I’ve lost control.

me:  The control button does nothing.

Victor: Hmm?

me:  My life is spiraling out of control and this button on my keyboard is sitting here taunting me.

Victor:  You’re supposed to use it in conjunction with other buttons.

me:  I know, but it’s like a secret potion that no one ever remembers the ingredients to.  Except for “Control/Alt/Delete” which just says “FUCK THIS. I WILL DESTROY EVERYTHING.”  That’s not “control”.  That’s “devastation“.  Might as well just take a hammer to the monitor.

Victor:  You should take a computer course.

me:  And why is there a “Command” button?  Everything I press is a command to my keyboard.  If I press “p” that means I command you to write “p”.  Why do I  need “command”?  Is it like “Simon Says”?  At the end of an essay am I going to hit “save” and the computer is going to be all, “YOU DIDN’T SAY COMMAND” and then delete it?  I’m pretty sure no one ever uses it.

Victor:  Normal people use it all the time.

me:  And why is it there twice?  There’s one giant command button on one side of the space bar and then another on the other side.  If you hit them both at the same time does one command key cancel the other out, or is it like “This is super important so I double-dog command you to work”?  Meanwhile, there’s no button labeled “This is that little mark that goes over french words”.  If I want to write “touché” I have to go find it on the internet and copy it onto my page and then it’s enormous and I have to remember how to resize and NO ONE HAS TIME FOR THIS.  WHY IS IT SO COMPLICATED?

Victor:  You’ve broken your computer again, haven’t you?

me:  No.  But someone did.  Ferris Mewler flopped over on my keyboard and I have no idea what he pressed but now my desktop is gone and my keyboard won’t respond.  I’ve lost command.  And control.  And the use of my computer.  And also I don’t know how to make those backward Z’s if I want to type in Russian.  Everything is going wrong for me today.

PS.  As soon as Victor fixed my computer I wrote this out and then I went to look up “WHY DO I NEED SO MANY COMMAND BUTTONS?” but instead my computer suggested “Why do I need so many root canals?” and “Why do I need so many transfusions?” and now I just feel bad for even asking about buttons when clearly people have more serious problems than me.

Touché, computer.  You win this round.


228 thoughts on “I’ve lost control.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Hmm, much like the other night when my kitty walked across my tablet and suddenly I couldn’t turn the page of my ebook anymore. I’m embarressed to admit the hissy fit I threw.

    All these secret things to suck up our time trying to fix.

  2. By the way, on a mac you can just hold down the key and it will pop up a little thing for all of the “accented” version of that letter. So for é just hold down the ‘e’ key and then choose which one you want. Same with ö and ü and í, etc. Very handy, because I could never remember the special combination to do that either.

    (Wait…is that true? Hang on. Lemme try. èéêëēėeę OHMYGOD. I owe you a grilled cheese sandwich. Seriously. ~ Jenny)

  3. Just so you know, I look forward to your posts. They are highlight of my day and I thoroughly enjoy them and sharing them with my family.

  4. I press the function key when I am feeling like I can’t function. It doesn’t work either.

  5. Thank you Jenny. I needed something to make me smile today and, as usual, you hit the spot. Don’t feel too bad about not knowing what all those keys do. I’ve worked with computers for close to 20 years and I still don’t know what all those buttons do.

  6. Did you know that if you hold the control button and two finger scroll up and down on the track pad (macbook) it zooms what’s on your monitor in and out. That’s controlling SOMETHING anyway. 😀

    (I already do that too much accidentally. I have that Magic Mouse where the slightest touch of it zooms you in and out unexpectedly. I have constant vertigo. ~ Jenny)

  7. I have no friggin clue what those funky buttons on my keyboard are for either and I dont think Ive ever used the “command” button. Then again … Im not normal 🙂 Surely there is a support group out there somewhere for people like us.

  8. You need to press the Control key at the same as you press the Staples “Easy” button.

    Also: the Escape was originally called the “Calgon, take me away!” key, but they couldn’t fit all those letters on the key.

  9. Pisses me off that my Mac has a Command button. Why ya gotta be different Apple and add that extra shit? It’s unnecessary!

  10. What drives me nuts is when I hit a F key by mistake (I have a good idea what the F stands for and it’s NOT function.) and it does something really cool and I have no idea what I key I just pressed to make it do this cool thing.
    I can hear the key board snickering as I type this.

  11. “Control/Alt/Delete” is going to be my battle cry for the week. And, when faced with idiots and assholes, I will silently utter those words. They will have no idea what I mean. But you will. Thank you, Jenny, once again for providing me with a battle cry.

  12. I never used either “Scroll Lock” or “Pause/Break.” AFAIK Scroll Lock is only useful if my operating system doesn’t have a graphical interface. But I have no idea what Pause/Break should pause or break or how do I switch between those two options.

    I use Caps Lock a lot, but only accidentally.

  13. Macs are weird. Command button? Seriously? It’s like when Macs only had 1 mouse button, and you were all “HOW DO I RIGHT CLICK?” And then you go to eject a floppy disk and you want to be like “MY MAC ATE MY DISK I CAN’T EJECT IT” and everything goes to hell.

  14. I’m a computer programmer. I have been gainfully employed as such for more than a decade. I have NEVER used the CTRL button for anything other than Ctrl+Alt+Delete. Victor is wrong.

  15. My computer had a minor crash on Sunday. At some point, hitting ctrl-alt-delete turned off the rest of my keyboard. That was a fun five minutes of panic.

    It fixed when I hit crtl-alt-delete again.

  16. Oh my dear, you are so right about all of this. They should let English majors design keyboards. Make that FEMALE english majors.

  17. On my PC keyboard, I don’t get to COMMAND anything, but I do get two Alt buttons. I like to think they will transport me to an alternate universe…

  18. My keyboard is one of those split-in-half things with a wave — they call it ergonomic. I call it “fun to watch other people try to use it.”

  19. Control is the button I accidentally hit that makes shit disappear. That right there? Is the extent of my computer savvy.
    Except the any key. I DO know where THAT is! It’s on the back of the keyboard. You turn it upside down and push and BINGO! Any key engaged.

  20. I thought that said “the uniCORN” character and got really excited, I would much rather have a unicorn button than a unicode one 🙁 keyboards are confusing.

  21. One time I lost control of my mouse and I wanted to look up how to fix it but I couldn’t. Because I didn’t have a mouse. Turns out I was accidentally using the mouse for the other computer on my desk.

  22. I only know what Escape, F5 and F8 do on my computer. I also design websites. I am full of irony.

  23. You should see my keyboard. Most of the buttons have been rubbed clean. My husband can’t believe I still use it. At least my fingers know what the buttons are, but when I go searching for the letter “a” or whatever, I can’t find it. My fingers are smarter than my brain apparently.

