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(The New York Times)   Who made the escape key? Probably the same guy that invented the 'any' key   (nytimes.com) divider line 143
    More: Interesting, Dance Dance Revolution, Tower of Babel, Timeline of computing 1950-1979, In other words  
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5120 clicks; posted to Geek » on 07 Oct 2012 at 2:55 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-07 06:00:36 PM  
Does anyone use the shft, ctrl and alt keys on the right side?
 
2012-10-07 06:04:42 PM  

BumpInTheNight: cman: mhd: Now for some keyboard pr0n:
[i.imgur.com image 485x474]

JESUS CHRIST WHAT THE fark IS THAT?

Standard issue girlfriend remote, what you didn't get one with yours?


I think it's gay. There's also a "Top" and "Greek" key.
 
2012-10-07 06:07:21 PM  

AlanSmithee: cman: mhd: Now for some keyboard pr0n:
[i.imgur.com image 485x474]

JESUS CHRIST WHAT THE fark IS THAT?

Its' got a 'rub out' key. Don't ask.


u push it while it's watching porn and it spews white stuff out of the CD tray
 
2012-10-07 06:13:14 PM  

Mitt Romneys Tax Return: BumpInTheNight: cman: mhd: Now for some keyboard pr0n:
[i.imgur.com image 485x474]

JESUS CHRIST WHAT THE fark IS THAT?

Standard issue girlfriend remote, what you didn't get one with yours?

I think it's gay. There's also a "Top" and "Greek" key.


Nah its all good just gotta bring it up a peg, works best when you 'lock mode'-asterisks-(digits 1-5)
when in rome...
 
2012-10-07 06:19:37 PM  

D1551D3N7: Can someone explain what the numpad is for? The numbers are already above the letters why waste space on more numbers?


People in financial occupations often learn to touchtype on desktop printing calculators. The right middle finger rests on the 5, the index finger on 4, and the ring finger on the 6. With practice, they can type long columns of numbers accurately without looking at the keyboard.

That is why you can buy external numeric keypads for laptop computers. They also, sometimes, have little numbers scribbled on the laptop -- mine has 1 on J, 2 in K, 4 on U, 5 on I, etc. Then, with a certain function key combination, use can use it as a numeric keypad. It sucks. Too diagonal...
 
2012-10-07 06:21:32 PM  

mhd: Now for some keyboard pr0n:
[i.imgur.com image 485x474]


What do those extra keys mean? I'll tell you what they mean -- they mean that you could make big bucks for knowing how to work with a mainframe or mini computer back in the old days...
 
2012-10-07 06:25:32 PM  
The break key is used while consoled into Cisco routers/switches during the devices start up to interrupt the boot process to perform a password recovery.

besides that....
 
2012-10-07 06:26:48 PM  

AlanSmithee: Does anyone use the shft, ctrl and alt keys on the right side?


Touch typist here and the right shift key is used quite often. Ctrl and Alt, not so much.
 
2012-10-07 06:28:06 PM  

D1551D3N7: Can someone explain what the numpad is for? The numbers are already above the letters why waste space on more numbers?


I see things the other way. When I'm typing, I can just move my hand over and bang out numbers on the 10-key pad without looking down. There's no reason to have the retarded row of numbers above the main keyboard, so that you have to look down to peck out numbers, unless you're stuck on a laptop. They need to change that top row so you don't have to shift to access all the common symbols like $%@&!
 
2012-10-07 06:33:22 PM  
So what happens if you type Ctrl + Alt and the right arrow key on your computer? Anything interesting??
 
2012-10-07 06:36:19 PM  

D1551D3N7: Can someone explain what the numpad is for? The numbers are already above the letters why waste space on more numbers?


"I've never had a real job. Can anyone tell?"
 
2012-10-07 06:39:00 PM  

flaminio: theorellior: The Esc key still has plenty of uses. Num Lock and Scroll Lock, not so much.

