Monday 21 July 2008

Perhaps extra keys on a keyboard aren't that bad an idea...

on the newfound use of useless keys

Whilst my work is nowadays mostly done on my macbook (running windows, much to my lament), at home I usually drop the laptop besides my desktop, boot it into mac os x, and use it as a communications central with email and IM open while working on some other thing on the desktop. Call it a strange dual-head, quad-core computing station.

Instead of switching around keyboards when I need to pass from one computer to the other, I use (and profoundly adore) synergy, which allows one keyboard+mouse combo to control more than one computer, via the network. But until now, to change from one computer to another (let's say to talk to someone on IM) my hand had to leave the home keys of the keyboard to use the mouse to move from one computer to the other (since synergy uses the edges of the monitor to cross control from one computer to another).

But no more! Remembering some button with "hotkeys" on the label on the configuration manager, I managed to bind two keys, one to move left, other to move right. But then the dilema... which keys?

I didn't want a hard, multiple key, emacs-like, binding. I was looking for a short stroke to allow for quick back-and-forth, since that was the most common scenario (coding on the desktop, and going to the laptop to spout nonsense on im and back again to serious business).

Enter the most useless keys on my current keyboard, a logitech internet navigator. A fine keyboard all in all, with a wheel on the left side (which I tend to use quite often, as a matter of fact) and two keys below it, go and back.

Previously useless keys

Bind go for left, back to right and we've got a pan-computer Alt-Tab.


No comments: