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    “Social network interoperability is such a laughable catastrophe that sharing pictures of text is basically the only thing that works, which should be one of this industry’s most shameful embarrassments but here we are.”

    This is not the main point of the article, but it is indeed a good one. We should be far more collectively embarrassed by this than we seem to be.

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      Especially because of the inaccessibility, particularly for blind people. Yes, there’s OCR, but it’s not perfect, and it still loses a lot compared to HTML.

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        Yes. And because accessibility leads to other good practices, we lose other important UI features like find-in-page, and search indexing. This stuff bums me out.

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          I’m on a social network where image descriptions are socially expected, and sometimes, especially for “pictures of text”, it’s just too much for me to transcribe the text, and I just don’t share a funny meme. It’s a total loss.

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            I think there’s a big difference between sharing an image that has text on it (like a funny meme), and taking a screenshot of Twitter and putting it on Facebook because that’s the only convenient way to do it.

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      It’s sad and embarrassing how awkwardly inconsiderate and anti-human these things are, and the fact that a proper fix – a human-hand-shaped keyboard whose outputs you get to choose for yourself – costs about as much as a passable computer is appalling.

      Strongly agree with almost everything here, except for this one; it only sounds absurd because a “passable computer” is so cheap these days. Before keyboards fell prey to cost-cutting quality declines they were a big part of the cost of a new machine.

      It only makes sense that miniaturization and manufacturing advances would drop the cost of RAM, CPU, LCDs, etc at a faster rate than it would the only part of the machine that literally must contain moving parts.

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        I’m in the Kinesis Advantage crew, and had to import them because no one sells them here. I did this twice so I can always have one. They’ve taken a lot of beating over the years, to the point where I almost wish for planned obsolescence so I’d have an excuse to upgrade.

        Having said that, there must be more affordable pre-built kit options out there.

        At the end of the day, the consumers don’t care. My wife worked with someone who’d select input fields on a native Windows app because she didn’t know what the Tab key was for.

        The manufacturers don’t want to risk taking heat by deprecating NumLock and there’s your equilibrium.

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        I’ve never understood why Scroll Lock doesn’t do something sensible by default on Unix systems. For example, locking the terminal so further command output does not cause further scrolling. This is probably what I would a priori assume was the purpose of Scroll Lock (related to what Ctrl-s does).

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          I think this is troublesome when you have more than one terminal, but could be fun to cook something up.

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            Looked into this. xterm seems to have pretty intelligent handling. Locks scrolling while active, turns on led, etc.

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            What laptop is this? Mine doesn’t have half these keys. “Our” in the title should probably be “my”.

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              Anyway, here’s a list of how you remaps capslock to control on various popular OSes, in a roughly increasing order of lunacy:

              OSX: Open keyboard settings and click a menu.

              Linux: setxkboptions, I think. Maybe xmodmap? Def. something in an .*rc file somewhere though. Or maybe .profile? Does gnome-tweak-tool still work, or is it called ubuntu-tweak-tool or just tweak-tool now? This seriously used to be a checkbox, not some 22nd-century CS-archaeology doctoral thesis. What an embarrassment.

              With Gnome: Control Center -> Keyboard -> Layouts -> Options <=> Open keyboard settings -> Click a menu. What an embarrassment…

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                Yeah, was going to say this; plus gnome-tweak-tool does still work.

                That said, you can’t actually use either of these to remap keys at will. The options are limited and often weird.

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                Another bugaboo is how pissweak the USB HID standard is. Why can’t I have more modifier keys? It’s maddening.

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                  It took me embarrassingly long to figure out that the reason this article made no sense to me is that it’s referring to the old DOS keyboards. (Undo, redo, cut, copy, and paste are all on the ZXCV keys on a modern keyboard, so that you can redo with command-shift-Z with one hand.) It’s a funny rant, but all of these ancient problems (sysrq key?!) have been replaced by new & exciting problems a decade ago.

                  Would love to see a keyboard put ZXCV, F, Fn-backspace, and “next/prev tab” on dedicated keys tho, it’s true.

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                    Really nice blog post. And yet people always squinted at me typing on blank HHKB. That keyboard feels so efficient that I can’t really see my self trying anything else for quite some time.