Kinesis cured my sore hands (RSI)

2007 Kinesis USB DEFECT on Mac

I purchased a third Kinesis keyboard since I replaced my Linux PC by a Mac and an adapter was required. Perhaps I could have found an adapter but I liked the idea of a new USB keyboard with two USB jacks. On installation, I realized the USB jacks are about worthless. On my new Intel iMac I cannot have anything plugged into the keyboard USB port during boot up or the keyboard will not be found. The USB ports are usable after boot up, but that does not make them acceptable. Who'd want a computer that works but freezes on restart? I consider the USB ports on my Kinesis keyboard to be worthless on my Mac. I'll notify Kinesis and see what they say. [July 21, 2007] I am not the first to report this bug. It might be an Apple bug. Somebody please let me know if this bug ever gets fixed. I am claerbout _AT_ stanford _DOT_ edu

[1994] This is how I developed sore hands and wrists (RSI) and how I got cured. I don't say it will work for you. I bought a special keyboard made by Kinesis company (phone 425-402-8100). Their web site is I bought the original keyboard they now call "contoured". Actually, I bought two, one for work and one for home. They cost me about $500 each. (prices lower now) Below are my experiences written mostly in late 1994 and early 1995. (Still happy with Kinesis in 2005. I threw away the Sun adaptor and now use the keyboards on PC (Linux) and Mac. 1997 prices about $250.)

After 40 days of Kinesis keyboard use

My hands no longer suffer. I am satisfied with this purchase. Now however, whenever I must use a regular keyboard I type at about 80% normal speed.

Installation day

Mac and Sun keyboards delivered 3 weeks apart. My two keyboards map the keys differently! Later I read the manual and learned how to remap keys to my heart's delight. Douglas Alan = nessus _AT_ made the good suggestion for vi users of swapping the escape key and the "end" key.

I am pleased that Kinesis gives a small tool to remove the caps lock key.

After a few disoriented hours, I found I could do useful work at about 75% of normal speed and I sped up steadily.

Day of ordering keyboards (Aug 14, 1994)

I order two Kinesis keyboards, one for my Macintosh and one for my Sun. They cost $490 each (including Sun and Mac adapters). My expectations are:

Hand health history

I am 56 years old (in 1994), on and off a keyboard all day and all evening. I have used ergonomic typing table and chair for many years. About three years ago I had a minor bicycle accident that bent my right pinky. About a year later I began having wrist pains, particularly in my right wrist. I found I could alleviate pain somewhat by two methods: About 15 years ago I wrote a book with a sharp pencil. I developed RSI in my pencil fingers. I ``treated'' it by winding a big knob of adhesive tape around the mechanical pencil making it softer to grasp. When I switched to typing, the pencil RSI went away. I believe switching back to a pencil would bring back the pencil RSI almost immediately.

Sticky keys

I notice that keys occasionally stick on one of my keyboards. It is not physically connected to any particular key; it is electronic; the "key up" pulse is not recognized and the key goes into autorepeat mode until I hit another key. Kinesis freely swapped a converter box, but that didn't fix it. When I swapped my Sun and Mac keyboards, the flakey keyboard swapped position. Then Kinesis offered to swap the flakey keyboard. Since it happens only once or twice a day I decided not to bother with a replacement keyboard, and the problem has not gotten any worse 11 years later. Douglas Alan says he has the same problem and Kinesis said to him and me that nobody else noticed such a problem. lindstro@BIOSTAT.WISC.EDU also has the same problem.

More information

See also the FAQ at


No guarantees. My only relation to Kinesis Company is as a customer. I hope my experiences are helpful to you. Let me know if yours differ. I offer to crosslink to your web page. Enjoy!

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