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Dear Microsoft

posted 21 January 2010
Ever since I was a gaming noob or programming wanna-be (I guess I still am this though) I've been interested in computing ergonomics. Ergo mouse, ergo keyboard, ergo desk, ergo monitor configuration etc. While this puts me out as the dude at work with the weird setup, it is surprising to see how many career developers don't even consider it. The risks are real.

I currently use the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000+ v1.0
Image of Microsoft Ergonomic 4000+ keyboard

This is a great keyboard. Honestly...

But there is one thing that I can totally do without. Take a gander at that gigantic number and arrow pad section. It's basically 1/3 of the keyboard in total. Imagine an ergonomic style keyboard (with wavy keys) without a number pad. This gigantic number pad requires me to move my right arm an additional 8ish inches to the right causing some discomfort after long periods of use. Now when I'm whipping out design elements on a windows form dragging and dropping things all over; the additional mobility cost spent to rename default name properties is fatiguing.

I imagine what it would be like to have my keyboard not off set from the front of me or my mouse in an ideal location. The first keyboard maker that comes out with this will have real market for this. With the continued research into repetitive stress injury and computer related injuries (I realize that sounds crazy) will come the increased knowledge and want for extremely ergo items.