What are the functions of those F keys?

See those keys on the top row of the keyboard in front of you? F1 through to F12. Do you have any idea what they do? I confess that I never use them.
But Bill Gates was on “The Daliy Show With Jon Stewart” this wek to talk about the launch of Microsoft’s new Vista software and Stewart made a joke with Gates by asking him about the F12 key – and this set me thinking …
So, if you want to know what those F keys do, here’s the answer.

One Comment

  • Richard Leyton

    Ugh. That was a cringe-worthy interview/ad-spot I quickly hopped on from last night. Good job I had some funny adverts to watch 😉
    Sorry if this all sounds a bit smug, but this is one really nice thing about Macs: They thought about the user experience some time ago, and it’s still good today. As I result I almost never venture up to that dusty “F1” part of the keyboard. They had the bright idea some time ago of having a special key (long before the Windows key appeared), which you press in conjunction with a sensible-ish letter. So Mac-W closes the window. Mac-M minimises the window. Mac-D brings up the dock.
    It of course gets a bit more complicated for the more obscure things. Windows sort of has it now (Windows-E opens explorer for example: Go on, Try it), but it’s not too well known.
    PC’s and and Mac’s alike – are certainly much better than it used to be in the DOS days (anybody else remember the overlays for the function keys in Wordperfect 5.1?).
    Now the thing that really puzzles me is why standard (PC) keyboards are called 101/102 key keyboards. Don’t they even *know*? 😉