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Re: The most useless key on my keyboard is:

by ambrus (Abbot)
on Nov 16, 2005 at 22:03 UTC ( #509211=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to The most useless key on my keyboard is:

It's F5, F6, F8, F9, F10, F11 definitely. I never use the F-keys for anything except changing terminals, and I use only four text terminals, one graphical, and an error console. (Update: just realized that VNC uses F8.) Pause is also mostly useless but a few games recognize it.

The SysRq magic is useful. Scroll Lock is sometimes useful to stop text (also it's the way to view the scrollback of the terminal on FreeBSD by default).

I definitely use Caps Lock. Its original purpose is not only useless but even harmful, as I press it accidentally too often. Thus, I've remapped it to write accented letters: it's easy because it's not too far to reach and I can hold it with my left hand while I type the accented letters with my right. It now works like this both on console and X.

I use Backspace, Escape, and # too.

Finally, I don't have a Windows key. I use a 101-button keyboard with no extra buttons on principle.

What's left? Ah, Mac key. I don't have one. Last time I had it was when I used a Commodore 64, although they called it the Commodore key there.


Comment on Re: The most useless key on my keyboard is:
Re^2: The most useless key on my keyboard is:
by Anonymous Monk on Nov 27, 2005 at 15:39 UTC
    Hello,
    I definitely use Caps Lock. Its original purpose is not only useless but even harmful, as I press it accidentally too often. Thus, I've remapped it to write accented letters: it's easy because it's not too far to reach and I can hold it with my left hand while I type the accented letters with my right. It now works like this both on console and X.
    I'm curious to know how you did to map your capslock key to do that, could you point me to revelent infos or tell me what to do to get that behaviour too?

    Thanks.

      On the linux console, the loadkeys program loads a keymap. This program is part of the kbd package, and is usually invoked from an init script. Its input is a readable text file, which you can probably find if you follow the init scripts. You can also dump the keymap in this format with the dumpkeys utility.

      On my Gentoo system, the keymaps are in the /usr/share/keymaps, and the default keymap is given in the /etc/rc.conf file. I've set this to my keymap which I've made by changing and existing keymap (this modified keymap predates my Gentoo system though, I have it from the time I've been using SuSE).

      Here I include some relevant parts from the keymap file.

      The trickyer part is to get the keys right under X. I didn't do this part all alone, rather, I copied the configuration from a good friend and only done a couple of modifications on it. This configuration program loads a keymap with the xmodmap program (which should be on your system if you have X). I start this configuration program from my .xinitrc file so that it would start on every X session (depending on the X login manager, you may need to use a different file for this).

      I show some parts of this configuration too.

      (There are some other tricky details needed to set up X correctly to use national characters, but they aren't quite relevant to the caps-lock hack, so I won't show them here.)

      For further information, see the manpages of the above mentioned utilities, and also http://www.inf.bme.hu/~pts/pts-console-hu-latest.tar.gz; http://www.madore.org/~david/linux/.

      If anyone needs them, I can upload a copy of the exact config files I use.

        Thanks for such a quick reply and for the links, it is really helpfull.

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