I recently bought myself a new keyboard. For over a decade, I used a Goldtouch ergonomic keyboard. Through a half-dozen computers, this keyboard was my constant companion. The thing was awesome and very good for my wrists, which are not so well after many years of keyboarding under deadline. This keyboard splits in the center so you can slant the typing surface to type in a more natural wrist position. I credit this keyboard with the minor recovery my wrists have made from what was once a pretty bad case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome back in my days on-staff at PC World. I loved that old keyboard and didn’t really want to buy a new one but it was showing signs of wear, occasionally did a bit of typing of its own, and no longer had the right plug for my current computer. The adapter I was using to plug it in was probably the source of the ghost typing. So, in much the same way a guy buys shoes, I ordered exactly the same keyboard again. This time in black (shown) and with the new keyboard connector.
I’m glad I did.
My new keyboard has a lighter touch so I don’t hit the keys as hard. But otherwise it’s almost exactly like my old one but spiffier. But there is one irksome problem. Someone at Goldtouch thought it would be a good idea to put the “Home” key where the “Back Space” key was on my old keyboard. Now I am constantly hitting the “Home” key and jumping to the top of a document when my fingers are flying along the keyboard at 9,000 words per minute. This has caused hundreds â€“ if not thousands — of annoying typos.
I know I’m not alone in hating some out-of-place key on a keyboard. There are a couple of irritatingly misplaced keys on my laptop too. But this was simply too much. I had to do something about it.
So I did.
I downloaded a handy, free utility called Key Tweak. This bit of software is a sort of visual interface that allows you to reprogram any key on your keyboard from what it is to what you think it should be even if you aren’t very geeky. Once I installed the program, it opened to a picture of a keyboard. This didn’t look exactly like my keyboard but all the keys were there in approximately the same place. I located the on-screen version of the “Home” key. Then I used a drop-down menu to change its behavior to “Back Space.” Then I hit save and â€“ as instructed â€“ restarted my computer. This all took â€“ including the download â€“ about 10 minutes. And those were ten minutes well spent. No more typos â€“ at least not the irritating ones this “Home” key was causing.
In other news, don’t miss my super-outstanding giveaway of a Broadband2Go device from Virgin Mobile. Got a netbook? You want this!