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Software update turned my display and mouse upside-down, says user

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Re: Mouse fun

So he fingered the mouse. Did he buy her dinner first ?

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Trollface

Re: Mouse fun

Did you just assume the mouse's gender?

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Way back we had terminals with an internal PSU that supplied -12V GND +5V +12V.

Took a 6 inch 12V fan and superglued a threaded nut to one blade so it was way off balance, cable-tied it loosely to the underside of the operators desk and wired it across the -12V and +12V.

When the terminal was powered on the off balance fan hammered against the bottom of the desk and it almost started walking across the floor.

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When I was at school we had a daisy wheel printer that had a very fast carriage return and depending on the code sent it could slam itself into either the left or right hand end of the travel.

Once we got the right frequency we could walk it, and the table it was on, across the room.

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This reminds me of a trick we used to play on folks back in a previous life/career cycle.

We'd remove the back of the old CRT monitors and rotate the deflection coils on the neck of the tube by 180 degrees before reassembling. We'd then turn the screen upside down on top of the user's PC.

Cue much hilarity when the user would arrive at their desk, turn the screen the right way up then boot their PC and wonder why the display was upside down :)

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More rodent fun

My mum works as a dinner lady and was on an IT 101 course at work, where the instructor showed her team how to access the company intranet and corp email, that sort of thing. Everything is going fine until the instructor asks everyone to move their cursor to the top right of the screen to close Outlook. My mum's colleague (she swears blind this is true) actually picked up her mouse, plonked it into position on the monitor and then complained that nothing was happening. My mum is made of stronger stuff than me and managed to explain to her how a mouse works without sarcasm or anything.

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Re: More rodent fun

"My mum's colleague (she swears blind this is true) actually picked up her mouse, plonked it into position on the monitor and then complained that nothing was happening."

Whilst this is a common luser event, you can get some weird effects when changing technologies.

5 years ago when I got my first touchscreen tablet I'd been using it for 2 weeks solid whilst travelling, then plonked into a chair in front of the computer at home. It took about 10 seconds of fruitlessly stabbing at the screen trying to login before the lightbulb moment.

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A non-IT one, but from an IT PHB

I had to "apologise" for being late in one winter morning as when I started my car, 5 seconds later the rear windscreen just exploded.

- Wow, what's that load bang behind me? look in the mirror and the glass is all smashed with a large hole in one corner ... I thought I'd just been shot at!

My manager (director of IT, though with no qualification or experience whatsoever) decides I need a lecture because, y'know, I must've just got off the boat.

PHB: "oooo, that car must have a twisted chassis, it must have been in an accident, you need to sue the person who sold it to you"

Me: "I bought it brand new, off the forecourt"

PHB: "Are you sure?"

Me: "I think I remember. "

PHB: "Still, you should contact the dealer"

Me: "It was four years ago. "

PHB: "Maybe it's a manufacturing defect"

Me: "Maybe, but after four years and no recall or notice I'm going to have a hard time proving that, my insurance will repair it anyway. "

PHB: "Still, follow my advise"

Me: "Sure, thanks"

All the time I could see his secretary behind him shaking her head in despair, apparently he was making her write endless letters to a garage that had serviced his company car because 3 weeks later he'd had a puncture and "it must be their fault".

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tp2

easier way

Windows have some key presses with altgr+cursor keys which is kinda interesting for upsidedown stuff. Even rebooting doesnt fix the problem and only way to fix it is pressing the keys again. Accidentally pressing it while typing something is kinda interesting.

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Pint

Re: easier way

he had earlier miss-hit some control key sequences - and the file was now encrypted with an unknown pass phrase of the subsequent text.

Wow, you'd need to be typing some very strange stuff while not looking at your monitor for at least a dozen keystrikes for that to actually happen in Vi. Oh, and you'd have to quit edit mode to enter command mode, which (unsurprisingly) involves a a key that is not used often. Usually escape, but I guess if you were really, erm, special you could set it to the "e" key and type in the ASCII code for "e" each time you needed to input that letter. Unsurprisingly, I'm not aware of anyone using that setup in the real world, but hey, there's no such thing as "probability zero". After all, I'm told some people devote a lot of time to chucking insults in Klingon at each other while banging bat'leths.

