Discussion in 'General Advice' started by Raire, Mar 20, 2015.

  1. Raire

    Raire Turquoise Helicoid

    I have tendinitis, and even though I wear a wrist brace pretty often, it is taking a long time in decreasing. I spend a lot of time on the computer and translate documents for extra cash. I've decided that I need to bite the bullet and buy a more ergonomic keyboard than my laptop. I've started researching positions and the like, but it is a bit more difficult to maintain since my main work area is actually my mother's, so when she arrives I basically move to whatever surface is available.

    (I do stretch exercises pretty much hourly too, btw, I don't need advice in that).

    I was wondering if anyone has suggestions for a mac compatible ergonomic keyboard, or other tips to keep my wrists in a more neutral position. Similarly, if anyone knows the best ways of drawing ergonomically (would I need to buy or build a slanted desk thing to avoid ruining my wrists while doodling?), I would love your suggestions.
  2. Vacuum Energy

    Vacuum Energy waterwheel on the stream of entropy

    Hmm. Well, I don't know about mac-compatible specifically, but you may want to consider a split/slanted keyboard. (There's a more extreme version with two vertical keyboard halves called SafeType, but that's 1) more expensive and 2) requires you definitely know how to touch-type.)

    When I was learning piano my teacher used to put a penny on my wrist and tell me to try to keep the penny there when playing, to maintain wrist position - maybe that would help?
  3. Morven

    Morven In darkness be the sound and light

    Pretty much any USB keyboard will work with your Mac, though you may want to enable the option in Settings to swap the alt and OS keys so that the OS key (command key for Mac) is really on Alt, so it's in the place you're used to even if the keycap says the wrong thing. You just won't have the function keys doing the things they do on a Mac keyboard, but you can alter those too. I use the same thunderously loud Unicomp buckling-spring mechanical keyboard on both my Mac and PC at home (on a USB switch so I can select which it's connected to with a button press) and it works fine for both.
  4. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    I have been pretty happy with the Kinesis Advantage models. They work fine with macs and PCs pretty much out of the box. They are pretty pricey, though. There's more-expensive ones by Maltron which some people say are better, but for some reason their plans to announce a programmable one are always "coming soon", and I think they said they were going to use cherry mx black switches which I think are a poor choice; mx brown are better for typing MHO.

    Note that I have used a whole lot of other fancier things, and some of them are pretty nice, but many are pretty impractical for daily use, or wayyyy too expensive, and can be very hard to get working/supported. (Like, I sorta liked the Datahand, but fuck's sake, it was super-on-sale at $700, it requires a special USB-PS2 adapter because it uses more power than a standard keyboard, and they're sort of marginally-in-business, making it hard to get parts or repair or anything. They may be completely out of business now. Or back in. Who knows.)

    The Kinesis ones are in the ~$200-300 range, but they really are excellent. Takes a lot of getting used to. I also like the dvorak layout, either on its own or as a thing to do on the Kinesis. There are things out there asserting that dvorak is not really a speed win, and that may well be true, but, it is almost certainly an ergonomic win for English.

    On the really high end, you could take up steno, at least for English.
  5. Raire

    Raire Turquoise Helicoid

    Thanks everyone! I'll take a look at what is available to me and how much shipping costs and figure something out. Thank you for your advice!
  6. Starcrossedsky

    Starcrossedsky Burn and Refine

    ACTUALLY you can pick up a cheap asshole steno keyboard for about $120, now, depending on exact exchange rates and shipping (the current cheapest Real Steno Keyboard, the Stenoboard, is priced in pounds and obviously requires international shipping). You can get a nkro keyboard and mod it to do the thing, too, but from experience that... doesn't work particularly well and I intend to spring for a stenoboard as soon as I have the money (I like the recessed thumb-keys more than I do the full flat keyboard of the open steno project's other physical product, the Stenosaurus, and also the stenosaurus isn't even out yet so).

    The main barrier to entry with steno is that you have to learn a whole new way of making the words happen, basically, and it can take 3-6 months to get up to any kind of decent speed, depending on your dedication to the matter. I also find that trying to write in steno loses a lot of the linguistic quirks you get in places like tumblr and instant messengers, because those things are (obviously) not built into any of the default steno dictionaries. (Highlights from my own additions to my steno dictionary include "buttmad" and "asdfghjkl" for example.) If you're looking to keep the customization of communication that's been built via most of the populace using qwerty, steno might not be your bag.

    [/sorry Seebs this is one of my sperging targets]
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