Archive for the ‘One Handed Keyboard’ Category

Week Three

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

My arm is recovering nicely. I’m still in a brace for a couple of weeks but I can now rotate my wrist enough to almost touch type normally again.

And that’s what I’m doing, having abandoned the StumpTronic as soon as I could. I’m happy with the solution I came up with and this would definitely be the way to go if I was permanently injured or had chronic RSI. It also kept helped me work faster than I could have done without it, not least because I didn’t have to look at the keyboard at all.

I imagine that in a month or so I would be typing at almost normal speed; the reason that I was slow is that for every keystroke I had to think about whether I had to press the button and about the correct finger movement. This was exactly the process I went through when I taught myself traditional touch typing and so it would be only a matter of time before I had it down pat.

The only real change I would make is to replace the Shapelock with the Sugru. The assembly moves with each keystroke and the hard Shapelock would rub against my skin. Sugru is much softer and would be better for longer term use.

Week Two

Monday, June 7th, 2010

I’m out of the splint and into a brace. My fingers have room to move which is great but my arm is pretty swollen and very weak. I got yelled at by my physical therapist for lifting my arm just a tiny bit so it’s really not ready for action yet.
Luckily the Stumptronic 2000 is working well. My typing has really improved although it’s still only about half as fast as I normally type. It’s comfortable and I can rest my left hand on my lap while I type.
I also put stickers on the keyboard showing the mirrored mode.

A minor modification

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

The buttons had some sharp edges so I hit them with a Dremel. Also glued the Shapelock on.

First day of use

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Not bad. I’m typing this post using the mod and although I have a way to go, I am touch typing. I added some Shapelock to stabilize the buttons on my finger.

We can rebuild him

Friday, May 28th, 2010

I was left with more mobility than I thought I’d have, which is awesome. Here are the keys embedded into a lump of Sugru. This is a moldable material that hardens into a firm silicone-type material (I think). It’s good for giving the buttons a little bounce. Once that’s set up I’ll cover the rest of the keyboard in heatshrink to make it a little more robust.

The Sound of One Hand Programming

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

So I’m going to be one-handed for a few weeks (at least). I looked around for some one-handed keyboards that I might persuade my work to buy and came across the Half Qwerty Keyboard. It’s a neat idea; the left side of the keyboard is mirrored onto the right-side keys and the idea is that the muscle memory you developed for your left hand when you learned touch typing maps over to your right hand without too much trouble. You can switch between the normal right side of the keyboard (‘YUIOP’ etc) to the mirrored side (‘QWERTY’ etc) with the click of a designated button. And it works! I tinkered with the keyboard remapper that you can download from Microsoft to get an idea of what a mirrored keyboard would feel like and it worked well. However, it’s almost $600.

Problem easily solved, thanks to Auto Hotkey. This is a powerful scripted key remapper which fits the bill. I reassigned all the keys on the right to map to keys on the left when you hold down the left Windows key (which I never learned to use). Awesome! Except….

My hand is going to be completely immobilised in a large, bulky splint. I won’t have any fingers and maybe not a thumb. Enter the StumpTronic 2000(tm)…

It was a wireless USB keyboard. I pulled the board out and figured out which connections to make for the Left Windows, Left Alt and Left Shift keys; those are the three buttons on the ribbon cable. This is what I’ll use to trigger the “mirror mode” by plugging into my PC as a second keyboard. If I have a thumb, I’ll attach the buttons to my splint. If I don’t, then I’ll build a foot pedal.

Tomorrow’s the big day.

…or not.

Monday, May 24th, 2010

I’m a computer programmer so losing the use of one hand for several weeks is a big deal. I’m experimenting with keyboard remapping and macro solutions and am going to install some thumb-accessible buttons onto my left arm (hopefully the surgeon will leave me that much mobility). Stay tuned…

Project making on hold…

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

Thanks to one ruptured distal bicep tendon. Six weeks in a brace argh..,