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Filed Under Technology

A Survey Of the Less Popular Computer Keys

Posted June 6, 2006

2 comments posted. Read them now.

Happy 6-6-6 - enjoy this missive from Hell

Scroll Lock
Scroll lock was developed by Dungeons and Dragons aficionados to prevent others from reading or stealing the scrolls on which their spells were hidden. It is also used to stop scrolling, an engineering term for a social gathering in which geeks roller skate around the mall after hours. There used to be a Scroll Unlock, which was used to translate the Dead Sea Scrolls, but it has fallen from favor.

Ctrl
Nickname: control key
Ctrl wishes that it were not just known for its work in cut and paste scenarios. This key is constantly scheming new ways so that it does not need Alt and Delete to turn off the computer. Ctrl didn't originally stand for 'control', but rather 'cotton role', as it was used to tabulate agricultural sales on early spreadsheets. By itself, Ctrl does nothing, but combined with other keystrokes is extremely powerful. For example, if you press CTRL R on any computer in the world, you could cause several NASA satellites to fall from the sky. The space agency understands this problem and has been unable to repair it. The Ctrl key would be a Republican.

Esc
Nicknames: escape key, any key
Any well written program uses it to get the user out of bad situations. Its purposes are entirely altruistic. It is the social welfare system of the computer. If the Esc key belonged to a political party, it would be the Green Party.

Pause/Break
Pause
You may hit this button whenever you're going to take your smoke break or your coffee break or pretty much whatever leisure time you enjoy at work. When I hit the Pause/Break button, it notifies the café downstairs to prepare my double espresso. It also assures that the really hot girl who uses their wireless network will be there when I pick up my coffee.
Break
If anything is ever wrong with your computer, it is likely that you pressed the 'Break' key. Make sure to let your IT staff or technical support know you pressed the 'Break' key.

Alt
Otherwise known as: alternative key This is another member of the Ctrl-Alt-Del triumvirate, also known as the 'three finger salute' when used to reboot a recalcitrant computer. In some operating systems, Ctrl-Alt-Del must be pressed before you log in, which mirrors the circle of life, since you do the same action to start the computer as you do to stop it. Did you know that using Ctrl-Alt-Del to log in makes your computer safer? That's because it prevents people who have fewer than three fingers from accessing your computer. This key is often perceived as a Democrat.

Tab
This key was very popular in the 1970's, until it was discovered that saccharine gave cancer to lab rats. Was later renamed the Jolt key, then the Mountain Dew key, until patent infringement settlements reverted back to the original.

Print Screen/SysRq
Did you know that you can print your screen? Do you care? Me neither. But what is SysRq? In any event, SYSRQ is fun to say – it suggests the acronym of a super secret evil conspiracy. (Secret Y Suspicious Rogues Quorom), or the abbreviation for the band Systers of Requim. It actually stands for "System Request".

These keys are often neglected in todays fast paced world of instant messaging. Do not forget them.

 

 

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