Well, if you know me, you may have heard that I've been having wrist problems recently. Last week I ordered a Kinesis keyboard, a really neat ergonomic keyboard designed to reduce wrist strain in many different ways. So far, it seems to be working.
Well, to be exact, my problems have been more like "hand problems" than "wrist problems." When I code or type for long stretches, especially on the laptop keyboard, I was feeling pain and exhaustion in both pinky fingers. I started using a full-size keyboard and immediately saw some improvement, but it wasn't enough. My girlfriend Tara used a Kinesis keyboard and liked it a lot, so I decided to try it out.
As far as I can tell, it is pretty great. I thought that the shape of the keyboard would make a lot of difference, but based on using it for about a day, I think that the main advantage is something else. These keys have a very long "travel" -- distance to press -- and the keyboard sends the key when you've pressed it about halfway down. But it also makes a tiny 'click' sound when the key registers, which I have become sensitive to so that I never have to push the key all the way down to the bottom. I can release the key as soon as I hear the click, meaning no more pressing hard against the bottom of a keyboard, and less strain on my finger muscles.
In order to alleviate pinky strain even more, I tried to stop pressing Shift with my pinky. I bought a foot pedal that goes with the keyboard, and mapped it to Shift. SO NOW I CAN TYPE IN ALL CAPS WITH LITTLE STRAIN ON MY WRISTS, which was a problem before (I never used Caps Lock -- when typing constants in code, I would usually hold Shift throughout, which was painful.)
Lastly, I just wanted to point out the following observation: