handmade.network » Forums » touch typing, keyboard layout and RSI
erpeo93
leonardo lucania
32 posts

None

#11617 touch typing, keyboard layout and RSI
3 months, 2 weeks ago

Yestarday I've found this amazing tutorial online... I was a pretty mediocre 55 wpm writer, and I didn't even know how to put my hands on the keyboard.
Just wanted to share this with the community.
http://www.typingstudy.com/


A couple of random things:

-what do you think about colemak layout? Is there someone that can definitively say that it's BETTER than qwerty? (I mean both performance and RSI prevention)

-I'm currently using qwerty, but I've remapped the caps lock to backspace. I highly reccomand it to you, the right pinkie now does much less work.

-I've noticed that my hand posture it's basically bad, with my hands constantly resting on the keyboard: that put a lot of stress on the finger's muscles.
http://www.rsipain.com/equipment.php
I'm thinking about getting one of those tilting keyboard tray, or even this:
http://www.ikea.com/it/it/catalog/products/90278244/
this way the wrists should remain HIGHER then the keyboard.
what do you think about it?


Just wanted to point out these things to the community, I think it's fundamental to type fast, but I think it's even more important to stay healthy.

Leonardo


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Brian
22 posts
#11623 touch typing, keyboard layout and RSI
3 months, 2 weeks ago

When I investigated the different keyboard layouts, most of the studies I've found did not find much if any improvements over QWERTY. So it just seems to be whatever one feels comfortable and what they memorize.

In the end I choose to stick with QWERTY due to not needing to worry about my setup if I was sitting at another computer. Especially if the format was not one that came with Windows (or whatever OS) and had to be downloaded first.

I have also tried different hand positions, but it does not take long for my body to tell me that it just feels wrong (and often it starts to hurt). This seems to be unless you are having problems, let your body tell you what feels right.

Some changes I have made:
* switched to mechanical keys. At the moment, I quite like the feel of cherry browns.
* I actually use capslock now. Any more than two capital letters I turn it on.
* I alternate between shift keys. I don't know why, but I pretty much always used my right pinky for shift, and left for alt/ctrl. This meant that my right pinky did a lot of work (especially since I did not use to use capslock). This along with using capslock has grely helped.
* In my text editor (which is what I do nearly all my typing), I inverted the symbols and numbers. If capslock is on (or of course holding shift), I get the numbers. So it's easy to switch between the two.
* I changed '_' key to be inverted, from the default of '-'.
* I exercise more. Though I don't necessarily do any hand/finger exercises, I do a lot of bodyweight exercises which fully use my hands.

Some additional changes that I want to do just have not yet done it:
* Create a next key toggle for shift (and ctrl/alt). Similar to how the mobile keyboards work. I find my hands do not like holding down keys for very long.
* Completely switch to modal editing. I looked at (and have used) vi/vim, but it's not for me. I appreciate its design so I will come up with my own implementation in the editor I like.
ratchetfreak
276 posts
#11624 touch typing, keyboard layout and RSI
3 months, 2 weeks ago

windows has a sticky keys feature in its accessibility settings. The default activation is to press the left shift several times in a row.

Though the thing that annoys me the most when typing is that the left control on the keyboard I use most (at work) sticks unless I hit it dead center and press straight down. I'm sure that'll give me emacs pinky before long.

Beyond that I find the fancy new keyboard layouts to be overrated, also I believe many of them focus mostly on writing english prose over programming.
CaptainKraft
Jeremiah
143 posts
2 projects

Father, husband, C programmer, and Linux apologist. Think before you code.

#11653 touch typing, keyboard layout and RSI
3 months, 2 weeks ago

There has been some decent "research" on different keyboard layouts. Here is the source that the Colemak site recommends:

http://mkweb.bcgsc.ca/carpalx/?qwerty
http://mkweb.bcgsc.ca/carpalx/?dvorak
http://mkweb.bcgsc.ca/carpalx/?colemak

There is a lot of reading on that site if you want to dig deep. It looks like they did a good job comparing layouts.