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Re: easier way

Wow, you'd need to be typing some very strange stuff while lot looking at your monitor for at least a dozen keytrikes for that to actually happen in Vi.

In emacs its just C-z M-e M-Tab, followed by your keyword.

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Re: easier way

In emacs its just C-z M-e M-Tab, followed by your keyword.

And Enter, presumably ? I'm not very familiar with Emacs, but it's similar in Vi, and I stand by my words; please feel free to fire up Emacs and actually try it -from edit mode- in fewer that a dozen strikes (assuming here that you don't use a single-character keyword) and without hitting a key that you wouldn't use in normal non-command typing. I'd be happy to see the answer, as that would be yet another reason to say that Vi is superior to Emacs (which is obvious to begin with but heh :P )

I would try it myself but for some reason I am a bit reluctant. Wasting a few hundred MB of valuable disk space to install an inferior editor* just to make a point in El Reg comments does not rank very high in my to-do list. Not until I get (more) seriously bored anyway :D

* prflblblblblblb also yo momma's so fat she could install Emacs on her underbelly without anyone noticing.

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Re: easier way

And Enter, presumably ? I'm not very familiar with Emacs, but it's similar in Vi, and I stand by my words; please feel free to fire up Emacs and actually try it -from edit mode- in fewer that a dozen strikes

Whoosh

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Pint

Re: Woosh

Fair enough. I don't want to be seen as body-shaming butterflies. That might upset the twittersphere.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Re: easier way

He mistakenly invoked the vi :x command for file encryption.

OK I'll bite

[escape]

:x

[random text relevant to the file being edited, and that will be taken as the keyword]

[Enter]

:w

:q

During all this, including the saving and closing, you need to not have looked at your monitor even once to check that your input is correct. That's at the very least 7 keystrikes not accounting for the keyword, so a very minimum of 8 keystrikes for a 1-character keyword (OK, seven if you condense the last 2 commands) if you do it purposedly. If you didn't mean to do exactly that, the random text is likely to be longer than 1 char, hence my "dozen".

Unless of course you were just hammering away in a tool that you don't undertand, in which case it's similar to hitting "by mistake" ctrl-a delete ctrl-s [enter] in, say, MSWord. All without looking. Only harder in Vi. While there is is no such thing as "probability zero", Vi users tend to have chosen the tool, and thus understand that command mode is meant to issue commands. That's why I was impressed by the level of gormlessness involved in the scenario.

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Re: easier way

Not that you seem them these days, but have you seen a copy typist at work? They don't look at the monitor or keyboard until they stop to turn the page. Some can have a conversation at the same time, I'd be typing parts of the conversation.

Had a secretary tell me yesterday, she was doing audio typing and when she looked back at the screen from looking round the office she wondered where the rest of the document had gone as only the last bit of typing she had done was left in the document. She worked out the she had accidently pressed ctrl-N instead of ctrl-B

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Re: easier way

"Emacs"

When I first encountered it, it was "Eight Megabytes And Constantly Swapping"

That migrated to 80 and then 800 over time.

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Re: easier way

":x"

which on more modern versions of vi and vim is "Save and exit" (aka :wq)

vs :X - "which is encrypt this file"

Easy enough mistake to make and a classic example of a UI fail - the result is that the passphrase is probably a case-swapped version of the command the user intended to enter after exiting vi

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Re: easier way

The person was a very experienced vi user who could touch type at some speed. This was about 30 years ago. I suspect he was typing ahead on a very slow response remote connection - so could not see the effect of his keystrokes for several seconds.

Excuses. You do not type :wq [Enter] in Vi without having checked what you were saving. Period. Even if that means waiting for several seconds for the feedback to come from the distant system.

