Tag Archives: DIY

Death to Caps Lock: An AutoHotKey Story

This entire post pertains to using Windows. I have zero clue about Macs or any other operating systems. Sorry!

600capslock_kind_like_that

THE CAPS LOCK KEY IS THE BANE OF INTERNET CIVILITY. Long has it been the weapon of choice for trolls, jerks, and other Internet low-lifes. I had a dream once that its purpose would be re-tooled, christened by a new found use that would redeem it forever. This is the story of achieving that dream.

I’ve never found any use for Caps Lock. In fact, it has long been more of a curse than a blessing. I suppose some more-than-deviants might find value in its existence. But I am not one of them.

More often than not, I’d accidentally press it. As a result, the next message I’d type would necessarily need correction. Either the direct sort where I just start over or the lazy sort where I apologize to whomever I sent it to for my yelling.

Then it dawned on me one fateful afternoon: I don’t have to continue living this way. In fact, I bet I can find a way to make Caps Lock my friend, not my enemy.

I wanted to repurpose my Caps Lock key to do something I did more and more often while sitting at a computer: search. This was before Chromebooks had been created (their keyboards replace Caps Lock with a search key), so Google probably owes me money. Just kidding Google, don’t cut off my Internet traffic!

When I am sitting at a computer, I am almost always using a browser (Chrome, because HAIL GOOGLE). If I want to look for a YouTube video, I go to YouTube and type in what I want. If I want to use Wikipedia, I go to Wikipedia and type in what I want. It’s all a bit tedious and, frankly, unnecessary.

I’ll save the parts about search functionality for another post, but I did manage to remake my Caps Lock key into almost exactly what I wanted. The process is so simple that I fully believe you could make it into most anything. How about a Reverse-Tab key for better tab-targeting controls in World of Warcraft? How about a ‘LOL’ key for quickly responding to those “funny” videos your mom/aunt/cousin keep linking you? AutoHotKey makes the possibilities endless!

While AutoHotKey is a lot more powerful than the relatively simple reason I use it, my only real need for it is to remap my Caps Lock key. Now, there are ways to do that without the need of an external program, but I like pretending I’ll one day master other aspects of the program. Your mileage may vary.

AutoHotKey is 100% free and open-source.  You download it here.  After you install it, find it in the bottom right corner of your screen with all the other icons and right click. Choose ‘Edit Script’.

Everything AutoHotKey does runs from this single script. You want to change ‘x’ key to do ‘y’, then this is where you put it. Once you are done writing your script, then save it. Find AutoHotKey again, right click just as you did before, and select ‘Reload Script’.

Now, writing the script is the ‘hard’ part though it is relatively simple. For a list of Hotkey references, check here. For a list of how to reference each individual key, check here. For a list of how to reference specific commands, check here.

A basic key modification will look like this: x::y. ‘x’ will be the key you want to modify, in our case, Caps Lock. ‘y’ will be what you want it to do.

Let’s begin with make a LOL key:

According to the key reference list, Caps Lock is Capslock, so in the formula x::y we replace the x with ‘Capslock’ if we want to modify our Capslock key.

Capslock::y

According to the command reference list, to send input to our current window i.e. type ‘LOL in the message box, we use ‘Send’ followed by the keys we want sent. We put this in the y spot of our formula.

Capslock::Send LOL

Save, click reload script, and BOOM: your Caps Lock key now types ‘LOL’ for you. Quickly dismissing links to videos you don’t feel like watching or awkward comments from boys whose hearts you aren’t ready to break will never be easier.

You can also use it to Run programs:

Capslock::Run Chrome

Launch specific folders:

Capslock::Run D:\Dropbox\Screenshots

There are so many possibilities, ones that go far beyond replacing only your Caps Lock key. I also got rid of Scroll Lock. AutoHotKey is the perfect DIY app to play around with on a relaxing Sunday. I cannot recommend it enough!

If you are still having trouble, here’s a more in depth guide. Also, feel free to ask for assistance in the comments. I am no expert, but my Caps Lock search key makes me one heck of a quick researcher.

 

Advertisements

Cosplay Closet: Battle Bunny Riven— The Sword

This post comes a little later than promised, but here it is! Making the Battle Bunny Riven sword was a tough and awesome experience, and despite a few mishaps, I’m really proud to have pulled it off. I’d never even attempted to make something like this, and I’m really happy with the way it turned out.

photo 2-1

The Sword

If you’re looking to make something, the first place to turn is always YouTube. A quick search for a Battle Bunny sword turned up some great videos by Coca Rocha of Glamourous Gamer Girls. One set was a series on how to make the original Riven sword and a time lapse video on making the Battle Bunny version. These videos were super helpful in giving some step by step instructions and overall ideas on how to construct the sword.

If you’re thinking of constructing this sword too, I’d give yourself 2 weeks or more, depending on how busy you are. For us, we had 5 full days to work on the sword with some little work in between, and you have to give yourself time for things to dry too.

