Minority Opinions

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Controlling your Caps

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I’m not sure when I started using my Caps Lock as a third Control key.  I seem to have had a registry file to do so for quite some time, so it probably dates from before I started using Linux as my primary OS.  The keymaps file that switches it on my LFS console is at least seven years old.  The file backing Gnome’s control panel setting has been stored in one of my home directory repositories for over four years.  It’s been long enough that I honestly get surprised when I try to use someone else’s keyboard and find that a shortcut doesn’t work.

Part of the irony here is that I once used caps lock for all of my capital letters, before my father taught me about the shift key.  Without the caps lock, perhaps I would have picked that up on my own, and far sooner.  Without a caps lock, perhaps the internet would have fewer hyper-annoying comments.

In this day of multiple font sizes, weights, and styles, I no longer see a good reason to ever type in all caps.  So why do computers still have such a key?

There are those who contend that even though the key to the left of the home row should be Control, it should simply be swapped with the one on the bottom left, for times when you still want caps lock on.  Unfortunately, I use both of those keys as control, depending on how long I have been using a given shortcut.  This is particularly noticeable on laptops with the nasty design decision that places a Function key in that corner; such keyboards are simply unusable, and I refuse to buy any computer or peripheral like that.  Even if the keys can somehow be swapped, I don’t want to figure out how.

I don’t think I ever use the right-hand Control key, though; perhaps that would make a good Meta.  If I ever find a reason to use Meta, I’ll try it out; meanwhile, I’ve been comfortable with the Menu key mapped to Compose.

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Written by eswald

17 Sep 2013 at 10:02 pm

Posted in Technology

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