Tag Archives: mice

It’s Not the End for Keyboards

Would a company that makes keyboards and mice recommend an article titled The End For Keyboards and Mice?  Yes. Man Hugging Keyboard

BBC Future wrote about the changing ways we interact with computers.  Strangely, The End For Keyboards and Mice doesn’t predict the end of these important tools.

“The mouse and keyboard won’t go away completely as they are an extremely fast and efficient way of interacting with computers,” says David Kurlander, formerly of Microsoft’s User Interface and Graphics Research Group.

Posted in autumn, the article highlights the changing ways people interact with technology.  It shares theories on where this change is going.  One scenario imagines taking existing technology that measures stress levels and using it to assign workloads…or sending your spouse’s call straight to voicemail!

We love technology; that’s a given since Technologies is part of our name.  It’s wonderful seeing how devices evolve.  Yet the fastest way to get what’s on your mind onto the screen is still your keyboard and mouse.

 

Read the BBC Future article here:  http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20121023-the-end-for-keyboard-and-mice

Chin up, look for ergonomic technologies

Are you reading this on a computer, smartphone, or tablet?  If it is a computer, is it a desktop, laptop, or netbook?

Studies consistently show that chronic back and shoulder pain is on the increase.  The culprit is likely the increased use of technology.  Specifically, it is the increasingly mobile technology that is causing the problem.  Poor posture pulls your body out of its correct alignment.  Even five, ten years ago, posture was better and related chronic pain was less common.  This is because as America tranwsitions to more mobile solutions like laptops, netbooks, and tablets, we crane our necks further and further.  Desktops, while not perfect, at least put the screen closer to eye-level, reducing neck strain.

This is not to say that one shouldn’t use these technologies;  the trick is to use the with awareness.  Pay attention to your posture.  Make a point of getting up and walking around every hour or so.  Physical activities and stretching can also help.

If all else fails, try a more ergonomically correct office arrangement – a better chair, better keyboard, a mouse that fits better, or maybe a monitor stand/riser to bring the screen up to eye level.

Where the tablet falls flat

Today I stumbled across an interesting
article
about iPads, which I rather agreed with. These are fun little toys,
and work great for casual surfing on the go. You can even check your email, if
you use a compatible account.

There are downsides aplenty, of course. The most discussed
short-fallings are things like lack of Flash support, or sheer adaptability.
Flash is necessary to many web applications like video. iPads come with iOS and
are strictly regulated, as far as things like compatibility with third-party
applications, programs, and software. To make an iPad (or even iPhone) do many
of the things Android tablets do, users must “jailbreak
them.

Leaving all the software short-comings aside, the obvious failing
of an iPad — or any tablet, for that matter — is the lack of physical
controls.

Like many users, I have been impressed with the predictive text
software on an iPad. This makes it significantly easier to use. However,
sometimes an otherwise innocuous typo, caused by the smoothness of the screen
and less-than-Olympic level accuracy, is auto-corrected into something
completely ridiculous. Oft-times, it is also difficult to navigate on a tablet
due to some combination of the webpage or app you are looking at and the way
the gestures are intended to work.

Although I am easily classified into the “digital
generation” and grew up with technology, I also have to put myself in the
“old-fashioned” camp that longs for a tactile keyboard for anything
other than “casual” surfing.

 

Assistive Technology

Typing can be the ideal solution for those with learning or motor impairments that prevent them from easily expressing themselves with pen (or pencil) and paper, for school work, correspondence, or any one of a number of needs. The problem is that standard keyboards are boring, hard to read, and feature small keys.

Our large-key keyboards feature large print, high visibility, and 1” keys. This makes typing significantly easier for those with sight or dexterity limitations. The VisionBoards, for instance, comes in three color arrangements: white on black, black on white, and a special black on yellow color scheme that has proven very useful for individuals with macular degeneration. We also offer large-key keyboards for kids with bight, fun, color-coded keys to help kids locate letters and stay interested. All of our large-key keyboards eliminate unnecessary and confusing hot keys and are available with or without F-keys.

We also offer a great key-guard made to fit snugly over our large-key keyboards. This is a metal guard that prevents a user from accidentally pushing wrong or multiple buttons. The guard can also aid in use by individuals pushing the keys with a tool.

Our small mice are also a wonderful solution for special needs or dexterity impaired users. Many find the smaller size of a Chester Mouse, TinyMouse, or LittleMouse easier to grip and manipulate. The Chester is a one-button mouse, for added ease of use.

Chester Creek is working on a great new product called TextSpeak, designed to help vocally impaired individuals communicate.  Look for more on this later in the week.

Top Five Words of 2010

Continuing our countdown of Merrian-Websters top words of the year, we start off with number five.

5. Bigot. M-W defines bigot as “A person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.”

Bigot earned its place on this list when Rick Sanchez, formerly a CNN anchor accused comedian Jon Stewart of being “a bigot,” and implied that everyone running CNN was Jewish.

Even the greatest bigot in the world is forced to admit that the radical coloring on some of Chester Creek’s products is rather attractive.

4. Landing in the top four is socialism: “Any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.”

The term popped up surrounding a good number of news stories throughout the year, particularly stories about the federal bailouts and the health-care legislation.

Chester Creek does not endorse socialism; FunKeyBoards and Tiny Mice for everyone! But you’ll have to buy your own.

3. The second runner up for the year is moratorium. I’m sure most of you in the US immediately think of the moratorium President Obama placed on off-shore oil drilling after the Gulf spill, and that is exactly why it made the list. A moratorium is “a legally authorized period of delay,” or “a suspension of an activity.”

