I got a new gadget called either an iGrip or alphaGrip (both names seem to be used somewhat interchangeably). Keyboard_AG5_main2

This gadget is described as an ergonomic keyboard, though careful to avoid any specific claims about being less likely to cause, say RSI. Indeed, it lets you lean back in your chair and keep your hands in a game-controller-ish position. It uses rocker switches on the bottom for pinky + ring + middle finger, plus a little more mobility with the pointer finger moving to four possible spots. Thumbs also do lots of duty with a few letters on the top. To get some idea of the layout, this diagram shows the underside keys.

A few of the keystrokes are the same as QWERTY–left-hand pinky for A for instance–but overall it involves a learning experience. I just typed a 300-character phrase on a learn-touch-typing app at a wopping 4 WPM. The creator suggests an hour of practice daily for 30-60 days. [This posting was decidedly NOT done with the alphaGrip. Too soon.]

cheat8I had hoped this would work with my Kindle as a really convenient way to work on the bus, but that won’t be easy. Even with the right adapter cable, the Kindle’s USB port is non-powered, so in addition to the Kindle and the keyboard gizmo, I’d need to carry around a powered hub plus a battery. A 4-piece setup is too unwieldily. AFAIK there is no Bluetooth version of the alphaGrip.

So far, I’ve lasted about as long on this gadget as I did the time I popped off all my keycaps and went full DVORAK. We’ll see how it goes. -m