Thursday, November 4

The Three-Finger Salute

Ask anyone who works with Microsoft-powered computers what the "Three-Finger Salute" is, and they'll tell you it's a three-letter command to either a) log in to Windows, b) abort some process or other, or c) reboot a DOS-based machine.

Time was, that three-fingered salute was along the bottom row of a QWERTY keyboard. Two fingers on the left hand and one with the right. As technology - and the need for more keys - expanded, you could three finger with just one hand, typically just the right, as one of the keys had been relocated nearer the center of the keyboard.

And the keys themselves haven't changed. The locations may have, but they're still the same.

So it was a few months ago, and one of my coworkers was explaining to me how to do something on an [expletive deleted]. I readied my fingers, and before I could press any keys, he said:

"Hit control delete..." my mind flashed "WAIT - I HAVE TO WRITE THIS DOWN!"



"Control, Delete, Alt"? Had he just said what I think he said?

"Say that again?"

Yup, that's what he said.

I just grinned, and typed it the way I learned it, as Control-Alt-Delete, oh so many years ago. Pre-history.

I kept that in the back of my mind, just grinning whenever I'd have to do it again. And again. And again. Hell, I do that so many times a day I can't count. I'm sure you do, too.

Be quiet, Rachelle.

So it shocked me no end when, a couple weeks ago, I was working on yet another [expletive deleted], when a customer and I were working together on a problem, when I asked how she'd done some function or other, and she said...

"Alt - Control - Delete".

I started wondering if one can gauge how long someone has been working with PC's by how they interpret the three-finger salute.

But this time, I asked her why she did it that way. Not that it really mattered, since the end result is the same.

"Because that's in alphabetical order."

Ah. Like people who don't have OCD but CDO? CDO is in alphabetical order, just like it should be.

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