  24. I work in trucking and our company received a new tractor trailer one day. While admiring it, I noticed there was a big red knob on the dash to the right of the steering wheel. Having spent years in trucks I had never seen such a knob. There was no indication of what it did except for a plaque underneath that said in caps: “DO NOT PULL THIS KNOB”.(much like Alice’s little bottle that said “Drink Me”) I went and got a mechanic and he had no idea what it was. I corralled some drivers and none had seen such a control. So, of course…..having exhausted all other options, I pulled it. With bated breath, we all waited and…nothing happened. That was a let down. Fearing we had initiated some kind of process that would later result in self-destruct or other negative happening, I contacted the dealer who had sold us the truck. I was disappointed to learn that the truck had been ordered for another customer who was to have a hydraulic body installed that would be controlled by the knob that could not be used while the truck was in motion but it had never been attached. The knob did nothing. I suppose that could be another explanation for the plaque ; DO NOT PULL THIS KNOB as it does absolutely nothing (like your command key)..

  25. I’ve just realized that there are a plethora of keys on my keyboard that I do not ever use and now, having read your post, I am a little afraid to use them.

    I do not appear to have a “Command” key, but I am pretty sure that one of the keys on my keyboard is probably the “Command” key in disguise. I have more important things to do with my time than try to figure out what all of the keys on my keyboard do. If they were important, they’d be more obvious in their function, right?

  26. British keyboards don’t have Command. We have ‘Alt’ and ‘AltGr’, which I figure is like Alt but a little bit angrier. I never touch the Grrr key.

  27. eeeeeeeeeeeee
    I guess I am not on a Mac because I just get a lot of e’s when I hold down e. Which is pretty telling that I suck at computers since I wasn’t even sure this was a Mac. But now I know, so this post taught me one thing today! Okay, 2- 2nd being that I suck at computers.

  28. I remember the day I learned that Command-P would print…I felt like a god. Granted, it was a shitty God, like the God of parking or the God of toilet plunging, which, come to think of it, are still better gods than the god of printing, because how often do I do THAT anymore.

  29. On my laptop, I don’t have a “command” key. Or maybe I do and it’s labeled as something else? Now if I could just figure out how to do the accented letters, I’d be golden.

  30. The cleanliness of your keyboard makes me sad about the fact that mine that is covered in dog hair, dust and jelly (from my kids and dog, I swear). I guess I am off to clean it. And when I say, “clean it” I really mean, “eat tacos and jelly donuts near my keyboard and wonder why I have goo ON my keyboard.”

  31. The only non-standard letter I ever learned by heart was the ÿ , because I used to be a huge fan of Queensrÿche and had to make sure I typed it correctly in chat rooms and such. Holding ALT while typing 0255 = ÿ. I know there are other Alt-shortcuts like this, I used to have a book that listed them all, but I never needed anything but ÿ. Yep. I’m a dork. 🙂

  32. Ok we need do a post on WTF the Control does in conjunction with other keys.. I’m no good at formulas on Excel either.. Control Button DumDums Unite! I’m the President.. LOL

  33. Hmm. I think F1 is for help, F4 repeats a previous action in Excel, and F11 opens a sidebar of all your Microsoft Access objects. I honestly don’t think I know of any other Fnumber functions. Oh, and trying to find the number pad written on the letters of laptops is nearly impossible for me. It’s like a combination of the fn, alt, num lk keys and always messes me up and I end up deleting what I wrote.

  34. My Insert key has been broken for a while – if you don’t know, holding shift+insert will paste whatever is in your copy clipboard. But since my insert key is broken, it’s stuck in the “pressed down’ position, which means every time I hit shift to innocently capitalize a word or a letter, I run the risk of pasting the weird shift I’ve had in my clipboard all day. Last time this happened badly it was a link to a RealDoll site, you know those humanlike sex robots? I was doing…research. And forgot it was in my clipboard. So I scarred some poor friend of mine who is far more innocent than I am because my fucking keyboard has taken a vacation. It’s like Russian Roulette if Russian Roulette was filled with naked silicone vaginas instead of bullets.

  35. If you’re on an older version of Mac OS that doesn’t give you the accent options when you hold down a letter, hold down the option key and press the hot key for that accent, then let go and type the letter:
    Option + =
    Option + E = ´
    Option + U = ¨
    Option + I = ˆ
    Option + N = ˜

    So to type ñ, you’d press option+N, then let go and type an n. To type á, you’d press option+E, then let go and type an a. To type Î, you’d press option+I, then let go and type shift+I.

    Then option + C = ç, option + O = ø, option + A = å. Hold down shift with option to get those capitalized.

  36. I actually know the functions for all the buttons on my keyboard. I feel like I should have a secret handshake or password, like the Masons. I do try to pass my knowledge on to others – I really do – but I usually come up against the Brick Wall of Denial. It’s extremely thick and daunting, but I keep trying!

  37. @Christina,

    I think those are holdovers from the days when terminals ruled the landscape and desktop PCs were rarities. Nobody uses them anymore but keyboard makers keep them in just in case you remote into a terminal and NEED it. Like probably about 0.0001% of keyboard users do.

  38. One of the symbols got removed from my last comment. It’s the one under the tilde, at the upper-left of the keyboard. The one on à.

  39. Recently my dog smacked my computer and turned the screen sideways. I had no idea it could even do that. I’m not sure why you’d want a laptop screen to turn sideways. You can’t type that way. Anyway, it was very disturbing and it made me sick to my stomach to deal with while I was trying to fix it. I think one of the morals here is that pets and keyboards don’t mix.

  40. I’m a pretty tech-savvy individual. (It’s right there in the name. Otherwise, I’d have to call myself non-techy Dad and I don’t want to have to rebrand my blog/Twitter/Instagram/etc.) I use Control all the time for shortcuts. Control+S saves. Control+C copies. Control+V pastes. Of course, then I add on to this. I have a multiple clipboard program so Control+Alt+V opens a window that lets me select which of the last 10 or so copied items I want to paste. Control+Alt+N opens a Notepad window for quickly jotting down a note or two. Control+Alt+C opens a calculator so I can add some things up quickly.

    When it comes to those special characters, though, I know just what you mean. When I need to type the copyright symbol (for example, when my watermarking program “forgets” my copyright text), I need to Google it and copy/paste. I know there’s a Control+[some number string] combination I can type to get it also, but I can never remember what it is. If I’m going to Google for the number combo, I might as well Google the copyright symbol itself and save a step.

  41. I have now spent way too much of day looking at every key on my keyboard and wondering what they do. Fortunately, I know what all the keys on my piano do so I keep balanced.

  42. I hate how when I need to look up a chain of keys to press to do something, the Mac tells me in symbols. I dont know wtf ⌥⌘⇧ means!!!

  43. In MS Word you can use ‘insert’ and ‘symbol’ to add special characters. But you have to scroll through to find the one you want. Jenny, I love you. That is all. 🙂

  44. @Brenna,

    I’ve done that to my laptop myself. I had to Google how to fix it while turning my head sideways. Then, I promptly forgot and did it again a few months later.

