Pounds (£) and Hashes (#)

Why does my pound sign (£) mysteriously change to a hash (#)? In the olden days (!), we used to type letters on something called a “typewriter”. The lever you thumped was embossed at the other end with the character that appeared on the paper when the embossed end struck a ribbon that inked the …
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Gmail Shortcuts

Do you use Gmail in your browser? I’ve said previously that I don’t think it’s worth learning loads of shortcut keys. This is for two reasons: Unless you use them all the time it’s very easy to forget them Different shortcut key combinations do different things in different programs, so it’s very easy to get …
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Long SMS messages on an iPhone

I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the iPhone keyboard …and I know from discussing this with friends and computer clients that there are plenty of other people who share this slight frustration. If it’s only a case of prodding a few characters then that’s OK. Just take it slowly and pay attention. Better …
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Talking to Your Computer

Keyboards aren’t necessarily the best way to talk to computers .. and that is why the mouse was developed. The invention of the mouse actually took place in the 1960’s (see this link, for instance, on the invention of the computer mouse), but it became widespread with the introduction into personal computing of the “Graphical …
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Is it worth learning keyboard shortcuts?

I’m not a great believer in trying to remember a lot of “quick key” keyboard shortcuts There are several reasons for this: A certain amount of effort has to be put into learning a shortcut and this effort will quite probably interrupt the flow of whatever it is that you were doing. A shortcut key …
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iPad Keyboards and Other Small Things

A few bits and pieces this week.. Tab key Tip When filling in forms online, or even just entering a username and password, it’s much quicker to use the tab and “shift tab” keys to move to the next and previous fields respectively than it is to fumble around with the mouse. If you are …
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Won over by the iPhone

Is there a self-help group for people who fear becoming “Apple Fanboys”? I bought my iPhone 3GS secondhand almost a year ago. According to Wikipedia, the 16gb version was discontinued in mid 2010, so that makes it 3-4 years old now – maybe time for a replacement. I didn’t buy it with the intention of …
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The iPhone Keyboard

The iPhone “virtual” keyboard is still driving me bonkers, but I think I may be winning. One of the many, many things in modern life that puzzles me is “how have iPhones and Blackberries become so popular when their keyboards are so utterly dreadful and difficult to use?” I am neither ham-fisted nor sausage-fingered, but …
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Keyboard Shortcuts

Do you have to hunt down your programs before you can open them? Maybe you scour the “all programs” option of the Start Menu. Maybe you minimise the window that you are working on and then work through the confusion of shortcuts on your desktop. You might even hunt through the hard drive using Windows …
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Switching Between Windows

How do you move the focus between open windows? There are several ways to do this, but I’ve noticed during one-to-one computer training sessions that most people are only aware of the method they already use. It could be, of course, that you are already using the method that suits you best, but let’s look …
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