Weapon of choice



  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,318
    I've not tried that particular vertical mouse, but did use this Evoluent one for a while. I also tried the joystick-like 3M ergonomic mouse, but preferred the Evoluent one. Vertical mice are great for avoiding wrist problems — so much so that I wonder why all mice are not vertical —, but won't do much to help if you have rotator cuff or related shoulder problems.
  • Trying for years to use something else than the trackpad. Somehow I get irritated about lifting my hand from keyboard to mouse en vice versa. I use the arrows and keyboard a lot.
  • I had a huge decrease in back trouble after I got on Aeron chair at home. I actually have two now, one in my office and one in the dining room. Best equipment investment I've ever made. Before that I had occasional debilitating back issues. Not since!
  • I think we're all needing a minority report UI. 
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,031
    edited October 2017
    Thomas, I used to have a bloodletting problem at work from using an Xacto knife for years until 1987, then we bought a $2,000 Mac and my problems ended. Next year I bought one for home and have been blood free ever since ;-)
    PS. I love the Aaron chair, too ;-)
  • I think we're all needing a minority report UI. 

    Please, no. Tom Cruise reportedly had to take frequent breaks due to arm fatigue.
  • Indeed, touch-screen laptops are gimmicky enough.
  • After a little research, I believe that among vertical mice, this is both tied for the highest-rated, and one of the least expensive at $15: https://www.amazon.com/Anker-Ergonomic-Optical-Vertical-Buttons/dp/B00FPAVUHC 
    (also available in wireless variant for $20)
  • James MontalbanoJames Montalbano Posts: 818
    edited October 2017
    The Anker mouse looks intriguing. Pity it can only be purchased at Amazon. I don't shop there.
  • The Anker mouse is what I'm using now, after my cats knocked the expensive Evoluent off my desk one too many times. The Anker is slightly less comfortable (but still miles beyond a traditional mouse or trackpad) but also much more robust when it comes to the felines. Batteries on the wireless last a heck of a long time as well and it's got a decent range. If anyone is on the fence, I highly recommend.
  • Jess McCartyJess McCarty Posts: 24
    edited October 2017
    Since we're touching on chairs too, this 1970s throwback kneeler looks ridiculous but almost immediately alleviates back pain due to posture issues. I started using it in June and don't think I could ever go back to an office chair again. I have two bum knees as well, and haven't experienced any pain or flare ups.

    If you struggle with slumping forward or rounded shoulders, give it a try: https://www.amazon.com/SLEEKFORM-Ergonomic-Kneeling-Adjustable-Office/dp/B01GF6D5T0

    I'd always wanted to try an Aeron, Thomas, but never could pull the trigger. In the long run it's cheaper than a chiropractor though! Glad to hear it's working for you!
  • My back problems solution for a simple office chair is to lower the seat to the minimum height. This naturally force an upright posture, most of the body's weight is pressed to the seat with no tension on the legs since they're bent comfortably. The center of the screen is just a bit below my eyes level so it is almost vertical.

  • The center of the screen is just a bit below my eyes level so it is almost vertical.

    Check back with us on how it's working out when you start wearing bifocals or trifocals.

  • Check back with us on how it's working out when you start wearing bifocals or trifocals.

    This might force you to straight up your back even more, with eyes levelled with the top of the screen.

  • I have progressive lenses. These are fine for working on my laptop by itself. But I switch to single-prescription glasses optimized for computer distance when I am doing serious computer use with my big screens.

    New mouse arrives tomorrow; I'll report back on how I find it after using it for a while.
  • Please, no. Tom Cruise reportedly had to take frequent breaks due to arm fatigue.
    Mark Simonson true! He's always been good with his own stunts.
    Regarding science fiction UI, I think we'll only be free with a Matrix like experience, where one thinks of a curve and it happens. Hopefully we won't have to connect a huge metal spear into our necks.
  • For anyone interested in a brand new Microsoft Intellimouse, Microsoft is releasing a slightly updated Intellimouse 3.0, it's called the Classic Intellimouse.
  • Although the Anker vertical mouse may be great for some folks, it is not for me. Maybe a different model would be better... or maybe not. Some of the issues seem to be more general, some specific to this model.

    If somebody wants me to bring it to an event, I'm happy to give it away in exchange for a drink or a good coffee.  :)  Maybe I'll give it one more try before then, but I'm not optimistic.

    What I found was that with a normal mouse, gravity helps you with clicking the button. The mouse doesn't try to move away. With this vertical mouse, the mouse wants to move sideways when you click, because, well, you're clicking sideways! (Probably also why the mouse is so heavy, but that's still not enough.) So I have to exert extra pressure with my thumb to hold it steady, while clicking.

    Less pressure to do a click would help.

