Killing the CAPS LOCK Key in OS X [Updated 2x]

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Date: Monday, November 26th, 2001, 11:22
Category: Archive

[Updated] uControl effectively disables the CAPS LOCK key in Mac OS X.

uControl maps your control key to it’s rightfully intended place on your laptops keyboard; the place thats currently occupied by the oft-unused caps lock key. No more finger acrobatics are required for using control-intensive Unix applications. Caps lock functionality is still available by pressing the Apple modifier key in conjunction with the caps lock key.

ShadowCulture writes: “Been using this tidy little thing with OSX for some weeks now, it remaps the caps lock key to a harmless control key and it’s easy to remove if you don’t like it.”


[Update 1] uControl effectively disables the CAPS LOCK key in Mac OS X.

uControl maps your control key to it’s rightfully intended place on your laptops keyboard; the place thats currently occupied by the oft-unused caps lock key. No more finger acrobatics are required for using control-intensive Unix applications. Caps lock functionality is still available by pressing the Apple modifier key in conjunction with the caps lock key.

ShadowCulture writes: “Been using this tidy little thing with OSX for some weeks now, it remaps the caps lock key to a harmless control key and it’s easy to remove if you don’t like it.”


[Update 2] Christophe Pierard points us to How to modify OS X keyboard mappings on Macintouch’s Mac OS X Reader Reports: Part 63. “I finally figured out how to do it. A little tedious, but it seems to work like a charm.”


[Original story] Ross Barkman informs me that although he has created an alternate keyboard layout that effectively nukes the CAPS LOCK key – the hack only works with Mac OS 9. Mac OS X has a series of files in the System/Library/Keyboards directory that end in either “.keyboard” or “.keymapping” but they are beyond my scope of expertise. I emailed a few to Ross who responded with the email below.

Ewwww – nasty little buggers, aren’t they? The Apple.keyboard one is a graphical representation of each key, along with its associated scan code. The other two are pure data files – I’ve found a document that shows what appear to be the correct data structures, but it’s going to take a while to digest it.

One thing that may help – the page above is actually the manual for a utility which produces a readable version of the keymap – the source code is here. According to the instructions here, you then compile it using:

cc -Wall -framework IOKit
-I/System/Library/Frameworks/Kernel.framework/Headers -o dumpkeymap dumpkeymap.cc

If you know anyone who can compile dumpkeymap, then can go into Terminal and do a dumpkeymap for those two files, it will make the interpretation a lot easier. Since I’m still an OSX-free zone, I can’t really do much in that direction.

If that’s not possible, no biggie – the answer /might/ lie in the Apple.keyboard file anyway. I just need to find a meaningless scan code to patch CapsLock to – problem is, I don’t know what’s meaningless. And I have the sneaking suspicion that Apple.keyboard is just a GUI- related thing to allow apps to display a meaningful keyboard layout.

Kia ora,
Ross

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