  45. The Alt Button let’s you alternate between commands and control. But there is something metaphorical to this. We all seek a little control in our lives, but we forget to hit the other button so life knows what we are trying to control. I think my Ctrl S button is broken, or it’s saving it to a temporary, hidden file labeled dzx1000328553 like I’ll ever find it there.

  46. Because of this, I JUST looked–really LOOKED–at the keyboard on my 6 year old macBook. I only just noticed the F1 F2 F3 etc. buttons. I had no idea they were there. I suspect they weren’t.

  47. There probably is a combination of key strokes that will rip a hole in the fabric of time. At least I hope there is.

  48. oh oh oh jenny i have a keyboard trick that i discovered with mac. when you want a nerdy âçćëñt (see what i did there?), just hold the key and it will pop up a tiny dialogue box that gives you the variations. you can either mouse and click to the one you want, or type the corresponding number. i promise you it works. command that, mac!

    love and hügs, a fan

  49. Also, to save you time, I’ve found that pressing the Tilda button does not make one androgynously fabulous. Even if you press it a lot.

  50. I like to press the Pause button whenever I’m bored of whatever I’m doing. It doesn’t do anything, which could potentially be exactly what it is supposed to do. The most exciting keyboard moment ever was when my brother showed me which combination of keys to hit to make a tiny light appear and illuminate my keyboard for when I’m computering in the dark.

  51. Our keyboards causing so much existential angst.
    I think we all can agree all keyboards should have a unicorn button.

  52. I love “Alt + Tab” when I have multiple applications open on my screens. But I’m sure other than that and “Alt + Ctrl + Delete”, I don’t use the Alt button for anything else. I am laziness personified, so the Ctrl button is my friend when I want to select a group of text, copy, and paste it.

    I know that the Alt button + typing random numbers on my PC keyboard will also allow me to type crazy characters (Alt + 0191 = ¿), but that seems like an awful lot of work.

  53. My husband, who is actually pretty computer savvy, one time managed to turn his screen upside down and couldn’t figure out how he did it. He’s always changing settings to make this better or that better so he wasn’t sure what caused it. I giggled uncontrollably and suggested he turn the monitor upside down. He was pissed for a couple of days because he couldn’t do anything on an upside down screen. He never did figure out what had happened and finally had to restore the system back to a point before it went wonky.

  54. CAPS LOCK – most useless key ever. And most accidentally used b/c of its placement. HATE! (That said, I’m typing from my phone which has all other kinds of issues and confusions…)

    Seriously, even as a holdover from typewriter days, who the hell ever used CAPS LOCK on a regular basis? Law firms? Is it lawyers’ faults???

  55. After a slight mishap involving a quantity of wine, some very jumpy crockery, and something mysterious all over the keyboard, I tried suggesting to my partner that he blame the cat. He was all like “the cat caused this devastation?” I said “well, no obviously I did, but the cat totally doesn’t give a shit about getting the blame so that’s basically the same thing”

    He didn’t blame the cat

  56. To write the é necessary for “Touché” on a Mac, you hit “Option” and e and then e again. I got tired of cutting and pasting because cut ‘n’ paste so frequently maintains every aspect of formatting ever and I hate it. I think there’s a Command on both sides of the space bar as a holdout from typewriter days when shift was also on both sides? Or wasn’t it? I have no idea now.

    But to further wrinkle it, Command on a Mac does what CTRL on a PC does (so theoretically, Command + Shift + V will paste something without formatting. Except when it doesn’t.). So I actually have NO IDEA what “control” on a Mac does. I’ve only ever pressed it accidentally, while trying to remember if it’s Option or Control I hit to make funny letters.

  57. And then there’s the fun little “window” button — which is Bill Gates’ interpretation of command.
    Giving you a new window on the universe, no doubt.
    As a geek nearing 50 I can tell you that I’ve used most of the buttons on here _on purpose. Control S saves my crap. Window-D minimizes all your programs and shows the desktop….super helpful when the boss is coming and you’re reading thebloggess.com. Scroll lock though…it’s been a really long time since I used it to pause things scrolling by when I was doing batch file processing. But those darned F keys? They change meaning with every stinkin’ program and I hates it. Hates it my precious.

    What I like best on this particular keyboard is the set of music-control buttons. Brilliant!

  58. The command key with the cloverleaf shape used to be a Apple. I still tell people to use the Apple key + p to print. (the up arrow means to add the shift key to the combination). Being a former graphic artist I use the mouse and keyboard shortcuts in tandem. Double clicks and triple clicks with cut, copy & paste make editing easier.

  59. I just pushed F6 for the first time out of curiosity and it highlighted the web address that’s up. So there’s that.

  60. Oh, and non-English characters for Windows users… press the window key. type charmap and press enter. You get a chart of all the funky letters. Problem is, I can’t figure out why sometimes I don’t see the old alt-key codes anymore> And no one’s shown me how to type Unicode!

  61. The control key broke off of my laptop once… right in the middle of finals week in college. Pretty much summed up my mental state at the time.

  62. At work, anything up to 20 times a day, I’ll click the box on our accounting software marked “Create Order”. And yet my desk is still untidy.

  63. I wanted to comment quicker but the cat jumped on my keyboard and made my screen go black. I couldn’t figure out how to fix it so I just turned my computer off and back on. Every time I do that, my IT husband goes a little berserk.

  64. Herrumph. I made a diagram for you, Jenny, but it didn’t post above. I’ll try one more time, but if it doesn’t work, you’ll just have to trust me. It’s a DAILY AFFIRMATION right there on our keyboard! Do you see it?

  65. I still don’t know what the F# keys do and I’m kind of afraid to touch them. Suppose it’s like that movie where you push F11 and somebody dies, but then you are the next on the list? I think it’s all a giant Nerds Revenge conspiracy for all those years they spent stuffed into high school lockers.

  66. And what’s with the botton with the Windows logo on it? And what does Pause/Break do? I’m not about to touch it — suppose it pauses and breaks things?

    This is a wierd future.

  67. One time my super helpful floofy cat walked across the keyboard and messed up the font size of my display. I had no idea what he did but I later discovered how to fix it. Holding the CTRL key down and pressing the plus or minus sign was the magic combination.

  68. I can RELATE!!! I’ve had mysterious things happen to my laptop keyboard when a cat has decided the shortest route to anywhere is over the keyboard.

    Here are a few things I can contribute to the Tribe:
    I use F5 a lot—it refreshes your screen. Useful if you’ve been reading 77 Comments and want to see if someone’s added more while you’ve been reading!

    Also, Control (CTRL) plus the Home button takes you to the TOP (webpage, Excel spreadsheet, anything!!)

