Mouse vs Keyboard

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davetp425
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Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby davetp425 » Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:35 am UTC

I did a quick search and, shockingly, didn't find anything for this topic.

Keyboard vs Mouse

Are keyboard shortcuts faster than onscreen buttons? I thought the keyboard was faster (and we all know it's definitely way cooler) but I just read that Apple's research found that keyboard users only feel more productive, and actually mousing is usually faster.

http://www.asktog.com/TOI/toi06KeyboardVMouse1.html

Scroll down about a page, or just Ctrl-F "amnesia".

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Skythe » Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:44 am UTC

For computer handicapped people, usually using the mouse is a lot faster. I like using computer shortcuts. :]
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Vault » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:03 am UTC

I think what matters the most is being able to stick with one. If I have to keep switching between my keyboard and my mouse it's far less speedy than if I'm only using one or the other. I used to try to shun the mouse entirely though, but I found that it was only caused by exposure to the horrendous one button piece of crap that Apple used to try to pass off as a mouse. I've since bought a new mouse and I find it quite nice (with the exception that I don't seem to be able to bind running scripts to hitting buttons, but other than that it's great).

For anything typing related, I want the program to do everything from the keyboard. Since most programs require at least a little bit of typing, I think it's best if most programs have keyboard shortcuts for at least the most common actions.

A mouse I think gives programs an easier interface. I can usually guess what buttons and menu items do, but an entirely keyboard driven program is going to require reading to figure it out. The issue is that mice don't do as much as keyboards, and programs tend to accept even less mouse input than what the mouse is capable of giving which results in the mouse doing nothing more than providing a set of coordinates and a "something happened" to the computer.

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Phoenix112358 » Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:59 am UTC

I think what you do also makes a difference. When you're just cruising forums/facebook, the mouse seems like the better choice since you don't need to type anything (until you want to post/write something obviously) but while you're cruising you can use your other hand to eat food/hold a book open to glance back at, etc. While with a keyboard this is a bit clunkier.

Though I expect when doing programmer-ey things the keyboard will be the better choice.

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby OOPMan » Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:05 am UTC

davetp425 wrote:I did a quick search and, shockingly, didn't find anything for this topic.

Keyboard vs Mouse

Are keyboard shortcuts faster than onscreen buttons? I thought the keyboard was faster (and we all know it's definitely way cooler) but I just read that Apple's research found that keyboard users only feel more productive, and actually mousing is usually faster.

http://www.asktog.com/TOI/toi06KeyboardVMouse1.html

Scroll down about a page, or just Ctrl-F "amnesia".


I don't know how Apple did there tests, but I'm pretty sure there are some definite cases where the keyboard really is faster.
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Xanthir » Mon Nov 16, 2009 2:22 pm UTC

OOPMan wrote:I don't know how Apple did there tests, but I'm pretty sure there are some definite cases where the keyboard really is faster.

In that article they even list some. For example, the Ctrl+X,C,V combo is way faster when doing text editting than using the mouse to do the same, largely because you can use both hands at once - the left doing the keyboard and the right doing the mouse.

I find any key combo I can do entirely with my left hand is usually pretty darned fast as a result of this.
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Sonic » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:07 am UTC

Keyboard. As screen realstate increases, mouse gets slower. Get a nice mechanical keyboard, take some time to learn the keybindings and just watch the magic happen. Awesome WM, vi, vifm, and Firefox with Vimperator are my weapons of choice. Also, it hurts my hand a lot less. Switching back and forth does not really work, I tend to never use the mouse unless I'm doing something where it's actually needed like cropping a picture.

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby scarecrovv » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:23 am UTC

Sonic wrote:Keyboard. As screen realstate increases, mouse gets slower. Get a nice mechanical keyboard, take some time to learn the keybindings and just watch the magic happen. Awesome WM, vi, vifm, and Firefox with Vimperator are my weapons of choice. Also, it hurts my hand a lot less. Switching back and forth does not really work, I tend to never use the mouse unless I'm doing something where it's actually needed like cropping a picture.

I already used vi and vimperator, but I didn't know about vifm or Awesome WM! Thanks for the tip. I've got some reading to do.

Anyway, for text editing, the keyboard is absolutely faster, unless your keyboard shortcuts are set up in some retarded way (i.e. some way other than vi-like). For web browsing, the mouse is often faster, but there are occasions where the keyboard is faster, unless you don't use vimperator, in which case the keyboard is almost always slower.

EDIT: vifm is approved as awesome. I haven't tried Awesome WM yet, but I did discover AbiWord, which has an undocumented and only partially functional but still awesome vi-mode!

