Using a mouse for extended periods of repetitive activities like audio editing wreaks havoc on my wrist, so I picked up a vertical mouse a few years ago which seems to help a bit. I’ve also tried a few trackballs, but have never really gotten the hang of using them. But I really like the trackpad on my laptop, and it got me wondering if I could find a USB or wireless trackpad that I could use while working at my desk.
Unfortunately the pickings are slim. Logitech discontinued its T650 trackpad years ago. Models from smaller companies get mixed reviews. And the Brydge W-Touch I wrote about a few years ago also got mixed reviews. It’s also out of stock everywhere… and it looks like it’ll stay that way, because I recently discovered that Brydge went out of business this year.
It looks like my best bet may to pick up an Apple Magic Trackpad and use imbushuo’s unofficial Windows Precision TouchPad drivers for Apple touchpads. But I’ve got it easy. Folks who’ve already pre-order Brydge products have reportedly been stiffed… as have Brydge employees that haven’t been paid since January.
Here’s a roundup of tech news from around the web, starting off with 9to5Mac’s look into the rise and fall of Brydge.
The downfall of Brydge: iPad keyboard company folds, leaving staff unpaid and customer orders unfulfilled [9to5Mac]
Brydge, a company that made keyboards and other accessories for iPads, Surface products, and some other devices, has messily gone out of business. Customers haven’t received products, and employees haven’t been paid in months.
Pluto co-founder is building an ad-supported TV [Lowpass]
Teevee is a startup from the co-founder or Pluto TV that wants to give away TV sets for free. The catch? They’ll have a small secondary screen for ads and other widgets like news tickers or sports scores. Update: It’s real. It’s called Telly, not Teevee. And it’s probably the natural evolution of ad-supported stuff, but it’s still kind of weird.
Source: Google planning to launch Pixel Watch 2 with Pixel 8 [9to5Google]
Google could launch a Pixel Watch 2 this fall, about a year after the first Pixel Watch was released. It’s expected to debut alongside the company’s Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro smartphones.
Ulaa web browser [Ulaa]
Zoho, probably best known for its web-based office apps, has launched a new Chromium-based web browser called Ulaa. It emphasizes privacy and security and has built-in ad blocking, but also distinctive Work, Developer, Personal, and Kids modes.
Keep up on the latest headlines by following @[email protected] on Mastodon. You can also follow Liliputing on Twitter and Facebook, and keep up with the latest open source mobile news by following LinuxSmartphones on Twitter and Facebook.
I’m in the north country, but I have two T650’s I can send your way; collecting dust at work and no one wants them.
Another option might be a Wacom/Bamboo style device.
I’m in the north country, but I have two T650’s I can send your way; collecting dust at work and no one wants them.
I’v seen people train their left hand for mouse usage, might mess up your left hand too in the long term, idk.
I’v seen people using a Wacom (intous drawing tablet) pen as a mouse.
Myself, i think i use my mouse something like Alex. I dont sit straight, almost lay down on the seat so my hand is loong straight on the table.
Ages ago the back of my right hand used to get numb, so when Windows 8 came out I got a Logitech T650 touchpad and started using it left handed. It helps, and my left hand has never experienced numbness. The touchpad still works fine.
depending on your keyboard preferences, maybe one with an integrated touchpad, Logitech has at least two models (one is the K830) and Microsoft has the All-in-One Media Keyboard N9Z-00001. If a touchpad is better for you and typing on those keyboards is okay for you then it might be a good solution (if the Apple trackpad doesn’t work out). I personally don’t like mechanical keyboards so slim style ones like those with integrated touch pads would be great if I had that problem (which I thankfully don’t yet so I still use a mouse) but I do feel the strain of too much typing more with mechanical keyboards, I don’t know if that affects you.
I do have a tenkeyless mechanical keyboard that I’m pretty happy with, so I’d prefer not to replace it if I can find a standalone trackpad that works. But a combo solution like this might not be a bad idea, since it’d keep both my hands at the same level while editing, with one on the keyboard and the other on the trackpad.
I have an old Logitech keyboard with a similar design, but it’s a cheap model with a pretty lousy trackpad that’s not that comfortable to use. It might be worth checking out one of the newer, better ones.
The problem is I won’t really know for certain whether a trackpad is the solution or not until I end up spending a few weeks with one, which is why I haven’t yet bit the bullet to spend $100+ on a Magic Trackpad.
I also suspect that my issues might be at least partially related to my chair – long story short, according to a physical therapist I saw a few years ago, some of my problem is likely originating in my shoulder. I’d been primarily using a standing desk for work for years, and she suggested I wasn’t getting enough support for my arms, which was putting pressure on my shoulder… which was pinching a nerve… which was causing forearm and wrist issues.
Long story short, switching to a sit-stand desk and using a chair with arm rests for part of the day definitely helps. But the cheapest chair I could find with adjustable arm rests still has a limited range, so my arms aren’t fully supported all the time when I’m switching from keyboard to mouse.
So now I’m trying to figure out if a $100 trackpad will solve my issues or if I need a $1500 chair too (the Steelcase Gesture seems to be one of the only models with arms that are actually adjustable enough to provide full support while typing).
