Talk:1806: Borrow Your Laptop

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Just a minor point QWERTY is not the standard "Roman" keyboard but "English" as "French" is AZERTY and German is something else. The other thing is that just the change from US to UK can really mess things up, $>£ is trivial as @ not only moves, but the symbol keys all seem to do different things. RIIW - Ponder it (talk) 08:58, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

Yeah, in the UK I often have to use a Windows box misconfigured as US, where @ is in the wrong place. At work, one had a postit note explaining how to get the @ symbol, until I spent all of 5 seconds fixing it. Worse though is Apple, who insist on using US keyboard layout even in the UK. Cosmogoblin (talk) 09:24, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
Have tried to change this. I have a keyboard that has qwerty at the top, but it is not English as we have letters not used in the English language (ÆØÅ) which moved all kinds of other keys around. So we can type on an English qwerty keyboard, but not find all the special keys. The layout is though still called qwerty, albeit the Danish version. --Kynde (talk) 09:40, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

I'm surprised that no one has pointed out the impossibility of changing from DVORAK to QWERTY by pressing both shift keys, seeing as most laptops have hardware keyboards. unless he has somehow rigged a voltronesque keyboard or he has a touchscreen keyboard or an onscreen one. Dudeonyx (talk) 09:20, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

Dvorak users typically just change the keymap. Since it's designed for touch typing,there's no real point to lettering on the keys Luckykaa (talk) 09:36, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
(Wrote this before Luckykaa posted but had an edit conflict with him so only replies to the first comment here:)
The keyboard is probably QWERTY but the keys assigned to these are in the dvorak layout. If Cueball can type ten fingered dvorak blindly then it is no concern for him that the keys would give a different letter than what is on the keys! See other dvorak comics as referenced in the explanation. --Kynde (talk) 09:40, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

The part "The next point on the list makes little sense" is not exactly true. Swapping caps lock with ctrl is actually quite common (if extravagant), google it. Some do it because they are used to some old layout (probably either pre-PC era or from the Unix world, see some Sun keyboards from the 90s). Most do it because ctrl is useful but small (especially on laptops), while caps lock is a large, rarely used key. Opinions on the ergonomy of this vary, trending towards negative, although there certainly are avid supporters.

So, the line actually starts like something you may actually hear in real life (I know I have). And then you get to... SPACE?!? Why would you turn space into a caps lock?! That's where the joke hits. It's not that the whole point of the list makes little sense, it's that it takes an existing, somewhat justified but controversial idea and turns it on its head midway through. -- 09:29, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

Is that not also what is made clear in the explanation now? It is not the only joke with the last being the scroll time travel. --Kynde (talk) 09:40, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

Apple has a feature actually called time machine to go back to old file versions. Sebastian -- 12:00, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

Sounds like my laptop. Because I primarily use the nipple as a pointer,and the trackpad is in a good position for the thumb, I changed the trackpad to be a scrollpad, so it doesn't move the cursor, it moves content. I have given up on trying to explain the setup, they always end up just scrolling around on the screen and tapping the trackpad like it was a mouse-button. 15:03, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

Any chance that "spacebar is caps lock" is a reference to 1172: Workflow? Tkil (talk) 16:38, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

NO.--Dgbrt (talk) 01:20, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

Older computer users will recall that before the introduction of the (now standard) 101-key keyboard, it was quite common for the Ctrl key to be immediately to the left of the A key, where Caps Lock is now. Touch typists from the 70's or 80's had a hard time converting to the new placement; I personally rewired the first 101-key keyboard I got to put Ctrl back "where it belonged". (This was long before keyboard remapping software was a thing.) Mr. I (talk) 16:47, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

Focus on this comic. There is no 70's or 80's keyboard.--Dgbrt (talk) 01:19, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
Cueball is NOT Randall

Randall writes comics -- not an autobiography! So unless there is a strong evidence Cueball is NOT Randall. Think about other comics and what Randall all must have been done. Or does anyone really have a proof??? --Dgbrt (talk) 01:16, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

I believe any time the caption text is written in first-person it is assumed that Randall is talking about himself. In that case, Cueball here would be a stand-in for Randall, albeit taken to the extreme.-- 01:48, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
The caption is a -- often exaggerated -- statement by Randall. But this still does NOT mean that Cueball is Randall! The caption doesn't "reveal" this.--Dgbrt (talk) 18:04, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
Dgbrt, this has been the norm on explain xkcd for a long time, to say that Randall is talking in the caption as when he talks about his hobbies. No one thinks he does these things as in the comics, but for sure he will make adjustments to his laptop that suits him and probably not everyone else. As he says in the title text he still cannot get the programs to function with the "time scroll" so of course he has not implemented this. The comic is exaggerating what Randall does, or at least pretends to do. So of course it should say that it is Randall who writes the caption and thus Cueball represent the "comic" version of Randall here. So I (and at least one other) completely disagree with you also here! So conclusion:
Cueball IS Randall --Kynde (talk) 22:11, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
I amend my statement, after reading the new version, saw this comment first. Randall says the caption but Cueball is not a direct stand in for Randall in this comic. I have deleted the "stand in" comment. --Kynde (talk) 22:36, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
I recognize this as a first hint of learning...--Dgbrt (talk) 22:51, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
Keyboard layout

