving experience of shooting pains up the tendons at the back of my hands. As I'm a Computer Science student and aiming for a career in software development of some kind, this concerned me quite a bit. First year at University the worst I had was some stiffness in the backs of my hands, which went away with stretching. Then when I went to work during the summer holiday I encountered what I would describe as the keyboard from Hell. My boss has a keyboard exactly the same and he loves it, so I guess it shows something about how people are different. It was a standard straight QWERTY keyboard made by Cherry, and seemed to require a great deal of force to propel the keys downwards enough to make contact and actually type something.
Things were fine for a few days, but then it started to hurt. A lot. I already had a Microsoft Natural Keyboard at home - much as I dislike Microsoft's software, I find their keyboards and mice perfectly suited to me. The natural keyboard wasn't really bought in response to the threat of RSI or anything like that - I just got it because I tried one and really liked it. The key pressure required is fairly minimal, which I always understand as a good thing, and it forced me to finish learning to touch-type properly. I had a word with my boss about keyboards and such, and in the end we decided that I should try bringing my own keyboard with me to work. I did so, plugged it in and settled down for a happy day of writing PHP. All was well. So now I really hate Cherry keyboards, which is odd because my first PC had one. I'm sure it wasn't one that needs a sledgehammer to make the keys move though.
Having said that, life with my keyboard isn't perfect (when is it ever), but I have noticed since I've been doing Tai Chi more frequently, incidences of pain and tension are much reduced, because Tai Chi trains you to relax the muscles all over the body - tension is only applied when necessary, and to be honest it doesn't even feel like tension. From reading this article it sounds like tension is a problem, and from thinking back to my own experiences I think it was probably the tension required to hit those keys on that silly keyboard which caused the pain in the first place. Only thing I need to do now is persuade my boss to buy a natural keyboard so I can save some wear and tear on the keyboard sockets. Luckily there I have health and safety law on my side, and they're less than thirty pounds anyway.
This young person is taking things very seriously indeed. I've got a lot of life left (I hope) and I want to be able to type for all of it that keyboards are still necessary. Thankyou for the article.
Re: horizontal scroll bar
> the bottom scroll bar is the most
> annoying thing ..
I agree. It's driving me nuts!
(on Mozilla 0.7 (nightly build), 1024x768)