View Full Version : Useless keys on your keyboard

21st Mar 2005, 01:39
Whatever is the key "scroll lock" for? Or "SysRequest" Or "Alt Gr"? "Break"? Break what? I don't think I have ever purposely pushed those buttons. Not to mention the modern useless Win keys.

So what were keys designed for?

7 7 7 7

21st Mar 2005, 01:55
I understood that the keys were from Yale (boom boom)...ok ok it's late - 2/3 bottle vodka - the wife has left, (hurrah) - the cat's sick - spent Saturday waiting in Nostalgia for a no show charabang trip... et al

Onan the Clumsy
21st Mar 2005, 02:22
Win Keys? You mean the one with the Windows logo on it?

Try WinKey + E

or WinKey + S

or Winkey + M

There are probably others too.

21st Mar 2005, 03:20
Getting the Start Menu up, bringing up 'My PC' or closing a window are useful shortcuts, but what does WinKey plus S do? :confused:

21st Mar 2005, 06:43
I've never been able to find the 'Any' key, as in the instruction:- 'now press any key'

21st Mar 2005, 07:11
Great a chance to use the ~#|\<>:ok:

21st Mar 2005, 07:13
These keys are a remnant from the original IBM PC keyboard and the days before modern GUI design with items such as scrollbars and mice, they enabled a secondary function of a group of keys.

In the original design, Scroll Lock was intended to modify the behavior of the arrow keys. When the scroll lock mode was on, the arrow keys would scroll the contents of a text window. In Linux command line sessions, the Scroll Lock key is used to pause screen output.

The Alt key replaced the Meta key of old MIT keyboards. In their original function, both keys would set the high bit of the signal generated by the key to 1. However, in modern software, due to the requirement of the high bit for internationalisation, it no longer works in such a way. It is, however, part of the Ctrl-Alt-Delete key combination.

AltGr, is used to type many characters with accents. The Euro currency symbol () and the broken pipe symbol () are the only keys on UK keyboards that require the use of AltGr, making it one of the most unused of all the keys. For many other countries, however, Alt Gr is used to add various accents or additional characters. For example in in Japan without the key you can't type all of the kana.

Num Lock is used to switch that pad between number entry and arrow keys. This key exists because earlier 84-key IBM PC keyboards did not have arrows separate from the numeric keypad. Num Lock would be used to choose between the two functions.

SysReq was the 84th key added when the 83-key PC/XT keyboard became the 84-key AT keyboard. Unless programmed by a particular application, the SysRq key does nothing. IBM included this key to facilitate switching from one task to another. As it turned out, the developers of Windows didn't use SysReq when implementing task switching. Some new keyboards no longer feature this key, and its days seem numbered.

The Pause/Break key was used in the DOS command line environment to pause scrolling of text on the screen, which could, depending on the program and its method of text output to the screen, have the effect of pausing program execution, other programs may be unaffected by the Pause key, though, depending on how they are written and whether or not they output text to the screen. The Break key, when combined with the Ctrl key, is used to terminate DOS applications and still does today, even in the DOS window of Windows XP. Some DOS communication programs used the Break key as a shortcut to terminate a modem connection, but that was really a function of the program, not the operating system.

The pipe key <|>, is used in programming languages where it serves as the "OR" symbol. A single pipe indicates "bitwise OR," and two pipes together (||) signify "logical OR".

21st Mar 2005, 07:16
There you are then..............your answer in a nutshell! :ugh:

21st Mar 2005, 08:54
The key will probably remain useless to most Brits.
I find the $ key to be fairly pointless, probably can't get a computer without that one though!
Why when I push " do I get @ and vice versa. Or was it the other way round:confused:

Lon More
21st Mar 2005, 09:02
Why when I push " do I get @ and vice versa. Or was it the other way round

Probably because Eurocontrol buys equipment from so many different sources. In the New ODS office we had 8 keyboards with about three different layouts.:8

Lon More; here before Pontius was a pilot or Mortus a rigger

21st Mar 2005, 09:09
When I've been cranky, every key has come in use.

I just bang them all.

21st Mar 2005, 09:30

What about the key on the far top left of my keyboard with a 2 in the bottom left corner and nothing else on it. Ive even tried pressing it (no response!), but i still dont know what it does......

I also have these three keys which I doubt I will ever use again

Why would you use these?

