Friday, June 09, 2006

You Windows 3.1 Lovers!

On the evolution of window closing...

"Earlier this week, I somewhat humorously referred to people who close windows on the left side as "Windows 3.1 lovers." What did I mean by that?

The now-ubiquitous close button in the upper-right hand corner of windows was only added to the operating system in Windows 95. Previously, as you can see in this picture of Word 6.0 running on Windows 3.1, the only caption controls on the right side of the title bar were minimize and maximize/restore. The way you closed a window was by double-clicking the little horizontal line icon in the upper-left corner of the window.

Historical departure:
The keyboard shortcut for "open the system menu" in Windows has always been Alt+Space. Why? Because the icon that the menu comes out of looks like the space bar on the keyboard.

How, you might ask, do you open the MDI system menu located directly beneath the normal system menu? You guessed it, Alt+Hyphen, because the icon looks a lot like a hyphen. Of course, since Windows 95, neither of these icons looks anything like a space bar or a hyphen, yet the keyboard shortcuts remain the same even in Windows Vista (and likely forevermore.) "   continued ...   (Via Jensen Harris)

The bar is the spacebar to show you can 'alt-space' to activate it. - User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics

The bar is the spacebar, to show you can 'alt-space' to activate it.


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