I have been using RSIGuard very successfully for the last 7 weeks and got on with it famously almost immediately. However someone suggested looking at RSI Shield so I thought I would give this package a try-out to see how it compared. Installation was dead easy. It asked a load of questions which you have to answer honestly and then it sets the system up for you. Having installed it was time to set it running. I was a bit ‘taken aback’ at the amount of information and layout that appeared to need taking in to set it up and run it. The layout seemed very ‘busy’. It had set some rough ideas of when it thought I would need a break so I went with this. The system seems to set the breaks to happen at certain ‘times’ of the day and not necessarily when I’ve been doing too much typing/mousing and therefore need it to force me to take a break.
I ticked the boxes to show the animated piccies for the exercises at every break. The little cartoon is similar to the bad guy in ‘Soldiers’ and when the prompt tells you how to do the exercise the cartoon does it with you – however on the exercises that I did the cartoon always used the same arm even when it wasn’t meant to. Also a lot of the exercises involved standing and swinging your arms around and looking as though you were warming up for the Olympics or the World Cup. Looking like a rabbit on steroids is not very conducive to an open office environment full of engineers!
When you are within the package I found that on my screen the words did not wrap around properly, even when I moved the ‘barriers’ to their fullest extent so I was constantly having to move the slider back and forth in order to read the explanations in full. Another thing I found irritating were the number of silly spelling and grammatical errors, ie fysical. It doesn’t appear to give you a break related to how much you have typed in a session but on how long you have been typing for. For example you could rattle away for the clock’s ‘countdown period’ or you could plod through your work at a snail’s pace – I believe it would still give you the same break periods. It doesn’t appear to work on keystrokes made or amount of mouse movement. If you stop working on either the keyboard or the mouse the clock stops and doesn’t recommence until you start working again. I managed to get the clock down to 4 seconds and then just waited to see what would happen. After about one minute the clock reset itself and gave me almost another 9 minutes worth of work time again. This means that the system is ideal for ‘busy cheats’ – not a good idea for me!
When RSI Guard forces you to take a break it gives you a ‘countdown clock’ to show you how much time you have to take for a break – this gives you a chance to work out whether you’ve got time to go for a walk, make a cup of tea or whatever. When RSI Shield forces a break on you it gave me no idea at all as to how long the break was going to be for. Maybe this would have been different if I hadn’t had the computer’s answer to Sylvester Stallone doing exercises on my screen. With RSI Guard it appeared to actually count the number of keystrokes/mouse movements made and forced the breaks based on these figures not on the time it takes to make them.
I thought I would see what happened when I shut my system down and restarted it. Both RSI Shield and Guard came up automatically but RSI Shield had reset to the full amount of time allowed to work before a break whereas RSI Guard had remembered my previous state of play. RSI Shield did have a page which showed how they believed everyone should sit at a workstation which was useful but I don’t know if it was correct. To be honest I don’t think RSI Shield is what I am looking for and to me seemed hard work to get on with. I know I have only used this package for one day but … once was enough for me I’m afraid. Other people may have used this and found it to be the bee’s knees so bear in mind that this review is only my opinion and findings. Hope this was of interest to you. All the best.
Comment 1: I would just like to point out that I have also tried the RSI shield and also found it hard to work with an annoying. But I would like some more information on the RSI guard if possible?
Comment 2: How do you log on to RSI Guard?
Comment 3: When I started up my computer, it would start up automatically.