Thursday, July 30, 2009

MacBookPro - low budget keyboard - vim and mc

I realized that the very hyper glamorized MacBookPro (and probably the other variants) was designed against portability, developers and system administrators.

While every application (ahh, before getting in to this apple stuff) built its navigation system having in mind few "standard" keys, most of them are missing on MacBookPro keyboard: Page Up, Page Down, Home, End (Insert, Delete, ...). There is no indication on the keyboard what combination of keys to press to get them.

Of course, because it is not something standard, you have to remember for each application the combination or try blindly CMD, SHIFT, CTRL, ALT plus UP, DOWN, LEFT or RIGHT (BACKSPACE). If you are lucky you may get it. If you are "very lucky" you may screw up what you do because the combination you just tried does something else.

Considering opening an account to make donations for future versions to overcome this...

Google did its job this time as well. Here are some hints for guys doing remote administration via terminal.

Midnight Commander - nightmare commander without INSERT key - you are saved by CTRL+t.

I nice guide to start with Midnight Commander can be found here. Default hotkeys bindings can be found on project's web site.

Vim is classic and designed to be terminal independent, therefore has lot of direct keyboard shortcuts
  • type 'i' to get in insert mode
  • '$' and '^' to jump to start of line end of line in command mode
See here a comprehensive list of vim tips.

Also take in consideration a 5 bucks usb keyboard - can save you some nerves (and the macbook) during migration time.

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