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby eliana » Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:37 am UTC

I prefer the keyboard. Everything one does with a mouse takes extra time, the time it takes for the mouse to accelerate, move, etc. Mice also vary more from system to system, crippling you with overshooting or undershooting the target on differently calibrated computers.
I also happen to be rather more ambitious with my GNU/Linux twerking than I am skilled, so I frequently crash Xorg and need to clean up after myself via command line. Infinitely easier if you know keyboard commands. Also, if you want to ssh onto another system and edit files, it's much easier to use keystrokes rather than the high latency ssh -X option. Even browsing the internet is more efficient without a mouse if you have vimperator.
Basically, by knowing how to use the keyboard and use it well, you turn from someone who can pop a CD into a CD player into someone who plays the piano. Your power to create what you want, the way you want it, consistently and efficiently, is vastly increased.
Mice are good for those who are learning how to use a computer, because it is always obvious what to do with a mouse interface. But the sooner you learn how to operate with keys, the sooner you will be free!

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Cynical Idealist » Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:56 am UTC

Keyboard shortcuts AND graphical menus should be available for everything. Keyboard shortcuts should be configurable.

Personally, for my current job (lots of data entry), I use the keyboard for everything the software lets me use it for. If I have to take a hand off the keyboard and look away from the paper to focus on the screen, that wastes time and effort (especially finding my place on the paper again). There are some functions I don't use often (maybe twice a day, and usually not at all) that I use the mouse for, but for common tasks the keyboard is better because I don't have to look away from the paper and then re-find column X of the hundred or so printed on a single, regular-sized sheet of paper.

For coursework...the mouse is either for selecting words to format, or for starting up Eclipse (the two don't generally overlap). It is also for scrolling, and for clicking links.
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Chavroux » Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:16 am UTC

Cynical Idealist wrote:If I have to take a hand off the keyboard and look away from the paper to focus on the screen, that wastes time and effort (especially finding my place on the paper again).


What he said. With the keyboard you can continue working while (pretending) to pay attention to somebody else :mrgreen:
... once you learn touchtyping of course, but that's another religious war.

With the mouse you'll always have to aim and that's what takes most of the time. And keypresses are stackable, you don't have to wait until your whole application is drawn on screen; just press your twenty seven keyboard shortcuts and go on drinking coffee while the program is loading.

On a sidenote, xbindkeys and xmodmap are two programs for X that makes working with the keyboard a whole lot more fun. With the first one you can bind commands to keyboard shortcuts, with the other one you can remap individual keys on the keyboard (like converting one of the windowskeys to a modifier key and adding cursorkeys on your home row with that modifier key).

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby lulzfish » Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:42 am UTC

If you're slouched in your chair at an odd angle and you only have one hand available, the mouse is way better. Typing one-handed is like 4 times slower, it's strange.

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Chavroux » Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:35 pm UTC

lulzfish wrote:If you're slouched in your chair at an odd angle and you only have one hand available, the mouse is way better. Typing one-handed is like 4 times slower, it's strange.

Same for watching por^H^H^Hyoutube.
Typing with one hand is really fun when your keycaps don't correspond the characters they type.

But yeah, the mouse is no excuse there because there are one-handed keyboard layouts for that :mrgreen: J/K
Maybe the ultimate solution is learning both left- and righthanded Dvorak and find some way to use both keybordlayouts at the same time (with two keyboards). Then you can mouse, scratch, drink and watch youtube without having to stop typing.
And as you can type every character with whichever hand you want, the potential increase in speed should be significant.

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Roĝer » Sat Nov 21, 2009 2:21 pm UTC

Then you would need a very convenient shortcut to switch between them. Isn't it better to just use a one-handed chorded keyboard? Anyway, I find that using key commands can be faster, but only if they are all configured to the same hand. And then it still takes some time to learn them.
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Xanthir » Sat Nov 21, 2009 3:30 pm UTC

The xkcd blag a while back treated the concept of one-handed keyboards just by mapping the opposite side's keys over like a mirror. A few of us actually put a system together for it on Windows using AutoHotKey, and it works pretty damned well. You really don't have to relearn *anything* - it seems that your muscle memory is just finger-specific, and it's trivial to translate it over to using the same finger on the other hand.

