The Sound of One Hand Programming
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.