The One-Armed Programmer and His Frog

After our annual Christmas party this year, David Mitchell, one of our developers, slipped on some ice and broke his arm. He found out that he would have to have it in a sling for several weeks and wouldn’t be able to use it. Not wanting to try to write code with one arm and a standard keyboard, which would have been extremely inefficient, David did some research and found the Frog Pad.

Bob happily purchased the one-handed Frog Pad for David so he could continue coding at a much more reasonable speed. Though there’s a bit of a learning curve, after a bit of practice David got up to about 22 words per minute—not quite the advertised 40, but still far better than typing with one hand on a normal keyboard.

Here’s a little video that we put together a few weeks ago so you could see the one-armed coder at work. 

Thankfully David’s arm is now well enough to resume two-handed typing, so he’s made his way back to his normal keyboard. But the Frog Pad served him very well while his arm healed.

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9 Responses to “The One-Armed Programmer and His Frog”

  1. Thomas Black January 21, 2009 at 6:25 am #

    sweet! At first I thought he was laboring at a mere triple screen setup there. Then the camera pulls back and there’s a fourth! Yeewow!
    I need a bigger desk. :-)

  2. ARJWright January 21, 2009 at 6:44 am #

    And here I thought I was crazy enough to try this when I had two good arms. I’m about at the same speed typing, but do mine to my phone using the right-handed Bluetooth version.

  3. Clif McIrvin January 21, 2009 at 7:20 am #

    Interesting.
    Is this built around the Dvorak keypad?

  4. Kenny Golden January 21, 2009 at 8:30 am #

    Hey now that you guys are done playing with that Frogpad (I’ve never heard of it before) send it to a real one-armed programmer. I can peck out 35 words per minute one handed on a full keyboard. Can’t imagine what I’d do with that!
    My buddy John at Lincoln Christian College (I’m an alumn and we worked together there for years) sent this to me (they use Logos heavily there so he watches the blogs for info and entertainment like this).
    Kenny Golden
    Lincoln, IL

  5. Donovan January 21, 2009 at 10:11 am #

    Not only is he using a frog pad, but he is using a Mac keyboard and the monitors seem to be displaying a Windows Vista session. What an amazing combination of things!

  6. John Lawless January 22, 2009 at 6:26 pm #

    Could you share with us how to go from a two screen to a three screen configuration?

  7. Phil Gons January 22, 2009 at 8:18 pm #

    John, most video cards can power only two monitors, so to run three monitors, you’d need a second video card. Most low-end motherboards have only 1 PCI-e x16 slot (which is what most graphics cards use), but it’s possible to use a plain old PCI graphics card to power your third monitor. However, having different video cards like this can sometimes be buggy. I tried this kind of setup, and things got very slow, so I had to switch back to two monitors until it’s time to upgrade motherboards. For the best results, get a motherboard with 2 PCIe x16 slots and run two identical video cards. If you get dual-DVI cards, this will allow you to power up to four monitors.

  8. John Lawless January 23, 2009 at 9:08 am #

    Thank you for those words of wisdom….

  9. Christen Beekman April 30, 2010 at 7:56 am #

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