thecrumb

developer | thinker | tinkerer

the sound of one hand typing


In my previous post I explained my accident, injuries and how I was missing cf.Objective.

With this post I thought I would explain some of the tools I'm trying to use to continue working with my injuries. I'm currently working from home using my laptop and a VPN connection to work.

Having only one hand I needed to make some adjustments:

Mouse

Being a programmer my first issue was the mouse.  Since I broke my right hand, mousing was out, so I had to come up with an alternative.  My wife has a Wacom Bamboo tablet which is touch sensitive and I thought that might be interesting to try.  The tablet worked well for general browsing but for detailed code work with in an IDE I felt it lacked precision...  they do have a model with a pen but I don't think that would have helped since I would have had to use it left handed.

In the past I've used a trackball so my next choice was a Kensington Expert Mouse.  This is a big ambidextrous trackball which fits my left hand perfectly.  One problem I ran into was there is no current software for Windows 7 but after some Google searches I found some software ( X-Mouse Button Control ) that allows me to program all four buttons of the Expert Mouse which has been very useful!

Typing

Typing of course is also a challenge.  I'm a fairly decent typist, but with one hand out of the picture, typing one-handed was painful, slow and error-prone.  I initially tried the voice recognition software built into Windows 7 and while it was very accurate the user interface was lacking.  Again after some quick Google research I bought a copy of Dragon NaturallySpeaking and that has been very helpful.  In fact this entire post was dictated using voice recognition with just a little bit of typing for corrections.

Other Tools

Of course I'm also making use of my normal automation tools like AutoHotKey,  virtual screens, keyboard launchers etc!!

To Be Continued

I have to be honest and say I've lost some productivity but I believe that with these tools and my continued use of them I will only get better and more productive.

I will actually continue to use both the Kensington Expert Mouse and the Dragon NaturallySpeaking software after I recover from my accident.  The voice recognition software is a much faster way to throw down ideas into text if you are not concerned with accuracy but just want to get your ideas onto the computer.

The trackball is also an interesting tool.  Combined with the X-Mouse Button Control software being able to program the four buttons to do almost anything you can imagine opens a lot of doors...

I will plan on writing a follow-up post in a few weeks to re-evaluate these tools and my experience using them.


Missing cf.Objective All The Gear - Post Accident Review

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