Alphagrip and Software Development

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LeeQ

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Jan 3, 2012, 4:58:00 PM1/3/12
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Anyone have experience using the alphagrip as a primary input device for programming?  I use vim pretty much exclusively now-a-days, is there much talk about using the two together?  

Al Wild

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Jan 3, 2012, 5:09:50 PM1/3/12
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I used the grip for the better part of a year for everything, coding included.  just regular type/chatting/emailing was plenty fast.  I never could get fast enough coding on the grip.  too many characters that require multiple fingers <{/\:)>  it was awkward.

-al

On Tue, Jan 3, 2012 at 2:58 PM, LeeQ <leequ...@gmail.com> wrote:
Anyone have experience using the alphagrip as a primary input device for programming?  I use vim pretty much exclusively now-a-days, is there much talk about using the two together?  

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Pat C.

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Jan 3, 2012, 5:15:47 PM1/3/12
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same here as a VIM user.. what methods are you guys using on the grip for coding.

Lars Krueger

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Jan 3, 2012, 5:36:29 PM1/3/12
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I have the same experiences. For me, the most problematic points are the non-letter characters and navigation. Even in vim, where the navigation is done using letters, there is something awkward to it. I think it's from the fact that the hjkl navigation keys aren't home-row keys on the grip.

Although possible, I haven't remapped the navigation commands in vim. It would require some mechanism to start vim with and without the mapping, depending on the keyboard used.

One thing I can recommend for vim is to map Shift-Space to Escape. You'll need that key a lot, hence you want easy access.

I also use a simple template expansion function, e.g. if I type ;class in a C++ file, the template will generate a complete class definition including constructors and destructor. That also does not work very well due to the ; as the first character. Maybe mapping Shift-Tab to ; would make it easier.


-------- Original-Nachricht --------
> Datum: Tue, 3 Jan 2012 15:09:50 -0700
> Von: Al Wild <alber...@gmail.com>
> An: alph...@googlegroups.com
> Betreff: Re: [alphagrip] Alphagrip and Software Development

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Dr. Lars Krueger


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Pat C.

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Jan 3, 2012, 5:44:21 PM1/3/12
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lets face it. alpha grip wasnt make for coding.... nothing beats a good thinkpad keyboard with touchpoint

^_^Sisyphus^_^

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Jan 4, 2012, 12:23:24 AM1/4/12
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Almost impossible to use hotkeys in igrip. Too many key strokes in
order to input a single non-letter character.
In practical, it is only good for normal text.

Message has been deleted

jfgorski

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Jan 5, 2012, 2:20:55 AM1/5/12
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I've been using it for all my typing, including programming for my day
job, for a few years now. I think I'm just as productive with it, if
not more. It did take time and practice though. I would say any
productivity gains come from:

1. I can't use a normal keyboard consistently without hand problems
after a couple days, but with the AlphaGrip I *never* feel pain.
Without exaggeration it's likely been a career saver. It's also
comfortable being able to type in my lap or sitting back.

2. Finally being able to touch type, which I could never do 100% on a
normal keyboard. I like how I don't have to stretch or occasionally
glance to to find the AlphaGrip's modifier keys.

3. The immediate access to the trackball instead of adjusting to
switch to and back from a trackpad or mouse.

I agree with others that having to press the red/green shift keys or
the fn-lock key can be annoying at times, as well as having to use my
right thumb to press a modifier while my left thumb presses a key. I
use Emacs most of the time, and sometimes vi for basic editing. I've
gotten around any odd feeling key combos (in Emacs) by remapping them.

Also, as far as my programming goes, I seem to have to think enough
that any reduced typing speed of certain characters really doesn't
matter. Plus it's pretty cool when my co-workers first see the
AlphaGrip and bow down in awe. :)

Doug Sims

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Jan 5, 2012, 10:12:36 AM1/5/12
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I agree with jfgorski. While I don't program for a living, I do use
the computer and mouse all day. I've found that a few workarounds for
common shortcuts is definitely worth not having hand/wrist pain while
working. I haven't used emacs in a few years, but does the most
current version support mouse and right clicking?

I've found that for office software (especially the newest microsoft
versions) you can do almost everything you need with a right-click
context menu. This has saved me a ton of time by having the trackball
at my thumb at all times.

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jfgorski

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Jan 5, 2012, 8:17:40 PM1/5/12
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On Jan 5, 7:12 am, Doug Sims <wdsim...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I agree with jfgorski. While I don't program for a living, I do use
> the computer and mouse all day. I've found that a few workarounds for
> common shortcuts is definitely worth not having hand/wrist pain while
> working. I haven't used emacs in a few years, but does the most
> current version support mouse and right clicking?

Yes it has mouse support, but not as extensive as it sounds like
you're looking for, at least out of the box. I use it just for placing
the cursor and selecting text.
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