  69. Is it weird that I sometimes scroll through the comments to see which ones the Bloggess responds to, and what she says? I think it’s a throwback to my elementary school days when I was an outcast and these chosen few are the cool people, funny enough to get a response from the Bloggess. I dream of the day that I will be think of something witty enough that she will respond to me! I guess, after re-reading that, I shouldn’t have said the “is it weird” part and just assumed yes.

    (I’m actually super shy and almost never respond although I read all the comments. I always feel like I’m not as funny as everyone else. ~ Jenny)

  70. My 13 year old son and his friends know a command to make the words on the screen rotate 180 degrees, or turn upside down. They did it to their computers teachers when she left the room. She tried to fix it by physically turning the monitor over. I couldn’t get mad because I was laughing so hard.

  71. If you want all of the crazy greek letters and umlauts and accent marks and don’t have a Mac, just get a character map. You may already have one! If you hit start, type ‘run’ and then type ‘charmap’ it will open automatically if you have it. I leave mine open all the time!
    If you don’t have one, download one! They are free

  72. I have no clue what they do, and that is why there is google. Super fun is just having finished listening to your book again, so I totally hear you in my head as I read this 🙂

  73. I use command all the time! Highlight something then: Command + C = copy. Command + V = paste. Command + X = cut. When you realize you’ve just fucked everything up: Command + Z = Undo! <<<most useful short cut ever.

  74. I just pressed a key with a picture of a… ray gun? and this helpful message popped up: “Pressing F7 turns Caret Browsing on or off.” Huh?

  75. I was starting to panic because my keyboard doesn’t have a ‘command’ button. Am I not allowed to order my computer to do anything? Then I read in the comments that it’s just a Mac thing and I feel all better now. It does still beg the question though…WHAT DOES IT DO? Am I missing out on something ultra cool? sad panda

    I can’t get my numberpad to work on my netbook (they’re on letter keys and should work with the function button but I randomly made these ☺☻♥♦♣♠○◘ (I don’t even know if they’ll show when they post) by playing around pressing fn, alt & the numberpad buttons lol. It was all going well until I hit the 7 (which is also 7 on regular numbers at the top) and it sent this page to the homepage & I panicked because I thought I’d lost what I’d written so far, but I hit back & it was still there, so YAY. Um…what I mean to say is…you’re totally not alone in not knowing what half the buttons on your keyboard does (and some of mine don’t even do what it says they should) 🙂

  76. I have to disagree with Victor. I can’t ever recall using the command key. I think I’m normal, but that could be incorrect. So I suppose I’m not normal and all those extra keys, like Scroll lock and Pause/break (which might be the button your cat stepped on) are somewhat kind of useful. Anyways, I’m not sure that typing backwards is even necessary, unless you’re making an ambulance sign (or something else you want the person driving in front of you to be able to read in the rear view mirror). I guess there is some purpose then.

  77. Well those hidden symbols I discovered posted & show (at least on my screen anyway lol – so yay). In related news, why would anyone want a symbol that was a black box with a white dot in it? Is it a secret mathematical symbol that no one’s told me about or are the computer makers just fucking with us? (I think it’s the latter). Now if only there were an easy way to do those accents like you’ve just been told about in comments on the Mac, but on a pc. :-/

  78. I am on my computer 12 hours a day and never noticed the two command buttons. TWO! Why are there two? I don’t even know what it does.

  79. You guys are all doing it wrong. You’re not supposed to think when using the keyboard. You gently lay your fingers over the keyboard and wait for you demon to type for you.

  80. My cat walks over my keyboard All The Time. One time he tried to create an Instagram account. Another time he tried to purchase something from the iTunes Store. I was able to stop that one because it asked to confirm my credit card number. He searches for things all the time and once he tried to send an email to my boss.

  81. You really want to have fun? Use a Mac keyboard on a PC (which is what I am doing now). I have only Macs at home and we use PCs at work. The letters rubbed off my PC keyboard so I brought in a spare third party Mac keyboard to use. This keyboard doesn’t have an Insert key but by trial and error I discovered the dedicated Help button works as an Insert button on a PC. Fun times.

  82. When I was in high school, we were all required to take a semester of Computer class to learn how to use the computer (wow, I feel old). One of the lessons was on command, control and alt keys, and how to use shortcuts with them. I got so confused I was like: I’m NOT gonna learn how to use shortcuts, I’m going to take the LONG way around my computer, THAT’LL show it who’s boss. I’m going to neglect those keys until they CRY. Then I went to college and was like: SHIT, I really do need to learn how to use those keys, DAMN, I lose.

    (In school I took “Typing”, “Word Processing” and “Computer Class”. These were all completely different classes. ~ Jenny)

  83. Ha ha! Don’t give up. You can teach that keyboard some manners yet.

    I thought I was the only one copying accented words in a font size too large.


  84. I found your blog because one of my friends reposted it on Facebook this morning. You (and all the comments of your followers) have provided me a lot of amusement today. Thank you for a good laugh. You have prompted me, as well, to review my keyboard and evaluate the necessity of many of these keys. Personally the only thing I use “alt” for, aside from CTRL, ALT, DEL is to copy a print inside a screen (ALT + Print Screen) which let’s me copy a window inside a screen rather than a whole screen. With two monitors and LOTS of things open simultaneously, that’s been helpful.

  85. If it makes you feel better, my cat walked across my laptop once. My screen went completely dark and I couldn’t figure out what she did. It was still on, but black. I was starting to panic when I figured out she had turned the brightness all the way down.

  86. I once saw a Panic button in a store. Like, a legit red computer key you could adhere to your keyboard next to the boring keys. I still kick myself for not buying dozens of them.

  87. I once found my cat sitting on top of my laptop, kneading her claws into the keyboard. One of the keys was missing. I started to panic, thinking she’d swallowed it. I was about to call the vet when I found the key under the couch.

  88. My hubby gets so mad at me because I use the CTRL key for everything, & he has no idea what they are for haha! No command button here though. Those are weird.

  89. F5 is refresh.
    F6 moves your cursor into the address bar if you’re in the browser.
    F11 in the browser makes it full screen, or takes it out of full screen. F12 opens a page objects view. You don’t need to see that. Pres F12 again to make it go away.

  90. Haha, i’ve never understood the two command buttons either.
    I know fancy smart people use them for photoshop, but i’m about as clued up as a snail with shortcuts so i take it old school and click on the task bar every time!
    Also, if you want squiggly lines above your letters, just hold that letter down and it comes up.
    Séêë! x

  91. Whenever someone tries to explain computers to me all I hear is, “Klaatu Barada Nikto!” It’s like some kind of really fucked up Peanuts filter. Instead of hearing, “Wah, wah, wah, wah”, I just hear spells from Evil Dead. I think I might need to get my hearing checked, by the Geek Squad at Best Buy along with my computer because it might be haunted. .

