So I started typing this out in response to Cirt's about buying a new mouse in the Post Yourself thread, but it became more of a blog.
I have been conditioned to do everything in my power to make my computer operations efficient by owning crappy computers. First, I couldn't right click things because doing so froze my computer. So I mastered a slew keyboard shortcuts and features. Then, I was frustrated at navigating menus in order to find things, so I mastered navigation techniques. Eventually I was just fed up with having to move my hands to my mouse, so I learned various text editing skills. In other words, keyboard shortcuts at all times. I also have made sure I have efficient computing by closing all my processes. At first manually, by going through my list of processes, hitting the Delete key, then hitting Enter, and then down arrow before it reset my cursor position to the top of the list, and rapid-firing this motion until all the processes I could close, closed. Then by the monument to convenience that is GameBooster. I use Windows Classic theme and my taskbar collapses to maximize screen space. This mentality pervades any routine that I do. Efficiency is important.
One fateful day, my mouse fell out of my backpack while running to catch a train. It was promptly run over by cars, and I discovered its remains the next day. I didn't really use it all that much because of the keyboard shortcuts, but sometimes mice are good for something. So I've learned that having a trackpad is actually very useful when your hands are so close to it all the time, and I've trained myself to use it with brief thumbstrokes, as if it were a set of joysticks. Tapping is your friend in a case like this.
This is my battle stance.
My computer's G, H, ', Backspace, Print Screen, many of my function keys, Escape, and rarely, my O key, all malfunction. My Windows key flickers constantly between pressable and not pressable, so if I hold it down, the Start Menu flickers on and off, and it wrecks all my Win key shortcuts. It is living hell to type anything of length (most of what I type), and it's because my computer is in bad shape. Why, you ask? It fell to the ground once when my backpack's arm strap actually snapped, causing my backpack + laptop to fall. That splintered the guard on one of my hinges, but it didn't do too much damage. Later, it took a separate fall from about chair height onto my carpeted floor, and now it looks like this:
The screen's hinges are mostly broken, so I have to lean my screen against something in order to keep it upright and angled. Another peeve I've always had about the screen is that it's not indented in at all, so there are many permanent scratches where the screen has come into contact with the other half of the laptop. But the keys malfunctioning is easily the most horrible thing about its degeneration. In order to combat the problem, I bought keyboards. The first was frustratingly hard to type on, the second is perfect in concept.
It's a lightweight, waterproof, flexible silicone keyboard that rolls up and fits in a compact tube that I bought for cheap at Monoprice. This keyboard, in concept, is the best keyboard ever. It's supremely portable, its keys have good tactile feedback despite being easy on the fingers, it's probably the most silent keyboard in existence, and it's stupidly easy to clean. Monoprice sells top-notch stuff, mind you, but this thing has a few fatal flaws:
1) It is too hard to type on; you need perfect accuracy and just the right force to get a keystroke across.
2) Its key placement is atrocious.
3) It absolutely needs a surface under it that is at least as flat and sturdy as a keyboard.
What's one of the least desirable things to happen while backspacing? Hitting the Home key, probably. Where most keyboards have at least a sliver of difference in between Home and Backspace, this thing has Home right up next to it.
Since the keys require force to press, and since the keys are flexible, I bump into other keys a lot. What's annoying is that I have to type relatively harder to get the keys to work normally, but a light bump when backspacing will activate the Home key, bringing my cursor back to the beginning of my line. Where there isn't anything to backspace. I thought my keyboard was malfunctioning at times, because I wasn't deleting anything when attempting to backspace, but no, it was because my cursor had left me after I bumped into the Home key. It's the same for most keys, actually. If I try to use the Arrow keys at all, I bump into EVERYTHING. Also, the Function keys (F1, F2, etc.) don't have any space in between either, and they're not particularly aligned, so I can't tell which function key I'm hitting unless I'm looking right at it. They're all so tiny, even for Function keys.
Also, the Space Key. Not Space Bar. The Space Key. Where Alt should be. Right next to the Space Bar.
Sigh... I keep hitting this thing trying to Alt + Tab. The only reasoning I've heard for why this even remotely makes sense is for gameplay that requires rapid Space pressing, but in order for the actual Space Bar to work, there are multiple buttons underneath it all arranged in a strip right next to each other anyway, so what the hell?
So I use my laptop keyboard much more frequently, because when it works, it works well. But when it's being particularly horrible I break out my floppy keyboard. If you're wondering how I'm getting all this information to you with constantly malfunctioning keys that only work 20% of the time, it's because of the aforementioned efficiency-sticklerism. This is what my screen has looked like the whole time I typed this:
So every time I need a certain character, I thumbstroke what I need with the trackpad, making sure to keep the cursor close to the keys I need on the on-screen keyboard. It's a tough life. I also don't Backspace much anymore. I have to Shift + Left Arrow to highlight over the last thing I typed that I need to erase, or if I decide that it's too far back, I just Ctrl + Shift + Left Arrow to highlight the whole thing to take it out and start over, because it's slightly faster than pinpointing the mistake.
It's a good thing programming is mostly making tiny corrections and searching through lines of code for tiny mistakes, or my current practices would be totally awful.