The Tactile Pro has a hidden switch that lets you swap the Caps Lock and Control keys

apastuszak

10 Jul 2022, 20:40

Watching Matias videos on YouTube (because I have no life), and I come across this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8tcDbCc4FU

At the 7:02 mark:

https://youtu.be/C8tcDbCc4FU?t=422

the guy shows a switch on the board that will switch the control and caps lock key. And it looks like the left control key already has an LED on it, so you can just swap the keycap.

Kinda neat.

Meowmaritus

22 Sep 2022, 09:13

I know this thread is super old but yeah that's why the left ctrl is so fat, so it can work as a caps lock

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Muirium
µ

22 Sep 2022, 09:30

Always a nice sign when a board invites you to put Control back to where it should be.

The good old Realforce 87u has the same feature, in a standard sized Control and Caps Lock. Topre includes replacement caps for both, and that pinchy keypuller of theirs, right in the box. There’s LED windows on both Caps Lock keys, and LEDs in both positions on the board. The setting is controlled by a dip switch on the back.

Quite why they went and rotated that Control key’s slider 90°, however…

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depletedvespene

22 Sep 2022, 14:04

Muirium wrote:
22 Sep 2022, 09:30
Always a nice sign when a board invites you to put Control back to where it should be.
Old (but not old enough) boomers :mrgreen: don't understand the importance of symmetrical modifier keys. Pray tell me, if LCTRL should be where Caps Lock (Shift Lock before that, and for a mechanical reason, BTW) currently is, where should RCTRL be? Yup.

No, Fn shouldn't be there, either, as it's also a modifier key.

And although the idea of having symmetrical Alt-Shift-Control keys on either side isn't bad in and of itself, it requires some major changes to the alpha block to actually work, including reestablishing it as symmetrical.

(Nutty) idea for a symmetrical alpha block.
(Nutty) idea for a symmetrical alpha block.
symmetrical-alpha-block.png (19.8 KiB) Viewed 293 times

Shave off the "excess" alpha columns, so the block will be symmetrical (as counted from one end of the modifiers to the other; the extra left column doesn't count), ensure that each pair of modifiers are the same size, symmetrically placed and at the same distance of the F and J keys, and add a new modifier to allow typing in the leftover characters in the eight discarded keys (plus a few more).

Although, frankly, those aren't nearly enough alphas in the base layers. In which case...

(Somewhat less and somewhat more nutty) idea for a symmetrical alpha block.
(Somewhat less and somewhat more nutty) idea for a symmetrical alpha block.
symmetrical-alpha-block2.png (19.76 KiB) Viewed 293 times

The exact arrangement of the alphas can be adjusted later, but I bet "ANSIboyes" would be complaining about the "ISOlike" distance of the left Shift key, despite still being symmetrical. And "HomeRowControlBoyes" will complain about the left Control key being now too far away.

(and we still need to think of the nav cluster and the numpad)

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Muirium
µ

23 Sep 2022, 00:15

Right Control is a fever dream and a hoax! What a superfluous key. You’ll be praising SysRq next. ;)

Most of my keyboards do in fact have three Controls. Two symmetrically, flanking the Options and Commands, and the one I actually use: left of A, where [IBM using deity] put it.

I do mash left Control when chording unusual Ctrl-Opt-Cmd for certain commands. (Typically ones I made myself, as most apps keep clear of the whole lot in unison.) But as I use my HHKB so much, I’m very used to even pressing those with true Control that I often leave left Control untouched in this case as well.

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depletedvespene

23 Sep 2022, 01:05

Muirium wrote:
23 Sep 2022, 00:15
Right Control is a fever dream and a hoax! What a superfluous key. You’ll be praising SysRq next. ;)
SysRq, back in the day, was quite useful.

Pissing contests aside, Right Control is a highly necessary modifier — most of the CUA commands (Ctrl-Z,X,C,V,A,E,W, ...) are quite, quite more comfortable with it, much more than with the left hand (the reverse applies to Ctrl-K,L,P, ...). The "home row Control" is, let's just say it already, a thing of the past and should be let go in favor of home row Esc — because vi is forever.

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Muirium
µ

23 Sep 2022, 14:29

Command. :mrgreen:

I have two of those, right by the space bar where they should be, for primary combos like Undo, Cut, Copy, Paste. You know: on the Mac, where they were invented, back when you guys were checking your overlays for which function keys they happened to be in every app. ;)

The PC should have gone the other direction and make some of those dozens of superfluous function keys fixed function, system-wide, and given them legends to match. Copy and Paste should’ve been on the real function row, not among those tacky warts layer boards had for Calculator and Mail. :roll:

Control is a useful tertiary modifier for me. Most of my use for it is my own scripts, mapped wherever I like ‘em. Very useful to have your own modifier at the ready to deploy whenever you see fit.

Findecanor

23 Sep 2022, 16:55

You would have to think of efficiency of pressing the keys. The most natural would be to use the thumb, then the pinky, then pinky and thumb to hold a modifier/s while pressing another key.
(i.e. I think Macintosh does it right)
To press Ctrl-Shift-Alt ... using pinky, ring and long finger - forget about it.

The Alt key should never have been co-opted for use for anything other than additional graphic characters.

BTW. I learned to type on the C64 and then the Amiga. On those, the Caps Lock is 1u right left of A. The Amiga had Control left of that. On my modern-day keyboards I use a 1.25u Caps Lock (stepped) right on top a 1.25 Shift, and am used to it - the step is also a better tactile cue for finding the home row than dish in F and J.
BTW 2. I used to press the Amiga key (like Command key) using my thumb, but the space bar was 9u wide so my hands got quite contorted using it. The space bar should have been much smaller, like on the Mac.
The Control key did get use on the Amiga, in terminal programs, such as when I logged into the Unix machines at the university to browse the web in text mode using Lynx. :P
Last edited by Findecanor on 23 Sep 2022, 17:05, edited 4 times in total.

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depletedvespene

23 Sep 2022, 17:00

Findecanor wrote:
23 Sep 2022, 16:55
The Alt key should never have been co-opted for use for anything other than additional graphic characters.
Hard to disagree with that! The fact that AltGr is only on one side of the keyboard is a TOTAL pest.

Meowmaritus

23 Sep 2022, 20:07

I'd be willing to try the XT style Ctrl to the left layout if I didn't have Ctrl+Z, Ctrl+X, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V all as muscle memory with bottom left Ctrl position

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