  92. And isn’t it funny/ironic that you turn your computer off by hitting the start menu on your screen? And the one key every computer needs is missing. (That would be the ‘what the hell is wrong with this computer?’ key.)

  93. As my wifi–my HOME wifi that I OWN–taunts me by refusing to play nicely with my cell phone anymore (really? I think it’s just mean girl stuff), I feel your pain. And I’ve used Control, but do not seem to have a Command button. So you must have the five-star general keyboard. I now realize I’m just a measly lieutenant . . .

  94. Years ago I wrote on article on silly computer stories. One of the experts I interviewed told me about a company that wanted to return all the computers he had sold them. When he set up their network, he had told them to press the help key if they ever needed help. They said they did, but no matter how many times they pressed it, no one ever came. He had to sit them down and explain about help files! Ah, those where the days.

  95. theres a command button?! i’m at work reading this on the down low but now everyones giving me crazy eye because I can’t stop staring at the keyboard for a button that says command. where is the command button? i’d hit that all day, at least I could command something during my shift that way.

  96. OMG!!???!! I don’t have a Command button at all!! I do have two buttons that have pictures of something on them, I can’t tell what it’s a picture of so I have no idea what they do.

  97. You know, Jenny, you could do an entire book of conversations with Victor and it would be another best seller for you. The way you two communicate is wondeful and hilarious!

  98. My cat has found some combination of buttons on my computer that turns my entire display sideways when he sits on my laptop’s keyboard. No idea how the hell he does it… but it is his favorite button combination.

  99. Is it just my dirty mind, or should “DO NOT PULL THIS KNOB” be on t-shirts everywhere?
    I am rather fond of ctrl-z – wish I could use it in real life.

  100. My keyboard has a Fn key…it is one of those keys you use in conjunction with others. I only use it when the volume is too loud and has the tendency to blow up my eardrum when using earbuds. I have come to name the key the “F**k no” key.

  101. I thought I was a genius when I figured out how to do the degrees ‘°’ for temperature. Hold down the alt key while typing 0176. Miracle.

  102. Fuckity-fuck-fuck. I can’t even figure out how to leave a comment that DOESN’T link to my nonexistent WordPress account (I hate WordPress), so you’re one up on me.

    WordPress is evil.

    • AndByThatIMeanVagina.com
  103. I’m an IT Specialist for a hospital in West Texas and my favorite was the doctor who kept telling me he kept pressing “the damn key” and nothing worked. I had to explain to him that my keyboard has no “damn” key and had to nicely ask what the character was on said “damn key” so that I could troubleshoot.

    I can’t remember needing my CRTL key for much else than CTRL+ALT+DEL…not my ALT key for that matter.

  104. The thought that the Control button might actually be the key to having control of my life has blown my mind. (picture me stabbing it repeatedly, trying to gain control of this hot mess that is my life).

    And totally clueless and, yes…a little jealous, about the Command buttons….my keyboard doesn’t have them. Maybe because the salesperson took one look at me and thought “Hmmmm, the world does NOT need to give this chick the ability to issue Commands” and only showed me models that were Command-less.

  105. I have my computer set to a French Canadian keyboard so now I have even more keys to figure out, and woe is me when I try finding keys on someone else’s computer.

  106. @TechyDad – if you hold ALT and type 0153 that should be your Trademark symbol 😀

  107. I am assuming the “command” button is a Mac thing. I much prefer the Alt buttons I can believe that when I press them the Doctor will turn up and take me to an alternate time.

  108. My husband is in IT and is always doing some weird short-cutty shit on the computer that has me going WHOA! How did you do that?
    Also, if you are ever completely lost on the computer, just grab your kid and ask her what to do.. they really know this stuff. My teenager is a whiz on the computer. I act like it’s nothing, like I understand everything she’s doing, like I’m not impressed… but really? AMAZING!

  109. Sometimes my puppy will come to hang out with me and she’ll cuddle and put her head on my laptop and then I’m totally screwed laptopically speaking cause she always hits something and then I’m just like… awwww holy hell puppy. So it’s not just you.

  110. And what the hell is the “fn” key for? Also, I have two option keys…. what the heck are those for??

  111. The insert key on my laptop came loose and we just sort of lived with the loose key sitting on top of the spot it came loose from. Until we went through TSA security with the laptop and they took us aside and swabbed the computer down and carefully opened it, to find that the suspicious thing they had seen on the x-ray was the loose insert key. When we arrived at our destination, I stuck the damn thing in the change purse of my wallet. I think it’s still there to this day.

    Also, my keyboard has dedicated keys that launch Windows Explorer (or whatever they’re calling it these days) and the calculator. If I had a dollar for every time I have opened multiple calculators while trying to backspace I could probably buy a new computer. Or at least a new keyboard.

    I just checked. Yes, the insert key is still in there, along with a lot of fortune cookie fortunes, a couple of McDonald’s Monopoly game pieces from 2013, and, for some reason, a gold charm in the shape of an owl that no one in my family recognizes.

  112. I don’t have a command button. I know I can use the control key to make accents and stuff, which would be useful because I’m taking a spanish class, but I don’t have time to learn the keystrokes because I am too busy learning spanish.

    Also, there is a program you can install on your computer that detects when a cat is walking on your keyboard and locks the keyboard.

  113. My keyboard does not look anything like some of ones posted. No “fn” key, no command key, no accent key. Nothing.

  114. Two command keys … One for the left hand and one for the right. I have turned my screen sideways more than once but the worst blooper ever was when I accidentally turned a voice on for the Mac that read the screen aloud to me when I was in my first couple of days in a new job in a VERY quiet office. This was a few years ago so no smartphones so I sat at my desk trying to figure out how to google “how do I make my computer stop talking” without the damn thing reading my query loud enough for everyone to hear my dilemma. Just the memory is making my stomach turn.

    (That is terrible and also really, really funny. ~ Jenny)

  115. I started reading all the comments above, after I quit laughing at the post in the first place, and all I have to say is… ^^^^^^^^^^ That. All of them.

  116. I’m a computer programmer and I don’t know what all the buttons do. I’m not a very good computer programmer.

    1. You are a special kind of genius to be able to make KEYBOARDS hilarious.
    2. Inspired by you, I took a look at my own keyboard. My MacBook Air is a small computer and so it has a small keyboard. Too small to have a key labeled “Function.”

    So instead it’s just “Fn.”


  117. It would be awesome if the control button let you control just a little bit of life. Little things like control over getting sick, control over traffic and control over crazy family during the holidays.

  118. If command is the same as ctrl… as a gamer, I use mine all the time. I get free stuffs when I stand in a pretty circle and hit CTRL + I every hour. I also use to to copy/paste, print, and other assorted shortcuts in Excel and Word.

    Also, the windows button is genius… for a shortcut when I don’t want to minimize the game window, but need to do stuff like check fb or ravelry. It allows you to pop up a new tab, window, or application (like Itunes so you can listen to music whilst killing things in your game.) Maybe we should rename it the ‘multitask’ button?

