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Tue, 18 Sep 2007

Keyboard training - 15:04
I have noticed my wrists getting sore when typing on my computer at work for long periods form time to time. I decided I should put more of an effort into trying out a Natural shape keyboard for a while. When Mikal was here for a month recently he recommended the Microsoft Natural Keyboard 4000 model. This is a mostly black keyboard with a usb cable to the computer (none of this silly wireless stuff) and appears to be the most recommended keyboard on most RSI and similar topic websites and blogs.

I finally convinced Bob to purchase three of these (one for me, one for the head of department and another in case Mikal^Wanyone requests one). Of course I am writing this diary entry on my laptop which sort of defeats the purpose, however I will be making an effort to get used to the new keyboard. It is quite a change as I had previously been using an old ps2 keyboard that I liked the feel of. One of 5 or so I found a cache of at work and had snarfed up and connected to my home computer, work computer and any other deskbound computer I had to type much on.

My typing is a little slower on the new keyboard, only having used it for an hour two now, however it feels nice and the shape is not strange or keys in the wrong places it seems. I had wondered about using the non standard keys and the strange zoom switch (though as a scroll wheel) however most of the extra keys do not show up as having an event in X (using xev). Searching for information on this I find a few Microsoft Natural Keyboard 4000 howtos or forum discussions, however the methods to get the extra keys all seem to require a kernel patch, one which is not integrated into the distribution kernels. Thus unless anyone can suggest some other mechanism to get the events to user space I guess I will leave it be for now, after all I need it to type, not to press weird buttons on.

I also have to train my fingers to hit q rather than tab in mutt to get out of an email all the time.

[/comp/hardware] link

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