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Old 02-03-2008, 01:59 PM
Anders Karlsson
 
Default Graphics tablets and Fedora 8

Hi there,

I would like to know what experiences people have with graphics
tablets in Fedora, which ones can be recommended and which ones, if
any, can be used to replace the mouse.

My reason for asking? I am starting to get RSI problems with my right
hand, and I am strongly suspecting the laptop I use, its
keyboard/trackpoint combination. I'm already using Dvorak keyboard
layout to reduce finger movement. If there are other alternatives
(maybe trackball or similar may work, I don't know) you can tell me
about, own experiences etc., I'd be happy to receive them.

Thanks,

--
Anders Karlsson <anders@trudheim.co.uk>
All-Round Linux Tinkerer & RHCE

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Old 02-03-2008, 05:44 PM
David Kramer
 
Default Graphics tablets and Fedora 8

Anders Karlsson wrote:

Hi there,

I would like to know what experiences people have with graphics
tablets in Fedora, which ones can be recommended and which ones, if
any, can be used to replace the mouse.

My reason for asking? I am starting to get RSI problems with my right
hand, and I am strongly suspecting the laptop I use, its
keyboard/trackpoint combination. I'm already using Dvorak keyboard
layout to reduce finger movement. If there are other alternatives
(maybe trackball or similar may work, I don't know) you can tell me
about, own experiences etc., I'd be happy to receive them.


Sorry if this gets a little OT wrt this list, but this is a problem for
a lot of geeks.


First of all, there are a lot of different form factors for mice. I
found switching to a trackball helped my RSI a lot. But the biggest
improvement came the hardest. I learned to mouse with either hand, and
I would switch off as one would get worse. At work, I have a trackball
on either side of my keyboard, and can now use either one just as well.



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Old 02-03-2008, 07:09 PM
Anders Karlsson
 
Default Graphics tablets and Fedora 8

* David Kramer <david@thekramers.net> [20080203 19:45]:
> Anders Karlsson wrote:
>> Hi there,
>>
>> I would like to know what experiences people have with graphics
>> tablets in Fedora, which ones can be recommended and which ones, if
>> any, can be used to replace the mouse.
>>
>> My reason for asking? I am starting to get RSI problems with my right
>> hand, and I am strongly suspecting the laptop I use, its
>> keyboard/trackpoint combination. I'm already using Dvorak keyboard
>> layout to reduce finger movement. If there are other alternatives
>> (maybe trackball or similar may work, I don't know) you can tell me
>> about, own experiences etc., I'd be happy to receive them.
>
> Sorry if this gets a little OT wrt this list, but this is a problem for a
> lot of geeks.

I've noticed as I've got older that colleagues have started getting
problems, and now it's my turn. :-/

> First of all, there are a lot of different form factors for mice. I found
> switching to a trackball helped my RSI a lot. But the biggest improvement
> came the hardest. I learned to mouse with either hand, and I would switch
> off as one would get worse. At work, I have a trackball on either side of
> my keyboard, and can now use either one just as well.

That is an interesting idea actually, but I'd need to find a lefthand
trackball though. Do you have any recommendations on trackballs to
use, or where to get hold of them?

/Anders

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Old 02-03-2008, 07:37 PM
David Kramer
 
Default Graphics tablets and Fedora 8

Anders Karlsson wrote:

* David Kramer <david@thekramers.net> [20080203 19:45]:
First of all, there are a lot of different form factors for mice. I found
switching to a trackball helped my RSI a lot. But the biggest improvement
came the hardest. I learned to mouse with either hand, and I would switch
off as one would get worse. At work, I have a trackball on either side of
my keyboard, and can now use either one just as well.


That is an interesting idea actually, but I'd need to find a lefthand
trackball though. Do you have any recommendations on trackballs to
use, or where to get hold of them?


I haven't seen left-handed ones, but I've seen plenty of symmetrical
ones. Kensington sells a nice optical one with a ball on top and a
button on either side.



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Old 02-03-2008, 07:52 PM
Tom Horsley
 
Default Graphics tablets and Fedora 8

On Sun, 03 Feb 2008 15:37:08 -0500
David Kramer <david@thekramers.net> wrote:

> I haven't seen left-handed ones, but I've seen plenty of symmetrical
> ones. Kensington sells a nice optical one with a ball on top and a
> button on either side.

I find that the "Expert Mouse" from Kensington is well worth the expense.
Symmetrical, 4 buttons, a scroll ring and a really big trackball.

It is vitally important to fixup your xorg.conf file to define one of
the buttons as a drag lock button. I can't do dragging with a trackball
unless I have drag-lock. Too much finger contortion or you have to
get both hands into the act otherwise.

Another hint: I find that the autoconfiguration tools for X on
linux tend to fill in some specific protocol like Imps (or however
it is spelled). That usually leaves only three buttons working.
Setting the protocol to "Auto" makes all the buttons visible, then
you can give them sensible mappings with xmodmap.

