Here are the first three changes I make to a new computer.
- Remap Caps Lock to be a control key.
- Delete all icons from the desktop.
- Mute the sound.
- Why and how to remap Caps Lock (Windows, Linux, and Mac)
- Deleting the Windows recycle bin icon
17 thoughts on “First changes to a new computer”
Caps Lock as input language changing button works pretty well too.
Why do you do this? It may be a dumb question but I am curious.
Mike: The link above explains why I remap Caps Lock.
I delete icons from the desktop because I like a clean desktop. I use my desktop as a work space, only putting things there temporarily because I’m working on them. Having icons permanently there that I don’t use is distracting.
As for sound, I don’t need all the beeps and dings for notifications and I find them annoying. In fact, I find almost all sound coming out of my computer annoying. When I want to hear something, I turn the sound on.
I turn off sound too, but I map Caps Lock to Compose. That’s an insanely useful key to have on Linux keyboards as it makes rare useful characters (degree: 20°; Overstrike vowels: Ōsaka; umlauts: ü; cross product: ×; real em-dash: —; real ellipsis: … and so on and so on) immediately accessible on the keyboard.
1) format hard drive to remove Windows
2) install Ubuntu
3) Remap Caps Lock to be a control key
4) use a screwdriver to physically remove the old left-side control key (seriously!)
Are you an emacs user? I’m considering mapping it to meta (Alt)
Canageek: I do use Emacs. I use Escape or Alt for the meta key. And I use F8 for M-x.
As a vim user I map it to Esc :)
I have to turn off the sound, because I’ve never bothered to learn how to turn off the bell when using the command line. Bing Bing Bing-Bing-Bing… sounds like I’m playing pinball.
This time around I am trying this variation on my new machine (thinkpad):
Leave Windows (7, 64bit) installed as base OS and install kubuntu in VirtualBox.
Things seem great so far (performance). All special thinkpad hardware is working (trackpoint/scrolling, fingerprint reader), which was not the case last time when I did a clean install of kubuntu.
I just remove the key from the keyboard. That way, I don’t accidentally hit the control key either.
As a vim user, I still bind caps to ctrl (not esc). This is largely because I like esc where it is, and find the ctrl placement is useful in both vim, and other apps (screen, tmux, tiling window managers, browsers, etc). Also, if I’m using vim efficiently, I type esc infrequently enough that it’s occurrence brings a welcome phrasing to my typing. Oh right, and this change is made immediately after switching my keyboard layout to dvorak, but that’s another story ;-)
The first things I do are install Chrome and Dropbox and sync.
I agree with Janne (#4) that Compose key is handy, but I map the right Alt key. Why do we need two Alt keys?
I assume the intention behind two Alt keys is to use the left one with letters on the right hand and vice versa, as with the Shift keys.
I do use both shift keys, though I only use the left Alt key.
@Eric: Japanese laptop keyboard; I have no right Alt key. As an aside, having Japanese keyboard hardware work nicely with a Swedish keyboard layout is a slightly nontrivial exercise, and it’s trouble to map other keys to your liking along the way.
One of my computers runs Windows 7. It has a new feature where you can turn off the annoying system sounds yet listen to vids or music. Perfect compromise.
I open-sourced Keymapper (https://github.com/pate/keymapper), a small utility that remaps Caps Lock to Backspace without rebooting on Windows using a global keyboard hook.
Read the post and get the compiled executable here: http://freshcode.co/post/Remap-Caps-Lock-Without-Reboot.aspx