Actually, it's funny to imagine that we will see a revival of these "slow connection ate my homework" anecdotes as more and more people use Office360, GoogleDocs and the like, where a dropped connection and a split second of inattention can mean that you either clicked the wrong button or did something you never wanted to do, due to slow GUI update. Plus ça change...

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use the mouse to move the pointer

Many years ago, I gave my mum her first PC (an old one of mine) and sat with her for her 1st PC lesson. I told her, "use the mouse to move the pointer on the screen"

She picked up the mouse and started sliding it around the screen on the monitor saying "its not working"

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Re: use the mouse to move the pointer

It's easy to laugh at mouse stories, but I remember the "Computing in Medical Laboratories" thing that we hosted in the 80's where guys who were at the cutting edge of Labsystem development (from Norfolk if I remember correctly) were harumphing about those new-fangled mouse things.

"I would turn them over and use them as a trackball" they said...

As an aside, our current labsystem is completely mouse-free once you've clicked on it's icon to fire it up...

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Meh

Re: use the mouse to move the pointer

As an aside, our current labsystem is completely mouse-free once you've clicked on it's icon to fire it up...

in my experience, for long-term use of the same tool, keyboard-only is always more efficient, including for image or video editing applications. Of course said application has to allow for keyboard control, and with the current trend towards extreme infantilisation of IT users we now see applications (including "serious" scientific stuff) that are designed like toddler toys with bright and large colorful shapes and rounded corners as the only means of interaction ; of course these need to be clicked on -or better, punched on-screen- and are not KB-accessible, because UX means we're all back to kindergarten for some reason.

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Re: use the mouse to move the pointer

"in my experience, for long-term use of the same tool, keyboard-only is always more efficient, including for image or video editing applications. Of course said application has to allow for keyboard control"
Try this then. Fire up CorelDRAW! Use a Wacom stylus/digitiser to sign your name. Now do the same again using the keyboard. Selecting and duplicating the first object is cheating.

FWIW I find having a rich set of keyboard commands and a pointing device to be more efficient than either device alone.

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Pint

Re: use the mouse to move the pointer

Use a Wacom stylus/digitiser to sign your name.

That's not a pointing device then, but a drawing one. And in your use case a pen/paper/scanner would actually be more cost-efficient than a Wacom. But I get you point. When drawing stuff that is not easily mathematically modeled or digitally imaged, a drawing device is indeed useful.

Once the signature is digitized, though, duplicating it using only kb shortcuts is not cheating but efficiency :P

In my defence, that's not something I do very often hence the "in my experience" statement, and a mouse is not terribly useful at that either (hence your Wacom reference, I suppose)...

Still, have an upvote for reminding me to never * say always again.

*drats, did it again, didn't I ?

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Re: use the mouse to move the pointer

FWIW I find having a rich set of keyboard commands and SEVERAL pointing devices to be more efficient than either device alone.

There FTFW

At one point I had 2 mice (left/right side), a keyboard-mounted trackpad, trackball and Wacom digitiser attached to my system.

It used to annoy the cat who liked to sit on whatever device I was using in order to get attention.

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Rotated Screen

Back in the Windows 95 days i was sitting next to the helpdesk when a call came in.

The user was irate as some magic had rotated his screen display 90Deg and he was in the middle of something important.

My mate the helpdesk guy asked the usual questions, did you do anything, install anything, no, no was the response, something just happened.

We had never seen a rotated display before but by craning necks and getting into the video control panel we found an option to rotate the display, and one quick settings change and natural order was restored.

He had just barely time to close the call before we collapsed to the floor laughing.

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Re: Rotated Screen

That rotation option is bloody handy when you want to put a monitor at a high location (ceiling mounted displays, etc). Apart from the mounting options it gives, most LCD monitors are setup so the polarisers give best vewability for a user whose eye angle is above the centreline of the monitor (usually 30-60 degrees)(*)

Having a high-mounted monitor "right way up" used to frequently result in displays with an unviewable contrast or with wierd colour blooming depending what angle you looked up at them from.

If you have a "wall of monitors" on your desk then the same trick makes the upper row(s) easier to deal with, without having them tilted at wild angles.

