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An Oldie, but a Goodie
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Often requested, I wrote this article for April Fools Day several years ago. (It was written prior to Microsoft Word version 5 for the Mac.)
Command-Option-M: The Bill Gates Legacyby Kass Johns
Have you ever used Microsoft Word? If you have, you have no doubt, loved the command for Select All in that application. Is it Command-A, like almost every other Macintosh application? Of course not! Why would Microsoft follow the established Macintosh Interface? They are, after all, Microsoft. They make their own rules. When Microsoft designed Word they said to themselves, "How much do we want to make the users suffer? We want them to be reminded often that they are working in a Microsoft product. Lets make them stop and think every time they want to Select All in a document. Let's see if we can trip them up and make them curse. Let's make it Command-Option-M. Yeah, that's the ticket. That ought to make 'em mad!"
It is not so much the fact that this, shall we say unusual, command key equivalent is so different, but that it is so hard to find the actual keystroke equivalent published anywhere! I got it from a friend who passed it on from a friend. It is like a secret handshake, passed on from one fraternity member to another. I think it was originally leaked from a Microsoft employee to someone on the "outside." I like to think of it as the Bill Gates Legacy. I can just see Bill Gates on his sick bed, sure of some sort of illness that would, in his mind, bring about certain death. As he wheezes with what he thinks are his last few breaths, someone at his bedside leans over to hear, "Command-Option-M, pass it on."
You know, I even heard that Command-Option-M may have been the secret to translating the Rosetta Stone; the gateway to deciphering ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. This could be what all of the known history of the world is based on! And to think, it was right there hidden under our keyboards the whole time. I like to think that this is the reason it is so secret. The potential power that it wields is astounding.
Maybe the ancient Egyptians got it from space travelers; weary souls that had traveled the Universe from one end to the other. Maybe these ancient travelers had come and gone through the technology that we have today. They have been through their own technological age digital clocks, pocket calculators, PC's, System 7.0 (yes, it did finally ship). They have lived and learned! Then they happened upon the small blue planet in our insignificant solar system. They helped us to form cities and build pyramids, then as a parting gesture, they passed on the secret of Command-Option-M.
It was passed down from generation to generation until somewhere, somehow Bill Gates was on the receiving end of this miracle keystroke. And we are all the better for it. I know I walk around with a spring in my step knowing the secret of the ancients. Do someone you love a favor... Command-Option-M, pass it on!
© Copyright 1996-2001 by Kass Johns, all rights reserved world wide.
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