_ ____ ____ ___ ___ _ _
/ \ / ___| / ___|_ _|_ _| / \ _ __| |_
/ _ \ \___ \| | | | | | / _ \ | '__| __|
/ ___ \ ___) | |___ | | | | / ___ \| | | |_
/_/ \_\____/ \____|___|___| /_/ \_\_| \__|
Artwork that is made up of nothing more than carefully-arranged keyboard characters — 95 American Standard Code for Information Interchange characters, to be precise — is called ASCII art.
I have already shared a few examples of ASCII art, without going into detail about them being ASCII art, in my post about having fun with the Linux command line, where Asciiquarium, Banner, Cowsay, Figlet (which produced the above example), and Sl were all featured.
LTNS; HRU? GR8? G2K. ZUP?
Have you ever run across gibberish like this and wondered just what, exactly, it means?!?
This is an example of internet shorthand, or “text speak”, “chatspeak”, “cyber slang”, “chat acronyms”, “SMS texting language”, “netspeak”, etc.
As you can see, it is in no way confined to the internet, but is also extensively used when texting, and even pops up in our everyday spoken conversations.
Internet shorthand is little more than an attempt save time by reducing keystrokes, although there are cases in which it actually increases the number of keystrokes.
The concept primarily involves using acronyms for commonly-used phrases, and can result in absolute chaos for those of us unfamiliar with the language.
If you’ve used the internet, received text messages, or engaged in any other form of electronic communication, it’s highly likely that you’ve run across the existence of emoticons.
Emoticons started out as representations of facial expressions, making use of punctuation and alpha-numeric characters available on the common keyboard, and have since evolved into an extensive, varied collection of graphical representations of… just about everything, really.
Do you know what your F2 key does? Do you know where your F6 key is? Did you know that they are called “function keys”?
Today’s lesson is all about function keys; where they are, what they are, and how to use them. Maybe I’ll even add a thought or two about how not to use them.
By now the average computer user might be familiar with a few of the most common (and life-saving!) keyboard shortcuts, like Ctrl + C (copy) and Ctrl + V (paste).
I say “might” because, while I cannot personally remember my life “before shortcuts” (it was probably a scary age, with the dinosaurs and all), I also know some very recent converts.
In comparing notes with them, I found that some of my favorite shortcuts were still widely unknown; my goal today is enlightenment.
On most keyboards, if you place the index fingers of each hand on the F and J keys, you will feel a raised bump on each one.
These bumps indicate the position of the keys, without requiring you to look at the keyboard.
Are you familiar with QWERTY?
In all likelihood, you are familiar with QWERTY whether you know it or not. Most — if not all — computer keyboards use the QWERTY layout, which gets its name from the first six letters across the top.
Hint: Don’t use QWERTY as your password, unless you’re trying to get hacked. And, while we’re on the subject, don’t use “1234567” or “password” as your password either.
Do you know how to type?
The fine art of typing involves more than using one or two index fingers to “hunt and peck”. In fact, after learning how to type, you should find it difficult to go back to hunting and pecking.
Typing is the process of utilizing all ten fingers, fanned out across your keyboard, so that each key is only ever pressed by it’s designated finger.
Computers require some assembly when they are moved or first un-packaged.
Despite the fact the back of a computer usually ends up looking like a tangled mess of cables, the setup is rather simple.
It’s all a case of plugging the right cables into the right sockets (or ports), which is made easy by the fact that for most cables, there is only one similar port available.
What comes to mind when you hear the word “computer”?
Do you envision a “tall box with buttons, slots and lights”, or do you see a screen with a mouse and keyboard in front of it? Do you see all of those individual parts as a single entity?
If I’m “on the computer”, that does not mean I’m sitting on top of a metal case looking bored. It means I’m sitting at my desk in front of my monitor, usually with one hand on my mouse and the other on my keyboard and a look of intense concentration, frustration or amusement on my face.