(*) How many readers just ducked their heads down below the centreline of their monitor to verify what I just said?

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Re: Rotated Screen

"The user was irate as some magic had rotated his screen display 90Deg and he was in the middle of something important."

There's always the fun of the taskbar being dragged around the screen edges by a careless user.

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Upside down you're turning me

When I was working for a TV equipment manufacturer, one of the image processing scientists had a film clip that they used for image quality testing. To decouple the image from reality, this was turned upside down. One Friday we went down to his office to see if he was coming to the pub. He wasn't around, but this clip was playing on a rather expensive, broadcast quality monitor. We decided to fix this by turning the monitor upside-down (hard work, those things were heavy). When he reappeared, it took him a couple of minutes to spot what we had done. We all had a laugh, and then turned the monitor back over. Then we realised that the screen had become magnetised, and there were nasty colour fringes everywhere. A couple of degausses helped, but didn't cure it.

What was to be done? We went to the pub. When we came back the monitor had settled, and we were all very relieved.

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Re: Upside down you're turning me

"Then we realised that the screen had become magnetised, and there were nasty colour fringes everywhere."

This is the same reason that CRTs on airliners (or personal TV moved between countries) always end up with colour fringing. You have to set the thing up for the local planetary magnetic field and if that changes (or you turn the screen upside down) then you have to start over.

Anyone working in TV manufacturing learns this very quickly and noone would be stupid enough to invert an expensive studio monitor unless they've already been fired.

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Anonymous Coward

Better Idea

"in charge of an image analysis system linked to microscopes for analysis of bacteria”

We did the same thing but linked to microphones. Never could get it to work. Now I think maybe we misread the requirements.

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This post has been deleted by its author

I once installed a Windows system into a GP surgery and found a receptionist who thought that moving the cursor up the screen requiring lifting the mouse off the desk.

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Yeah, when intelligent people have simple computer problems, it does tend to come off as inauthentic -- like they're too aristocratic to "play secretary" or something.

But it's a problem with anything you know very well. I can't tolerate fellow singers who can't read music, for example. Like literacy is a burden, and no adult can be expected to have such a skill. It seems so bizarre. Contrived and irresponsible, even.

I have to remind myself that ignorance about a thing is normal, and knowledge about that thing is the contrived part. I remind myself that I don't put air in my own tires, and I don't change my own oil.

That doesn't usually work. That's where the booze comes in.

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It just happened to me...

Yesterday the power went out (unbeknownst to me) and my wonderful wife with iPhone in hand complained to me that out WiFi wasn't working. So she rolled over and handed me the iPhone and I attempted to look for WiFi to no avail. The next complaint was that the charger wasn't working either. This usually happens when I switch off the outlet connected to the light on her size of the sleeping apparatus (there is a switch on my side). So I flick the switch and hope that the light comes on. Nope that doesn't work either. I then "rise and shine" and look around. No power. Not a good thing.

So, yes, it can take a few minutes to realize that the power is out, and it did happen to me.

(*SIGH*)

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Re: It just happened to me...

Herby, I really envy you living where you do, if you're not alerted to every power cut by a very characteristic chorus of alarms.

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I’ve seen this

But it was a “feature” of the Intel Display drivers that were installed. Ctrl+Alt+Arrow Keys allowed you to rotate the display in the direction of the arrow.

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Anonymous Coward

Parents...

My 85yo step-father has a mac - a replacement to one I bought him about 10 years ago to escape the torrent of viruses and piss-poor performance...

any way... I pop around every few months to run Onyx and update any security bits and bobs - I never touch a file or change any settings...

every time I get a phone call of my mother a few hours later about "how upset" my step father is and "what have I done" because "a website doesn't work"...

apparently I break the internet everytime I touch his computer?

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I've no idea what key combination actives 'Landscape (flipped)' in Display settings but my 2 year old grandson hits the right combination within seconds of getting at my keyboard when my attention is elsewhere. I always struggle to right click on the mouse and manoeuvre it around when everything is reversed. Never thought of turning the mouse around, I usually try and turn my head upside down!

