Monday, November 30, 2015

I spend a lot of time on this blog talking about issues that aren’t interesting to anyone but me. My readership figures indicate this fact to me quite clearly. In the extremely rare instance that one of my long-winded complaints has a wider appeal than one, it is never of any real consequence. It’s more of a commonly-accepted annoyance than a pressing issue worthy of the attention of societal leaders.
                Until today. My friends, computer keyboards are a huge problem and they need to be addressed. Well, not the whole keyboard necessarily. Just one midsized key. The Caps Lock key. Ask yourself, how many times have you pressed the Caps Lock key on purpose? Now think about how many times you’ve pressed it by accident. If you’re anything like me, the percentage is somewhere in the neighborhood of 99% by accident to 1% intentional. That may be being generous on the intentional front.
                Here’s a regular scenario for me. I’m in need of a capital “A.” I hit the Shift key using my right hand, no problem. I reach for the “A” key with my left, my dominant hand, and somehow, someway, overshoot the “A” and nail the Caps Lock. Of course, I assume everything went according to plan and so I’ll just continue typing away. Yes, despite the amount of time I spend using keyboards, I still find myself watching my fingers as I type. I’m not looking for the letters, necessarily. The only way I can explain this is, I use my feet a lot, and yet I still find myself staring at them while I walk. It’s just a habit?
                Back to the problem. So, I’m typing along and then I glance at my screen and see it: a line or two of all caps. Unintentional all-caps. For years, this meant me having to delete everything I typed and then retype it. Only recently did I discover the existence in Microsoft word of the “Change Case” option. This helpful little icon can change all-caps text to any old kind of caps style you require, including regular-caps text.    
                Still, it’s an added step that I don’t need in my life. Is there any reason the Caps Lock key needs to exist let alone occupy such a place of prominence on my keyboard? I mean, I’m good with holding the Shift button down if I for some reason need a lengthy sequence of caps. But if this needs its own button, why can’t that button live off with the equally little used, by me anyway, Num Lock button? You know, somewhere where a guy is less-likely to accidentally encounter it while he’s feverously typing about nonsense for a personal blog?
                Perhaps it’s a union thing among keyboard keys. Or could it be that Big Caps Lock has the keyboard industry wrapped around its little finger? I can’t say.
                If we can’t get rid of or move the Caps Lock key, here’s an idea. Let’s put one of those little glass cubes on top of it. There will be a little hinge so the cube can be lifted up. Basically, it’s like the thing that covers the red “Nuclear War” button that every president has on his/her desk in the movies. That way, if I need Caps Lock (assuming hell has frozen over), it’s still in its same high-value spot. All I need to do is lift up the little cover and tap it. Then, when I’m done, I can replace the cover and carry on with my typing, free of the fear of accidentally activating it.
                Is this too much to ask? Presidential candidates! Hear me, I pray you! The first one of you that starts talking about keyboard key placement will absolutely get my vote next year! Unless it’s Trump. Then I’m going to have to rethink my position on this thing entirely.

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