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In the evolution of technology,
it’s only natural that things become obsolete.
In some point of their existence, technologies fall out of the big picture,
and get replaced by newer ones that
这些新科技往往更可靠 更快 更方便
are often more reliable, faster, and convenient than their predecessors,
or simply more intone with the new ways things get done.
In the computer industry, this is something that happens all the time.
This is not a field where one paints a painting that will be looked at for centuries,
or builds a church that will be admired
and us, you know, looked at an astonishment for centuries.
你懂的 这领域 一个人在十年内完成一个人的工作量
You know, this is a field where one does one’s work in 10 years.
It’s obsolete, and really will not be usable within 10 or 20 years.
The natural property of computer technology is that things get old relatively fast.
因此 如今的孩子从不知道 拨号上网的机械声
And it is because of this property that kids these days will never have to experience things
like the robotic sound of dial-up internet, the psychedelic patterns of error windows, or floppy disks.
Now, if you’ve been around long enough to experience these things,
you might be smirking.
But believe it or not, if you’re a PC user,
right now in front of you is something that has been there for as long as you had that computer.
And if somebody asks you what it does,
you probably wouldn’t know the right answer.
So, what am I talking about?
Well, it’s right in front of you.
Take a closer look. Down here.
It’s on your keyboard.
A lonely little key called the Scroll Lock.
If somebody just asked you, “what does it do?”
Off the top of your head,
you would probably say it does something for scrolling.
But what? I mean you can scroll whether it’s on or off.
But what does it do specifically?
Even back in the day, people didn’t understand why the heck the key was there.
In an interview from the early 1980s,
PC magazine asked an executive of keyboard manufacturer Key Tronic,
“what was the Scroll Lock’s purpose?”
To which the executive replied,
“I don’t know, but we put it in ours, too.”
So, what was the initial purpose of the key?
And where does it actually originate from?
The Scroll Lock dates back from the original IBM PC keyboard,
and as a feature that other keyboard manufacturers simply adopted in the years after.
It was initially intended to modify the behavior of the arrow keys.
it would toggle between two different modes of scrolling.
When the Scroll Lock was on,
the arrow keys would scroll the content of the entire window;
when it was off, the arrows would only move the cursor.
We can see an example of the Scroll Lock in modern use in Microsoft Excel,
which is one of the very few modern programs that still utilize this function.
When the Scroll Lock is turned off,
using the up and down arrow keys as well as the scroll wheel on the mouse,
only causes the selection to move between individual cells.
But when the Scroll Lock is turned on,
using the arrows and the scroll wheel cause the entire page to scroll.
But this is not the only thing the Scroll Lock is known to be used for.
Depending on the operating system or application that is utilizing it,
it can have different functions.
the Scroll Lock can be used to freeze and unfreeze output in the Linux console.
Starting from Windows 2000,
the Microsoft Windows NT family can utilize a Scroll Lock for debugging purposes.
In other systems,
the Scroll Lock is known to be used for boot Diagnostics, copy pasting,
and in combination with other keys,
even as an alternative for the Break Pause key.
However, these are all functions that are either extremely uncommon,
or have alternative ways of being achieved.
So for the great majority of PC users,
the Scroll Lock key is simply unnecessary.
One possible reason why a lot of manufacturers is still included on their keyboards may be legacy software.
But then again,
that hasn’t stopped a ton of other old technologies from falling out of the big picture.
有趣的是 2014年 记者雷加特·范·德·博格写了篇文章
It’s interesting how journalists Regardt van der Berg put it in an article from 2014,
in which he among other things wrote about the Scroll Lock.
In human evolution,
there are leftover pieces from our ancestors that have no real use in the body today.
科技领域 也有些残留品 尤其在许多电脑键盘上
In technology, we see a few of those vestigial leftovers, particularly on many computer keyboards.
But when it comes to the Scroll Lock,
it would appear that not even those ancestors knew exactly what it would be used for.
IBM’s own PC documentation called it an inactive key.
And someone even as far as stating that it has no use.
In 1982, PC magazine put it like this:
The Scroll Lock key is placed as if it would reverse the effect of Num Lock,
but it does not.
As a matter of fact,
ScrollLock has no present use;
it has been provided for future use by programmers who want to make screenfuls of data
scroll up, down, or sideways when the arrow keys are pressed
while ScrollLock is in effect.
For ScrollLock, someone might think knowing how it went from something that had no current use
to left over from our ancestors that again has no use.
But, you and I know it indeed did have its purpose.
And nevertheless, it’s still here,
这不像其他过时的科技 报废期一过 很快就消失了
as opposed to other obsolete technologies that quickly fade away after their expiration date is passed.
It’s almost as if it’s waiting for another 5 minutes in the sun.
It’s kind of bittersweet when you think about it.
And speaking of cosmic objects,
maybe the best way to end this video is through this analogy.
When you look through a telescope, and see a shining star from a galaxy far far away,
there’s a great possibility that you’re just seeing the light traveling from a star that is long gone.
In a way, the ScrollLock is something similar.
Our forgotten monument shining a little light of computer history that made its way into the present,
despite all odds.
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