Blasting caps 17 Aug 2006
ARE YOU SICK OF PEOPLE SHOUTING? TIRED OF RETYPING? FRUSTRATED BY FAILED LOGINS? Pieter Hintjens is. That's why he launched the CAPSoff organisation - an entity dedicated to urging hardware manufacturers to eradicate Caps Lock from our keyboards.
Hintjens considers the Caps Lock key an unwanted relic that dates back to the times when typewriters reigned supreme. A time when bold text wasn't possible - or at least not without going back and typing the same text on top of itself.
"Obviously the keyboard producers have been so indoctrinated that they don't even inspect their own products any longer," Hintjens writes. "Listen, dudes: No one wants that crummy Caps key. It's history."
We can certainly see the advantages of removing this pesky key, but there are significant disadvantages too.
Losing Caps Lock would reduce our ability to express ourselves (sometimes you really do need to SHOUT!) and would remove a potent weapon from the graphic designer's arsenal. It would also make it a little more difficult for us to type acronyms and abbreviations.
Perhaps the most important reason for retaining the key however, lies in the fact that many legacy software applications require it. Joel East, a keyboard designer interviewed by Wired magazine, points out that the Caps Lock key is used frequently in data entry and inventory management. The medical industry, for example, is still rife with "green screen" terminals that will only accept input in uppercase.
Bookmark this page
To create a TrackBack to this entry simply append
ping/ to the permalink URL for this page.