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2009/02/02

Breaking Keys...

Jeff Atwood makes some points on programming keyboards. I have to say I agree with a great many of them. I have both bog-standard IBM Model M and the blank das keyboard on my wishlist.

He specifically makes points that playing with the Arrow Key cluster or the function keys is bad wa. What I would like to mention is the Home Key cluster. The keyboard I use at home was given to me, and it has the Scroll Lock/Print Screen/Pause cluster joined to the top of the Home Key cluster. This is not bad in itself. In the top position, where the Scroll Lock cluster was, there's a Power cluster.

For most people, this would be a good thing. Especially if they keep their computers in a place where the front panel is not as accessable as you might like.

But I have 3 computers and two monitors. I use a KVM. This is a great and useful tool, but on occasion, when I'm really more concentrating on what I'm doing than what my hand is doing, I go for the "Other Desktop" switch, which is double-clicking on the Scroll Lock, and I miss. And I hit the Sleep key, instead.

Which sucks.

Print Screen is useful for screen capturing, especially when you don't have software to handle it. Otherwise, the usefulness of that block is nearly 20 years dead, unless it is overridden. But if you use them, even moving that block can be annoying.