Here’s what we used:

  • 12 sheets of particle board
  • Tape or adhesive
  • Ruler
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • Box cutter and/or x-acto knife
  • Fast mache or paper mache materials
  • Sandpaper/sander
  • Household Plaster
  • Spray paint
  • Acrylic paint

photo 1-1

The first thing to do is to sketch out the shape of the sword on the particle board. Fun tip: the Dollar Store sells these sheets so it’s cheap to stock up on them. We wanted the sword to be big, so we used two sheets, one of the top and one for the bottom of the sword. We freehanded the sketch and I used the videos and images as reference. Using a ruler to measure between things like wear the hilts leaf details began and ended was helpful too.

photo 1

Once you have the shape you want, use the box cutter or x-acto knife to cut it out. I’d suggest cutting it as close as possible since you can use this first piece to trace the other pieces. It also helps cut down on shaving and sanding later. After ours was cut out, we traced and cut out 5 more full sword shapes to layer.

photo 2photo 3

To give the sword mass, you simply hot glue the pieces together in a stack. How many layers you do is really up to you in terms of how think you want the sword to be. We did 6 full sword pieces and then two layers of just the hilt detail (circle with leafs, etc.) on each side of the sword. We also cut out the shapes near the hilt and at the top of the blade for two of the pieces to give them some depth.

When stacking, you want to be as exact as possible. We ran in to some problems where things were really off and we had to spend more time cutting these down so they were correct afterwards.

photo 4

photo 5

After you have the sword shaped and stacked the way you want it, it’s time to mache. If you’re more comfortable paper mache-ing, that’s cool. I think Coco suggests in her video to do 3 or 4 layers to make sure the sword doesn’t break. But since we were a little short on time and the sword had a lot of little details, we decided to go with fast mache. You can find fast mache mix at Michael’s of JoAnn’s for about $25 and it’s enough to last you a while.

Basically, you mix it up with water until you get the right consistency, and then you spread it on the entirety of the sword. Admittedly, Peter was much better at this than I was. Mostly, you just have to be careful to spread it evenly and not let it get clumpy. It takes about 18 hours to dry and we did it one side at a time, so make sure to leave yourself enough time for it to completely dry or it could effect your sword.

After the fast mache is dry, you’ll probably have to sand the sword. I just used straight sandpaper in varies grains, but if you have a sander, that would be easier. Sand down any rough edges or to bring out the little details more. If you run into places that the fast mache didn’t quite cover or places that are a little lumpy, you can use the household plaster. This is the same plaster you’d use to cover nail holes in your wall and it’s available at Home Depot and Target. I used an old gift card to help spread and smooth the plaster on some places on the sword. The plaster takes about 2 hours to dry completely.

photo

And after all this time waiting for things to dry, you can start to paint. I used some plastic bags to cover different places on the sword, but the biggest area I did first, then the hilt. Don’t worry if some of the paint bleeds into some areas since you can always cover it later on.

Unfortunately, the day we were supposed to leave for San Diego, we noticed that the middle of the sword (where the two pieces of particle board were attached) was sagging a little bit. We really didn’t want the sword to snap in half so we made a last minute decision to wrap the middle section in painters tape. If we’d had more time, we could have re-fast mached that section, but we didn’t so we just went with a quick solution. We went with painters tape because we knew it could be painted over.

photo 3-3

Here is the final result! We did silver paint for the outside and edge, since it is a sword after all, and then used acrylic paint to do some detailing. We used a bright green to pop out some of the hilt details and we used a darker orange for the inside edges. I love the way the paint job turned out, it really made the sword look awesome.

photo 2-3

I was so excited to rock the whole Battle Bunny Riven cosplay at Gam3rCon’s cosplay lounge party. My favorite part of the sword was how big it was! It definitely looked intimidating. A lot of people asked about the sword and I was really proud to talk about making it. It really gives me the confidence to tackle other weapons projects in the future.

If you have any questions about making the sword, leave them below or check out the videos that helped me! 

emily peter sig

Find Wrong Button on Twitter Facebook Etsy

Learn more about Emily & Peter!

Wrong Button’s “On a Geekly Basis”

Hello fellow geeks and nerds!

We are pleased to reintroduce our weekly feature that has been running on our blog for almost 2 amazing months now! On a Geekly Basis features pictures, videos, podcasts and interviews with our favorite geeks and geeky things every week. Being a geek or a nerd means being apart of a very large community of awesome people and we want to introduce you to some of them!

geekly logo

Here’s what we look for:

Do you consider yourself a geek/nerd? Are you a Dungeon Master, gamer, cosplayer, have a geeky podcast, blog, or an extensive action figure collection? Are you a comic book writer/artist or storeowner? Do you make geektastic films or viral videos? Are you into geeky crafts or creations? We want to hear from you for a weekly feature on our blog!

Please email wrongbuttonblog@gmail.com for more information on how to submit yourself or someone you know.

No one is too big or too small (as long as we can get in contact with them!).
emily peter sig