    Does this make me a nerd?

  119. i first used a computer in 1971 or 72. The keyboard has changed. The “special keys” and how to get them has changed. For instance, where did the cents sign go??? When all else fails, i call a friend who worked on a help desk for about 20 years. If she doesn’t know the answer, i choose another way to say what i want.

  120. I don’t know what all those buttons do either… I just write stuff… and then I think about taking a computer class… and then I don’t… and then I cry when my computer doesn’t work…

  121. Hi Jenny (or anyone who knows more about computers than me, which is everyone), this is totally irrelevant except that it has to do with computer buttons too. How DO I follow your blog? Yeah I know. i am so late to the party.There’s probably a little “follow” button at the bottom, but I’m in Nepal, which is always a good excuse to use for not knowing stuff (hey, if you’ve got an excuse, use it), and around here if you want to hear a tune on YouTube you click “pause” to buffer, go away, and come back in 5 or 10 minutes or maybe half an hour, and then something went wrong so you start again. So there is no way your entire blog page would ALL load. So if there’s a magic “subscribe” button at the bottom, I won’t see it because of Nepal, and if it’s somewhere else, just give me a minute to come up with another excuse for not finding it. Cheers, and thanks to anyone who can share the magic high-tech way to subscribe … .

    (That is an excellent question and the answer is, I have no idea. I think if you use wordpress you can subscribe by clicking “follow”. Also, there’s a pink button on the top left above my search bar and I think if you click on it it subscribes you to the feed. Or you can set up google reader, I think? If all else fails you can subscribe to it on Amazon and have it auto-delivered to your kindle but that’s 99 cents a month. ~ Jenny)

  122. After reading this I looked closely at my keyboard for what might be the first time .. seems I have a Fn key on it .. got really excited for a minute thinking how much time that was going to save me not having to type out the uckig all the time … but apparently that’s not what it does.

    But I do know Control C will copy whatever you highlight and Control V will paste whatever you copied to another document. Which comes in handy when you have someone who is not familiar with shortcuts and you Control C on an appropriate, or inappropriate as the case may be, picture and then show them other shortcuts but tell them to NEVER hit Control V and explain that there’s a bug in the system and it will paste a huge picture of a vagina smack in the middle of whatever you are typing. Because OF COURSE they are going to do just that the minute they are alone. So camera’s are good too.

  123. The command key is like a secret door behind a bookcase. It lets you into the world of “I don’t need no stinking mouse”. Shhh, don’t spread it around. (How to use the command key: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1343)

    FYI, just in case you want to try learning some keyboard shortcuts (command key and alt key stuff). The site below has instructions for the é and the other accents…angry eyebrows (accent grave), little hat (accent circumflex), umlaut (because a word that cool doesn’t need a nickname).


    Short version:
    To get an é on a Mac hold down the “Option” key, then press “E” let go of both then type the E. If you’re stuck on a PC (poor you) ALT+130 gives you the same accented E.

  124. You either (a) don’t read all the comments, or (b) already know this, or (c) someone has already told you this, but if you press and hold the letter on the mac the hover comes up where you can choose the diacritics available for each letter. So press and hold E and get è (1) or é (2) or ê (3) all the way to ę (7). Etc. 🙂

  125. I threw a hissy fit at my computer the other day because it changed my user name and then I couldn’t change it back. I have worked in IT for years and I never do this, but that day, I threw a total bitch-fit over it. I rebooted and it was fine… (O_O)

    It’s okay, computers do that to people.

    This is the button I hit when I need help.


  126. What’s weird is going to another country and having different buttons on your keyboard. I’m so used to typing that when something changes, it’s really hard to stop, think, find it, keep going…

    That and ergonomic keyboards. The big gap in the middle just feels WRONG!

  127. Rain might fall, your blog shines. Thank you for this morning smile.
    + hail to the Magic Mouse! (Comment 9)

  128. OK so I got year book thru Audible and loved it (13 year old daughter really appreciated it). Then, since I have real trouble remembering ring anything since the brain injury a decade ago., I forgot about you til I saw a link on another blog. it’s now almost 4am and I’m trying very hard not to wake the husband but I keep snorting with uncontrollable laughter….. Thanks I won’t forget again. BTW the daughter is sixteen now and I gotta remind her about you.

  129. SOMEONE WHO IS AS CONFUSED AS ME. HALLELUJAH! (is that how to spell it?)

  130. About a year ago, the small human who calls me Mom very dutifully got my GOOD tweezers and plucked off each of the keys off my keyboard. Then managed to lock up the keyboard and crash my laptop. It was one of those “he’s too quiet” moments that I should have heeded. 4 hrs, tech support, and a lot of booze later, I got almost all the keys back one. The cat ate one of the keys and I couldn’t get it clean enough for my germaphobic tastes. It was “h”. You don’t realize how much you use “h” in all of your typing, until you are typing on a little rubber stub. Needless to say, while I still don’t know what all the keys do, I appreciate the fact that I HAVE keys on my new laptop. The small human inherited the old laptop…and we installed a new keyboard.

  131. in high school, i had to take ‘keyboarding’ and ‘intro to programming’, neither of which was useful to me since i had already learned these things by being a bit of a nerd and messing around with my dad’s computer at work. although it did help me improve my touch typing. 95wpm, what?

    if you hit ‘command, shift, 3’ on your mac, you can screenshot what’s on your screen. very useful. i use it all the time and then shout at my keyboard when i get to work and try to do it and realize i have an evil pc at the office.

  132. My favorite is when I ask my husband (the computer guy of the family, as I’ve mentioned before) how to do something as a shortcut and he tells me to hit command whatever. We’re Mac owners. My friend Nienna helped me convert him. 😀 I search my entire key board looking for that damn command key every single time. Every. Single. Time. Eventually I give up and demand he show where the stupid command key is because my keyboard seems to lack one. Then he’ll tell me it’s the key with the Apple apple on it. Would it be justifiable homicide to kill him for not just saying hit the apple key and whatever? I’m starting to think it would be because I want to kill him every single time. Every. Single. Time. I think he’s doing it just to drive me crazy.

    That said, the control key should control something, you know? I don’t know what, but something.

  133. a la The Far Side, the button I really want on my keyboard is the SMITE button.
    Oh, and I roll to disbelieve that any of these folks who are reading this blog on the web don’t know what the f5 key does.

  134. On the PC we also have all these crazy F keys across the top. Other than F5 (which I know reloads a web page), I have no clue what any of the do. And there are 12 of them!

