December 4, 2021 | 4:23 pm

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Who will remember; highlight, right click and copy?

So that may sound like an odd question to some folks for different reasons however for those of us who’ve been in tech for more than 20 years we probably remember having to learn key commands to perform functions such as copying and pasting before “point and click” made “highlight, right click and copy” a thing. And now that “thing” is practically ingrained in the minds of so many computer literate people. In fact, the idea of right clicking, copying and pasting text successfully transitioned to mobile platforms in some fashion at least.

Even for those of us who are reading this article on your tablet, “phone” or other mobile device and may be wondering, “Who the heck this still uses a desktop?” are more than likely at least familiar with the concept of ““press” to highlight, copy, cut or paste”. But I digress.

I’m going to share with you how this question was conjured up in my thinking today. A client contacted me this morning for assistance with solving issues which were preventing him from sending e-mail. I should inform you, said client is an 80 year old dude who through a couple of Danntech classes has become fairly computer literate.

Almost immediately I thought walking him through some troubleshooting steps over the line to solve his issues may be a bit too much to hope for however it was worth a shot. After all, we covered email correspondence in the second class so I confident he had a good handle on how to send and receive e-mail messages.

15 minutes into the call, I decided a better use of time would be to make a site visit.

The issue as the client explained was that while attempting to send an e-mail his cursor would randomly move around the screen. While on site, I sat at the computer in question, drafted an e-mail, attached a simple document and successfully sent a message. No problem. I asked the client to try sending his e-mail again. He experienced the same problem. I asked him to try it a second time while I watched over his shoulder. Sure enough, I witnessed the cursor randomly move to different spaces around his screen. So I started thinking, the mouse maybe, the keyboard or possibly some other silly reason. The next go around I paid attention to the client as well as the screen. I noticed after the client typed in the recipient’s e-mail address and the subject of the message he pressed the tab key. The client said. “Do you see this? Why is this happening?”

I scratched my head for a second surely looking a bit confused. I calmly asked the client, “Why are you pressing the tab key?”

The client answered, “Because I’m typing a letter”.

For those of us who don’t remember typewriters, waaaaaaaaay back in the day the tab key was used to indent a letter. I explained to my client that in most current software applications, the tab key’s function is to navigate from field to field. This leads me to my question.

In today’s world of technology where virtually everything is in the cloud from applications and music to storage and services, web programming languages have become so much more robust and capable. Web programmers have long been customizing the mouse popup menus however in a lot of web applications in use today the good ol right click menu is nothing like it used to be.

While configuring another client’s Microsoft Office 365 integration I remember literally waiting about 10 to 15 seconds for a menu to popup after I right clicked. Nope, not going to happen, gotta use those key commends buddy.

It makes me think who will remember; right, click, edit, copy and / or paste. After all, how many people remember remember:

  • Bang addresses
  • Punch cards
  • Mainframes
  • Q Basic.
  • Yahoo was search engine
  • Modems
  • Compuserv

Just sharing some random thoughts





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