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The Shiftkey FAQ - Version 0.001:


by Alan Meiss, ameiss@indiana.edu


Unleash the Power of Shift!


Q. My shift keys have little arrows on them. Does that mean the *real*
shift keys are located above them, and these keys are just little signs
to point them out?


A. Nope, they're the Real McCoy. The little arrows mean "up", as
in "look up at the screen". Your keyboard is telling you to learn to
touch type and quit staring at your fingers.


Q. What happens if I press both shift keys?


A. Even bigger letters may show up on your screen. You should not use
this feature, however, because these letters are also brighter, and may
cause Screen Burn-In, which would be particularly embarrassing if you
were typing something naughty at the time. You might consider obtaining
the author's Shift Key Burn-In Protector program for only $139.95. Or
you might not, it's your computer, but don't say I didn't warn you.


q. my religion prohibits the use of shift keys. how can i type capital
letters and punctuation


A. Discuss alternatives to the shift key with your spiritual advisor.
Perhaps your deity would not be angered by repeated use of the Caps Lock
key, or maybe you can retain a consultant to depress the shift for you.
You might also consider replacing punctuation marks that require the
use of shift keys with lower case expressions; replace ? with "huh"
and ! with "zowie".


Q> I PRESSED SHIFT AND IT"S STUCK DOWN NOW>


A. Do small children with a fondness for peanut butter use your keyboard
frequently? If so, you may want to clean it off for more reliable
operation. First, disconnect your keyboard by gripping each of its ends
firmly and pulling as hard as you can. Next, immerse the keyboard in
warm water and scrub thoroughly with your favorite lemon-scented detergent
and lots of steel wool. Finally, you need to dry the keyboard. Either
dry it to touch with a handheld blowdryer, or place it it the dryer
for not less than 60 minutes. Be sure to clean the lint screen when you
are finished.


Q. Why are there are no "shift" keys on my keyboard, but there are two keys
labelled "hif"?


A. Again, you may want to consider cleaning your keyboard, and washing
your hands more frequently for that matter.


Q. Are there shift keys on my Macintosh?


A. Yes, although instead of the notation "shift", the key may be labelled
with an excited Mac face, something like :O . Press this key to use
shift, and be thankful you're using a friendly Mac instead of a mean old
PC with all them confusin' words 'n stuff on it.


Q. I'm sick of pushing the shift key every single time I want big letters.
Is there any other way to do this?


A. This is the Modern Age of Convenience, and you may be able to activate
the shift key merely with the power of your voice! Check to see whether
your computer is equippped with speech-recognition equipment by saying
the word "shift" very clearly and slowly into its speaker. Then watch the
keyboard closely to see if the Shift key moves down. Note that you may
have to repeat this action several times to "train" the computer to
recognize your voice before the feature works reliably.


Q. There are two shift keys, which should I use?


A. Avoid unnecessary wear on either shift key by alternating between the
two. Keep track of your usage of each key so that you press them in
equal amounts. Your keyboard may be equipped with a small notepad; you
should use this to make little tally marks in two columns for each time
you shift. Remember, it's better to go to a little trouble than wind up
with a broken shift key.


Q. Why are the shift keys bigger than the other keys?


A. They aren't. This is simply an optical illusion. Just as the moon
appears much larger when it is close to the horizon, your shift keys
look larger because of their proximity to other keys. To verify this,
go out in a large field at night with your keyboard, place it in an
upright position, and view it from a distance of 200 yards. Sure enough,
the keys all look the same size!


Q. If I press the shift key at the wrong time, or too many times, will
my computer explode?


A. No. Well, generally no. Not unless you are using a NEC laptop. Or
vt100 terminal emulation. But even then, hardly ever. Really, don't
worry about it. Forget I mentioned it. Just type softly. Move along,
next question.


Q. No matter what I do, the shift key just doesn't seem to work. What's
wrong?


A. Have you ever considered that the problem may not be your keyboard,
the problem may be YOU? Perhaps God Himself has suspended the operation
of these keys to send you a Message that you have strayed from the path
of righteousness. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your life.
Before rushing blindly ahead with a lot of shifting, consult the spiritual
advisor of your choice for help in dealing with any unresolved issues
in your relationship with the Almighty.


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