June 17, 2005
Dear CNET members,
Some of you may smirk at this week's topic about carpal tunnel syndrome and other computer-related injuries. But for me, it's an important subject, considering that I and 99 percent of my coworkers at CNET Networks spend a good chunk of our waking hours in front of the computer. I have seen many coworkers either go on disability or become unable to work because of RSI (repetitive strain injury). If I didn't take the necessary precautions, I might become injured, too--and be unable to write these newsletters. So, this matter shouldn't be taken lightly. And I hope that this week's winning answer by Dave, the honorable mentions, and the additional advice from our members help all of us better understand and prevent these serious and very painful injuries. Please, everyone, if you have experienced computer-related injuries or know someone who has, share the experiences with us in this week's discussion. And if you have additional advice for intense computer users, we'd like to hear from you. Thanks, everyone, and take care.
Member Question of the Week
With more people spending more time in front of their computers, carpal tunnel syndrome and other computer-related injuries are becoming widespread. Do you have suggestions for using computers in a way that avoids these problems? Where do I go for one-stop information about ergonomics and products that can lessen ergo problems, such as reviews or tests of different products (chairs, mouse trays and pads, keyboards)? How about advice regarding posture and seating measurements relative to the monitor and desk?
I may be an extreme case of PC-induced problems. As a software engineer, I had worked 10-hour days at computer terminals and PCs for more than 15 years when I began having RSI problems. I ended up having carpal tunnel surgery as well as lower back surgery for a ruptured disk. As a result, I began reading everything I could find on ergonomics. The lower back problems left me partially disabled and eligible for state aid in preparing myself for an alternative career. I decided to take my work experience and start my own Web site design business. It allowed me the flexibility of working fewer hours and scheduling my time over the entire week. I put together specifications for an ergonomic workstation and...
Dave D. of Mansfield Center, Connecticut
Dave's efforts, we're sending him his choice
efforts, we're sending him his choice of any
Help.com Learning CD.
Each week we take a look at topics discussed in the forums.
Why is AMD so quiet?
Best regards and enjoy!
This discussion started off with a member wondering why AMD doesn't manufacture its own motherboards like Intel does. While a few posts stuck with the initial conversation, the discussion quickly unfolded into why computer manufacturers prefer Intel over AMD. As we all know when it comes down to the AMD vs. Intel debate, people hold strong opinions on chip manufacturers. So see where this thread has taken off to and chime in with your own opinions.
More from Desktops forum
Linux, point me in the right direction!
Veteran member AussiePete woke up one morning and decided to use extra hardware lying around to set up a Linux box. He's completely new to Linux and is looking for a basic distribution that he can tinker with and learn from, and yet one that is not too complex. If you've also received your calling for Linux and would like some sound advice on the best way to get started, join this discussion. And if you're no stranger to Linux, share what you know to give newbies the best recommendations possible.
More from the Linux forum
Age-old but important security questions
Member parabraves has some questions regarding security applications for our members. Can you be too safe--such as running multiple antiviruses and spyware programs? Do you have to break the bank on software to be safe (free vs. paid)? Why do cleanup utilities exist when you can do some simple cleanup chores yourself? Many members have responded already, but what's your take on this? Don't hold back, because we're all ears!
More from PC applications & utilities forum
What's a good cheap alternative
As many of you know, Adobe Photoshop has a fairly large learning curve and a price that many cannot afford. So are there alternatives in the software world that can come close to Photoshop's capabilities without breaking the bank? Check out what others have recommended, and if you use something else for creative photo editing, share it with us.
More from PC applications & utilities forum
Home audio and video cables: is brand-name equipment better?
If you're setting up a home theater, brand-name cables and power centers can jack up your setup's cost. But are they everything that people claim them to be--or are they better? To get good sound and video quality, is it necessary to spend $150 or more on power centers and cables? What's your opinion or experience?
More from Home audio & video forum
Simple instructions for new Mac user
Member ajs1266 just received a Mac Mini for his birthday and is looking for basic info. He's not interested in advanced stuff, just what key does what, how to add photos to e-mail--beginner stuff. If you find yourself in the same boat as this member, check out what our members are offering in this discussion, and if you have additional tips or references for our Mac newbie, share them with us.
More from the Mac hardware forum
Check out next week's question:
Over the last three days, I've received several e-mail messages, supposedly from PayPal and eBay. All of them say that there was some sort of "unusual" activity in my respective accounts and that to reactivate them, I need to enter my name, address, debit/credit card number, ATM PIN number, and so on. What's really weird is this just started on Sunday and hasn't stopped. The last time I remember seeing anything like this was back in AOL's 3.0 days, when I'd get phishing IMs. What can people do to avoid receiving these spoofed e-mail messages or at least cut back on their numbers? Also, how can people learn to recognize fake e-mail, and is there any way to trace it back to the sender?
If you have the answer,
e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If we choose your response, you'll get a
free Help.com CD.
Have a question?
Yes (tell us about it)
Have you suffered from a computer-related injury?
(Please click on button to vote)
No (what's your secret?)
Yes, right now; I'm in pain just voting
Yeah, bruises from banging my head on
the desk when my computer freezes
Last week's poll results
After purchasing a new hard drive, what do you do with the old one?
Have a poll you'd like to ask our members?E-mail me
Simple question, simple answer
Help your fellow members
At Work Weekly
Meant for the business pro. Whether
your office is at home or in a sky-
scraper, you'll find advice on how to
buy and use personal tech to save time
and get more done.