Regards, SD..:confused:

21st Mar 2005, 09:54
Why is it some keys have 3 different symbols (purposes), and no matter how hard you try, you can never figure out how to use that third symbol (well in my case anyway := )
Anybody remember how to do that, you press the key, fine. You hold down "shift" and press the key again, fine.................... Now what the f:mad: do I hold down to get that other symbol :}

And another thing, why don't the new keyboards of today come with the Euro symbol, I cant even put it in here as an example :{


PS, 7777 are you by chance an ex San Antonio instructor?

21st Mar 2005, 10:13
Sky Captain
Just push the key and you get "4"
Push shift and the key and you get "$"
Push Ctrl Alt and the key and you get ""

(If you have a key with three characters on it anyway):ok:

Cheers Lon More. You are right of course. We also have those AZERTY keyboards. They are seriously mind bending. Perhaps that explains the French thing :E
You have to push shift to get a full stop, don't they ever end a sentence? and the numbers all require a poke on the shift key to work. :yuk:

tony draper
21st Mar 2005, 11:40
Thebiglongfeckeronthebottomofthekeyboarddoesn'tseemto doanythingeither.

Onan the Clumsy
21st Mar 2005, 12:03
but what does WinKey plus S do? Sorry, + F - for Search :rolleyes:

I even tested it, jus forgot to change it.

21st Mar 2005, 12:58
Alt + F4 does wonders! :}

21st Mar 2005, 14:58
Ahhh, I remember the times when good old Microstuffed Windows Version 3 had just come out and kept crashing. Seems Control, Alt and Delete were the most used for a while.

21st Mar 2005, 17:57
WinKey + D Go to desktop
WinKey + M Minimize all (press again to get them back)
WinKey + R Run...
WinKey + F Search
WinKey + E Open Explorer

Usefull bugger after all innit! :p

Capn Notarious
21st Mar 2005, 18:38
Well my wireless keyboard does not appear to have a "Winkey": so that is something less to hand over to the grey matter.

21st Mar 2005, 23:41
And.... as I have just discovered courtesy of Joe2812....Alt + F4 crashes you out of Pprune and one then has to go through all the rigmarole of getting back in to post a reply like this one.

22nd Mar 2005, 00:17
Not if you're using Mozilla, allan. :ok:

Every time I see these Winkeys mentioned I can't stop myself wondering if they've got wee willies? :uhoh:

Secret Squire
22nd Mar 2005, 00:21

Why when I push " do I get @ and vice versa. Or was it the other way round

Your keyboard is set up as an American one.

Go into control panel, then regional and language settings

In this, goto the languages tab, and click on details

In here, click the add button, and add a UK layout keyboard.

Having done this, remove the US layout one from the box, it will give you a message saying that as you are using this it will be deleted shortly, but not right now.

Hey presto, your " and @ keys will be in the right place!



22nd Mar 2005, 04:23

yes indeed! :eek:

22nd Mar 2005, 10:18
And still nobody knows anything about the little '2' ???

22nd Mar 2005, 10:24
Nobody wants to own up to having a little 1 never mind a little 2.

I don't have one on my keyboard. Is it one of three symblos on that key or is it the only symbol?

It could be a "squared" symbol, as in pi r squared - see how useful it could be! If you had a pi as well :{

22nd Mar 2005, 11:02

It could be a "squared" symbol, as in pi r squared

Ahhh, Yes thats it!! Ive discovered it only works in certain programs!!

And Ive discovered a use for one of the other useless keys I have..

----0---- or ------oTo------

:D :p

Regards, SD..

tony draper
22nd Mar 2005, 11:07
I didn't realise my keys had symbols on em until I spilled summat on em and wiped em down.

Spuds McKenzie
22nd Mar 2005, 11:07
Can anyone else here produce the , and ?


22nd Mar 2005, 11:12
How about and

22nd Mar 2005, 11:13

No, But I do have the following keys;

, , , and ....

.....and Ive just discovered.......

Regards, SD..

Spuds McKenzie
22nd Mar 2005, 11:20
But I do have the following keys;
Moi aussi:


22nd Mar 2005, 11:32
Rather than ctrl+alt+4 for the euro use AltGr+4 .

Alt + numbers on keypad ie holding down alt while keying in 0189 gives - use character table in word for a full list.

22nd Mar 2005, 11:39
There is a thread about accents on the Ffrench Fforum (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=122670&highlight=accents+AND+qwerty) (contains links)

22nd Mar 2005, 13:32
Haen't got , and .

But I have got , and .

Just not necessarily in that order.