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Old 8th January 2012, 09:38 AM   #1
Alt+F4
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Why is there still a Caps Lock key on keyboards?

Really? Why?

What (besides ransom notes and hundred year old telegrams) has ever been written regularly in all capital letters? It's considered shouting on the Internet, it's very annoying when you're playing games, so why does the most useless key on the keyboard continue to exist?
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Old 8th January 2012, 10:35 AM   #2
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Well, it turns out that the filter here won't let me answer you in all caps...

The reason is the same as why they still have the QWERTY arrangement.
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Old 8th January 2012, 10:37 AM   #3
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i VOTE FOR sCROLL lOCK FOR MOST USELESS KEY!

Oh and the misuse of Caps Lock was unintentional... So it gets my vote for most annoying key
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Old 8th January 2012, 10:39 AM   #4
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It's because CAPS LOCK IS CRUISE CONTROL FOR COOL!
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Old 8th January 2012, 10:41 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Blackadder View Post
i VOTE FOR sCROLL lOCK FOR MOST USELESS KEY!

Oh and the misuse of Caps Lock was unintentional... So it gets my vote for most annoying key
Not at all. When you have a Dell laptop docked, and are using an external keyboard that doesn't have the "Function" key, how else are you supposed to press Func+F8 without Scroll Lock?
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Old 8th January 2012, 10:48 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
Really? Why?

What (besides ransom notes and hundred year old telegrams) has ever been written regularly in all capital letters? It's considered shouting on the Internet, it's very annoying when you're playing games, so why does the most useless key on the keyboard continue to exist?
To draft military messages.

ETA:And do Owen Meaney's voice.
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Old 8th January 2012, 10:51 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Blackadder View Post
i VOTE FOR sCROLL lOCK FOR MOST USELESS KEY!

Oh and the misuse of Caps Lock was unintentional... So it gets my vote for most annoying key
After reading this post not only did I see where the scroll key was, I saw a strange key called "pause break".....
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Old 8th January 2012, 11:06 AM   #8
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For soothing relief, remap Caps Lock to Control.
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Old 8th January 2012, 11:08 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
What (...) has ever been written regularly in all capital letters?
Titles of books, especially when designing the book cover itself.

Possibly anything created by an artistic designer, which contains any text.

Besides, if you are writing with one finger or one hand only, it is handy that pressing Shift and the letter can be done as a sequence rather than simultaneously.

A good key, long live Caps Lock, and indeed it will.
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Old 8th January 2012, 11:09 AM   #10
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I use it regularly. Most of the code I write which processes text doesn't care which case the text is in, so by convention we fold all text to upper case. It also helps text literals stand out. And you wouldn't believe how often I have to write documents with lots of upper case acronyms.
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Old 8th January 2012, 11:11 AM   #11
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CAPLOCK exists so you can remap it to Ctrl, without which emacs would never be usable.
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Old 8th January 2012, 11:16 AM   #12
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With a little practice you'll find you can type cap words two-handed by keeping your left pinky on the Shift.
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Old 8th January 2012, 11:17 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
CAPLOCK exists so you can remap it to Ctrl, without which emacs would never be usable.
Plan b: vi
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Old 8th January 2012, 11:30 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
CAPLOCK exists so you can remap it to Ctrl, without which emacs would never be usable.

Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
Plan b: vi

Then you need to remap it to ESC.
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Old 8th January 2012, 11:34 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by jt512 View Post
Then you need to remap it to ESC.
If you are truly evil then you will remap it (without the owner of the computer realizing it of course) to the period.
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Old 8th January 2012, 11:36 AM   #16
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Many people who make speeches like their speeches written in all caps.

Some acronyms (NATO, for example) would be annoying, if not difficult, to type without the "Caps Lock" key.

My vote for most annoying key is the "Overwrite/Insert" key, especially on badly designed keyboards where it's located next to a frequently used key, like "Delete".
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Old 8th January 2012, 11:36 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
Really? Why?

What (besides ransom notes and hundred year old telegrams) has ever been written regularly in all capital letters? It's considered shouting on the Internet, it's very annoying when you're playing games, so why does the most useless key on the keyboard continue to exist?
Mainly so we can identify kooks by their 'shouting their truths from the roof tops'
On that alone the CAPS lock performs sterling service
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Old 8th January 2012, 11:37 AM   #18
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Caps lock is absolutely essential to the FOTL conspiracy theory.
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Old 8th January 2012, 11:58 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Elizabeth I View Post
Some acronyms (NATO, for example) would be annoying, if not difficult, to type without the "Caps Lock" key.
That's not been my experience. I can type it perfectly fine (and quicker) using pinky-on-Shift. Maybe it's because my default hand position has evolved to be more relaxed and flexible.
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Old 8th January 2012, 12:11 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
Really? Why?

What (besides ransom notes and hundred year old telegrams) has ever been written regularly in all capital letters? It's considered shouting on the Internet, it's very annoying when you're playing games, so why does the most useless key on the keyboard continue to exist?
Protesting against seldom used keybord functions...that's very rich coming from somebody called Alt+F4
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Old 8th January 2012, 12:14 PM   #21
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I use it during property inventory to type in bunches of serial numbers and property numbers that have numbers and capital letters. I would have a pretty sore pinky if I had to hold down the shift key all day...
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Old 8th January 2012, 12:32 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Tanja View Post
Protesting against seldom used keybord functions...that's very rich coming from somebody called Alt+F4
Yeah, but I'm a deliberate operation, not an "oops" key which by some stroke of "genius" was placed right next to the A key!

