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Treasure People and Exploit Tools
What? Still rolling the rodent???!!!
Don't you know that excessive pronation caused by extended mouse activity can lead to CTS, RSI, ESP, EPA, PDQ Bach and a host of other ailments? (not the least of which is the tendency to use bad puns and too many acronyms-Editors)
Those millions of us with the operating system I'll just call la Fenestra Diablo have several options at our disposal to avoid the dreaded index finger fatigue or IFF. (We warned you, continue reading at your own risk-Ed.)
Now everyone, recite after me: The tab key is your friend. The 3 PC keys to mouse freedom are alt, shift and tab (For MacOS programs substitute command for control, option or apple-symbol for alt as appropriate to your application).
Summary for the horologically challenged:
The description below of the advantages of keystroking over mouse-clicking is written for experienced users. If you're not experienced, post this article on your bathroom mirror and read it until the concepts are second nature. After all, do you want to spend the rest of your life reading the for dummies and idiots series of help manuals?
While surfin' the net I typically have at least these three applications open:
For those of us looking to blend the best of the functionality
and shallow learning curve mice allow, with the speed and
keystroke equivalents bring to the table, a few ergonomic basics
are in order: Your fingers remember their position on the
(the whole concept behind touch typing) so every time you move
a hand off the keyboard to touch the mouse button, there is a
quite measurable period of time for the travel and for the
Race car engineers measured the average dashboard
reorientation at one-half second for experienced drivers.
Fractional improvements are the state of the game today: if you
can get a 3% reduction in cycle time or a 5% increase in output,
many industrial engineers would sing your praises on Sunday.
Saving a web page from Netscape
The routine way:
(For the geek-averse, only read this section in small doses.)
You've surfed to a cool page on the web (specific directions given for Netscape, your specific keystrokes may vary for other browsers), and you want to download the page to study the code.
If you're mousing around like the majority, you would
Six clicks to save as text. No big deal you say? Ask again after a full eight-hour day of data entry, complex editing or basically if you get paid by the amount of work accomplished. Your fingers can remember simple action patterns without a federal subsidy or special investigation.
Carpel Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) and Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) are among the fastest growing industrial injuries, climbing by more than 100% between 1985-1995. Documenting and treating your injury as well as paying the paperwork-pushers that control your company's health plan costs you money in the long run. Money that could be spent much better on your salary or updated equipment. (For those interested in mouse/pointing-device related trauma, surf to: http://www.engr.unl.edu/ee/eeshop/rsi.html, an RSI survey of internet articles or read about pointing-devices)...For those who imagine any winslug product is the answer, review Steve Manes Full Disclosure Nov. 95 PC World, p. 45 (a print referencegasp!)or e-chat with Duane Roberts, now at Altura, who along with Lee Lorenzen wrote GEM (the Graphic Environment Manager) issued by Digital Research back in 1985(!) We're talking decade old technology here folks and yes, I know WinXP is the latest rage but waiting until the third version before it actually works is not something I enjoy…)
One of the easiest ways to reduce the incidence of CTS is by adopting the Dvorak keyboard: (A brief quote from eeshop/changes.html)
My experience is that memorizing the new layout took under a half hour, followed by at least a couple weeks of extremely wearying typing because I had to think of every single individual letter as I typed instead of blasting along doing whole words and patterns. But in about two months I was acceptably proficient and comfortable at the new layout. Switching back now to use a QWERTY keyboard means making some mistakes, but the letters are written right there on the keys, and the brain doesn't forget years of QWERTY that easily - I find I can "shift gears" between the two in a couple of minutes. Too, on any computers I must occasionally use (like the student PC lab machines we maintain) I have put the Dvorak driver files so I can make the switch when I am using them. This is not the problem most people think it is, in my opinion. And the reduction of tension available with Dvorak was evident to me from the first ten minutes I tried it. Using QWERTY now feels like a lot of extra thrashing around in comparison.
The keyboard-equivalent way:
control-M to bring up Mail doc OR Ctl-S to bring up Save as Ctl-S
Tabbing always works, yet it's kind of an intermediate step, better than moving your hands back-and-forth from the mousepad, yet not as efficient as the direct keystroke. If you're concerned over learning different keystrokes, just tab away until you've gotten the hang of it. After all, a good tabby keeps a place free of mice if she's earning her keep. (Pets are always she in our house, my wife objects to male animals, other than me, most of the time.)
Control-M (mail document to)
Admit it, icons can DECREASE productivity when significant time is spent making our systems look cool. I'm guilty of it, that's why I've become such a keystroke evangelist. Interesting research has been done on the computing futz factor in office productivity.
Once in Notepad, use control-v (Paste) and put the text in the
final form you want to either save with
In Netscape, tab to Send or if you were only using my text-editing shenanigans, tab to Cancel.
If anyone is interested in keystroke hypertext selection, i.e. keystroke equivalent of clicking on the linked text, read closely the http://www.engr.unl.edu/ee/eeshop/changes.html where pointers to several handy net-available software tools are mentioned. One of the juiciest tidbits is quoted for your convenience:
Having both hands in the same position - one on the mouse and the other on the keypad - is more balanced and relaxed than doing all the mousing with one hand. Give this a try and see if two-fisted mousing doesn't feel a lot easier to you also. Set your browser to download and click to download ACCP.EXE (200K),the self-extracting file of the Access Pack.
There you have it. Life, Liberty and the American Dream, all by
keystroking your way to success.
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