Thinking in geek – when you’ve been on a computer too long


I am accused of being a geek on a regular basis. I take it as a compliment and see nothing to be embarrassed about. We’re all geeks in our own ways be it making the perfect souffle, scoring the perfect goal or making the best Transformers costume, we all have our own small areas of obsession (or Geekdom).

I have begun to worry recently though at the blur between the virtual and real world.

  • Worried that I’ve been spending just a little too much time on my computer.
  • Worried that I’m relying too much on shortcuts (of the keyboard variety).

Now and again I’ll do something and whereas before I would have made the most of it and carried on, now I am more likely to get a little huffy that I’m not in a virtual world with all the little shortcuts and comforts that it presents.

Below are a few examples of the scenarios I am referring to. I may sound crazy to you while reading but digest the ideas and tell me later that they wouldn’t be a welcome addition to life.


Ctrl + Z (Undo)

I’m a clutz. There’s no way round it and I wouldn’t dream of denying it (and if you read this post, you’ll see why). Many a time I’ve knocked a cup of coffee over my laptop, walked into a door or more recently, tipped a bucketful of water over myself in Homebase.

How refreshing it would be for people like me if there was an ‘Undo’ function for life. Picture it, coffee slowly seeping into your keyboard and with just a click of the heels you would be transported back to pre-spillage and a second chance to be just a little more careful.

This function could be a lifesaver for me, literally.

Ctrl + F (Find)

Good old find, I couldn’t live without it. From searching through code, to finding what I’m looking for in a whole load of text, good old Ctrl +F helps me do my job faster.

But it has been known to infuriate me when I’m looking through a textbook of the offline variety…suddenly there is NO Ctrl + F and geesh, what a waste of time it can be scrawling through reams and reams of text.

Ctrl + Alt + Shift + S (Save for Web in PhotoShop)

Compressing a file with the save for web option in Photoshop is great for making images website friendly by keeping the physical size of the file small and ‘light’.

Now imagine doing the same thing when you’re packing to go on your holibags. Compressing all your luggage so that it fits into one suitcase would mean no excess luggage charges and small enough to fit in the cabin baggage (omitting the chance of it getting lost in the middle of Heathrow!). Genius.

Control + A (Select All)

Select All is a wonderous little shortcut, copy a page in one quick finger combination without endlessly scrolling to manuallt select everything. If only it we’re that simple in day to day life.

Think how easy it would be with, for example, your dirty washing. Control A and the socks that he left in the living room last night and the towels from the bathroom floor are selected automagically into the wash basket and pasted straight into the washing machine.  Now all it needs is for him to source the washing powder (from where its lived for the last 2 years) and figure out how to turn the machine on.

Ctrl + F5 (Browser Refresh)

If you use the Internet on a regular basis then you’ll know about Ctrl + F5 to refresh your screen, get rid of any cached version of your page and see everything a’fresh.

Now, imagine a Friday afternoon, you’re eyes are burning from being in front of a computer screen all week and your head is pounding from the florescent light. A quick Ctrl + F5 gets rid off all the dross  (ie toxic coffee & bad lighting) from your body and presents you to the world as you should be seen, fresh as a daisy.

Would be amazing wouldn’t it?

Ctrl + Alt + Del

You know Ctrl + Alt + Del, handy when a program stops responding  and you need to give your computer a helping hand to close a task and start again.

Picture this, a night out, you get “tired” and you want to “sleep”. A quick Ctrl + Alt + Del lets you close any non-responding programs (read: emotions) and kick them back into action again.For example:

  1. Ctrl + Alt + Del
  2. Applications
  3. End ‘Feeling a bit giddy’ task.
  4. Sorted.

And finally, if by the end of this post you’ve worked out whether I run a PC or MAC then you’ve no call to be laughing at this list – Ya big geek you!

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  1. @Catt : Shift & Delete would come in very handy – help me forget all the walking into door incidents.

    @Duane : There is NEVER enough wine left in the bottle, your suggestion would result in me developing RSI 😉

  2. How about Winkey + M to make everything go away when you’ve just had enough? : )

    Or, Ctrl+C followed by Ctrl+V Ctrl+V Ctrl+V Ctrl+V Ctrl+V when there just isn’t enough wine left in the bottle.

    • Catt
    • 31st March 2009

    Oh how about

    SHIFT: (Press and hold down the SHIFT key while you insert a CD-ROM to bypass the automatic-run feature)
    This would be awesome if you ask a question and the person replying is about to launch into a rant – actually thinking more… I’d quite like and automatic-run feature…

    • Catt
    • 31st March 2009

    Here’s some more for you!

    SHIFT+DELETE: Delete item permanently from memory would be nice!

    ALT+double click: Displays properties – handy for prospective new partners?

    ALT+TAB: Switch between open programs – only girls can do this it’s called multitasking 😉 we can watch TV, talk and browse the internet all at once!