That said, most of that is a larger issue that I’ve mostly got under control through a series of exercises, stretches, and switching between sitting and standing.
My biggest issue with audio editing is really more wrist and fingers cramping up during extended sessions where I spend 2+ hours doing very repetitive motions involving lots of small adjustments, scrolling, and clicking.
Theoretically trackballs are supposed to be great for that, but I haven’t found one that feels as responsive as a good mouse for the work I do. And once I discovered the appropriate touchpad gestures for the actions I perform the most when editing audio, I started wondering if that could be an alternate solution… which led me down the path of wondering why nobody makes good external trackpads for Windows machines… which led to the lead for this article.
You might want to consider the Perixx PERIPAD-704 Wireless Touchpad at Amazon.
It’s cheap, wireless, and has pretty solid reviews. It looks clunky compared to the Apple trackpad, but it should at least get the job done.
The reviews do not look particularly promising. For the sort of work I’m envisioning, a mediocre trackpad would probably be more frustrating than just continuing to use my mouse, which is why I was hoping somebody had made a good one by now.
Unfortunately it seems there may not be enough demand for this for companies that make high-end keyboards, mice, and trackballs to get into this space (I’m thinking Logitech, Kensington, Razer, etc).
Why do the tech gurus keep telling us that our mouses/mices, keyboards and trackpad will be obsoleted by 2030? Shouldn’t we be learning to live without them?
Okay, so here’s how I think that TV scheme is going to play out. Not only will the second screen be displaying ads, it’ll also be displaying numerical codes you have to input to keep doing whatever you’re doing. Otherwise, I could just do something way too obvious like cover it up with a sheet of literally anything. It might accept external inputs, but don’t expect it to render tiny letters well, and there’s no way you’re getting more than 60Hz or Freesync.
And then they’ll have to refuse to give it out to certain people, because I can think of a lot of people who’d smash a free (thus, not highly valued, thought to be easily replaced) TV if for example they were watching a sports game they bet on and it didn’t turn out how they’d betted. Plus the TV news cycle is worse than ever, so that would lead to even more smashed TVs.
I can actually buy the idea that ads alone can pay for TV hardware, but only if you pretend that the users won’t smash it. When you consider the cost of some modern TVs which all have too much of a mind of their own and compare it to comparable large format monitors, you’ll notice the price difference is about as much as a cheap, low end TV.
how often will you need to input these codes and where do you input them?
i can’t imagine this actually becoming a thing. it’s about as promising as DIVX and FlexPlay were.
I’d guess you’d use the remote, but I wouldn’t really know how often it would be, that’s a matter for their focus groups to work out. I don’t actually know what they’ll do, but ads that can be blocked with construction paper defeats the purpose, so I’d think they’d have to come up with something. Other options include a camera to detect obstructions and watch you watch the TV, for example, and that’s less annoying and mines more data, so it might actually be more likely than my original idea.
I wouldn’t have thought that smashing TVs is that big a risk, but I also don’t think a free hardware plan will work out for them. A lot of people will accept free hardware and ignore the ads, whether that’s covering up the screen or simply paying no attention, not to mention that anything with ads usually results in people trying to hack the ads away.
I also doubt that silent video ads that people aren’t looking at are going to create enough profit if they have to pay for hardware sent to each user. Even without covering up the screen, people will be looking at the other screen, so most ads will go unnoticed unless the advertisers go out of their way to make their ad visually annoying, which just motivates the users to do something about it. My prediction: either they change their plan to a cheaper TV with ads, but you still pay for it, or they shut down the idea.
Brad, I’ve had some issues with carpal tunnel after using a keyboard/mouse for 25 years. Funny enough in a college class I took this semester, the book we were going through suggested changing position as little as possible – i.e. try not to switch from mouse to keyboard to mouse too often.
It sucks and I definitely relate. You said that Logitech mouse helped a little bit. How has it been for you over all, though?
If you’re having RSI trouble, I can definitely recommend the Swiftpoint Propoint. My job involves a lot of clicking (and in particular, a lot of middle clicking) and it definitely helps.
So does a squishy wrist pad, but make sure it’s a gel pad, not a foam one.
Thanks for the suggestion. 🙂
That mouse is tiny! Never seen anything like it before. 🙂
I have wrist issues for 25 years (started with 8-bit computes with tiny keyboards), and this is what works for me: I keep my arm parallel to the keyboard, with elbow on a table, I use large mice, but do not hold it tight (palm rests on its side), and I use rigid wrist bands.
Overall I like it. While it’s a bit on the large side for a mouse (making it awkward to pack in a bag for on the go use), it’s a lot more comfortable to grip than a typical mouse and it seems to put less strain on my wrist and forearm during regular use.
It’s fine for 90% of the things I do on a computer. But extended audio editing sessions require a lot of very precise movements and a lot of clicking and scrolling and my hand still seems to cramp up and my fingers get a bit achy after an hour or two of that if I don’t take regular breaks to do stretches, which is why I’m thinking about trying a trackpad as an alternative for that specific activity.