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What do these keys do?

Last response: in Components
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January 5, 2013 4:25:13 AM

After the monitor, I would estimate that the keyboard is the part of the computer we interact with the most. I have always been fussy about my keyboards. I started on a Burroughs TD-832 keyboard which took a "manly" touch and gave a satisfying "thwack" when you hit them. When you were paying $5000 for a terminal, you expected a good keyboard with keys that did what you needed. IBM gave me 122 keys when I started using 3176 and 3177 "twinax" terminals. Two rows of function keys that did the same thing in every application according the IBM's CUA of SAA (Common User Access of Systems Application Architecture [we would sign our messages "F3" which was "Exit" and yell "F1" which was help long before there was a Microsoft). We had standards.

I am old enough to remember using the "pause/break" key, the "print scrn" key and even the "scroll lock" key I think in CPM, but definitely in DOS. Except for taking a snapshot of your screen to your clipboard with shift+ctrl+prtscrn I have no idea what these keys do on today's systems. Can somebody help me out with this? Certainly we would not continue to produce keyboards with keys that had no purpose. What do they do? How do we use them? When was the last time you used them?

Thanks for your gentle responses to this old newb.

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January 5, 2013 5:20:26 AM

ctrl + alt + break/pause will toggle a maximise screen for remote desktop
shift + break will interrupt running programs while in debug mode (I mostly use this in Office 2000 and occasionally it works in office 2007, I cannot speak for newer office packages)
prnt screen will capture your full screen to the clipboard
alt + prnt screen will capture the active window to clipboard
double tapping scroll lock + cursor key OR number key will switch the source computer on a kvm switch
scroll lock will still pauses the POST of a computer, I have no idea what else it does in Windows

As to when I last done any of this, that's just a troll's question. Go back to your dark and damp cave.
January 5, 2013 6:40:55 PM

pauls3743 said:
ctrl + alt + break/pause will toggle a maximise screen for remote desktop
shift + break will interrupt running programs while in debug mode (I mostly use this in Office 2000 and occasionally it works in office 2007, I cannot speak for newer office packages)
prnt screen will capture your full screen to the clipboard
alt + prnt screen will capture the active window to clipboard
double tapping scroll lock + cursor key OR number key will switch the source computer on a kvm switch
scroll lock will still pauses the POST of a computer, I have no idea what else it does in Windows

As to when I last done any of this, that's just a troll's question. Go back to your dark and damp cave.


Thanks for the response. I really had no idea, even after searching.

As for my cave, I haven't seen Office 2007 since July of 2009, but I do use Classic Shell with Windows 8 and find Office 2013 completely devoid of enhancement. I also keep my cave dry. At my age damp is bad for rheumatism.

Again, my thanks. I knew that no matter how obscure, somebody at Tom's would know.
!