Saturday, September 10, 2005

Lefties Unite

I broke my cell phone, dropped it and no more LCD screen. You cannot imagine how hard it is to make a call when you cannot see the screen (no more directory).

So, I went out and upgraded to a Palm Treo 650. Very nice, big screen, has everything I want - except the scroll bar is on the right hand of the screen.

Well, guess what, if you are left handed - where do you think your hand ends up?

Yes, that would be right over the entire screen. Makes scrolling somewhat difficult as you have to wrap your arm/wrist/hand around the entire device to do it. Or become right handed, which isn't going to happen.

Tried "lefty", a palm preference. Too bad not a single application I actually use obeys it.

Tried Scrollbar5, it can "force" the scrollbar in some applications (but not blazer the web browser which is sort of where I need it most).  I tried Xiino as a web browser and the scrollbar can be forced - right on top of the first 2 or 3 characters of each line!


How hard would it be (I'm sure there are some left handed developers out there) to have the Palm OS let us pick where the scroll bar is?

Don't even get me started on power tools (I think there are fewer lefties than righties because us left handed people die in horrible power tool related accidents). Take a look at your circular saw sometime (I know, you can get left handed ones - sometimes).

Now, I'm just sort of dragging my thumb up and down the right hand side which seems to work most of the time (until you hit a button, a link, whatever).



Blogger Doug Porter said....

Reminds me of the first time I tried to use one of the BIC erasable blue ink pens. I thought this is brilliant I can write and write and erase any mistakes. Until I looked and saw that what I had written no longer resembled words, but a blue blur and the side of my hand was covered in blue ink. The joys of being a lefty.

Sat Sep 10, 01:30:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Yah, remember writing with pencils too -- graphite all up and down the side of your hand, your shirt...

Sat Sep 10, 01:42:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Howard J. Rogers said....

Didn't your mothers tie your left hand behind your back, weigh it down with small conrete blocks, and threaten you with God's own punishment if you ever dared write with it??

No? Tch! What is the world coming to?!

Anyway, it's a well-known fact that lefties are only good for mathematics and music, so what you two are doing in the RDBMS business, Lord only knows.

Sat Sep 10, 05:34:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

My pet peeves were trying to write using those spiral wire notebooks and those desks in college that had the righty only armrests. You basically had to lean across the desk to write things down.


Sat Sep 10, 06:16:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Didn't your mothers tie

sorry, I only had one mother ;)

RDBMS and mathematics go hand in hand, at least the abstract math I was taught. I did not see many numbers after year two of college.

It was all about... proofs ;)

Sat Sep 10, 08:10:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Joel Garry said....

When all else fails, buy the company.

Mon Sep 12, 09:27:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Patty C. said....

I think being left-handed pushed me towards the computer industry - no more ink smears and left-ringed binders to worry about with a keyboard! There are a lot of us in this line of work, aren't there?

Mon Sep 12, 09:29:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Krous said....

hah! all the smartest people are left handed :P

Mon Sep 12, 10:41:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Gareth said....

Cool! Didn't realise you were a fellow lefty Tom. A site that may be worth a quick look is Anything Lefthanded. It's a British based site but has some interesting information and even ships to the US. By the way I'm not an employee of theirs!



Tue Sep 13, 12:55:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Andrew East said....

When I read the title, I thought the article was going to about Tom Kyte's political view of the world and how it should be.

Tue Sep 13, 08:20:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Tom Kyte's political view of the world

That'll never happen outside of a circle of people I know sitting around a table ;)

Tue Sep 13, 08:36:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Bob Maggio said....

I had some issues with tendons in my hand with years of right mousing. I switched to left handed mousing, spend a week or 2 practicing and now it's as natural as as right. I think we are more conditioned to work right or left handed than we are born to. It may initially feel better one way, but a little practice removes much of that.

Wed Sep 14, 11:36:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Vinod Mahadik said....

You can try the Treo Butler. Converts the volume buttons on the left side of Treo to scroll buttons, amongst other things.

Wed Sep 14, 02:23:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

hmm, no one has mentioned scissors yet....

Thu Sep 29, 11:14:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Arielle said....

I'm in elementry school and even in hebrew (you write from right to left) my hand somehow ruins my writing in pen and my hand gets cut by spiral ring notebooks. Ughhhhhhhhhhhh. I hate being lefty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!HeeHee.

Thu Nov 17, 08:26:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Arielle said....

and oh yeah. I have 10 siscers at home and I can't use any of them/

Thu Nov 17, 08:27:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I could not help but laugh and reflect back on my many firsts as a lefty - the blue erasable BIC pen, the spriral notebooks, the righthanded desks, my mother beating me because I favored my left hand...ahhh, such fond memories. Now that I have children (oldest approaching 5), I look for signs of lefthandidness but alas all of my offspring (to date) have been ordinary righhanders. They will never experience the shame of buying a lefthanded spriral notebook, writing upside down to avoid smearing of pencils, etc., etc.

Wed Dec 28, 08:13:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

In addition to the beatings and the soreness of having your hand on top of a spriral, I forgot to include righthanded scissors! Yet another item that has caused countless bad cuts and/or sore hands. First off, when using a righthanded pair - the lefthand is contorted in such a way that it causes mild discomfort; secondly, it either will not cut straight and/or smoothly. Lest we not forget the remedy: a lefthanded pair. Yet another lefthanded adaptation that can cause a young leftie to feel less than normal.

Wed Dec 28, 08:21:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Karen said....

Lefties can finally enjoy being smudge-free from pencils, pens and markers!

A lefthanded mom invented SmudgeGuard for her left-handed son and I have to say, it is a great product. I tried it myself for a great introductory price of 99 cents and it really works! I saw her in the local newspaper at:

Great product!

Sun Jan 21, 08:32:00 PM EST  


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