  135. Try using a PC or a MAC without a mouse and you’ll really appreciate the special keys (obligatory reference to the blind guys and other people who can’t use a mouse). Obligatory because I work with blind guys . My (then) teenage niece would learn the short cut keystrokes when volunteering and then forget them after volunteering and call and ask me what they were because they are so much easier than taking your hands off the keyboard to use the mouse. (typed on one of those weird ergonomic wavy keyboards — which I got at work thanks to a doctor’s note)

  136. Jenny, I did what you told me and pressed that button, but it isn’t a subscribe button. It’s actually Khereva’s SMITE button. I may have blown up your blog, too. I’m very sorry, but next time you try to make a post, if you can’t do it, it’s my fault. I clicked that button and it pulled up a bunch of HTML coding and probably changed all your settings. But I did figure out how to subscribe from Blogger, so now I’ll know if I destroyed your blog, because I’ll never get a post. (It turns out that if you’re on Blogger, you can click a behind-the-scenes button called “add” and put in a url and Blogger won’t really take revenge on you for looking at WordPress by erasing everything you ever wrote. I’m sorry, I’m afraid of those kinds of things.) So now people know. Or they would, if I hadn’t clicked on that pink SMITE button and blown up this blog.

  137. Well, heckers, I don’t have a command button, but you have TWO?? That doesn’t seem fair! But….while trying to find the command button on my keyboard, I found a key I never noticed before – it looks like a sheet of paper with typing and an arrow on it. Must be a VIK (Very Important Key) since I have one on both my desktop keyboard and my laptop keyboard, right? Yeah, so important that I’m just now finding it ….sigh….

  138. You guys need to learn some keyboard shortcuts and make your lives easier! Victor is not wrong (please don’t hit or hate me for saying that). I use my control key all the time.
    Control F = find (as in I want to find every time I use the phrase “Jenny is awesome” while typing in a document
    Control H = search and replace (as in I want to search for “Victor is right” and replace it with “Jenny is right”)
    Just to give a couple examples. 🙂

  139. I have to Google commands for my MacBook almost every time I use it. I’m glad I’m not the only one who uses their computer daily and still has issues, computer and otherwise….

  140. I have issues everyday with my MacBook. I don’t know the shortcuts and have to Google everything. In fact, I tried to post a comment two minutes ago and as usual my wordpress gives me the runaround, I don’t see the comment and try to repost, which I got the “hey dumb ass you already said that” message. Which I still don’t see, so now I’m commenting again and peeved because I’m late for my root canal and transfusion. Feel bad for me.

  141. I am sure this has already been said, but I hit the escape key every day at work and am still stuck in this pit. Maybe I need some ruby slippers….

  142. I just bought an Alienware 18 laptop (for gaming), and seriously there is a row of keys down the left side that I think is written in Klingon or some shit. It has weird symbols that are NOT English in any way and make no sense. They also seem to do nothing. Maybe because I do not speak Klingon and it can smell my fear? I DON’T KNOW.

  143. The only command I remember is the stick out your tongue symbol Alt0222

  144. Don’t tell Victor but I also work on a computer every day and do not know what half of them do. We have 4 cats and the other day, one fell of while napping on to my husband’s laptop and a damn letter popped right off. He was none too happy.

  145. My computer has a bunch of function keys that do nothing. Unless I use WordPerfect. And there there is a “SysRq” key, which I don’t get, as it’s my computer and I don’t have to request it from anyone.

    And do I push the “Pause” key if I go to the bathroom and the “Break” key when go to lunch? I never have. And what if the “Break” key actually breaks something?

    There’s also a “turbo” button, but I’ve seen inside of the box and there’s no turbo in it. Not even an exhaust manifold.

    I think they just put keys on these things to fuck with us. At least with typewriters, it was obvious what they keys all did.

  146. Kelly#151 I too click control-i at least once a day. 😉 I hadn’t even thought about the gaming connection. We’ll have to figure how to meet up without ENNY of these other people learning our SUPER SEKRIT identities. I shall watch and listen for WATERMELON online. 😉

  147. This is why I use a PC. There’s no command button. But there is still that pesky control key. Which really only messes me up when I hit it on accident, so it’s basically useless.

  148. Now that you know you can hold down the ‘e’ and then choose your accented character, maybe I can give you another tip. I’ve used a Mac for well over 20 years and my 8 month-old child discovered this trick a few years ago. It was like winning the lottery.

    Press the spacebar when you have a file highlighted in a Finder window — it opens a preview of the document. Press spacebar again to close that preview. It’s nearly instantaneous – waaaay faster than actually opening the document in the correct program. It works for nearly every filetype, too (jpg, doc, xls, pdf, etc.). Best feature ever.

    (Your baby just made my life a million times easier. ~ Jenny)

  149. This reminds me of one of my favorite Homer Simpson quotes when he is looking for the “any” key. It also helps that he is wearing a muumuu in that episode!

    p.s. To the person that just taught me who to do this, thäñk ÿōú!!!

  150. When my son was about 1.5 he randomly pressed a bunch of keys on my keyboard and turned the screen upside down. I had to hold the computer upside down to read the internet instructions on how to turn it back. Weirdest thing ever.

  151. I propose that the extra Command key be replaced with a WTF key so that when pressed in conjuction with another that a happy little pop-up offering a full explanation of said key’s function, origin is displayed along with a bonus random fun-fact. I should probably patent this gem first and call Apple tomorrow. Anyone know who took Steve Job’s old job?

  152. I don’t have any COMMAND buttons on any of my computers..do I have to be promoted to some kind of computer officer to get some sort of Command Button? I have a lot of ALT buttons, well two…is ALT German for Command?

  153. The hell? Um no command button on my computer. Is it some special club? Do people look askance at me when they notice my laptop at the airport and notice no command buttons. Like I don’t have any pants on or something like that? Is it a social stigma?
    I am putting too much thought into this.

  154. I don’t normally do this, but my husband and I love your blog, your book and your humor. We’ve just returned from a visit to Vancouver and Alaska and got this fabulous photo of a wild sea otter. My husband just HAD to make it into this movie poster and I decided it is just something that may make -you- laugh. You’ve brought us a lot of laughter, so we thought we’d send some your way.


    (Love it. ~ Jenny)

  155. My cat walked across the keyboard the other day and turned my screen upside down. She’s done a lot of nifty stuff just by walking across the keyboard — I think she’s teaching herself to code — but that was her greatest trick thus far.

    Since an earlier commentor had a similar problem with a dog, I think it’s time to ask ourselves if the animals are trying to raise an important philosophical question by challenging our view of what is “right” side up.

    Or, more likely, they’re just selfish assholes.

  156. I think I want a Mac now, simply because the keyboard has 30 fewer keys to deal with. My stupid keyboard has keys for things that don’t need their own keys, Like an E-Mail button. Except it doesn’t actually know how to access my E-mail, and just asks me to set up a default email, which frankly is more information than I want my keyboard to have.

  157. One I’ve been using all the time, since I learned it recently, is Shift+Ctrl+T, which restores the webpage I just x’d without meaning to. You can go on and on and bring them all back. It’s the Resurrection combo!

