RSI Tech Info

RSI Tech Info is designed to help my fellow RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) sufferers change their software or hardware to make computer use less painful. In many senses this website has been inspired by the one maintained by RSI sufferer and web designer Xah Lee. One of the less obvious points of inspiration is Lee's opening statement on his home page, "Siphon my knowledge into your brain." I have followed Lee's writings for a few years because of his reflections on setting up keyboard shortcuts on the text editor Emacs. He made a reference to how the creator of GNU Emacs, Richard Stallman, suffered from RSI and when my RSI flared up again in February 2020 I followed the numerous links on the website to Lee's own struggles with RSI and his many articles on more RSI friendly keyboards. In March 2020 I contracted a bad case of COVID-19, which worsened my pre-existing RSI and memory problems. When these Long COVID problems dragged on for months on end I decided to take inspiration from the opening statement of Lee's website. Instead of asking the reader to siphon my brain, I am seeking to deposit the contents of my brain onto the internet before either my brain or joint injuries make writing impossible.

Progress has been slow in writing this website, because I have been trying to write the perfect set of articles that would allow the reader to click from topic to topic and would impress the algorithms of internet search engines. It took me a long time to realise that I was making two major errors in that cautious approach. Readers who are fellow RSI sufferers are likely to be seeking practical advice and given the scarcity of such advice on the internet will put up with less than perfect writing if the advice helps them to manage their condition. Equally it was an error to worry about search engine results as perfection was becoming the enemy of getting my brain deposited onto the internet.

All articles on this website have been written by me, Mercia McMahon, and given the parlous state of my health they are probably full of typos and other errors. I am an author of both novels and non-fiction books and the target audience of this website is fellow RSI sufferers whose work is not writing software. I mention software because there will be a lot of articles on this site about the text editors Vim and Emacs, which are primarily targeted at programmers. However, the way in which those editors have been designed are very helpful for any RSI sufferer who need to continue using computers. I have wanted to be able to write software since the age of 15, but never managed to learn those skills. I was more successful in my dreams since the age of 10 to become an author. That is the perspective from which the articles on this website have been written: a non-programming author.


Once more articles are written this section will contain links to categories of articles, but for now there are few enough articles to list them here. Some of these articles reflect my general interest in computer software and hardware, which is why I want to create category pages to help those only interested in RSI, or in one operating system, or one software application.

© Mercia McMahon