The only problems I had were with numbers, which still aren't as natural to type for me as letters.
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby M-x shell » Sun Nov 22, 2009 2:27 am UTC

scarecrovv wrote:Anyway, for text editing, the keyboard is absolutely faster, unless your keyboard shortcuts are set up in some retarded way (i.e. some way other than vi-like). For web browsing, the mouse is often faster, but there are occasions where the keyboard is faster, unless you don't use vimperator, in which case the keyboard is almost always slower.


I guess I'll proffer the obligatory defense (this is religious wars, after all) that emacs-like keyboard shortcuts work at least as well, as long as your ctrl keys aren't in retarded places (i.e. where they seem to be, by default, on all keyboards for some sadistic reason).

Anyway, I generally prefer the keyboard. There's no doubt that it has a faster data-transfer rate than the mouse in principle. The mouse only has an advantage where the actual location of something on the screen is important, which is less often than one might think, because most interfaces are now mouse-centric, circularly reinforcing the notion that various applications or commands are tied to a part of the screen when, in fact, that was merely an arbitrary choice meant to facilitate mousing. An item from a list can be specified more quickly by typing. However, the user has to know what sequence of keys to press. That's the real advantage of the mouse: because it is so limited, you can only do one thing with it. "Point and Click" is automatically standardized. It's understandable why it's so thoroughly taken over, especially among casual users.

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby phillipsjk » Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:31 am UTC

Keyboards.

Historically, I have found keyboards more reliable, but keyboards are getting crappier and mice are getting better. Mice are only better when you are moving in "3d" (joystick can be better for 3d) or "2D" space (such as a gui or video game). For many tasks, the one-dimensional keyboard is better.

Cynical Idealist wrote:Keyboard shortcuts AND graphical menus should be available for everything. Keyboard shortcuts should be configurable.

Agree, depending on your definition of "everything."

Cynical Idealist wrote:...the mouse is . . . for scrolling, and for clicking links.


Keyboards have had "Page Up" and "Page Down" keys for the longest time. "Home" and "End" keys are still faster for getting to the beginning/end of the line/paragraph/document.

Real web-browsers let you select or activate links using the arrow keys, but that is another "religious war."

Where I ran into the limits of the keyboard was playing quake. The game engine only activates macros on the edges of key-presses. This means I can't take advantage of "exponential" aiming the way some mouse drivers can. That is to say: I had a series of macros set up to double the sweep rate every time the key was pressed in the same direction, and halve it every time the direction is changed. However, if I just held the key down, my system of macros would not take effect at the repeat rate.

I said earlier mice are better at "2D" applications, but not why. Even the old serial mice had a resolution of about 200dpi. Using the arrow keys with a repeat rate of 20 times a second means it would take you 10 seconds to move that same cursor with the keyboard; assuming you want to keep the resolution. 5 pixel steps can reduce that to 2 seconds, but the positioning may not be accurate enough.

Anyway, I have not thought about this issue much at all :mrgreen:
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Chavroux » Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:34 am UTC

Don't know if GUI vs. CLI =~ Mouse vs Keyboard, but anyway...

For new users, who have never used a computer before, the command line interface is much easier to understand and operate than a GUI.

New users (and even famous engineers like Scotty in Star Trek IV) hardly know how to operate a mouse. The keyboard might be a rather complex device, but most new users seems to understand what most keys do without extra explenation.

I've done my share of tech-support, and there seem to be a lot of people that have trouble with the difference between clicking, double-clicking, right-clicking, drag and drop.

Some of my friends that still live with their parents have their computerscreens filled with post-its with instructions for their parents on how to do basic tasks on the computer.
post-it note wrote:Talk to uncle bob in Germany:
- 2 X click left on image that looks like two green people
- 1 X click left on field next to password
- type [whatever]
- 1 X click left on 'Logon'
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While it would be much easier for those people to just type "msn" and hit enter.

... and that's why the keyboard is better for everyone :mrgreen:
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby spupy » Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:18 pm UTC

davetp425 wrote:http://www.asktog.com/TOI/toi06KeyboardVMouse1.html

Scroll down about a page, or just Ctrl-F "amnesia".


Don't you mean Edit->Find? :)

For me, it seems, using the keyboard fails when it comes to information that has very specific presentation - web sites. I use vimperator for firefox, but I still find the mouse easier. Keyboard shortcuts rule for laptops (at least for my tiny touchpad).
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Crius » Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:03 pm UTC

the article wrote:Originally published in the AppleDirect, August, 1989


At that point computers were switching from a keyboard-only setup to a keyboard-mouse setup, so people hadn't yet taken advantage of the mouse's strengths. We're now at pretty much the opposite state, where people overly rely on the mouse.

