Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 14th Jan 2010 11:37 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems It's funny how while software changes so fast, and many hardware components evolve at ridiculously fast paces (processors, memory, hard drives), the keyboard has remained largely unchanged over the years - until recently, that is. Even Lenovo has now buckled under the pressure, switching to a chiclet-style keyboard for ThinkPads - while also removing the SysReq key.
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Insert & Caps Lock
by deadmeat on Thu 14th Jan 2010 13:43 UTC
deadmeat
Member since:
2006-08-04

I don't have insert on my macbook, and most laptops seem to drop it these days, or at least hide it in some obscure place, but it was the bane of my existence. Overwrite mode is a horrible, horrible feature.

The other is the caps lock. OSX has a pref pane for disabling, or remapping the caps lock. I have it disabled and I don't miss it at all.

I can never mentally process the state of the caps lock or overwrite mode. I admit I'm feeble minded and fumble-fingered. I understand some people must use them. They are either keyboard gods, or madmen.

I suspect it's one of those cases where the number of people using these awkward hangover keys in no way justify their existence. There are so many more useful functions that could be on the keyboard. Instead these new functions seem to steal the Fn keys.

I do find the whole Ctrl, Alt, Meta, Fn keys a bit troublesome too. While they all have nice concrete historical names, I have to wonder if those names are now effectively meaningless. OSX uses strange symbols for them, which I have to think about every time. I get the Apple Key, but I still get the rest muddled up.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Insert & Caps Lock
by Dave_K on Thu 14th Jan 2010 14:17 in reply to "Insert & Caps Lock"
Dave_K Member since:
2005-11-16

Yes, Caps Lock should go. I do use it occasionally, but it doesn't need to be a great big button in such a prominent place on the keyboard.

On some keyboards it is hidden away. For example, Caps Lock was activated with Function+Tab on my old Psion 5/7 portables, and Command+Shift on NeXT keyboards.

That seems like a sensible compromise to me, especially on laptop keyboards.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Insert & Caps Lock
by Tuishimi on Thu 14th Jan 2010 15:48 in reply to "RE: Insert & Caps Lock"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

WHAT WOULD THE VAST MAJORITY OF NEWBIES DO ON THE INTERNETS IF THERE WAS NO CAPS LOCK?!11!

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE: Insert & Caps Lock
by darknexus on Thu 14th Jan 2010 14:48 in reply to "Insert & Caps Lock"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I don't think any Apple keyboards have had insert for a good long time, unless you count the numpad on the desktop wired keyboards. Numpad 0 doubles as an insert with numlock off. As for caps lock, I always liked the way the Apple II keyboards were laid out. Ctrl was to the left of the A (on qwerty keyboards anyway) and caps lock was at the very bottom left out of the way. I often remap my keyboard this way especially in *NIX and Windows, where ctrl is used frequently. On that note, anyone know if PC keyboards still exists that have those keys positioned this way from the factory?

Edited 2010-01-14 14:49 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Insert & Caps Lock
by Ludicrous on Thu 14th Jan 2010 17:52 in reply to "RE: Insert & Caps Lock"
Ludicrous Member since:
2009-08-19

As for caps lock, I always liked the way the Apple II keyboards were laid out. Ctrl was to the left of the A (on qwerty keyboards anyway) and caps lock was at the very bottom left out of the way. I often remap my keyboard this way especially in *NIX and Windows, where ctrl is used frequently. On that note, anyone know if PC keyboards still exists that have those keys positioned this way from the factory?

My keyboard of choice is the HHK series.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Hacking_Keyboard

I currently use this variant. Caps Lock is tucked as Fn+Tab (I never find myself using the Caps Lock key).
http://www.pfu.co.jp/hhkeyboard/lite2mac/images/kb200ma1_l.jpg

Just an FYI

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Insert & Caps Lock
by unavowed on Fri 15th Jan 2010 11:49 in reply to "Insert & Caps Lock"
unavowed Member since:
2006-03-23

Insert/overwrite mode is actually sometimes useful when you get these forms with dotted fields to fill out.

Reply Parent Score: 1