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Your Keyboard's Secret Life

Poor Scroll Lock.  Have a look at more like this at AcidCow.  Somebody help me out with On-Pause-Off... I don't get it, is it a Mac thing?


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Newest 5 Comments

December 15th, 2009 at 2:39 am

JamesM, I am on a macbook pro right now, and I do not have any of the printscreen/scroll etc etc etc buttons. I don't have F13 etc etc etc buttons either....."

The full layout desktop keyboards have it until they started trimming the keyboards to be more like the macbook versions (chicklet keys) For a while, when the smoke and bondi blue G3's and G4's were coming out, the keyboards were virtually identical to the PC versions in layout... but with the previously mentioned key identification swaps.
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JamesM, I am on a macbook pro right now, and I do not have any of the printscreen/scroll etc etc etc buttons. I don't have F13 etc etc etc buttons either.....
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"Miss Cellania
December 14th, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Oh, I just saw an "end" key on my keyboard. I've never noticed that one before!"

How does that Mac user joke go? Hey look, right next to it is Page Down! Don't get confused with too many buttons on that mouse, now! ;)

All Mac keyboards have Printscreen/Scroll Lock/Pause|Break. They were relabeled as F13, F14 and F15. The mappings are the same. Just as how Alt is often mapped as the Command/Option key on Mac Keyboards. Numlock is often mapped as "Clear" on Mac number keypad areas. I have a Kensington Slimtype keyboard here that shows dual markings for PC and Mac systems. Same commands send by the keyboard for the keys, just different result depending on what OS you're using.

The Pause key was VERY useful back in the 8086/286/386 days. Doing a DIR or LS would display the contents of a directory and the scroll didn't flash by in an instant, so you could hit the button in time before a full page scrolled by. But now, yes, it's a useless key... except for Print Screen. Alt-Print Screen captures only the current window to clipboard, Ctrl-Print Screen captures the entire desktop (all windows as you see it) to clipboard. Handy for making screenshots.

A lot of the useless keys and not clearly understood purpose to them are remnants from the days where computers were text based systems. They still have their uses to some... and more people are using the same keys (Mac users) without even realising it.
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