Re: Information text "Everything is senseless -- who changes the keyboard layout without changing the keyboard itself? Typing blindly is just a guess but not shown in the comic." This is a bit harsh wording. There are many of us who routinely switch keyboard layouts without changing the keyboard. I am Swedish, living in Ireland so Irish/British keyboards are the norm. Now and then I need write text in Swedish. As I learned touch typing in Sweden, that layout is engrained in my spine so typing blindly is not a problem. I have many friends here who do the same when they need to write something in their native language, be it French, Russian, etc. / Sven Rosvall (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I agree, first reaction I had to "who changes the keyboard layout without changing the keyboard itself?" was "I do". When I was doing maintenance for a company in Belgium I temporarily switched to the qwerty layout while using their azerty keyboards. And occasionally at home I switch between different qwerty layouts because some software doesn't work properly on US-international. Tharkon (talk) 14:08, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for your replies. And I didn't expect a positive one because mostly those people stay quiet. So again my opinion:
  • There is no DVORAK mentioned in this comic. We only know that the initial layout is not QWERTY. DVORAK is only one of many possibilities and thus it belongs only to a trivia section.
  • Pressing both SHIFT-keys simultaneously triggers nothing in any common OS. It's only a modifier key, not distinguishable, and requires an other key for action. This really requires a special software probably written by Cueball himself.
  • There is no hint that Cueball is on work outside of his country (this comic is the US) so merely we can assume it's his private laptop and he is just a computer NERD.
I don't like overwhelming explanations on things not shown in the comic while some essentials are still missing. And look above: Cueball is NOT Randall.--Dgbrt (talk) 18:04, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
I agree with the above disagreements to you Dgbrt. I also sometimes switch to UK keyboard even though I'm on a Danish computer. And this explanation goes out to all countries not just the US (as you would now being from Germany?) Of course Cueball's PC is english. And of course since Randall repeatedly references Dvorak (as early as earlier this year) it is a really sound conclusion that Cueball uses Dvorak (and yes that is not what Randall is likely to do). But see above of course Cueball represents Randall here. Maybe it is just you who has this opinion on what to explain, and also mainly you who writes harsh things about other peoples wiki edits. Take a break, you are not the only one editing these pages, and neither is I! The above comments seems to suggest that you are alone on this crusade! --Kynde (talk) 22:17, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
Have updated incomplete reason to refer to discussion to keep the tone more sober! --Kynde (talk) 22:36, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
I am on a crusade??? Sorry, I just try to keep the explanations explaining the comics content. If anyone sees a hint to DVORAK keyboards (!!!) at this comic please help me. --Dgbrt (talk) 23:00, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
I'm inclined to side with Dgbrt here. This explanation is already horribly verbose for such a simple comic, and majority of the largest paragraph being dedicated to something that is not even explicitly mentioned is just too much. I agree DVORAK is probably what was crossing Randallps mind while writing it, but that does not make it relevant, the joke stays exactly the same whether they are talking about DVORAK, AZERTY, or classical Chinese for that matter. Remember the foremost point of this page is to explain the comic, not to gather as much information to one place as possible. Just explain the joke and maybe provide a link to the wiki article about DVORAK for those who wish to learn more about it, don't make people who just came to understand the joke read through walls of unnecessary information. Just my two cents. Jaalenja (talk) 17:45, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
Just a thank you

Just wanted to thank whoever kept and greatly improved my original revision stating that Caps Lock->Ctrl is common on *nix systems. I realize my original edit was terse but I'm stuck on mobile for the time being. 07:06, 5 March 2017 (UTC)

I can only imagine the mouse wheel. I use a free spinner, so it sounds fun... And something to get my machine to hate me 13:59, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

One assumes this is a software development environment or similar

Statement Explanation
Oh, just hit both shift keys to change over to QWERTY. Likely has keyboard in DVORAK
Caps lock is control. And spacebar is capslock. Changing Caps Lock to a "more useful" key is common. However to change an even larger key to be capslock (Space) is odd
And two-finger scroll moves through time instead of space. Two finger scrolling is often used to move through a document or application on a mousepad or touchscreen device - this could be seen as moving through space (despite the cursor not actually being real). Randall is presumerably making a comment re: Space Time continuum or similar?
Once I've used a computer for a while no one else will ever use it again. It is unlikely that any user who tries using a computer configured like this would be expecting it and would find the workflow very hard - they are unlikely to ask again to use Cueball's computer 07:55, 3 March 2017 (UTC)