    Also, with my old MS mouse button, the whole button area depresses. Thus I can exert pressure from about half my finger, getting more weight of the whole finger into it. With this mouse, the button clicks from the far end of the button only. So I *must* click with more of the tip of my finger. This requires more effort, requires resistance from the end of my thumb, and overall involves a lot more muscle tension and tenses up a tendon I normally don't noticeably use at all with my mouse.

    So, while the initial hand position may be slightly more natural and relaxed, I basically gave up on this device after less than a day as exhausting to use.

    I suspect a different model might be better, but I also see that the "fighting against sideways pressure" might be hard to avoid.  https://www.amazon.com/Anker-Ergonomic-Optical-Vertical-Buttons/dp/B00FPAVUHC  

  • Thomas Phinney, I feel there are two main things to have in consideration when dealing with tendonitis:
    One is the posture of your hand, arm, shoulders and body. The Anker vertical mouse seems to correct any of these bad postures.
    The other thing is repetitive movement like clicking or scrolling. Which I feel is very hard to solve or escape from, unless you use a tablet.
    Which do you feel is worst or affects you the most? Have you tried a pen and a tablet?
  • BTW a common ergonomics misconception is since our fingers are rounded concave touch or grip areas will be more comfortable since it follows the rounded topography of the fingers, exactly the opposite is true.

    Our hands has developed/designed to grip sticks, stones and varied shaped objects. And there's simple physics...

  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 336
    edited October 2017
    In mice for example, even though the left one is much newer it is much less comfortable to work with than the right one.

  • Paul MillerPaul Miller Posts: 101
    I once had a mouse which was superb.

    It was a brand name I've never heard of and it was very cheap and made in China.  It had a wheel and forward and back buttons as well as the left and right buttons.  It was big and hand shaped (shaped to fit your hand when placed over the mouse with groves for your ring finger and pinky).  It was very comfortable to use, but it only lasted a couple of years and I have never seen a mouse like it since.

    Oh well ...

    I have found a mouse which has almost the exact same size and shape as that old chinese mouse.  It is a Trust Gaming mouse, the only difference is that this one has more buttons and they are programmable, also this has a different textured surface.

    Once I had tried it out I bought another one (one for the desktop one for the laptop) and I will probably buy a spare for when one of these goes wrong.

    Anyone want an old Logitec gaming mouse, I have one that just retired !  :D
  • Logitech for life! These things last at least 10 years of heavy usage.
    +++ I replaced my Logitech with a similar style of another brand and went out and bough another Logitech really soon. The key for me was learning to let go between clicks. I had a real death grip going. When I loosened up, and learned to take little breaks, pain got better. Also, this-

    Jameson R Spires said:
    a Microsoft Natural 4000 Keyboard. 

    When I switched to this keyboard, it helped my wrist health. I also used those gel pad wrist rests at work. I was the only one who liked them, so I had a whole office worth of them to switch through when they got ganky.
  • I use my MacBook track pad almost exclusively, though I've been trying to get more used to using my Wacom tablet. I find the track pad is very stress free to use and - Hey, It's right there as soon as I open the MacBook. For sitting I use a kneeling chair. I've been trying get in the habit of sitting up straight and most office chairs seem to lead to slouching.  And - since we've renovated our kitchen and installed a breakfast bar, I like to stand there and work when I don't need to be working on my larger screen. For lighting, I recently got an LED task light and I hate it. I feel like it's missing a significant portion of the visible spectrum. The light seems grey. Bright grey and cheerless. (Argh. Am I ranting about it again?)

  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 713
    Yeah, LED task lighting isn't always a good thing. I'm thinking of a setup more like the Police - Wrapped Around Your Finger video.

  • Paul MillerPaul Miller Posts: 101
    edited March 8
    I have been an electronics engineer in medical research for many years and I know a fair amount about human visual and auditory systems.

    Lighting is very important and people often underestimate its effects.

    To see the quality of a light source you need a Diffraction Grating.

    These are widely available and you don't need anything expensive or fancy.  You can get them on Amazon or Ebay or if you want to pay six to ten times as much for the same thing you can get them from specialist scientific and optical suppliers.

    To see the quality of the light source with a diffraction grating you don't look directly at the light source you look at the ghost images which appear off to the side, they will be smeared out and diffracted (split up into a spectrum).  If the image just looks smeared then the spectrum is continuous, if there are thin bits in the smear then they represent dips in the spectrum, if the image appears as several distinct images of different colours then the spectrum is not continuous but made up of seperate lines.

    The ideal light source for art or any activity where you need good colour discrimination is a broad flat spectrum with no gaps, dips or lines.  The ideal source is sunlight but that isn't always available.

    Incandescent bulbs have a broad continuous spectrum but it is usually weighted towards the red end, and these bulbs are not efficient.  Incandescent bulbs have the advantage that they don't flash, the light is on continuously.

