DIY. Why? Because I broke my nerdboard, of course. How soldering and open source software saved the day, and my nerve damaged hands.

My hands hurt. It’s a surprise given that I do tech work, but not when you consider that I also play bass guitar in two bands (one coincidentally named Static Hands) and I spend many hours a day typing. The impact on my hands got so bad that I was experiencing muscle spasms that immobilized my right thumb. Ouch.

The Kinesis Advantage ergonomic keyboard is like typing on clouds, but the price is steep at $350. At the much appreciated suggestion of my CTO, I picked one up used for $150 used. It’s wonderful. However, this one had a defect. The tilde key was sticking, not the key cap, but inside the switch. Hmmmm….

DIY electronics skills to the rescue! I desoldered the key from the cool, curvy circuit board. Then I needed to re-map the tilde key, because I use the back tick constantly for quoting in Slack posts. An open source, freeware application called Karabiner did the job, after a few puzzling minutes figuring out it’s funny interface.

Should you ever need any key mapping, please please please support the creator of Karabiner with a $10 donation. Many open source software projects survive on donations alone, and they are so very worthy of your support. In the realm of audio, there Audacity, which has saved me more than once… but that’s for another post.

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