There are no moratoriums on production at Chester Creek this season. We’re working as hard as always to bring you our great products, in great time, and with great customer service!

2. Pragmatic made it almost to the top of the list. M-W defines pragmatic as “relating to matters of fact or practical affairs often to the exclusion of intellectual or artistic matters : practical as opposed to idealistic.”

After the mid-term elections in November, politicians across the country began to talk about more pragmatic solutions to the nation’s problems, in response to evidence that that voters were unhappy with the way things had been done lately.

Pragmatism need not prevent you from getting a fun new keyboard for yourself or a loved one any time soon. Our keyboards and mice are fun and practical, with large-print, colorful keys, and sturdy construction all year round.

1. And the number one word of the last year?

“Austerity”

When:
Lookups on Merriam-Webster began spiking around May 1, 2010.
Why:
Austerity figured prominently in news coverage of the economic panic and protests triggered by the debt crisis in Greece.
For example, as the New York Times reported,
“The Greek Parliament passed a package of tough austerity measures on Thursday, trying to stave off economic collapse and help prevent debt contagion from spreading.” (Dan Bilefsky, May 5, 2010)
The definition for this sense of austerity says it all: “enforced or extreme economy.”
The word’s origins are – coincidentally – Greek; austerity comes from austēros, meaning “harsh” or “severe.”

-Merriam-Webster

Even austerity in your budget need not preclude purchase. Chester Creek is offering 15% off our FunKeyBundle for the holiday season – plus free shipping!

Words of the Year & Shameless CCT Plugs (It is our blog, after all.)

As the end of the year draws nearer, Merriam-Webster has compiled a list of the top words of 2010.

10. At the bottom of this list is furtive. M-W defines this as
“done by stealth : surreptitious.”

It makes the list because of the failed Times Square bombing in May. The bomber was described as looking furtively around. Used in a sentence:

No need for furtive, Christmas Eve wrapping – Chester Creek now offers gift wrapping!

9. Coming in at number nine is dissident, meaning, “disagreeing especially with an established religious or political system, organization, or belief; non-conformist.”

It makes the list due to the Novel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, who is often described as China’s best known dissenter.

Feeling a need to break the conformity of your office space? Try a fun and funky keyboard from Chester Creek. They’re not just for kids anymore. (Our own Tasha uses a FunKeyBoard at her desk)

8. Eighth on the list is ebullient, “having or showing liveliness and enthusiasm.”

This word was used by many journalists to describe the atmosphere of joy surrounding the rescue of the Chilean miners. Used in a sentence,

Looking forwards to an ebullient Christmas morning? Everyone will love a Chester Creek keyboard or mouse!

7. Ringing in at seven is shellacking,
“a decisive defeat : drubbing.”

President Obama said

Now, I’m not recommending for every future president that they take a shellacking like I did last night. I’m sure there are easier ways to learn these lessons

of the 2010 elections.

While that is already a good example of use in a sentence, I’ll go ahead and throw in my own:

No need for your checkbook to take a shellacking this holiday season. Save money on our FunKey Bundle Special!

6. Sixth on the list is doppleganger. M-W defines doppleganger as, “someone who looks like someone else,” or, to put it simply, a person’s “double.”

Now, I’ll admit it. I don’t have a clever (haha) little plug for Chester Creek using the word doppleganger. So, here goes a completely unrelated example:

You look so much like Ally Sheedy from the Breakfast Club, you could be her doppleganger!

(I actually hear this all the time.)

Check back later in the week for the Top Five Words of the Year.

Tiny Mouse

Tiny Mouse
Parents or teachers who are thinking about introducing children to a computer at an early age should consider investing in a kid’s mouse. A children’s mouse works just like a regular mouse, but it is smaller and much easier to use for little hands or individuals with dexterity problems. A kid’s mouse may also have fewer buttons. Chester Creek’s Tiny Mouse is a standard three button mouse, only in miniature. It is great for kids, because the size makes it something that they can easily grip. This also facilitates clicking and dragging because the buttons are in easier reach, reducing the frustration kids can feel, even with the myriad age-appropriate educational games offered. This can also benefit those with dexterity or learning impairment.
Additionally, our kid’s mice use optical tracking technology. This is opposed to the ball from older models that often got dirty and lost function. Our mice require no software to install, either, and the ease of plug and play means that you can switch mice with users, keeping a standard mouse for adult users and fun, kid’s mouse for children. This is perfect for use at home, in school, or at the daycare. Teachers have found Chester Creek’s line up of kid’s mice to be more durable than standard mice, and kids will love learning with a moues made just for them.

“Maybe next week…”

“We’ll have to work on that. Sometime soon. Maybe next week.”

This morning we’re in a bit of a rush to get things done before heading out. We’ll be at the Holiday Center in Duluth all week, from 11-2. Come visit us, and check out the great deals. We’ve got 15% off our FunKeyBundle, and we’re picking up the sales tax on all of our items for in-person sales. This week only!

G’Day!

Watch out Australia; Here we come! Chester Creeks’ full line of products is now available to our pals in the land down under. Check out Spectronics to order products in Australia and New Zealand.

Can you tell how excited we are about this?

Ho-Ho-Hurry

Chester Creek is offering a great Holiday deal starting this Monday - 15%  off and free shipping on the FunkeyBoard and FunMouse bundle, thr
– Chester Creek is offering a great Holiday deal starting this Monday – 15% off and free shipping on the FunkeyBoard and FunMouse bundle, through January 1st.