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Jan. -About One Hand Typing and Keyboarding Monthly e-Newsletter


In This Issue:

1) Keyboards! One hand typing and one handed keyboards: two separate choices.

2) Vital tips on positioning the equipment for one hand typing

3) Internet humor

4) Did you know ... ? The Master's Hand


1) KEYBOARDS: One hand typing and one handed keyboards: two separate choices.


As always, we suggest you try to learn to use the <http://www.aboutonehandtyping.com/introduction.html> ONE HAND QWERTY method on the standard keyboard (least hassle, totally mainstream, my personal choice if one hand has close to full use.

Many are afraid to use the standard keyboard, because their one good hand must cover the distance meant to be covered by two hands. Consider a <http://www.aboutonehandtyping.com/littlefingers.html>small child's size keyboard. Unfortunately, the lap top keyboard, which is nicely smaller, does not lend itself to long hours for the one hand typist (see more in the next section.)


However, if you cannot, or will not use the normal keyboard, or a <http://www.aboutonehandtyping.com/littlefingers.html>small child's size keyboard, then there are three other options much in use:

Two are <http://www.aboutonehandtyping.com/bat.html>one hand keyboards,

the other is a keyboard layout change to <http://www.aboutonehandtyping.com/bat.html#anchor219179>Half QWERTY.

Both are more expensive, but viable options.




The strain is greater to the one hand typist. How you set up the equipment is vital! Read the information below carefully.


Lighting: Soft and Bright

Make sure the area is well lighted, so you can read the manual, and other materials you practice on. Do not have a light or window behind you that will glare on your screen. Put it overhead, or to the side. If it is in front of you, it must be high, like a pole, or ceiling lamp, so the glare is not in your direct vision range.


Keyboard: Offset It To The Side Of Your Body!

If you were using two-hands, the keyboard would center straight out from your belly button - the middle of your body. The keyboard for a one-handed typist is offset to the side, depending on which hand the typist uses. If you use the right hand, it offsets to the right. If you use the left hand, it will offset to the left.

You center 'HOMEBASE,' on the keyboard, (HOMEBASE is the four keys in the very center of all the letters - F G H J) just about straight out from your hip.

To find just the right place for your keyboard, sit at your work area, and allow your arms to hang down. Keeping your elbow pressed lightly at your side, take your typing arm and lift just the lower arm up naturally. Keep the elbow at your waist. Your arm should not be reaching forward, left, or right. Ideally, it is also not reaching upwards, but coming straight out. 

Position the keyboard so the F G H J keys on the keyboard are directly under your hand.

NOTE! You cannot use those keyboards that split the keyboard in two halves. A child size keyboard is a great tool



Drop-down racks for the keyboard are terrific! I could not get through a full day at work without one. Do get one if you can. However, many of these desks with keyboard racks assume you only want space for a normal keyboard centered in front of your body. They have room for your legs only just below the drop-drown rack. A one-hand typist's body must be off set to the keyboard. The rack must allow us to offset our bodies to the side of the keyboard, or the keyboard needs to be off set to the side of us.


Right-Handed Typists and Drop-Down Keyboard Racks

A right-handed typist slides the keyboard to off set to right side our bodies. Because of the calculator on the side of MOST keyboards, you need a rack long enough to allow it slide over quite a bit.


Three Solutions for the right-handed keyboarder:

1) See if the desk allows you to move the screen and your chair over to the left of the rack,

2) My keyboard hangs over the right side of my rack by about 8 inches! On my computer, I have added two additional holders, which sits on top of my drop-down keyboard rack. These additional holders were meant to lift the front of the keyboard, and support the typist's wrists. They are padded, and made of plastic. In addition to lifting the front of my keyboard, they support the keyboard, and allow me to slide over the edge of the rack. Before you buy a desk, experiment with sliding the keyboard.

3) Buy a keyboard with the "adding machine" keys on the left, rather than the right. These are more expensive. See the resources page at http://www.aboutonehandtyping.com  


Tilt The Keyboard

You will most likely need to angle your keyboard up, so the back of it is lower than the front. Typists put a great deal of strain on their hands. I think one-hand keyboarders put even more on their hand, as it is doing the job of two. Titling the keyboard allows the hand and wrist to be in a more natural position. 