The article makes a point about "high-level cognitive functions" - yes, it does take longer when you need to think about what you're doing, though that applies both ways. Consistent keyboard shortcuts go a long ways in improving productivity, while options buried in menus will pretty much always require "high-level cognitive functions".

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Cynical Idealist » Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:28 am UTC

phillipsjk wrote:
Cynical Idealist wrote:...the mouse is . . . for scrolling, and for clicking links.


Keyboards have had "Page Up" and "Page Down" keys for the longest time. "Home" and "End" keys are still faster for getting to the beginning/end of the line/paragraph/document.

Real web-browsers let you select or activate links using the arrow keys, but that is another "religious war."

The scroll wheel offers better resolution than page up and page down keys, and it is easier to control the speed of scrolling. Additionally, I find it annoying to re-find my place on the screen after hitting page up or page down. (Keyboards do have arrow keys, but it feels a bit clunkier to me than the scroll wheel).

As for selecting links with arrow keys...the mouse can be much, much faster when there are a lot of links to select from.
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Amnesiasoft » Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:00 am UTC

Cynical Idealist wrote:As for selecting links with arrow keys...the mouse can be much, much faster when there are a lot of links to select from.

I just Ctrl+F, type the link text, and hit enter.

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Roĝer » Wed Nov 25, 2009 8:05 pm UTC

In the Konqueror web browser you can adjust the settings to automatically ctrl+f if you just start typing. And all shortcuts are remappable, so that I now control all functions with my left hand only, leaving the right hand free for either the mouse of the keyboard.
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Chavroux » Thu Nov 26, 2009 8:19 am UTC

Roĝer wrote:In the Konqueror web browser you can adjust the settings to automatically ctrl+f if you just start typing.


Same in Firefox (Tools -> Options... -> Advanced -> General -> "Search for text when I start typing")

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby spupy » Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:42 am UTC

Chavroux wrote:
Roĝer wrote:In the Konqueror web browser you can adjust the settings to automatically ctrl+f if you just start typing.


Same in Firefox (Tools -> Options... -> Advanced -> General -> "Search for text when I start typing")


If you press ' and start typing, it will only search in links. Then you can press enter to activate the link.
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby phillipsjk » Fri Nov 27, 2009 2:29 pm UTC

spupy wrote:If you press ' and start typing, it will only search in links. Then you can press enter to activate the link.


My opinion of Firefox just went up 2 points.

Have to use the "Tab" key to get out of forms though.

+Does not work for buttons; just links.
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby hazyarc » Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:19 am UTC

I think that keyboard shortcuts are definitely faster than using the mouse. I have my Caps lock key mapped to Control so I can the keyboard shortcuts without moving my hands out of home row position. Web browsers like Vimperator, Conkeror, etc. have a key board shortcut to follow links quickly. I use XMonad as my WM so I can control my windows using my keyboard. The only time I ever need to use my mouse is graphics editing and playing games.

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby 00Davo » Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:44 am UTC

Xanthir wrote:I find any key combo I can do entirely with my left hand is usually pretty darned fast as a result of this.

True. That's why I use both mouse and keyboard when working in Inkscape. You can hit pretty much all the key combos easily, and still have full mouse control.

As for other things, I prefer a mouse-wheel for Web scrolling, but if one's not available I head for PgDn. Everything else is games. And games use WASD-mouse control, similarly to Inkscape. Except when I use my gamepad, and then I use neither mouse nor keyboard. :)
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby starfruitinc » Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:26 am UTC

The keyboard is superior to the mouse. What can you do with a mouse that you can't do with a keyboard. (Using Windows) you have mousekeys, therefore making the mouse redundant. And plus, I have a laptop, which has a "disable mouse" button (on the F-7). Can the mouse disable the keyboard? No. HA!
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Amnesiasoft » Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:27 am UTC

starfruitinc wrote:Can the mouse disable the keyboard? No. HA!

I can disable my keyboard.

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby spupy » Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:45 am UTC

00Davo wrote:Everything else is games. And games use WASD-mouse control, similarly to Inkscape. Except when I use my
gamepad, and then I use neither mouse nor keyboard. :)


Doh, that's why I play nethack! :D
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby boviex » Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:57 am UTC

davetp425 wrote:Scroll down about a page, or just Ctrl-F "amnesia".


I think you have your answer there.

Personally I like my keyboard and multitouch trackpad combo. When using other computers I often find myself accidentally trying to four-finger swipe the table. The mouse is still essential. I tend to switch randomly between the two.