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It's usually Ctrl-Alt and the arrow pointing to where you want the TOP of the desktop to be pointed. So On a normally-arranged monitor, Ctrl-Alt-Down turns it upside-down, ctrl-alt-up turns it rightside up.

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I worked in an open plan office once. Went in to work one morning and the screens on several machines, including mine, say "no signal" so I turned my box on, it booted up to the desktop etc and off I went. Meanwhile the manager and a bunch of confused colleagues are panicking because several machines are "down". I ask her what the problem is (she's on hold to the IT department) and she says "we've gotta get this no signal problem fixed, a panic stricken look on her face. I said" I just fixed mine". "What, how?" was her reply. "I turned the machine on". The look on her face as she quickly put the phone down was beyond priceless.

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swm

I once had a co-op student working for me. She used an X terminal. One day she said something was wrong so I went and looked. There was a flying saucer that would grab the cursor every 30 seconds and drag it back to a base at the upper left corner of the screen. I burst out laughing and looked around for some other co-ops who had smirks on their faces. I told them, "Great hack - now turn it off."

The X protocol wasn't very secure in those days.

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Sun SPARC

Back in the early 90s at uni I was lucky enough to be exposed to the venerable SPARC workstation. The early optical mice on these required a specific mouse mat in order to work. Since the mat had an isometric pattern to determine the direction of travel much fun was to be had walking round the SPARC suite turning these mats upside-down, which made the mouse pointer, particularly of 1st year students, travel at an angle of 60 degrees from the horizontal, while maintaining the correct vertical travel. I believe they eventually glued the mouse mats down...

I cant remember anything I used the SPARC for but I do remember that.

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Re: Sun SPARC

"I cant remember anything I used the SPARC for"

A male, in the early 90s, at Uni, with access to a SPARC? I can guess ... Swearing at vi and being confused over EMACS; hanging out on IRC (and possibly your choice of MUD/MUSH/MOO); playing Nethack and/or Adventure; trying to get <insert pirated game code here> to compile; reading various USENET groups (and "accidentally" managing to configure the machine to accept alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.*); compiling & fiddling about with NCSA Mosaic; possibly mucking about with SATAN[0] and thinking you were very, very cool ... basically, anything but using the machine to help you with your studies.

How'd I do?

[0] For values of "early 90s" that include 1995, of course.

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I once had a clueless colleague complain that his mouse wasn't working. I naturally assumed fluff or gunk stopping the rollers turning, but turned round to discover he had the mouse on top of a 3.5" floppy and was sliding the pair round the desk and wondering why the cursor wasn't moving!!

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Experienced Apple user, or so he claimed...

Yeah, had several of such cases with my customers. The one of best/worst one was an Apple Fanboi, who had to use a brand new Windows PC on the job despite his pleas with this "higher ups" to get him a shiny Mac, and that new setup included a brand new high end wireless 3 button scroll mouse. After the setup was done, he claimed in presence of one of this bosses that he wouldn't need any help/instructions with the new system from me, as he used to "work with computers for years". Moved on to said bosses office to start and set up his new laptop...

Barely a couple of minutes in the bosses office and the fanboi called and complained loudly (could he every word, even though the call wasn't on speaker phone!) to his boss that this Windows PC is all s**t and doesn't work. The mouse would always move in the wrong direction and not taking his attempts to click the mouse button.

The boss walked with me back over to this bozo, where I then simply turned the mouse with the 3 mouse buttons pointing forward, explaining him that he had to click the left one for normal selection and after a first attempt of objections from him, showed him how he can get nicely context menus when clicking on the right mouse key, much better than trying to hammer his fingers on the top side battery compartment when facing the mouse the wrong way. And the scroll button would also much easier to operate this way. Neither he nor his boss said a word at that point and I went back to set up the laptop for the boss.

When I got back into that office on my next visit a couple weeks later, needless to say, fanboi wasn't working in that office anymore...

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