Today's article has you disabling that pesky caps lock key...

As a user of the standard QWERTY layout, I’ve never had a problem with the placement of the caps-lock key. And as a programmer, I wouldn’t want to disable it. I use it quite a lot.

As a Vim user, I did try swapping the functionality of my caps lock and escape keys, to see if it was useful. It definitely made it easier to switch to Normal mode. But whenever I wanted to use caps-lock, my hands still needed to leave the home row to reach for the escape key. And when I was done using caps-lock, I had to reach for escape again. Which I found disruptive to my flow. So I’d effectively swapped one problem for another.

In the end, I remapped the keys back to their original functionality and set up keybinds for insert mode and command mode, to map jj to <escape>, allowing me to double tap the j key whilst editing text, or typing a command, in order to switch back to normal mode.

Sure it means two keystrokes, but as it’s on home row, double tapping the j is no hardship. It means my hands never need to leave the home row.

When editing text jj seemed like the most logical choice to me.
1. The j key is on the home row
2. No English words contain jj - at least none that I’m aware of.
3. When programming, variable names should be descriptive. Using non-descriptive variable names like jj should be discouraged. So these keybinds enforce that….. At least for jj. Ha ha!

With this solution I have everything I need on the home row. If I want to use caps lock, I move my left pinky. If I want to switch modes, it’s right there under my right index finger. Now my hands almost never need to leave the home row.

Other people’s mileage may vary. But it works perfectly for me.

The only downside is, I’ve got so used to using jj to switch modes in Vim, I find myself hitting jj in other non-vim editors and in edit boxes on online forms/websites. Ha ha!

On some keyboards, I can lift the caps-lock key, wrap an appropriately sized rubber band around the base of it a few times and put it back. Caps-lock still works but I have to really lean on it to use it - never happens by accident.

On other keyboards, a dab of epoxy disables caps-lock and those cursed "Windows" keys. (picture)

My current keyboard is unmodified and, amazingly enough, caps-lock just irritated me less than five minutes ago. :/
I laughed. Man after my own heart. :)
Yup. I'm good for about 90 wpm when I'm on a roll. I can go faster but that starts to introduce errors. Errors slow me down significantly, meaning I can't maintain speeds higher than that. Like hundreds of thousands of words at just I wear the caps out.

I do have a few perfectly working M model keyboards from back in the day. They just need an adapter and they work fine with USB. I just don't bother using them - but they're very tactile. I'd probably use them, as I like the amount of force required, but man aren't they loud.

Amusingly, I've failed two classes in my entire academic career. (That's a rather extensive amount of time in academia, about twenty years in total.) I failed typing in high school. I failed keyboarding (note the difference in the name) in college.

I just couldn't make my fingers do what they needed to do. Then, along came IRC. What I did at that point was just memorize the backspace key. If I made a mistake, I forced myself to backspace far enough to fix the mistake. Because of this, I use the wrong fingers on the wrong keys, but my speed is all down to chatting with internet strangers.

Depending on what my fingers are doing, I may press the 'r' key with my right hand (for example). I used my left hand to press the 'y' key sometimes. I only ever use the left shift button and I only use the right thumb on the space bar. Which is how I end up wearing those two keys out pretty quickly. I know that it's hard plastic, but there's a literal worn down section on this current keyboard.

What I should do is experiment with some of the fancier keyboards. I should be able to get a quiet keyboard that still requires enough force on the keys. There are all sorts of choices out there, and they can be repaired or reconditioned by replacing the caps and springs. Some combination of those would probably suit my needs.

Or, I can just buy a new cheap keyboard and mouse combination every six months or so to have on hand for when I feel like replacing a keyboard. I don't need any of those right now, as I have some spares already here at the house. I spend like $30 on a keyboard and mouse combination. I prefer them to light up, but I don't want that to be fancy - I just want them to be lighted in pretty much any color. I'm not picky.
I had one typing class ever, half an hour?, thirty odd years ago and it was twelvish years before I saw a keyboard again. I could still do it!

M model keyboards FTW. I like the nostalgia and I like the noise! If you haven't already Model F/M nerds should check out Wendell at Level 1 Tech's several videos and If you really want to use those keyboards again but for the noise; you might find a solution there. Might be expensive; but good tech shouldn't be left to moulder.
I had one typing class ever, half an hour?, thirty odd years ago and it was twelvish years before I saw a keyboard again. I could still do it!
I had to take a typing class in high school just to graduate. The class fulfilled a requirement. I wanted to take "Non-vocational Typing" for people to type their college papers, but the school scheduled me for the second semester of the "Secretarial Typing" class. It was the only available class that could qualify for that graduation requirement, but I had not taken the first semester. I was concerned about that. I did not catch on to the true reward of being scheduled for THAT class: I was the only guy in a room full of women seniors every day for an hour that semester.

(The typing teacher gave me a primer and put me in a corner to learn on my own. I was caught up and taking the regular typing drills in a couple weeks.)
I, too, took a single typing class in high school - never got great at it but I did learn a few things. Like right now I note that, on my modern keyboard, the 'F' and 'J' key caps each have a little bump on them and I recognize that's a kind of "braille-light" way of finding them (usually with your thumbs or pinkies while "hunting and pecking", of course).

Members online