hoggy wrote:The datahand takes a lot of getting used to, and coding uses a lot of punctuation so be prepared for a long acclimatisation period... I agree that it should help you, though.
Thanks Hoggy for your detailed response. I am bracing myself for lost time, but now is best: ahead of schedule for the software component of my new job (for once! I had firm control of the spec), which also involves a decent amount of hardware build and even field work, which should bring back some variety to my workload.
hoggy wrote:We ask this a lot - have you seen your doctor? We ask it a lot because it's important.
Yes, although it was a year ago. It wasn't keeping me up at night and I don't push myself past a relatively small pain threshold - I get up for a walk when the twinges get beyond a background level. It's just that these 5-10 min. walks are becoming too frequent and breaking my concentration. My doctor discussed stretches, yoga, and seemed more concerned with my lack of exercise, and now that I have two jobs I'm finding myself exercising more regularly - probably because I'm working from home (and something about a new job seems motivating).
hoggy wrote:While you're waiting, there are things you can do.
Type less. I used to write code, change my mind half way through and then rewrite bits. I started to look at my workload with the perspective that my new economy is based on keystrokes and not time. Plan a bit more. Don't type until you know what you are going to type. Take a look at Macro Express or Autohotkey and write macros to flesh out your functions - once you've scripted something to enter a comments block, validate your arguments, instantiate your variables and destroy references you'll probably save 1000-1500 keystrokes per function. Can you really afford not to invest the effort into a tool that does at least some of those things? If you install workrave, then it can tell you how many keystrokes you type each day. It's amazing how much you can accomplish with fewer keystrokes.
Many more experienced colleagues have said the same. I've got a pretty pimped-out .vimrc - I started reading about RSI prevention over a year ago now, but recently I've been taking it more seriously. I must admit I have probably tripled the number of vim features I use regularly. And I've been using vim for 10 years.
hoggy wrote:Reduce your email - you can control the pace of an email exchange just by responding slowly. Pick up the phone or walk over if you can.
Thankfully E-mail isn't a big item for me, but we do use IM a bit.
hoggy wrote:If your mouse hand hurts more, try changing your mouse. You might find a vertical mouse that works for you.
You could change your keyboard for a while - something tenkeyless would be an easy switch - this would help you use your mouse more comfortably (if you're right handed that is). You could always sell it on later. Swap between keyboards every few days. What are you typing on now?
At work they got me a vertical mouse - I lost some minor shoulder/back pain, but my mouse wrist still tires quicker than the other. My original Dell keyboard was horrible compared to the Microsoft Natural 4000 I got, and at home I've tried a Logitech, then moved on to a lenovo thinkpad keyboard with trackpoint - which IMHO is a perfect solution for the mousing problem but I still feel more strained in using it than the Microsoft Natural.
I have tried simply putting the mouse out of reach, which is ok for most of my tasks except of course now I have to do some PCB/CAD work.
hoggy wrote:Learn to use the mouse with your left hand - a little variety is a good thing. It'll make you feel happier as it'll feel like you are making at least some progress. Stick with it for a week and then alternate left/right every few days.
I've colleagues who have done this, I should try it too, if I am going to persist with a mouse.
hoggy wrote:Swap to dvorak or colemak - this has made all the difference for me - I type a bit slower, but it's much, much more comfortable. There's probably no point doing this if you make the switch to the datahand. Just don't switch layouts when you're busy at work.
I guess I've been avoiding a fundamentally new layout until I think it's a nessary investment. But I'll give it some time.
hoggy wrote:Task variation - could you do something else for a hour each day? You might be able to swap tasks with a co-worker.
Oh, and have some fun when you can - it can take the stress out your situation
Apologies if you've already gone through all this stuff.
Whatever you end up doing - hope it works out
No need to aplogise for great advice! It's good to hear from somebody who found relief in an alternate layout. I appreciate your help.