My obsession for the perfect keyboard (much like Stephen King’s search for the perfect desk, see his excellent On Writing) knows no bounds.  I bought a gamepad and, after a ludicrous amount of Googling, found a utility to customise it.  It’s called ‘antimicro’ and it enables you to change all the buttons and thumb sticks.

I had the idea to use it to navigate a Word document as a macropad.  Instead of fiddling with the cursor keys, say, I can use the exciting thumb stick to nip about as if writing about spaceships needs a more futuristic set of controls.  (I’m currently writing a novel set in 1901, so it’s not really apt.)  The gamepad also extra buttons which I can use to do… er, stuff.

I have managed to get it working, but I’ve not used it in anger as such.  This is partly because I have a full keyboard in front of me (stop press: 2.5 keyboards) with perfectly good cursor keys (and autohotkey and autocorrect (see previous blogs) that do everything anyway).  However, it’s mostly because it feels awkward.  That’s probably only the learning curve.  I really ought to practise. 

I suspect the gamepad is merely a stepping stone to overleap towards the ultimate setup.  Other ideas have made this one positively, er, last month.  It might come into its own later.  I can see a genuine use when editing and beta-reading, but I’m not currently doing any of that.

But I can sit back and browse the internet, so that’s a step that’s not backwards.  And it might give you ideas.


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