07 July 2013

Of mice and men

It's a beautiful winter's day, but the sun hasn't quite made it my living room. In the meantime, I'm using the mouse with my left hand so I can wrap my right around the tea cup and warm it up. it's strange how un-co that is. Strange because at work I always use my mouse left handed. It drives IT up the wall. But I always know when someone else has used my machine, because they never, ever return the mouse to the left.

When mice first started to become "normal", you couldn't set the speed the thing moved or reacted. I was having difficulty controlling it (bizarre thought now) and one piece of advice I read was to use it with your non-dominate hand. After a while I could use it equally comfortably with either hand. I made a decision to use it left-handed at work and right-handed at home to spread the strain. Eventual carpel tunnel in both wrists instead of one, anyone? Hubby is a leftie, so he gets to use the mouse with his non-dominate hand at home.

One other advantage of left-handed mouse use is that it's easier to keep things central and reachable. With the mouse of the right, you have to cross over the number keypad to reach it. On my smaller desk, I find I keep shoving the keyboard to the left, off centre, to have room for the mouse. With the mouse on the left, the main section of the keyboard is centred on the desk.

Our main home mouse (we have a number of computers; more computers than people actually) is symmetrical. I know you can get lovely ergonomic mice, but have you noticed they are for righties? I've avoided them because there is a leftie in the house and because of my mouse-ambidexterity. So, if this mouse is completely symetrical, and I'm used to using a mouse left-handed for five or six hours a day, why does it feel so awkward to use it left-handed?

Bit of a moot point now. My tea is drunk, my cup is cold and I can move the mouse back to 'where it belongs'.


John Carter said...

Count another user here who has become ambidextrous in mouse usage due to wrist and hand pain and strain. It's funny, but you are right that you get a lot of weird looks from IT when you go with anything non-standard (like a split keyboard as well!)

SueBK said...

I had a bent ergonomic keyboard in one role. I loved it. Anyone who used my computer hated it. As a touch typist I found it so much faster than a straight board.