NumLock is useful, mostly for turning the numbers back on when someone turns them off.

Scroll Lock I've only ever used in Excel, and only about two or three times in my life.

The Pause/Break key used to be useful back in the DOS days. I doubt I've used it since the 1980s.

In 30 years of using PCs, I've never used the SysRq key.

[www.simtropolis.com image 350x263]


I have, and still do. I won't waste time telling you what you can already look up.

A lot of this thread seems to be people complaining that something they're personally unfamiliar must therefore logically be obsolete, redundant, or useless. I'm here to tell you that the people who design, manufacture, and sell us these products include these features for a reason, and know what they're doing. If you don't know what it's for, that's fine. Don't assume just because you don't, it's stupid.
 
2012-10-07 06:40:19 PM  

Candygram4Mongo: So what happens if you type Ctrl + Alt and the right arrow key on your computer? Anything interesting??


If your screen turned sideways, Ctrl + Alt and the up arrow should return it back to normal

/works with some Intel and nVidia graphics cards
//not a bug, a feature
///but particularly a nice prank on the uninformed
 
2012-10-07 06:41:41 PM  

BizarreMan: BumpInTheNight: Meh Esc is still my go to button to get into a game's menu system to pause/save/quit etc, only blizzard seems to insist on using something different (F10).

NOW CAPSLOCK, THAT THERE IS A FANTASTIC BUTTON.

But without the caps lock, how will people type capital letters?

//It drives me batshiat insane watching some people type in capital letters by hitting the caps lock, typing the single letter in their password or to start the sentence, then hit caps lock again to continue with their entry.

USE THE GODDAMN SHIFT key!


I get why it might make you smile to yourself, maybe raise an eyebrow, or even, on a bad day, make you shake your head with dismay. But it drives you "batshiat insane," you need to switch to decaf.
 
2012-10-07 06:42:46 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: D1551D3N7: Can someone explain what the numpad is for? The numbers are already above the letters why waste space on more numbers?

"I've never had a real job. Can anyone tell?"


Real jobs require a cash register?

/lulz
//rarely use the number pad
///rapidly inputting numbers isn't a real job, that's something I program a computer to do for me.
 
2012-10-07 06:45:36 PM  

BumpInTheNight: Sylvia_Bandersnatch: D1551D3N7: Can someone explain what the numpad is for? The numbers are already above the letters why waste space on more numbers?

"I've never had a real job. Can anyone tell?"

Real jobs require a cash register?

/lulz
//rarely use the number pad
///rapidly inputting numbers isn't a real job, that's something I program a computer to do for me.


I found the numpad pretty useful as keybinds for old arcade-style games. Also, ALT-Codes?!
 
2012-10-07 06:53:14 PM  
there are a few keys that i never use because i just dont find any reason to because like no one else does seriously have you been on facebook and like youtube obviously we have moved forwarda s a society and no longer need those keys anymore they are just for dumb dummies and olds who think that the value of a nidea is in some way tyed to the precision and amoiunt of error in the language that was used toi express it
 
2012-10-07 06:54:12 PM  

flaminio: Mitt Romneys Tax Return: flaminio: In 30 years of using PCs, I've never used the SysRq key.

You've never taken a screenshot using that key?

Sure, but that's a PrtScn, not a SysRq.


SysRq is 'system request,' and delivers an accompanying control code (defined by one or more other keys, according to preset bindings) to a low level of the system, which will have priority over running OS-level processes. It performs a function similar to ESC, except that instead of a single fixed code, it allows the user to deliver any of a larger number of discrete codes or series of codes. (Also, ESC often won't do anything useful in the worst cases, where SysRq still can.) In Linux, we use it most often to perform a soft forced reboot if the system goes into kernal panic or similarly enters an inescapable hang, loop, or halt. (Similar to BSD or equivalent major, OS-wide failure situations.)
 
