My company recently upgraded me to a new laptop, and it almost didn’t survive the first hour in my safekeeping.
The old Dell was was working fine … except that it was no longer on speaking terms with its fancy-schmancy docking station. I use two external monitors when I’m at my desk, and while the computer was in its cradle, the monitors would flash and sputter like they were auditioning for a Pink Floyd laser show. As it turned out, it was the port on the underside of the laptop and not the docking station that had decided to fail. So it was time for a new laptop.
The new one is a Lenovo Yoga 710. It’s the kind that kind of converts into almost a tablet. It has a touch screen, because apparently that’s what laptops have nowadays. Whatever … I doubt the laptop will be doing much downward-facing dog, but it’s super light and pretty sexy for a laptop without an Apple logo on it.
It also has the stupidest bloody keyboard ever designed by humankind.
Seriously, I don’t know what the geniuses at Lenovo were thinking when they designed this thing. Did they do any user testing at all?
Here’s the deal. Every other keyboard in the history of keyboards has a Left Shift key to the left of the Z key and a Right Shift key to the right of the / key. (I should point out that intelligent people call it the “Slash Key,” while everybody else calls it the “Forward-Slash Key.” Nobody knows why.)
This, in case you are currently unaffiliated, is the way God intended keyboards to be. If you want to capitalize any of the letters on the right side of the keyboard, you use your left pinkie to hold down the button right beside the Z. And if you want to capitalize any of the letters on the left side of the keyboard, you use your right pinkie to hold down the button right beside the /. Glory, hallelujah.
But not in Yogaland. When you’re in Yogaland, the world is now tilted on its side. Sure, you still capitalize right-side letters with the button next to the Z. But if you want to capitalize a letter on the left side of the keyboard, you hold down the Up Arrow key, which happens to be the button directly beside the / (“Slash”) key, and then you type a lower-case letter (because you missed the Right Shift key altogether, as it’s in the absolute wrong effing place) and you type this lower-case letter in the middle of the word that’s directly above the place you wanted to type it, because you already hit the effing Up Arrow key to get there. So you backspace and try it again, but do the exact same effing thing because you’ve been typing on regular effing keyboards since you were in junior effing high and they’ve all had essentially the same effing layout until the stupid effing geniuses at Lenovo decided that the effing Page Up key should actually go where the effing Right Shift key should be and you do it again and again until you want to chuck the shiny effing new laptop out the front effing door and then run it over and over again with your effing car.
And you cuss and you cuss and you cuss.
Thank the Lord above for KeyTweak, some free keyboard remapping software that allowed me to save my sanity, my laptop, and my capital letters. Thanks to this Godsend tool, I was able to reassign the Up Arrow functionality to the Right Shift key, and make the actual Up Arrow do what God intended it to do, which is obviously to make capital letters with wild abandon.
I’m still debating whether to grab a screwdriver and pry off the actual buttons and put them in the places where every deity in every known religious pantheon intended them to be. Somehow, I suspect that would void the effing warranty. But I also suspect it would be monumentally satisfying.
For now, at least I’m reasonably sure I won’t throw this thing into the street and run it over with my car. And that’s a blessing.