music, opinion and technology

it’s all about control…

with 2 comments

… and I ain’t got much of it. It’s Friday evening, and I’m testing my ability to write and post a full blog entry without using the keyboard at all.

To do the bulk of the writing, I’m using a program called Dasher, which lets you select characters and words by controlling a cursor. When you select a character, that affects the following selections, which seem to unfold in an organic manner. It’s context sensitive, and allows me to enter text very quickly with a minimum of practice. For editing I have an on-screen virtual keyboard, and the rest is done in Firefox.

Sounds like fun, and it’s not the first time I’ve tried this, but today it’s a little more serious. Sometime on Monday this week, my body decided to remind me that I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis just over a year ago, and to disabuse me of the notion that my neurologist might have read the MRI films incorrectly. I was at work on Tuesday, thinking I might have caught the Flu on the plane from Denver, but when I tried to sign a form, and could barely hold the pen, my situation needed a rethink.

The main symptoms are fatigue and some loss of fine motor control, which go together. I worked from home today, and did a fair amount of typing, but by the end of the day it was a struggle to lift my hands to type, and my fingers would not hit keys on demand.

It’s a good thing I’ve made a few preparations, I suppose. I belong to a virtual team at work, with the ability to get work done from remote locations, and the main obstacles to working from home on a regular basis are more procedural than technical, with regulations about ergonomics getting in the way.

So I will still have to go in to the office, but not for a few days yet. One particularly nasty MS symptom hit me on Thursday night; a massive cramp has has left me with a torn calf muscle that has me hobbling around like an extra from a low budget Dickens production. Just to add injury to insult, you know.

Now my wrist is getting sore, and I’ve done enough whining for one day. If it wasn’t for the physical problems I would be fine, actually, and I know I’ll be better in a few days. I will NOT start using txtspk, with Dasher making it easier to use good English than bad. I just need to take it easy for a bit.


Written by brian t

March 23, 2007 at 11:34 pm

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Hi, I worked on Dasher a few years ago, glad to hear it’s being useful for you.

    Just a note to say that you might look at getting a headmouse — you put a little infra-red dot on your head and have a camera next to your computer that tracks it, and then your head movements directly control the mouse. They’re pretty cheap,


    April 5, 2007 at 2:37 pm

  2. […] the MS totally under control; if I do, it might come back and bite me on the bum, just as it did 18 months ago, after I returned from […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: