tl;dr? No prob! Just scroll to the bottom.

All of a sudden I couldn’t bring myself to type anymore. It had been creeping up on me for years. I was taking a break in the middle of an editing marathon but this time when I sat down again I could hardly bear the discomfort of turning my palms down to face my laptop’s typing surface. When I tried to move my fingers to tap it felt like my muscles were bundles of dry and mangled rope being dragged across the splintery hull of an ancient vessel: not pain in the traditional sense but an extreme discomfort so distracting I could no longer focus on the screen. Like the victim of some sort of cruel joke I stared down at my deceivingly normal-looking hands: are you guys trying to kill me?

In a bizarre turn of events my MacBook, once a gleaming icon of white-plastic productivity, had devolved into my tormentor. The keys had absorbed massive amounts of finger oil, their screen-printed characters fading a little more every day in a lurid testament to the time I spent hammering away at them. My Gchat status constantly read “carpal” to ward off would-be chatters; you wanna talk first-world problems, man, I had plenty. My neck and back were also conspiring against me, screaming out at me to quit doing whatever the hell it was I was doing at the time and just lay the hell down.

Since my disability now threatened my laptop-based livelihood I did what any American would do and decided to sink a little cash into treating it. The “prosumer” solutions like Microsoft’s undulating Natural Keyboard hadn’t really done much for me, and the next step up was getting into distinctly niche-y territory. When one gets pulled into these consumer electronics pigeonholes, there’s often little evidence to separate fact from expensive fiction, so I did a little layman science to make sure I was getting my money’s worth.