Computers & Mobile
The sound of one hand programming
ohKeyboard_1.jpg
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Gosh, I love the resourcefulness of our readers. MAKE subscriber Matt Daughtrey writes:

My left arm has been recently sidelined by surgery. I’m a developer and wanted to keep my productivity as high as possible during my recuperation, so here’s an approach to one-handed touch typing that others might find useful.

With a little Sugru, some ShapeLock, a cannibalized wireless USB keyboard, and the Auto Hotkey program, Matt was able to create a three-button keypad to trigger a “mirror mode” on his regular keyboard so that he can touch-type with his “good” hand while the other hand recovers from the surgery.

He explains how it works:

The left side of the keyboard is mirrored onto the right-side keys and the idea is that the muscle memory you developed for your left hand when you learned touch typing maps over to your right hand without too much trouble. You can switch between the normal right side of the keyboard (‘YUIOP’ etc) to the mirrored side (‘QWERTY’ etc) with the click of a designated button. And it works!

One Handed Keyboard

12 thoughts on “The sound of one hand programming

  1. Way back when palm pilots and handspring visors were cool, matias (I think) had a half-keyboard based on the same concept, but you held the space bar down for the hand-shift.

    I was very surprised that it only took a few minutes to adapt to it, I think I was up to about 85% speed in 5 minutes of trying it.

    Very cool project, hope your hand heals up to total recovery!

    -RG

  2. Frogpad made one handed BT keyboards. I have one and it works pretty well. I just checked their site and they have some USB ones coming and it looks like you cannot order the BT ones due to a pending redesign.

    http://www.frogpad.com/

  3. I’m the developer of a software-based implementation of this one-hand keyboard concept. Give it a try if you don’t feel like breaking out the sawzall and sugru like this guy!

    The main advantage is that it uses predictive text. So no need to do the “press a modifier key to get the other letter” thing. Just tap “tges” and it will figure out that the word you want is probably “this”.

    Give it a try if you’ve injured your arm/hand/fingers: 
    http://onehandkeyboard.org

  4. I’m the developer of a software-based implementation of this one-hand keyboard concept. Give it a try if you don’t feel like breaking out the sawzall and sugru like this guy!

    The main advantage is that it uses predictive text. So no need to do the “press a modifier key to get the other letter” thing. Just tap “tges” and it will figure out that the word you want is probably “this”.

    Give it a try if you’ve injured your arm/hand/fingers: 
    http://onehandkeyboard.org

  5. I’m the developer of a software-based implementation of this one-hand keyboard concept. Give it a try if you don’t feel like breaking out the sawzall and sugru like this guy!

    The main advantage is that it uses predictive text. So no need to do the “press a modifier key to get the other letter” thing. Just tap “tges” and it will figure out that the word you want is probably “this”.

    Give it a try if you’ve injured your arm/hand/fingers: 
    http://onehandkeyboard.org

  6. I’m the developer of a software-based implementation of this one-hand keyboard concept. Give it a try if you don’t feel like breaking out the sawzall and sugru like this guy!

    The main advantage is that it uses predictive text. So no need to do the “press a modifier key to get the other letter” thing. Just tap “tges” and it will figure out that the word you want is probably “this”.

    Give it a try if you’ve injured your arm/hand/fingers: 
    http://onehandkeyboard.org

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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