Keyboard adventures!

Some of you might follow me on various social channels and know that I recently had a wrist injury. When recovering from that injury, I found it easier to get an ergonomic keyboard.

Even though I’m almost all fixed now, the ergonomic keyboard is quite awesome, so I’m keeping it.

For those following along at home, it is a Gold Touch GTN-0099. I got mine locally via PBTech, but I’m sure wherever you are, you’ll be able to find one or one similar.

Goldtouch GTN-0099 Keyboard folded up
Goldtouch GTN-0099 Keyboard

I love it. The only issue is that the tenting folded form factor obviously means you can’t have a number pad. A number pad means that your entire keyboard is off-centre, so of course, it wouldn’t work to have the break in the middle.

No issues got me a Microsoft Bluetooth Numpad. The bonus was that it works on up to three devices, so I could possibly get a cute bag for it and use it with my Surface Pro when I’m on the move.

Microsoft Bluetooth Number Pad in Glacier colour
Microsoft Bluetooth Number Pad in Glacier colour

This is when I started having the predictable issue of the NumLock function changing my uiojklm keys into 4561230… sigh.

I initially resigned myself to remember to turn off NumLock every time I used the number pad, which is a ridiculous solution.

So, strap in… I dived in to find out exactly what it does, and came up with the following:

SCENARIOWhat I’m doingStatus of NumLock LightStatus of UIOJKLM Keys
1Typing as normalOffLetters
2Type on Microsoft Number Pad (everything off)Changes to greenLetters
3Press Fn Button (after typing on Number Pad)Yellowy-OrangeNumbers
4Press Fn Button (when Numlock light is off)Dark OrangeLetters
5Type on Microsoft Number Pad (when Fn is on)Changes to yellow-orangeNumbers

Now, my issue is that Scenario 5 is my ‘normal’ mode. I want to be able to use the number pad whenever I want, and I want the FNLock to be on all the time. The Function lock gives me the ability to pause/play, switch to next song, or repeat the previous song, all without going to my default music player.

Oh, what to do? What do I compromise on?

Then I discovered AutoHotKey!

AutoHotKey

I can’t believe I haven’t messed around with AutoHotKey before. It’s amaze. A quick install from their site, and I was off.

I created the following script which maps:

  • Ctrl + Numpad 6 as Next Song
  • Ctrl + Numpad 4 as Prev Song
  • Ctrl + Numpad 5 as Play/Pause

It doesn’t matter what your default music player is, it works 🙂

;next song
^Numpad6::Send {Media_Next}
return


;previous song
^Numpad4::Send {Media_Prev}
return


;play/pause
^Numpad5::Send {Media_Play_Pause}
return
Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!
(Description of above gif: Character from Walking Dead with the words “Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy” superimposed over the top)

Used their in-built Convert ahk to exe programme to make the script into an exe.

Then dropped the shortcut to my newly minted exe into my startup menu, so it starts every time my PC starts up.

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