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Shake Hands with the Zero Tension Mouse 169

ThinSkin writes "Given its shape and ability to cup your hand, the Zero Tension Mouse can be moved around without bending the wrist or moving the fingers, while also keeping the hand in a vertical position and the arm in a more ergonomic neutral position. ExtremeTech reviews the Zero Tension Mouse and, although acknowledging it as 'funny looking,' concludes that it amounts to a whole lot of worth for those who need it, or those who want to take preventative measures against RSI and related ailments."
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Shake Hands with the Zero Tension Mouse

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  • Well (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ShooterNeo ( 555040 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @06:53PM (#15795328)
    I see this as a legitimate product. It doesn't take a medical degree or a huge budget to see that if RSI is caused by using a particular joint, avoiding that joint avoids the problem. You do not need to move your wrist at all to use this mouse. A device built from a sound principle, no snake oil involved.
  • Easier solution (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Stormwatch ( 703920 ) <.rodrigogirao. .at.> on Thursday July 27, 2006 @06:58PM (#15795359) Homepage
    Buy a friggin' graphics tablet!
  • funny looking? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheSHAD0W ( 258774 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @07:13PM (#15795440) Homepage
    I remember seeing the first boxy mice and thinking they were funny looking. "What's the use of a keypad with only two buttons on it? What? You're supposed to MOVE it?"

    And yes, I did have to walk to school when I was a child. Uphill. Both ways.
  • Re:It's corded? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ZorbaTHut ( 126196 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @07:13PM (#15795443) Homepage
    You know, I used to buy all cordless devices.

    About a year ago I realized I wasn't using the cordless feature at all. At work I simply trapped the cord under a monitor and the cord never got in the way. At home I sat in front of the computer. Why bother with cordless? 99% of the time it wasn't a benefit.

    About three months ago I got killed in City of Heroes because my batteries ran out at the wrong moment.

    I'm not replacing my mouse and keyboard yet. But next time I need new peripherals, they're going to be corded. Cordless is cool and all, I'm not disputing that. I'm just questioning whether it's actually useful.
  • It's not new.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Yuan-Lung ( 582630 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @07:25PM (#15795507)
    A person with wrist problems in our office has been using a joystick-like mouse [] for a long time. It's hard to use for me, and gives me a sore elbow. Maybe I am using it wrong, but after having learned how to protect my wrist using a conventional mouse, I would rather not start over and having to learn to protect my elbow from a new product that doesn't offer any real advantage.
  • by the_rajah ( 749499 ) * on Thursday July 27, 2006 @07:51PM (#15795631) Homepage
    Telegraph and wireless operators had similar RSI problems going back, probably at least, to the 1860's. They called it having a "glass arm". The JH Bunnell Double Speed key, also known as a side-swiper, was patented in 1888 to help solve this problem and was sold well into the 1920's when it was replaced by semi-automatic keys known as "bugs" (first patent 1892). The operation of the side-swiper was such that the motion was side to side instead of up and down. There is a contact on either side of the armature or lever so pressing the lever either way made the contact. There was no attempt to automate the dots as the later semi-automatic keys did. You can find example pictures online by searching for "Cootie key" or "side-swiper" key. I have one of the early Bunnell cooties in my telegraph apparatus collection.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 27, 2006 @08:17PM (#15795734)
    There's a simple solution to that problem. Forget the mouse.
    I generally use a laptop anyway, so I mostly gave up on the mouse years ago, I prefer a trackpoint to a trackpad (since it's even less motion for my hand), but I've moved to rarely using the mouse at all. I run FVWM and spent a bit of time configuring everything so I could do all of my normal operations with the keyboard. Being as I'm a heavy *nix user/hacker there are few other operations I have to do besides window and desktop switching. I setup desktop switch so it leaves the right windows focused to cut down on even that, so switching to xpdf on a different desktop from my standard couple of vim editors and a shell or two is just one key combo away. I actually did this for expediancies sake, and so I could deal better with systems with no mouse.

    I'd never had any real problems with RSI, but when I was working on a big project a while back, where I was typing more than I was thinking, I started to get pain in my right wrist. I realized that it was from moving my right hand to the arrow keys. Since then I've switched to vim (I used to use emacs, sorry emacs folks), and use ctrl-[ for escape. Again I also fiddled with my FVWM and zsh settings so I never have to use the arrow keys in normal work.

    I still use the "mouse" (trackpad) for webbrowsing, and I still use the arrow keys while in silly apps (like typing a slashdot post on firefox... firefox needs a vim plugin for that), or sometimes in shell if I'm must lazing back and not typing much anyway. But I have to say that between this and careful control of my posture, I rarely have RSI problems.

    A good friend of mine typed alot of math in latex all of the time. So he remapped his entire keyboard to avoid having to type such long names, and primarilly to avoid stretching his right pinky out to the backslash key. Another friend we finally discovered had problems because his fingernails were too long, so he typed with his fingers out strait instead of curled.

    A little thaught about what causes your problems is the first step, then figure out how to get rid of that problem. If an expensive product can solve your problem that's wonderful, but it's far better if you can learn to solve it without the product so you can use any computer (well... okay, some keyboards just suck, but besides that) without a problem. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can't, but it's worth experimenting.

    One more little thing is that I often type on my lap. I am rather short, too short for most tables. This puts the keyboard at approximatly the right level, so my elbows aren't angled upwards. This gets rid of most of the desire to rest my wrists on something...
  • Re:Snake oil (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jtseng ( 4054 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @08:25PM (#15795758)
    I have found on occasion that I have had to rest my mouse hand because I couldn't keep it on the mouse anymore; it would be too uncomfortable. I even tried to use the mouse on a near-vertical plane because I found out (along with some other people apparently) that the vertical position is more comfortable; obviously a vertical plane is not a viable solution. Although the price point is too high for me for this product, I can totally see how this can help people. I don't think it's snake oil.
  • by Kaenneth ( 82978 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @11:07PM (#15796324) Homepage Journal
    It's slow damage, over years of time. In order to afford surgery, and better medications than insurance coverage provides (the Mayo clinic has some interesting fine joint replacement implants), and to relieve the boredom of not working (Playing CounterStrike and Everquest all day would be as bad as programming; except most programming environments allow speech recognition software).

    I'm doing the best I can with what I have and the time I have, instead of spending the rest of my life sitting in a trailer watching TV and smoking pot on the government dole, and dying with perfect hands.

    My priorities include being a useful person to the rest of the world, not simply doing the best thing for myself.

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus