Re: CAPSLOCK, emacs for NT, control key swaps, and more

Joseph Kiniry (
Sun, 11 May 1997 18:47:14 -0700

> 1. You wouldn't happen to have a programmable keyboard, would you?
> Gateway used to sell their boxes with funky programmable keyboards. When
> my son was enough months old to bash on my keyboard, I would find my
> machine in the same crippled state. And of course the damn keyboard was
> *designed* to remember its programming after reboots.

actually, no, we have standard keyboards. no win95 key or anything.

> 2. Didn't shift bring you back to lowercase?


> 3. Just in case you actually want to run gnu-emacs directly on your
> Windows NT box, check out
> (One of the
> first things I did after joining Microsoft was to work on the existing
> gnu-emacs-to-Win32 port until I found it usable, e.g., making the
> split-window bars be reverse video like they are supposed to be. Geoff
> Voelker, as a Microsoft intern, picked up the port and has done a great
> job on it.)

we do, and thanks _very_ much for the pointer. my previous search only
brought up a completely fucked 19.14 port that i threw out. after
installing this version (which works fairly well, but not completely up to
snuff for my patterns - but i'll deal) i found his link to a little
registry hack to swap caps lock and control from some guy at berkeley.
good deal!

of course, the install program (the thing that is supposed to tweak the
registry for me) crashed and burned and all the sudden most of the icons on
my desktop were either gone completely, ghosted, or mapped to other icons i
didn't recognize. i ended up having to hand-edit the registry entries and,
after logging out and logging back in, all the icon mappings are back to
normal and my caps lock is banished! great! almost usable - too bad we're
getting rid of these things!

> 4. Moving from Unix to Windows NT is incredibly frustrating, but I
> think that's largely because so much is different. I remember *hating*
> Unix after moving from VMS. I couldn't believe that there was no EDT
> equivalent (and no, vi does not count). I couldn't believe how
> brain-dead the mail program was. Etc. Years later, I found myself with
> 'ls' and 'cd' wired into my fingers, laughing out loud at the login
> prompt for Windows NT which requires you to type CTRL-ALT-DEL (which at
> the time symbolized everything wrong with Microsoft, namely that you
> always had to CTRL-ALT-DEL to get your machine back because Windows was
> always crashing)...

well, i've used windows boxes on and off in professional contexts ever
since we were all wee bitz, thus i'm quite "comfortable" with the
interface. the problem really is that, even if the operating system &
progs were stable and usable (which i argue that they are not - but that's
another story) the user interface is a horrid amalgam of ideas taken from
other UIs thrown together in a completely frustrating, inconsistent
fashion. i should have dan begin enumerating the inconsistencies and poor
design choices in the UI alone (i'd handle the OS and adam can do apps) -
we could then write a best-seller "what's wrong with windows". :)

oh, btw, the bug-tick list on our whiteboard now is nearly seven feet long.