In my recent quest to find ways reduce hand strain, I came across an application called Workrave. It's a nifty little Windows application that forces you take periodic typing breaks. You can configure the time between breaks and the length of each break. At the specified interval, it pops up a window and suggests a rest. You can skip or postpone the breaks. It works quite well, and I've noticed that it will even pop up in front of a full-screen VMWare session. There's even a way to view your work statistics by day!

Despite its goodness, I have a love/hate relationship with this application. The break pop-ups sometimes annoy me. I'm jamming away, all flowing, and there's the window. Sure, I can ignore it, dismiss it, or postpone it - but all that takes me out of the flow a little bit. I'm sure that I will learn to work with it better over time (just like my freshly remapped Control key).

I may be noticing some difference in my hand fatigue. I'll have to keep working with Workrave and my other improvements to see if they're really going to make a long-term difference.

BTW, I typed through a micro-break and finally took a micro-break during the production of this article.

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