There are all kinds of devices on the market now that lift the front of the keyboard. I actually use two to suit my body's comfort. Some are made of material, some of plastic. Most have a soft padding on which you rest the lower part of your palm. These go a long way to help you type all day with enjoyment.


Mouse: Adapt To Your Circumstance

After you learn the One-Hand typing system, you will then have a great need for the mouse. At that point, you will need to adapt.

Place the mouse on the same side of the keyboard as the hand to whom you plan to assign the job of Mouse Master!


Less-able Hand As Mouse Master

If you have any use of your less-able hand, then give it the job of Mouse Master. This will balance the workload of your body, and help keep you sitting up straight. Place the mouse directly in front of the arm you use as Mouse Master. 


One-Hand Only for the Keyboard and Mouse

If you only have the use of one-hand, experiment with the mouse. Consider placing it between the keyboard, and the screen. Or, you might find a small pillow, with a very thin, but wide book, set into your lap will be a good spot of the mouse. If you hope to work for someone else, always try to make the mainstream system work for you first.

Strictly one-handed typists will need to use the mouse as little as possible. Your one good hand is going to be very busy typing other stuff! So, whenever possible, use keyboard commands instead of the mouse. There are keyboard commands for almost everything you need to do on a computer. A keyboard command is a series of keys you push to make stuff happen. 

Example: to QUIT a program on your computer, you can:

Use the mouse to go the FILE menu, and select QUIT, or with one-hand,

Hold down the CONTROL KEY on a PC or the APPLE KEY on a MAC. While holding the CONTROL KEY with one finger, you hold down the Q key.

Keyboard commands are faster for any typist ­ with one, two or a zillion hands - than the mouse. But they are also much easier for the strictly one-handed typist.

In today's Internet dependent world, you must use a mouse to navigate the on the Web. You click on the hyperlinks to move from one page to another. Your more-able hand will be able to handle this very well, as it won't be busy typing very much while you are surfing the Web. 

If, after diligent practice, making the mouse work for you is just too difficult, there are also many mouse foot pedals. Search the internet, or try http://www.aboutonehandtyping.com


What Type Of Mouse?

It took me years to figure out which mouse was best for me. Remember that I am using my less-able hand as my Mouse Master. For 8 years I used a standard mouse. But, I often spend 10 - 14 hours a day at my keyboard, doing serious typing on my books. One day, my less-able hand just went into a revolt. I needed to change.

There are several types of mice. Go to a large computer store, and see which one feels best with your less-able hand. I find a roller ball works well for me. But you will need to play with several to see which will fit you best.


Screen: Directly In Front Of You

Put the screen 2 to 3 feet in front of you. Place it where you will not need to turn your body or head to see the screen. It should be at eye level, so you don't need to look down, nor, up - just naturally straight ahead. You can raise the screen by placing it on one of the many little shelves, or racks, built for this purpose. Those great big old dictionaries and encyclopaedia you used to use, before you became a keyboard wizard, will lift the screen nicely too. But do consider getting a shelf to lift the screen up. This will give you more desk space in your work area.

If, after you practice a few minutes, you find yourself leaning forward to see the screen, you need to adjust something. Either move your chair forward, or pull the screen towards you. You should not be straining your body or eyes when you type. I have seen some computer desks that only allow the screen to be set off to the side of the body. Avoid these! The screen must be exactly in front of your head.


One-Hand Typing Manual: Try For Directly In Front Of You

With A Computer: 

Place the manual in front of you. Ideally, it would be directly in front of you, so you do not need to turn your head. If your screen is up high enough, you can place the manual just below it.


With A Typewriter:

If you are using a typewriter, the manual and stand sit just to the side of the typewriter. If the typewriter is centered off the right side of your body, the manual and stand will go to the left, so it is almost straight in front of you.


Paper Holder Or Stand

You need something to hold the manual up almost straight. Do not let it lie flat your desk! You cannot sit up properly if you are craning over your desk. If you cannot afford one of those dandy stands, made for holding papers, then find something you can prop up the manual up against. Always prop up whatever you are reading from, so it is almost perpendicular to your desk.