2012-10-07 06:57:17 PM  

BizarreMan: AlanSmithee: Does anyone use the shft, ctrl and alt keys on the right side?

Touch typist here and the right shift key is used quite often. Ctrl and Alt, not so much.


The right-side duplicates serve two functions. Most commonly, they are used in combination with some right-side-only keys (such as SysRq) to perform special functions. Much less commonly, they are backups if the left-side ones fail, as they inevitably will if used enough, or you happened to spill something on that side.
 
2012-10-07 07:09:17 PM  

Candygram4Mongo: So what happens if you type Ctrl + Alt and the right arrow key on your computer? Anything interesting??


That combination can (or rather could) be used in sequence as a dedicated Web navigator. This is a legacy implentation from dating back to Win95, from Microsoft's now-defunct 'Media Web Partners' programme of that era, and only works with IE versions prior to 7, so it's *officially* 'impossible' to use now. However, community hacks have updated the callouts, and it supposedly works with a special third-party plugin I haven't bothered to look for. The callouts were different back in the day, but now it supposedly work like this: With control focus in IE, hit..

CTRL + ALT+ → takes you to National Review
" →→ (two strikes in rapid succession) takes you to Fox News
" →→→ -- Freep
" →→→→ -- WND
" →→→→→ -- InfoWars (a.k.a., the 'back around' callout)

There were also callouts for up, and left. Up-calls were mostly religious, as you'd expect, and were sposored, so probably none of them work anymore, (Though I can imagine hacks doing it just for the fun of it; maybe they go to ChristWire or something like that now.) Left-calls were like the above, and I'm not inclined to guess what they might be now, if they're still coded in any way. Left-one (one click) originally went to CPB. Down-calls were never officially allocated, but there have supposely been hacks for them all along. There's probably some Deep Web shiat on those now, if anything, probably a bad idea to try. (Again, assuming it even works, which it probably doesn't.)
 
2012-10-07 07:12:10 PM  

BumpInTheNight: Sylvia_Bandersnatch: D1551D3N7: Can someone explain what the numpad is for? The numbers are already above the letters why waste space on more numbers?

"I've never had a real job. Can anyone tell?"

Real jobs require a cash register?

/lulz
//rarely use the number pad
///rapidly inputting numbers isn't a real job, that's something I program a computer to do for me.


"I've also never had a real job, but I like to brag about it."
 
2012-10-07 07:12:21 PM  
The CTRL Key is much more important.
 
2012-10-07 07:14:49 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: BumpInTheNight: Sylvia_Bandersnatch: D1551D3N7: Can someone explain what the numpad is for? The numbers are already above the letters why waste space on more numbers?

"I've never had a real job. Can anyone tell?"

Real jobs require a cash register?

/lulz
//rarely use the number pad
///rapidly inputting numbers isn't a real job, that's something I program a computer to do for me.

"I've also never had a real job, but I like to brag about it."


I would like two orders of onion rings too please.
 
2012-10-07 07:23:18 PM  

D1551D3N7: cman: D1551D3N7: Can someone explain what the numpad is for? The numbers are already above the letters why waste space on more numbers?

If you were an accountant, they would have to pry the numkeys from your cold, dead hands

Thanks for a graphic explanation.


It's a calculator
 
mhd
2012-10-07 07:36:48 PM  

cman: JESUS CHRIST WHAT THE fark IS THAT?


That's a keyboard for a Symbolics Lisp Machine, nickname "space cadet keyboard". Having dedicated keys for some functions was pretty common, Sun keyboards had "Undo" and "Help" buttons. And it's been coming back now, with the default "start menu" button or the non-standardized media/browser buttons on most non-office keyboards nowadays.