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby achan1058 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:13 am UTC

I use both, depending on what I do. Sometimes at the same time as well, such as:
1-a-click-2-a-click-3-a-click-4-a-click-5-a-click-6-a-click-7-a-click-8-a-click-9-a-click-0-a-click

kekeke zergling rush. On a more note, if the mouse is sufficient for shortcuts, progamers won't be drilling on the keyboard. I guess the best way to fix the problem in the said article is this. Drill your keyboard shortcuts so that you would no longer need to think about it. On the other hand, in not using a mouse you are going to miss a lot of things. To start off, gaming. You know how hard it is to aim with the keyboard (or a PS3 controller, for that matter)?

Edit: I haven't realized that article is so old! I guess back in those days where you are remembering every shortcut there is, it makes perfect sense. Nowadays people only remember the few that they commonly use.

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Me321 » Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:37 pm UTC

I have learned to type with my left hand fairly well, and usualy only type with my right when I am writing more that a few words.
This is especialy helpfull for CAD programs.

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Mgreen » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:13 am UTC

I used to be a transcriptionist. Our bosses had found through productivity testing, that we produce more work when using the keyboard and keep our hands away from the mouse. They even had a piece of software tracking our mousing versus quick key use. Using quick key combinations like ALT+ J or CTRL+U or F6 function keys helped me increase my work volume exponentially. Trying to mouse around and click took more of my time. I also had suffered from carpal tunnel and can attest to the fact that my hands felt a lot better not using my mouse and using function keys to do more of the work for me.

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby hintss » Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:40 am UTC

KBs can be made into an accronym. also, they're faster. keyboards FTFW

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Dason » Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:08 am UTC

hintss wrote:KBs can be made into an accronym. also, they're faster. keyboards FTFW

Keyboards aren't faster at ALL things though. FPSs aren't so fun without a mouse and keyboards aren't faster for aiming.

I'm a keyboard person myself though. If there's an option between doing something on the keyboard and doing something with a mouse I'd say about 90% of the time I go with the keyboard. It also depends on which computer I'm at. If I'm on my mac I use keyboard shortcuts for everything. If I'm running linux then a lot of things are done on the keyboard but closing windows I usually do with the mouse because I'm probably going to open something else up and use a mouse to do that. Running Windows I don't really use that many shortcuts other than Ctrl-c Ctrl-v and Ctrl-a. I don't know why exactly. But then again I'm rarely ever on a windows machine these days.
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby hintss » Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:01 am UTC

Dason wrote:
hintss wrote:KBs can be made into an accronym. also, they're faster. keyboards FTFW

Keyboards aren't faster at ALL things though. FPSs aren't so fun without a mouse and keyboards aren't faster for aiming.

I'm a keyboard person myself though. If there's an option between doing something on the keyboard and doing something with a mouse I'd say about 90% of the time I go with the keyboard. It also depends on which computer I'm at. If I'm on my mac I use keyboard shortcuts for everything. If I'm running linux then a lot of things are done on the keyboard but closing windows I usually do with the mouse because I'm probably going to open something else up and use a mouse to do that. Running Windows I don't really use that many shortcuts other than Ctrl-c Ctrl-v and Ctrl-a. I don't know why exactly. But then again I'm rarely ever on a windows machine these days.

for Linux, why don't you Alt+F4 while reaching for the mouse?

edit: which reminds me, pretty much the only things I don't use keyboard for on my Aspire one Linux are: opening firefox after boot, navigate the fora (submit post with doubleTab+Enter), open files on google docs, google search results (the keyboard nav lab isn't working for me), and GIMP.

sje46
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby sje46 » Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:26 am UTC

GUI is more intuitive, CLI is more configurable. That is, any newbie can work a mouse, and as long as the application they're using is clear and unambiguous, they can get anything done. But learning the typed commands for the task is much more difficult....but if you master them, they can be much quicker. You can put permanent aliases in your .bashrc for those really long commands you do a lot. Then again, you can write shortcuts with application launches with a GUI, but it can be kinda frustrating when windows are in the way. So, ultimately, it just comes down to how experienced you are. And, of course, the task.

Pageupping/pagedowing is annoying as hell, though. There's probably someway to configure that so it's more usable, I'm sure. But that's my main beef with irssi.
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BruceAZ
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby BruceAZ » Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:16 am UTC

Although it takes some effort to memorize the various keyboard commands, I find them much faster than using a mouse once I have mastered them. This is especially true when I am typing or going through a list where the mouse pointer has to be moved each time the screen changes. I have nothing against a mouse, however, and use it for anything other that frequent or repetitive commands.


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