Dr. Mark Humphrys

School of Computing. Dublin City University.

Online coding site: Ancient Brain


Online AI coding exercises

Project ideas

RSI - A Lecture

RSI - Repetitive Strain Injury.

Many people using computers for a long time develop pains in their fingers or wrists. Nothing strange about this - You have the same in any area that demands repetitive, precision movements - knitting, writers cramp. The condition is actually very old.

Just to be aware that you are at high risk of this happening to you. Things you can do to prevent it developing:

Cut down on hand actions

  1. Reduce the number of mouse movements. Learn keyboard shortcuts. These are normally all listed in the menus. e.g.:
    • In browsers, Ctrl-N or Shift-Click to open new window.
    • In Windows, Alt-Tab to jump to last window, Win-m to minimise all windows.
    • In UNIX, experiment with different windowed environments. Get Windows-like list of processes in a bar along the bottom or side. Redefine key to raise/lower, maximise/restore window.

  2. Reduce the number of things you have to type.
    • Cut and paste URLs and code and data. Never type anything twice (or even once). Never tell people anything twice (or even once). Send them URLs instead.
    • Use macros in editing. Use assisted editors for HTML, programming languages.
    • Use command-line history in UNIX. Use wildcards for filenames. Use filename completion.
    • Write Shell files to automate common tasks.
    • In Windows, make shortcuts to frequently used programs.

  3. Avoid double-click and drag with the mouse. These, more than anything else, are the things that cause damage to people's hands.

  4. Consider whether you are sacrificing your hands to games, social media, etc. You need your hands for your career. Maybe outside your career you should develop less hands-intensive hobbies.

  5. Basically, figure out what you absolutely need to do on a machine and maybe drop the other things to give your hands a break.

  6. Possibly - Don't learn how to type.

Of course, like everyone else (including me), you will ignore all advice about possible problems until there is at least some indication that you have the problem.

How to click the mouse with the keyboard

  1. Windows 10:
    • Settings - Ease of Access - Mouse - Control mouse with keypad
    • NumLock to turn it on/off.
    • Mouse Keys
      5 click
      + double click
      0 start drag
      . end drag
      / and - to toggle left click and right click modes

  2. Linux (depending on distribution):
    • Settings - Universal access - Mouse Keys
    • Computer - Control Center - Keyboard - Mouse Keys
    • Then can click with numeric keypad as above.

  3. UNIX:
    • XAccess

  4. Using Perfect Keyboard, I can program my keyboard so that:
    F1 is single click <mlbd><mlbu>
    F2 is double click <m2click>
    F3 is right click <mrbd><mrbu>
    F7 is drag start <mlbd>
    F8 is drag end <mlbu>
    I also have things like:
    F5 is Alt-Tab <alt><tab><alt>
    F9 is Alt-Left (back in browser)
    F10 is Alt-Right
    F11 is shift-click (open web page in new window)

ancientbrain.com      w2mind.org      humphrysfamilytree.com

On the Internet since 1987.      New 250 G VPS server.

Note: Links on this site to user-generated content like Wikipedia are highlighted in red as possibly unreliable. My view is that such links are highly useful but flawed.