The scary thing about this specific keyboard is that a lot of those keys are modifiers. With your normal keyboard, you've got two of those, accessed with the shift key: lowercase, uppercase or number/symbol. International keyboards also have the "AltGr" key to access euro signs or weird national letters.
As you can see, this keyboard had additional symbols printed on each key, access with "top" or "front". Mostly mathematical symbols and typographical punctuation (similar to what you can do on Mac keyboards with the Alt key or the old C64 graphical symbols).

And then you've got Hyper/Super/Meta/Control, all used for keyboard combinations, like you use 'Control-C' to copy and 'Alt-F4' to close windows. Apparently quite often used together, so you could e.g. be told to press "Hyper-Meta-S" to do something.
Although we're getting closer to that again. For a long time it was Control and Alt only, now you've got your Windows key, too (and of course on Macs you always had Command, Alt and Control).

What we're using right now is the 'AT' layout (plus Windows keys), something introduced with the eponymous IBM PC. Before that, even PC keyboards varied widely, and terminal/workstation keyboards even more. If I remember correctly, the first Amstrad PCs had Control and Alt where the capslock key is nowadays, and the XT had Control there, as did Sun workstation keyboards. Which is why some shortcuts are a bit awkward nowadays.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-10-07 07:40:54 PM  
After you've read mhd's explanation, you will understand emacs a little better. Not how to use it, but why RMS thought people enjoyed playing keyboard chords.
 
2012-10-07 07:42:59 PM  

DrPainMD: The CTRL Key is much more important.


I agree, which is why I can't understand why they ever took it off the home row. IBM and their damn 5150. They broke more standards with that thing...
 
2012-10-07 07:46:47 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: flaminio: theorellior: The Esc key still has plenty of uses. Num Lock and Scroll Lock, not so much.

NumLock is useful, mostly for turning the numbers back on when someone turns them off.

Scroll Lock I've only ever used in Excel, and only about two or three times in my life.

The Pause/Break key used to be useful back in the DOS days. I doubt I've used it since the 1980s.

In 30 years of using PCs, I've never used the SysRq key.

[www.simtropolis.com image 350x263]

I have, and still do. I won't waste time telling you what you can already look up.

A lot of this thread seems to be people complaining that something they're personally unfamiliar must therefore logically be obsolete, redundant, or useless. I'm here to tell you that the people who design, manufacture, and sell us these products include these features for a reason, and know what they're doing. If you don't know what it's for, that's fine. Don't assume just because you don't, it's stupid.


That's some Grade A Butthurt there. Aside from the fact that we're just talking about a key on a keyboard, where did I ever say it was stupid? I just said I haven't used it.

What's even more funny is that you say you won't waste time telling me what it does, and then in your follow-up post you do exactly that. Thanks for the explanation, I guess.
 
2012-10-07 07:53:27 PM  
What was the @ for before email?


/grew up before email, never used it.
 
2012-10-07 07:57:19 PM  

stuhayes2010: What was the @ for before email?


/grew up before email, never used it.


It was an abbreviation for "at", as in "6 widgets @ $1.00"
Link
 
2012-10-07 08:18:27 PM  
hight3ch.com

surprised this hasn't been mentioned yet. The most worthless and sadistically evil key in existence.
 
2012-10-07 08:27:43 PM  
I've spent too much on keyboards I like, and learned to how to use them too well, to drop them for voice input or the like. But I'd still spend plenty on yet another keyboard if I could find one that had (as mentioned above) the CTRL key on the home row, hard-wired in, rather than something that would have to be remapped via software. A good keyboard is worth every $0.01.
 
2012-10-07 08:50:34 PM  

stuhayes2010: What was the @ for before email?


/grew up before email, never used it.


@
 
2012-10-07 08:58:04 PM  

feanorn: I've spent too much on keyboards I like, and learned to how to use them too well, to drop them for voice input or the like. But I'd still spend plenty on yet another keyboard if I could find one that had (as mentioned above) the CTRL key on the home row, hard-wired in, rather than something that would have to be remapped via software. A good keyboard is worth every $0.01.