    Flourescent lighting is very variable in quality depending on the flourescent material but generally there are dips and gaps in the spectrum, daylight flourescents are generally better as are more expensive flourescents but this isn't always the case.  You don't always get what you pay for but if you buy cheap then you are almos guaranteed to get poor quality tubes.  The same is true of low power flourescent bulbs.

    Flourescent lighting also flashes on and off one hundred times a second (one hundred and twenty in America) and althouggh you can't see it your eyes will continually try to adjust to the changing level so you might get eye strain.

    LED lighting is also very variable.  White LEDs normally have an ultraviolet LED shining on flourescent material and this has all the problems of flourescent tubes.  Good LED lighting is either continuous or flashes on an off very fast, from ten to a hundred times as fast as flourescents, fast enough not to cause eye strain.  Bad LED lighting flashes on and off at the same rate as flourescents.

    Some cheap 'white' LEDs don't have flourescent material instead they are a combination of four coloured LEDs, red, green, blue and yellow.  These have the worst spectrum of all four lines with nothing in-between.  You will percieve it as white but your brain will be telling you there is something wrong or artificial about the light and you won't be able to discriminate colours very well.

    Whenever I am buying lighting I take my diffraction grating with me, if it is a shop like IKEA where they have an example or each bulb on display and working then I look at the spectrum.

  • Eric OlsonEric Olson Posts: 9

    I’d be curious to know how the Wacom users in this thread have been getting along with the newer tablets, drivers and OSs. I used an Intuous 3 for almost 10 years but had to stop around OS 10.10 (i think?) as it was no longer supported. Since then I’ve unsuccessfully used the new Intuos Pro on various retina screens (it does matter. On a standard screen it’s stable). On a retina screen It’s just way too jumpy and fast or just plain slow depending on the setting. This of course assumes the tablet is used in mouse mode.

    But I’ll try anything, so currently I’m messing around with the Contour Design RollerMouse Red Plus, the Elecom HUGE trackball, the Magic Trackpad 2 and the good old Kensington Trackball.

  • Paul MillerPaul Miller Posts: 101
    I am an Electronics Engineer, making typefaces is a hobby for me but I enjoy it.

    Electronics can also be fun.

    I have just finished a particularly challenging home project which was for general use but also helps a lot with fontmaking.  It is a little box with a knob and two buttons.  It contains a microcontroller pretending to be a USB keyboard.  If the knob is twisted then it generates up/down keystrokes, if the knob is pressed down and twisted it generates left/right keystrokes, the buttons are SHIFT and CTRL.

    It was a minor annoyance that if I wanted to move anything around I had to take my hand off the mouse to use the arrow keys, I thought there might be a better way.

    In Font Creator pressing the arrow keys moves points about, pressing CTRL and the arrow keys moves points about in very small steps, pressing SHIFT and the arrown keys moves points about in very large steps.

    In Inkscape the arrow keys move entities about and pressing CTRL arrows moves things about in big steps.

    In Scribus arrow keys move entities about, SHIFT arrow keys move things about in very small steps and CTRL arrow keys move things about in very large steps.

    In text editors and on websites the up/down arrow keys will scroll up and down (and yes so will the mouse wheel).

    When I wanted to move points or contours about using the arrow keys I would have to take my hand off the mouse to do so and so I thought of building a custom keypad which just had the arrow keys and a few other useful keys on it.  I built it and it was not much of an improvement, just like having a numeric keypad on the left hand side of the keyboard.

    The next attempt had a rotary encoder as its input plus three other keys, they were all programmable because I didn't know what would be most intuitive clockwise to increase the value or move a point up, or counterclockwise to increase the value or move the point up.  I tried it both ways and the second way was more intuitive.  The buttons on the second version weren't very well placed so it was uncomfortable to use for long periods.

    The pictures are of the final version which doesn't have programmable keys and the buttons have been moved so they are more comfortable.  The box is less thick than a mouse but I am planning an even thinner version for my desktop computer.

    The box also useful for increasing/decreasing the values in those spinner boxes (a small box containing a numeric value with up/down arrows at the right hand side).  This is a job that the mouse wheel doesn't do.

    Having used this for a while it has become second nature to move things around with it, so much so that I can't imagine working without it.  It is quicker than taking your hand off the mouse and pressing the arrow keys.  If this box didn't exist I would have to build it.

    And before anyone asks, no I am not producing these commercially, they are not for sale but if any commercial company wants to take up this idea they are welcome to it.  These are not mass produced each one is lovingly hand crafted.  If I were to produce them for others I would have to charge for my time in making them so they would be hideously expensive.

    There is also a problem with the manufacturer identification string and number used in USB enumeration.  Companies pay many hundreds of pounds to get these and if I build a device using someone elses number then it is OK for the odd one but if I was to produce many of them it wouldn't be long before I got sued by the company whose number I had used.

  • I've used a Wacom tablet in lieu of a mouse since 1997 and I love it! I don't do any drawing or lettering with it, however.
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