touchpad peripheral opinions re: carpal tunnel?
April 24, 2006 9:28 PM   Subscribe

reviews/opinions about touchpad peripherals? carpal tunnel is kicking my god damned ass right now, and i feel like this might really reduce the stress/pain.
posted by radiosilents to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
I have a fingerworks touchstream LP, its no longer in production anymore, but it's great for when my wrists start acting up (I haven't used it in a while, as my ergonomics have improved now that I'm no longer working in a shitty cubicle)

From what I can tell, they're selling for upwards of $480 for a used one on Ebay, and I'm not gonna lie, if your wrists hurt while typing, but feel better the less you move to grab the mouse, and the less you jab at keys, it's WELL worth the money. I remember that my transition to a laptop with it's short-stroke-length keys helped a LOT for me... so if you've tried short-key-depth keyboards, and they helped, but not enough... you should splurge on the TouchStream

That said, it's a huge "if"... especially with 500-600 on the line....

If you're near Seattle (Your bio doesn't say), shoot me a line... I'll meet you at a coffee house and you can try it out for a jaunt... it really is fun to use.
posted by hatsix at 9:50 PM on April 24, 2006

My wrist injury is aggravated by touchpads. I think you should look seriously into a Wacom tablet. The pencil-motion of using one relieved almost all my problems. I've posted about it in several other threads... askme has a ton of info on non-mouse solutions for this kind of problem.
posted by fake at 10:27 PM on April 24, 2006

Seconding the Wacom tablet suggestion. A small Graphire ought to be available for ~$70 - it's great for Photoshop, of course, but using it with a Firefox mouse-gestures extension is truly neat. When I start to experience mouse-induced RSI, switching to the tablet for a few days usually restores things to normal.
posted by unmake at 11:02 PM on April 24, 2006

trackballs helped for me. i am currently using the somewhat misnamed kensington expert mouse.
posted by paradroid at 12:01 AM on April 25, 2006

seconding paradroid -- kensington "expert mouse" trackball right of the keyboard and vanilla mouse on left. Both active together, switch hands often. Mouse set for right hand action, because left learns easily and also I can switch the mouse to the right for a rest change.

I had a tiny detached touchpad mouse once but it wasn't good RSI-wise, and IBM "stick" navigation is too restrictive.

Switching around is good. I wish I was near Seattle to check out hatsix's touchstream -- what a loss of good kit!
posted by anadem at 12:27 AM on April 25, 2006

The only effective solution I found was the simplest one imaginable: just don't use the mouse ( assuming that using the keyboard aggravates your wrists less than using the mouse does ) . I tried a myriad of different input devices without finding one that eliminated my problems. Eventually I decided to spend some time learning as many keyboard shortcuts as I could find (and there are a lot). Now I have a Vertical mouse that I hardly ever use because I can accomplish 95 % of what I need to do using my keyboard alone.

Obviously this is not a practical suggestion if you're involved in graphic design or some other mouse-intensive enterprise.
posted by cobrien at 10:51 AM on April 25, 2006

I love my trackball at home (It's a Logitech - you use your thumb unstead of your fingers). At work, I also have the Vertical Mouse, which has helped quite a bit, but has some issues in terms of tracking, speed and texture. You could also do what I did and learn Linux ;)

Keyboard-wise, there are a lot of weird ones out there, but I could recommend one over the other, except I do like my old 1st-generation microsoft natural keyboard. It's clickarific!

As for your actual question, I don't have a peripheral, but I use my trackball on a laptop WITH the touchpad peripheral, so maybe that answers that? I have a wacom tablet as well, but don't care much for it for normal use due to the difference in scale - 1inch on the tablet can be 6 or 7 inches on the screen.
posted by hoborg at 7:32 PM on April 25, 2006

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