I'd like to try to learn Dvorak, myself. I'm a touch typist, but I've heard many times that Dvorak is better, once you learn it. I'm reluctant to change my keybindings, in case I get lost and might have trouble getting back, but there are Dvorak keyboards out there that I could try.
 
2012-10-07 09:29:56 PM  

Plant Rights Activist: [hight3ch.com image 400x261]

surprised this hasn't been mentioned yet. The most worthless and sadistically evil key in existence.


Actually, there's a lot of neat Windows+Letter combinations, like Win+L, Win+R, etc. And games trap the Start menu call nowadays to prevent fullscreen meltdowns. (My wife used to physically pry the key of a few of her keyboards 10 years ago, though. Stuff like Asheron's Call wouldn't play nice with the Win key.)
 
2012-10-07 09:39:24 PM  
i172.photobucket.com
 
2012-10-07 10:11:23 PM  

mhd: Now for some keyboard pr0n:
[i.imgur.com image 485x474]


Okay the Rub Out button must have been implemented shortly after they invented internet porn.
 
2012-10-07 10:14:32 PM  
I don't always interrupt processes...
imageshack.us
but when I do, I use the Esc key.
 
2012-10-07 10:19:15 PM  

red5ish: I don't always interrupt processes...
[imageshack.us image 283x178]
but when I do, I use the Esc key.


Weird I use the break key.

/long time ago I worked at a tele-surveying company and their program completely destroyed itself if you did a ctrl-C at any point. It was great for the lulz if you wanted to break early.
 
2012-10-07 10:21:56 PM  

poot_rootbeer: Why are they describing the purpose of the BRK key in a story about ESC?


They've never heard of current-loop circuit Teletypes.
 
2012-10-07 11:18:21 PM  

theorellior: The Esc key still has plenty of uses. Num Lock and Scroll Lock, not so much.


Oh? How do you unlock your scrolls?
 
2012-10-07 11:23:34 PM  

flaminio: In 30 years of using PCs, I've never used the SysRq key.


I don't use the key itself, but I did borrow the words for my new club name, DJ SYS RQ.

stuhayes2010: What was the @ for before email?


/grew up before email, never used it.


The anus in ASCII porn.
 
2012-10-07 11:26:57 PM  

Jon iz teh kewl: AlanSmithee: cman: mhd: Now for some keyboard pr0n:
[i.imgur.com image 485x474]

JESUS CHRIST WHAT THE fark IS THAT?

Its' got a 'rub out' key. Don't ask.

u push it while it's watching porn and it spews white stuff out of the CD tray


CD Tray!?!?!? You mean the cup holder?
 
2012-10-07 11:31:23 PM  
Who made the escape key?
An underpaid kid in China.
 
2012-10-08 12:00:00 AM  
Some of us still have to use use UNIX subby.

/Unfortunately. State of the art supercomputer/cluster. Command-line interface. Meh.
 
2012-10-08 12:14:47 AM  
But computers look different now - they're like smartphones. It will be interesting to see whether in 10 or 15 years the whole idea of a keyboard will seem strange. We might be saying, "Remember when we used to type things?"

Oh, FFS, THIS crap again? Look, we're going to use keyboards. How else are we going to get data into the computer? Mind melds? Voice recognition is still flaky, nobody wants an office full of people screaming(more) at their computers, and I can type data into my laptop right now, sitting in bed watching TV without waking up my wife. I can also type in a public place, or while watching TV without disturbing everyone around me.

What about touchscreens, you say? Well, nobody wants to type on a flat piece of glass for any length of time. People who enter data with any regularity want a keyboard with tactile keys, they want their fingertips to fit into the scallops on top, they want to be able to touch type. With no physical keys for response, people won't be able to touch type for shiat.