I guess it would be too expensive to produce but it would be cool if each person could buy a custom-made keyboard with all the keys wherever they wanted them and of course not have keys they....distrust.

After Caps Lock, End is the next to go.
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Old 8th January 2012, 12:35 PM   #23
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First thing i allways do when i get a new laptop, i use my knife to get rid of the caps lock key. Same thing with the insert key if it is in a bad position, like next to the space key.
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Old 8th January 2012, 01:01 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by scratchy View Post
First thing i allways do when i get a new laptop, i use my knife to get rid of the caps lock key. Same thing with the insert key if it is in a bad position, like next to the space key.
That's probably the best solution under Windows.
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Old 8th January 2012, 01:04 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by scratchy View Post
First thing i allways do when i get a new laptop, i use my knife to get rid of the caps lock key. Same thing with the insert key if it is in a bad position, like next to the space key.
First thing I do when I get a laptop (new or otherwise) is plug a proper USB keyboard into it.

I write some shell scripts (bash is my shell of choice) and SQL queries. By convention, variables in bash are in uppercase, while in SQL the field names are lowercase and the SQL keywords are uppercase.

Although Caps Lock does get a lot less use than other little used keys such as Scroll Lock, '|', or (for some people, who overuse it) the apostrophe
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Old 8th January 2012, 01:08 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
Although Caps Lock does get a lot less use than other little used keys such as Scroll Lock, '|', or (for some people, who overuse it) the apostrophe
Since when is the apostrophe key little used?
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Old 8th January 2012, 01:09 PM   #27
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It gets used widely in industry. Lots of things are easier to read all in caps. Part numbers, serial numbers, expiry codes etc. At my place of work some work stations are only used to make parts labels & test certificates. On these machines caps lock is on constantly. The labels & certificates would just look weird in lower case.
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Old 8th January 2012, 01:18 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Wudang
I use it regularly. Most of the code I write which processes text doesn't care which case the text is in, so by convention we fold all text to upper case. It also helps text literals stand out. And you wouldn't believe how often I have to write documents with lots of upper case acronyms.
Why why?! Uppercase text is harder to read. You can use the editor's coloring facilities to get literals to stand out.

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Old 8th January 2012, 01:46 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
After Caps Lock, End is the next to go.
Nooooo! "Home" and "End" are two of my favorite keys. You must not do a lot of writing and editing (prose, as opposed to programs.)
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Old 8th January 2012, 01:48 PM   #30
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For COBOL programming.

Yes.
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Old 8th January 2012, 01:48 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Elizabeth I View Post
Nooooo! "Home" and "End" are two of my favorite keys. You must not do a lot of writing and editing (prose, as opposed to programs.)
I also use Home and End very frequently, and do so also while programming. I hate, in fact, that those keys are so distant on my laptop, whereas they're reachable from touch-typing position on my normal keyboard.
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Old 8th January 2012, 02:00 PM   #32
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Used at work all the time for entering data. Serial numbers, postcodes and the like.
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Old 8th January 2012, 02:11 PM   #33
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Terry Pratchett may need it every so often.
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Old 8th January 2012, 09:21 PM   #34
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Yeah, is part of IBM's 'Jobs for Lazy Programmers' business initiative.
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Old 8th January 2012, 09:38 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
Really?
Really seriously seriously really seriously really.

Quote:
Why?
Because there is still the occasional use for it and it isn't worth the extra $ it would take to redesign/re-manufacture a different one.

Quote:
It's considered shouting on the Internet, it's very annoying when you're playing games, so why does the most useless key on the keyboard continue to exist?
Shockingly, some people use computers for a lot more than playing games or chattering on the internet.

That said, I agree it's need is infrequent for most, but as you can see handy for some. Besides the same can be said for various "useless" keys on a keyboard....



Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
To draft military messages.
Only if you're time warping back into the 1980s or earlier. OCR is dead FYI.

Last edited by bigred; 8th January 2012 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 8th January 2012, 09:41 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
For COBOL programming.

Yes.
COBOL is still around? Wow
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Old 8th January 2012, 09:58 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by jt512 View Post
Originally Posted by scratchy View Post
First thing i allways do when i get a new laptop, i use my knife to get rid of the caps lock key. Same thing with the insert key if it is in a bad position, like next to the space key.
That's probably the best solution under Windows.
There was a whole thread on that a few months ago:

http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=211275
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Old 8th January 2012, 10:28 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by bigred View Post
Really seriously seriously really seriously really.

Because there is still the occasional use for it and it isn't worth the extra $ it would take to redesign/re-manufacture a different one.


Shockingly, some people use computers for a lot more than playing games or chattering on the internet.

That said, I agree it's need is infrequent for most, but as you can see handy for some. Besides the same can be said for various "useless" keys on a keyboard....




Only if you're time warping back into the 1980s or earlier. OCR is dead FYI.
The navy apparently dropped OCR in 1995 for enlisted evaluation forms so I'm guessing that the OCR radio message formatting ended at some time after that although for commands without email that can rely only upon radio messages (submarines at sea for example) the old formatting still hangs around. That's a guess on my part though.
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Old 8th January 2012, 11:48 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Lord Emsworth View Post
Terry Pratchett may need it every so often.
Nah, he just formats those sentences or paragraphs to small caps. If he doesn't, he should.
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Old 9th January 2012, 06:18 AM   #40
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The key I use least often is the one that switches my computer off.
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