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Archive for August, 2006

Microsoft Keyboard and OSX, Tilde doesn’t work

without comments

The bold part would be the “how to fix this problem” version of this post.

Maybe this is a stupid problem, or a result of plugging in a keyboard the first time I booted up a new machine, but I was having some major problems with the key mapping on my trusty Microsoft Wireless Natural Multimedia Keyboard. The biggest problem was that my ~ (tilde) key didn’t work. This sounds like a stupid problem, right? Wrong.

That ~/` key does two important things. Toggle between open application windows (generally) and specify my home directory in the command-line (and when I set up a new machine I live in Terminal for about two days). I was so bothered by this that I actually switched to the Apple Keyboard and Mighty Mouse to see how that was. In a word, it was “bad”. My wrists began to hurt immediately and my typing/mousing speed was terrible. Anyway, this is a all backstory…

After 10′ish searches on Google with no success I ultimately stumbled across the “Keyboard Viewer” in the International Preference Pane. I watched what ~/`was doing, and it was pushing cmd+space (which is obviously not a character). Then I opened Microsoft Keyboard’s Preference Pane and pressed the ~/` key. It popped up the Hot Key dialog and asked what this key should do. After trying a few options I realized that “Handled by Mac OS” was the right answer. Now I have a tilde again and all is right with the world… or at least a LOT better!

Written by jthurber

August 17th, 2006 at 4:39 pm

Posted in General