Ivan Čukić

RSI and a peculiar development setup contd.

RSI (Repetitive strain injury) is not an uncommon disorder in the geek world. It can range from a slight tiredness to a very unpleasant pain.

I don’t know how it should really be treated, but I know two things – it should not be ignored, and you should not, when you stop ignoring it, try to relax and rest your fingers by playing guitar after not playing it for more than a year. Air guitar should be fine if you don’t overdo it. :)

One of the first things I started doing as a precaution was to switch the mouse hand every once in a while, and to lessen the number of clicks by making a no-click application launcher.

The last step I took was a few days ago. Mainly because this summer is going to be very stressful for my hands, and my fingers don’t seem up to it at the moment. The last step was to remove the resistance of the keys on my keyboard. That is, to replace the keyboard with something else.

RSIstop

As you can see, I have replaced it with a virtual one (xvkbd) running on the exopc tablet under plasma active. It controls my main computer.

I expected it to be quite a productivity killer at first, but it turned out to be quite a pleasant exercise both for my hands (different motions, no resistance) and by mind (thinking of the shortest way to type a variable name by using the fuzzy completion of the vim’s YouCompleteMe plugin – haven’t typed more than three letters per variable in a whole day).

All in all, a rather fun setup. The only issue I’m having is that xvkbd is not meant for multi-touch so if somebody knows of a full-qwerty+special keys virtual keyboard that can be shown on one display and control a different one, I’d be much obliged.

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