Build a man a fire, he'll be warm for a day.
Set a man on fire, he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
erpeo93
leonardo lucania
32 posts

None

#11668 touch typing, keyboard layout and RSI
3 months, 2 weeks ago

Thank you guys, interesting points.
I guess I should also link this site, which allows to upload your own code and type it as an exercize.
http://www.speedcoder.net/lessons/

A couple of days ago I finally got my first mechanical keyboard, but I have a problem in my message handling code.
Basically, when I keep a button held, I get totally different messages now:

before, with the basic dome keyboard, I was getting something like:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
key down
key down
key down
key down
key down
key down
key down
key up


and that' obviously what I want, but now with the new keyboard, I get:
 1
 2
 3
 4
 5
 6
 7
 8
 9
10
key down
key up
key down
key up
key down
key up
key down
key up
key down
key up


But of course the button is being released just a single time... I would like to ignore, if possible, those repeated keyup messages, but on MSDN I've read that for a wm_keyup message the repeat count is always 0...
Is that a problem with my specific keyboard, or is that a behaviour of all mechanical keyboards?
Should I use another way of getting keyboard input?

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mrmixer
Simon Anciaux
220 posts
#11669 touch typing, keyboard layout and RSI
3 months, 2 weeks ago

It seems weird. Mechanical keyboard should work the same.

Are you sure you didn't changed anything in your message loop ?
Could you try this application (it should display just pressed / pressed / just released in the console) and see if you get the proper messages ?
erpeo93
leonardo lucania
32 posts

None

#11670 touch typing, keyboard layout and RSI
3 months, 2 weeks ago

Same exact behaviour.


Tried with the old dome keyboard: I correctly get only "pressed", until I release the button of course.





The mechanical continues to behave badly:



I don't know what to do, I mean, that's the simplest and clearest test we could have made... could it be an hardware problem?


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mrmixer
Simon Anciaux
220 posts
#11674 touch typing, keyboard layout and RSI
3 months, 2 weeks ago

I should have mentioned that in test application you can switch between WM_KEYDOWN/UP and RAW input by left clicking on the white window. The output should say RW instead of VK. Does it make any difference ?

If your keyboard has fancy macros or functions check that there isn't something going on there (or windows accessibility settings).

Otherwise you can try contacting the manufacturer/vendor support.
erpeo93
leonardo lucania
32 posts

None

#11675 touch typing, keyboard layout and RSI
3 months, 2 weeks ago

mrmixer:
I should have mentioned that in test application you can switch between WM_KEYDOWN/UP and RAW input by left clicking on the white window. The output should say RW instead of VK. Does it make any difference ?

If your keyboard has fancy macros or functions check that there isn't something going on there (or windows accessibility settings).

Otherwise you can try contacting the manufacturer/vendor support.



Resolved installing the last available firmware.
Thank you for the help anyway. :)

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mmozeiko
Mārtiņš Možeiko
1404 posts
1 project
#11676 touch typing, keyboard layout and RSI
3 months, 2 weeks ago

This is just "amazing"... keyboards nowadays don't work properly anymore and require software update. OMG.
Floresy
Tom
21 posts

None

#11677 touch typing, keyboard layout and RSI
3 months, 2 weeks ago

mmozeiko:
This is just "amazing"... keyboards nowadays don't work properly anymore and require software update. OMG.


@Leonardo, care to tell us what keyboard this is, so we can avoid it? lol

0xdedededede.....
erpeo93
leonardo lucania
32 posts

None

#11678 touch typing, keyboard layout and RSI
3 months, 2 weeks ago

Floresy:
mmozeiko:
This is just "amazing"... keyboards nowadays don't work properly anymore and require software update. OMG.


@Leonardo, care to tell us what keyboard this is, so we can avoid it? lol


ahahahahaha, it's the cooler master rapid-i.

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mmozeiko
Mārtiņš Možeiko
1404 posts
1 project
#11681 touch typing, keyboard layout and RSI
3 months, 2 weeks ago Edited by Mārtiņš Možeiko on April 12, 2017, 11:36 p.m.

It's a feature, not a bug:
Repeat Rate Adjustments Over USB - Execute Commands Faster Than Ever Before
Execute commands up to 8 times faster than other keyboards and competitors by adjusting your keyboard repeat rate at a moment's notice.
erpeo93
leonardo lucania
32 posts

None

#11682 touch typing, keyboard layout and RSI
3 months, 2 weeks ago

mmozeiko:
It's a feature, not a bug:
Repeat Rate Adjustments Over USB - Execute Commands Faster Than Ever Before
Execute commands up to 8 times faster than other keyboards and competitors by adjusting your keyboard repeat rate at a moment's notice.


There are 4 options on the keyboard, I tried with all of them, but the old firware was bugged with them all.
With the new firmware the things seem normal at 1x.

None