Lazy hands

January 11, 2023

My keyboarding skills have only gone downhill in the past year.

I want to say that it started when I got the Macbook air, but I was probably going downhill even before that.

Before The Slide, I mainly used my computers at my desk. I had my favourite mechanical keyboard of the moment along with a mouse connected to a hub making it easy and natural to switch whichever computer I was using at the moment to the same input devices.

I am always playing around with my desk setup, especially when multiple monitors are involved. Before the Air and with two monitors, I had landed on most often having the work laptop connected off to the side, so that the desk was always free for the same keyboard and mouse use as when I was working with my Mac mini.

Then the Air came along and messed everything up.

For one thing, it only supports one external monitor. For another, I work a lot with it away from the desk, meaning the keyboard gets a lot of use. When I set it down on the desk, it felt natural to center it, builtin display below the external one, and keep using the builtin trackpad and keyboard.

And of course, once that step has been taken, it feels very natural to use the work Macbook in the same configuration.

Boom, suddenly the mouse and keyboard are only for the increasingly secondary Mac mini, devices frequently pushed away to make space, rarely pulle forward to be used.


I feel sloppier with my keypresses than in a long time. I let my hands drift more, I make more mistakes, and I definitely look down more than I should.

What to do?

All of this could of course be alleviated with some deliberate practise.

But what do I want to practise? The Macbook keyboards? I realize that they are probably the correct and only sensible answer. But that is … that is … just not much fun. I miss my elegant little mechanical contraptions, the much more compact solutions, everything within easier reach. But as long as this current computing situation lasts, I will just not be using them that much.

Well, perhaps I can trick myself to make it feel nicer: I should make a habit of deliberate practise with whichever input devices I currently use.

Hey, that is pretty nice! That means I can put practise into my system, try to plan it into my day and things like that.

Perhaps I can generalize it more? What about input improvement, including exploring all kinds of more efficient ways of telling machines what to do? So five minutes running some typing training, or five minutes setting up some automation of something can both count.

I might be on to something. It definitely sounds much more fun than the thought of "just" getting better at touch-typing on Macbook keyboards …