Face it, the keyboard isn't going anywhere. The alternatives are nice for emails, texts and web searches, but for serious data entry of any kind, a physical keyboard is still the way to go. They may change in design, but they'll still be keyboards. Same goes for the mouse. As old as it is, it's still a pretty intuitive and accurate form of input. If you want to go the pure touchscreen route, you're going to need a stylus to get the precision even a cheap mouse can offer. Our fingers are just too fat. You'd think someone who typed blogs, supposedly for a living, would understand all of this.

As for the 'Escape' key, I use it all of the time. I use it when I expand a video to full screen, and I use it in gaming, just to name a few. I'm with the person upthread; If you're going to get rid of any key, get rid of the farking 'Insert' key, I don't know the last time I used it, except for when the default 'Insert' feature accidentally gets turned off. If the stupid key wasn't there, people would quit accidentally turning it off. I've never heard of anyone needing to turn it off.
 
2012-10-08 12:29:07 AM  

Plant Rights Activist: [hight3ch.com image 400x261]

surprised this hasn't been mentioned yet. The most worthless and sadistically evil key in existence.


I wish it worked like the Apple "command" key. That way I could copy (command-C) and terminate (control-C) in a terminal window on Windows and Linux without using nonstandard shortcuts.

Sadly, the Windows/meta key does not work that way.
 
DYI
2012-10-08 12:44:11 AM  
Ithinkweshoulddoawaywiththatpeskyspacebar.Seriously,thinkaboutallthesp acewecouldsaveifwedidn'tuseit!
 
2012-10-08 12:46:05 AM  

semiotix: flaminio: In 30 years of using PCs, I've never used the SysRq key.

I don't use the key itself, but I did borrow the words for my new club name, DJ SYS RQ.

stuhayes2010: What was the @ for before email?


/grew up before email, never used it.

The anus in ASCII porn.


Also, stoner eyes.

@.@
 
2012-10-08 12:50:45 AM  

Mikey1969: But computers look different now - they're like smartphones. It will be interesting to see whether in 10 or 15 years the whole idea of a keyboard will seem strange. We might be saying, "Remember when we used to type things?"

Oh, FFS, THIS crap again? Look, we're going to use keyboards. How else are we going to get data into the computer? Mind melds? Voice recognition is still flaky, nobody wants an office full of people screaming(more) at their computers, and I can type data into my laptop right now, sitting in bed watching TV without waking up my wife. I can also type in a public place, or while watching TV without disturbing everyone around me.

What about touchscreens, you say? Well, nobody wants to type on a flat piece of glass for any length of time. People who enter data with any regularity want a keyboard with tactile keys, they want their fingertips to fit into the scallops on top, they want to be able to touch type. With no physical keys for response, people won't be able to touch type for shiat.

Face it, the keyboard isn't going anywhere. The alternatives are nice for emails, texts and web searches, but for serious data entry of any kind, a physical keyboard is still the way to go. They may change in design, but they'll still be keyboards. Same goes for the mouse. As old as it is, it's still a pretty intuitive and accurate form of input. If you want to go the pure touchscreen route, you're going to need a stylus to get the precision even a cheap mouse can offer. Our fingers are just too fat. You'd think someone who typed blogs, supposedly for a living, would understand all of this.

As for the 'Escape' key, I use it all of the time. I use it when I expand a video to full screen, and I use it in gaming, just to name a few. I'm with the person upthread; If you're going to get rid of any key, get rid of the farking 'Insert' key, I don't know the last time I used it, except for when the default 'Insert' feature accidentally gets turned off. If the stupid key ...


Thanks for saying all this. People forget that the most important component in any user system -- the human -- is not going to change design for a very long time to come, and all our tools need to be compatible with us. We'll always have ass-holders to sit on, stuff-holders to put stuff on, grabby-things to hold and control stuff with, looky-see things to look at stuff with, and so on. For those proficient at it, tactile typing is very efficient, and there's no reason to change that system, unless somone comes up with something that really is better. I won't say that's impossible, but touchscreens definitely aren't it.
 
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