Friday, October 14, 2011

My Assistive Technology for my painful hands

Dragon annoys  me sometimes, so I usually end up using other "assistive technology" devices. The mouse is the worst for me. I have used two different foot mouses (feet mice?? :). The first one had two large click pedals. The pedals were close together and stiff, so it was hard to use.

Foot Mouse

Then I bought a large slipper type foot mouse, like a giant mouse for the foot, with a large mouse pad, and a separate piece for clicking the buttons. I really like this one, but it doesn't work well with  my new computer. Here is the one I like. I bought it on ebay for much cheaper than the list price:

Head Mouse

I started using all these about 5 years ago. I've since gotten better, but want to start using them again.

                                                               Here is the first model I used.

That was a joke. We made a fake one to spoof my husband's boss. He almost bought it!!

In addition to the foot mouse, I use a head mouse. I have the Smartnav 3. It was expensive, so I asked for it for Christmas.
You can probably buy the 3 on ebay for way cheaper now.

Here is the Smartnav 4 head mouse, just to see how it's used.
The hat has a reflective strip at the front, you can also stick extra strips onto anything else, like your forehead, earlobe, etc.

Initially I used the head mouse, with a voice  software. Dragon was too slow. Then I used just the voice clicking part. It makes a giant grid with numbers then you say "click 36" to click on that area.

I will say that even with all this, it was slow and frustrating. I usually ended up using my mouse and keyboard.

Trackball Mouse

So, now that I'm better, I limit my typing and computer use to at most 2 hours per day. Best is 1 hour. I use a special mouse that has a giant ball in the middle. A friend lent it to me.

I know this is a lot of information, I just wanted to throw out the other options to make it mouse free.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Flexibility and more

Guest post from: Constance Rodgers

It’s a lot of fun having the flexibility of owning your own business but it’s also a whole heck of a lot of work. I don’t know if I just had unrealistic expectations or what but to be honest, I didn’t realize my life was going to be so taken over by my commitment to this store. I’ve been in the business now for about 4 years and though you might think things would be easier by now there are still challenges that come up every week that there’s really no way to prepare for. For example, I did a lot of research about technology when I opened the place – I hired a great IT guy and went to smallbusiness xo and really just looked into all the details. I was good to go! But that sure didn’t prepare me for when the city cut my power line last month and I didn’t have power for four whole days. Things like that just can’t be anticipated and you’ve got to be flexible enough to get past them when they happen, you know?