Essential Development Equipment: The Mouse Pad

A while ago I did a post about mech keyboards and how it’s important to make a good investment into one. I got motivated to do some articles over all the random equipment that I would have a hard time developing without. One of my most recent purchases was a new mouse mat. I needed to replace one I had been heavily using for two years.

Your mouse pad is a piece of equipment that I bet you don’t think about very much. Your mouse pad is just as important as the tires on your car. You can go cheap and get some tires that will wear out fast and require frequent replacement, or you can get a good set that will last a while and provide a smooth ride. A lot of things have changed over the years with mice and monitors that justify a good mouse mat.

When looking for a new mouse pad, you will want to pay close attention to the size of the pad, what material the pad is made out of, and the surface or texture of the top of the pad.
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I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

Tired of typing long URLs into your mobile devices? QR code that!

Co-Worker: Hey Daniel! Can you check this site out on the company iPad!?!?!
Me: Yeah sure what’s the URL?
Co-Worker: http://www.superlogurlwithextracharacters.us?queryvar=1&var=abvceor&mobiledetectioin=42&key=wholikestacos
Me: Ummm….. *sad face*

I work with a lot of mobile devices at work and I’m not comfortable setting up my email on company devices. It hit me like a ton of bricks. USE QR TECHNOLOGY!!!!!!

I go to http://qrcode.kaywa.com/ or any other qr generator. Download a QR app on your device that can open URLs in the native browser. I use SimpleAct Inc. Best Barcode Scanner. It works on all iDevices and it works great. Pull up the QR on your screen, point your camera to it, and BAM!!!! Site pulls upon your device.

I haven’t gotten around to finding any QR apps on Android and Windows Phone 7 yet.

This has shaved countless minutes of typing out complex urls on a tiny device.

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

Go old school with a mechanical keyboard!

I use to go through keyboards like candy. I’ve owned just about every kind. Ergonomic ones hurt my fingers, but helped my wrist. Plain flat ones worked ok, but hurt my fingers got tired after a while because of the weight of the keys. I preferred a back lit one because I work in a darker environment…. and I occasionally have to look at my keyboard for special characters. I’m big fan of standard layout keyboards, built in USB ports, and built in media keys/volume control. I’m a big fan of this article and this article. They helped me come to some great realizations about keyboards.

A little over a year ago, I “took the plunge” and spent close to a hundred bucks on a mechanical keyboard. It’s been worth every penny. The key presses are extremely light with a tactile response. I’ve been able to pull 12+ hour days typing with minimal hand fatigue. It has also shown minimal wear over all the heavy use.

If you really think about it, your keyboard is the most critical piece of your PC setup. You shouldn’t hesitate to invest good money into one. If you are a hiker, you can get by with cheap equipment, but you have to have good boots or you will have a miserable day. A high quality pair of boots will keep you comfortable and last you a long time. A $150 mechanical keyboard should last you multiple computers. I’d highly encourage anyone who works all day on a computer all day to invest in one.

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.