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Old 02-03-2008, 09:11 PM
Anders Karlsson
 
Default Graphics tablets and Fedora 8

* David Kramer <david@thekramers.net> [20080203 21:38]:
> Anders Karlsson wrote:
>> That is an interesting idea actually, but I'd need to find a lefthand
>> trackball though. Do you have any recommendations on trackballs to
>> use, or where to get hold of them?
>
> I haven't seen left-handed ones, but I've seen plenty of symmetrical ones.
> Kensington sells a nice optical one with a ball on top and a button on
> either side.

Ah, yes - that one. I may try and get that via eBay. What about
keyboards then, "Natural" keyboard or something like Kinesis contoured
keyboard? Would that help as well?

/Anders

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Old 02-03-2008, 09:16 PM
Anders Karlsson
 
Default Graphics tablets and Fedora 8

* Tom Horsley <tom.horsley@att.net> [20080203 21:53]:
> I find that the "Expert Mouse" from Kensington is well worth the expense.
> Symmetrical, 4 buttons, a scroll ring and a really big trackball.

Thank you, I will have a look at that.

> It is vitally important to fixup your xorg.conf file to define one of
> the buttons as a drag lock button. I can't do dragging with a trackball
> unless I have drag-lock. Too much finger contortion or you have to
> get both hands into the act otherwise.
>
> Another hint: I find that the autoconfiguration tools for X on
> linux tend to fill in some specific protocol like Imps (or however
> it is spelled). That usually leaves only three buttons working.
> Setting the protocol to "Auto" makes all the buttons visible, then
> you can give them sensible mappings with xmodmap.

Do you have any xorg.conf and xmodmap examples you could share? I
am specifically interested in the drag-lock you mention, as that would
be useful to me as well.

/Anders

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Old 02-03-2008, 09:30 PM
Tom Horsley
 
Default Graphics tablets and Fedora 8

On Sun, 3 Feb 2008 23:16:10 +0100
Anders Karlsson <anders@trudheim.co.uk> wrote:

> Do you have any xorg.conf and xmodmap examples you could share? I
> am specifically interested in the drag-lock you mention, as that would
> be useful to me as well.

The actual button mappings have changed on me from one release
of X to another, so it is always good to check with xev before
blindly plugging in stuff, but here's what I currently have
on fedora 8:

>From /etc/X11/xorg.conf:

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Mouse0"
Driver "mouse"
Option "Protocol" "Auto"
Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
Option "Emulate3Buttons" "no"
Option "DragLockButtons" "2 1"
EndSection

>From /etc/X11/Xmodmap:

! Setup buttons for trackball
pointer = 1 8 3 4 5 6 7 2 9

One very confusing bit: The button numbers in xorg.conf
refer to the PRE modmap numbers, but once you get in
the X session, X sees the POST modmap numbers (so I
haven't really made button 2 be drag-lock, I've made the
button which the Auto protocol reports as 8 be drag-lock,
then made the former 8 report as 2 - if that makes sense :-).

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Old 02-04-2008, 09:03 AM
Tim
 
Default Graphics tablets and Fedora 8

On Sun, 2008-02-03 at 13:44 -0500, David Kramer wrote:
> I found switching to a trackball helped my RSI a lot. But the biggest
> improvement came the hardest. I learned to mouse with either hand,
> and I would switch off as one would get worse.

I wonder if this really is an improvement? The long term consequences
make me think of footballers who play through with an injury, and make
things worse, sometimes never recovering.

I know if I wear out one hand to the point of pain doing things like
sawing, filing, sanding, scrubbing, etc., and start switching hands, I
end up with two very painful hands. And it's only a few switches before
you end up swapping hands every 30 seconds or so.

Computer input devices (mice, keyboards, trackpads, etc.), seem to be
some of the most badly designed and awful tools to have to use.

--
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important to the thread.)

Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored.
I read messages from the public lists.

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Old 02-04-2008, 09:09 AM
Tim
 
Default Graphics tablets and Fedora 8

On Sun, 2008-02-03 at 23:11 +0100, Anders Karlsson wrote:
> What about keyboards then, "Natural" keyboard or something like
> Kinesis contoured keyboard? Would that help as well?

I recently bought one of the old 2000 comfort curve keyboards from the
evil empire. I can say that it's nicer to type on than the usual
keyboards, but only if you use two hands. Trying to do it single
handed, as you may while taking notes on the phone, you find the curve
works against you.

When buying a keyboard, you need to try them out first. Some don't have
enough travel in the keys, others too many. Some have sharp edges to
all the keys, better ones don't. Many of the expensive keyboards aren't
better, they just have more useless buttons added. And you'll find many
are useless for high speed typing - without a significant gap between
pressing one key and the next, it mashes things up. You see letters
appearing that you didn't type, or it misses some out.

The last time I found a decent keyboard, I bought three. That'll keep
me from having to do all the shopping around for a long time.

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[tim@bigblack ~]$ uname -ipr
2.6.23.12-52.fc7 i686 i386

Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored.
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