**** COMPUTER HUMOR You know you are an Internet Junkie when ...


You know you are addicted to the Internet when...

* You actually wore a blue ribbon to protest the Communications Decency Act.

* You kiss your girlfriend's home page.

* Your bookmark takes 15 minutes to scroll from top to bottom.

* Your eyeglasses have a web site burned in on them.

* You find yourself brainstorming for new subjects to search.

* You refuse to go to a vacation spot with no electricity and no phone lines.

* You finally do take that vacation, but only after buying a cellular modem and a laptop.

* You spend half of the plane trip with your laptop on your lap...and your child in the overhead compartment.

* All your daydreaming is preoccupied with getting a faster connection to the net: 28.8...ISDN...cable modem...T1...T3.

* And even your night dreams are in HTML.

* You find yourself typing "com" after every period when usingaword processor.com




When I was in the sixth grade I had a fantastic teacher - Mr. Gomm. I learned and remember more insights for life from him, than any other teacher: "Better an hour to early, than a minute to late!"

One day he read us a poem, "The Touch of the Master's Hand." Things about hands caught my attention in those days, as I had been in an accident a few months before and lost most of my left hand. The message stayed in my heart.

Thirty years later, I was working on a typing manual for kids with one hand, and by accident, I came across that poem again. I wondered who the author was. When I found her little told story, it occurred to me there are few accidents. Not to my hand, nor in this poem coming into my life again just at this time. I used it, and the story in my typing manual.

Enjoy :)


Exercise: Practice typing this poem, "Touch of the Master's Hand," by Myra Welsh, several times.


T'was battered and scarred, and the auctioneer

Thought it scarcely worth his while

To waste much time on the old violin,

But held it up with a smile.


"What am I bidden, good folks," he cried,

"Who'll start the bidding for me?"

"A dollar, a dollar," then, two! Only two?

"Two dollars, and who'll make it three?


"Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;

Going for three . . . "But no,

From the room, far back, a grey haired man

Came forward and picked up the bow;


Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,

And tightening the loose strings,

He played a melody pure and sweet

As a caroling angel sings.


The music ceased, and the auctioneer,

With a voice that was quiet and low,

Said: "What am I bid for the old violin?"

And he held it up with the bow.


"A thousand dollars, and who'll make it two?

Two thousand! And who'll make it three?

Three thousand, once; three thousand, twice;

And going and gone," said he.


The people cheered, but some of them cried,

"We do not quite understand

What changed its worth?" Swift came the reply:

"The touch of a master's hand."


And many a man with life out of tune,

And battered and scarred with sin,

Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,

Much like the old violin.


A "mess of potage," a glass of wine;

A game , and he travels on.

He is "going" once, and "going" twice,

He's "going" and almost "gone."


But the Master comes and the foolish crowd

Never can quite understand

The worth of a soul and the change that's wrought

By the touch of the Master's hand.


Meet Myra Brooks Welch

Myra Brooks Welch was called "The poet with the singing soul." Hers was a very musical family. As a young woman, Myra's special love was playing the organ.

In 1921, she heard a speaker address a group of students. She said became filled with light, and "Touch of the Master's Hand wrote itself in 30 minutes!" She sent it anonymously to her church news bulletin. She felt it was a gift from God, and didn't need her name on it. It's popularity spread like magic. Finally, several years later, the poem was read at a religious international convention - "author unknown." A young man stood up and said, "I know the author, and it's time the world did too. It was written by my mother, Myra Welch."    

Then her name, as well her other beautiful works of poetry became known worldwide. All of her poetry told of the rejoicing she had in God's love.

What the world did not see, was the woman who created these masterpieces: Myra in her wheelchair, battered and scarred from severe arthritis, which had taken away her ability to make music. Instead, her musical soul spoke through her poetry. 

She took one pencil in each of her badly deformed hands. Using the eraser end, she would slowly type the words, the joy of them outweighing the pain of her efforts. Her words, a joyous expression of the wonders of life, as seen by a singing soul, touched by the Master's Hand.

(c) 2000, Lilly Walters, from the "One Hand Typing and Keyboarding Manual:
With Personal Motivational Messages From Others Who Have Overcome!" Phone 909-398-1228


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