  158. But my touchpad stopped working yesterday and my daughter had to show me that there was a button for that, that I’d touched without noticing. Why would you need to do that? And why had I never noticed it, right there in front of me for 6 years?

  159. Way back when, I took a DOS class and the teacher said Ctrl+C was Copy and Ctrl+V was paste, and an easy was to remember was to think V for vomit (as in vomit words onto the page). Graphic, yes, but I NEVER forgot it! I also use ALT Print Screen a lot as I do a lot documentation for my office in how to use different websites. When I did support we used to get the “sideways display” calls, I forget what the keyboard combo was but our users were always so grateful we could fix it!

  160. LMAO! The only time I have ever used the Windows key is by accident, usually when I’m gaming and frantically mashing buttons because I have no idea what I’m doing. It throws me out to my desktop, leaving my game character to die pitifully. I got so annoyed with it I eventually made the effort to disable that key (with the keyboard software, not a hammer, which was my first instinct).

  161. Oh, my – I just tried to subscribe to your RSS feed but got a whole page of gobblety-gook with this at the top: This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it. Is my computer telling me I have no style? Nice. My computer hates me…. 🙁

  162. I’ve got you beat, Jenny: My long-suffering wife completely lost it with me this week (it was my fault, but that’s beside the point – in my opinion, at least), and she whipped the salt shaker inmy direction. (Ironically, i was on your site at the time.)
    The laptop became collateral damage.
    Now if I want to address anyone named “Dr.”. I’m screwed.

  163. I work in the back of my building at work… there aren’t very many people back here and I can’t sit in total silence. Of course, I use Pandora but for a long time I didn’t have speakers and just had to suffer through using the ones that were in my monitor. I HATED it because I didn’t have a way to control the volume on my key board. One day I got fed up and went to the vacant office next to mine (sometimes we have a random guy that works there) and stole the speakers. Computer problem solved!!!!

  164. My stupid keyboard is so used up, there are barely any letters on the keys anymore.

    It’s sad. People see it and say, “Get a new one.” Uh, no…I like it just like it is. Even though I don’t know where or what any of the keys are…buzz off. I like it like this.

    Like my life. I like being lost and feeling my way around. Sometimes the outcome is WAY better.


  165. I still call the command key the “apple” key but it hasn’t had the apple on it in forever.

    I’m a huge fan of keyboard short cuts so I use the command key pretty regularly.

    Also, one of the most confusing things ever is to use a Macbook to VPN to a PC. You have to use the PC keyboard shortcuts. And then switch back to mac shortcuts after you log out of VPN.

  166. I have learned a ton from the comments today! And I use the Caps Lock and I do work for an attorney. And I use ° but not for the temperature. Heh heh.

  167. I love Command keyboard shortcuts because I hate constantly moving my hand of the keyboard to use the mouse or the touchpad, but there were plenty here that I didn’t know about. I used Command+C and then Command+V to copy them into a Stickie file.

    Command+H isn’t always Search and Replace. On a lot of programs on my Mac, it means Hide. So if you hit Cmd+H the browser window disappears, which is a little startling if you aren’t expecting it.

    I started using Mac laptops four years ago. About six weeks ago, I noticed the Fn key and figured out what it was for. Before that, I couldn’t figure out how to use F5 for refresh, because all that happened when I hit it on my Macbook is it changed the brightness of the keyboard lighting.

    On my Mac desktop, I use a PC keyboard because I couldn’t find a reasonably priced (as in, dirt cheap) ergonomic keyboard with a Mac layout and a number pad. I’m used to it now, but it was an adventure. Using it on a Mac, it has a ton of keys that do absolutely nothing.

  168. Oh yes. I’m also especially NOT fond of the Fn (function?) key. Although it is kind of funny if you hit it and say in your head, “I want you to FN do this.” Like “turn up the volume” becomes “FN more VOLUME.” See? So, there’s that key figured out.

    Mine also is missing the way to write the funny o with a roof over it, like in the French word “cote d’azur”. Which is a newly-acquired nuisance for me, because I just took up French again after a brief 28-year break. 😉

  169. dear khereva,
    I have no clue what any of my function keys do. Not one. I am, however, incredibly proud to know that they are called function keys since they just say F followed by a number.

    this discussion pretty much sums up my entire love/hate relationship with modern technology.

    oh, and I too have turned my screen sideways. I laughed ’til I cried. [in a good way, not in a holy crap this paper is due in two hours kind of way.]

  170. I’m pretty sure my cat waits until I log onto Facebook and walks over my iPad on purpose. I cannot tell you how many friend requests that devious asshole has sent. Talk about embarrassing. Cats are evil little effers.

  171. I used small peices of paper and renamed my command keys after my kids, Jacob and Caitlyn. This way when I use those keys it makes me feel like they do what they’re told more often.

  172. My favourite is “Ctrl Z” for “undo.” Sadly, it’s only for Windows and not for real life.

  173. I am new to Mac so when you find out about these bloody command buttons please post it so the rest of us losers know what the hell is going on.

  174. Holy crap I feel your pain! I always forget my password to everything and therefore am met with the word INVALID with each attempt I make to enter my devices. I am going to change my password to INVALID then I will Never forget it…That’s right brilliant, huh?

  175. you have buttons that i don’t have. i have no command button…maybe that’s why the wee dog won’t listen some days? in any case, i’m always happy to see a new post.

    in further news, new technology is a bitch, and having a laptop with a touch screen is JUST WEIRD. that is all.

  176. My keyboard doesn’t have even one Command key. Which perhaps explains a lot in my life. I just need a new keyboard.

    My keyboard does have a Start key. Which I have never ever used, not even once. Apparently I never start anything. Frankly, I think a Finish key would be more helpful. Or perhaps a Procrastinate button. I would use that all the time (like right now).

    I swear, the most helpful key on my keyboard is a button that opens the calculator. I can’t do math, so I use that button all the time. I wish the rest of my life had a Calculator button.

  177. Since you’re already a master web-surfer, you probably already know this one:
    Hold down the Control key and click on any link on a website. A new tab will open of the linked website instead of navigating you away from your current page.
    This is almost as useful as the copy and paste shortcuts!

  178. As soon as you said “command” key, I looked down at my keyboard and thought, She must have a Mac, I have a PC and have no command key. Perhaps that is an insight into the mind of Steve Jobs? That he not only added a key labled command to his machine, but he added TWO of them! It isn’t enough for him to have control, he also had to have uber command? Also, I think on a PC if I just hold down a letter key I don’t get an tildale option, just a lot of e’s. Let me check…..eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…..yup, just a lot of e’s. That is depressing.

  179. Nice one, very interesting Conversation, I was in the middle of work and I found your this blog and seriously after reading this, I resumed my work. Actually, I am located in Dubai and from last year serving iPhone repair in dubai . that’s why my customer was waiting but this blog made me late.
    Thanks & Regards,

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