Dissertation writing machine

FAM, Leganés

Current Unfortunately that machine isn’t me – yet – but a reference to my new setup that I have for my computer in my room. As you can see in the photo, I have added a separate keyboard. This was the most ergonomic keyboard that I could find easily. And it wasn’t that easy either. None of the local computer shops sell anything remotely ergonomic. I ordered this Microsoft Natural Keyboard 4000 from Amazon in the UK and had it delivered to a friend who sent it back with another friends who was visiting. In any case, I find that I am able to type much more comfortably than with the limited keyboard on my laptop. The only feature that I sorely miss on this is the backlighting that my Powerbook provides. I was generally a handy feature especially when stabbing at keys while standing where I’m not in a touch typing position. But, since the laptop keyboard is still there and still illuminated, there really isn’t a problem.

I lied, there is one other thing about this keyboard which is even more troublesome – at least for now. The left Shift key is too small. I’m not sure how one is supposed to type, but in my eventual self-taught style I only ever use the left Shift key. And since I turn my Caps-Lock into another Control key, if I need a continuous uppercase feed, I hold down the left shift while typing. With my half sized key, I have to stretch my pinkie finger just that much further to accomplish this. Otherwise, a very nice keyboard that surprisingly enough comes with Mac software to provide functionality to all these funky access buttons along the top of the keyboard.

And as also pictured in the photo, I have combined this keyboard with a relatively inexpensive laptop riser which serves to raise the height of the screen of my laptop such that I’m not hunched over looking at it. I must say that it is a big help and I think that my back and neck will thank me at some point. I recommend something like this to anyone who uses their laptop as a desktop for extended periods of time. Dad I’m looking at you. :) Some of these risers come with a built-in USB hub, but the difference in price (at least in the store I saw) was far too great to warrant that. Plus I have a hub already – also a nice convenience in this setup.

So now that I have some of the infrastructure in place, it is time to get to work – put my nose to the grindstone as the expression goes. One of my first orders of business is to do a bit of a literature review to see what the “state of the art” is for my topic. Should be interesting, at least I hope so for my sake.