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Now What Have I Done? (Odd Display Effect)

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Nigel Graham 230/05/2022 23:09:55
2287 forum posts
33 photos

Typing a contribution to another thread, my big fat fingers hit some unknown-key combination that shrank the message screen in such a way only part of it was visible.

I managed to pull it back to near original size but it's revealed a curious system tool-bar above the forum pane itself.

Its tabs are -

- "Responsive", which opens a long index of instruments by make and model (Galaxy, Samsung, etc.)

- Size by pixels (1666 X 800) at the moment.

- A symbol for what I found is a Viewport rotator.

- DPR: number. 1 to 3. It's presently on 1.

- No Throttling, This seems to be a menu of portable phomne networkl settings such as "Good 2G", "regular 3G" and so on.

- Finally a blue finger on a button, presumably for Smurfs (it's actually a Touch Simulator on/off control).

Never seen any of these previously, but Gates Towers had another trick up its sleeve, new to me, in that locating the cursor by a click changes it from a little "I" to a sizeable blue tear-drop shape. That turns off as soon as you press a key.

I have no idea what I had pressed by mistake. Sometimes I feel like putting a rigid steel cover over those hazardous keys on the left - I'm forever inadvertently turning CapS LOCK On, often not noticing it for several words. (I have never mastered touch-typing.)

I ought add that there are two keys in that corner, of purpose unknown to me: one with a blue "Fn" label, another with the Windows trade-mark. I might have pressed on of those, perhaps?

So what the heck have I been and gone and done now?

Ady131/05/2022 08:37:10
5175 forum posts
738 photos

Is this with Windows 10 ?

(Question asked by W7 user)

Martin Rock-Evans31/05/2022 08:39:06
25 forum posts
14 photos

Sounds to me like you may have opened the browser's developer tools by mistake, likely by pressing F12?

Nigel Graham 231/05/2022 08:59:55
2287 forum posts
33 photos

Ady -

Is it W10, yes.


Possibly. Sometimes I accidentally hit something that opens a window full of computer-ese such as formatting commands. This was different. It was a too-bar that looked more like a user's menu, as it included a list of "smart"-'phone makes and models, a control for turning the display round and a touch-screen emulator..

F12 though - no. I was nowhere near that key, even with my cack-handed typing. but I don't know if some function keys have combination-key equivalents using CTRL or Caps or something.

From which, perhaps it was a set of tools for viewing Internet material on a 'phone. I'm not sure how you'd make a complicated CAD model or examine a big spreadsheet on such a small screen though.

Oddly, whatever it was has gone! Turning the computer off overnight has reset the previous display.

Samsaranda31/05/2022 10:25:48
1484 forum posts
7 photos

The good old “switch it off then back on” amazing what that can sort out. Dave W

SillyOldDuffer31/05/2022 10:27:20
8898 forum posts
1998 photos

I sympathise! My preferred operating system is Ubuntu, on which, when posting replies on this forum, my left hand often hits a combination of keys in the CTRL, SHIFT, Windows, Alt, area that deletes everything with no Redo! Really annoying.

I can't replicate it deliberately and can't see anything in Ubuntu's or or Firefox's list of keystroke shortcuts that would have that effect. After a lifetime of relevant professional computer experience, I can't identify the exact cause or fix it!

When mobile phones first appeared they were based on tiny weedy computers and the software had to be specially crafted to fit. Today's chips are much more powerful, and it's more usual now to use the same application software whatever the platform, as far as that's possible. No point in writing a special browser for a phone if the only difference between it and a PC is the screen-size. Platform differences are hidden by configuration, so a phone user might accidentally activate a big screen feature, while a PC user might accidentally activate a mobile phone function. Neither does anything useful.

The state of the art is far from perfect. Microsoft made a determined effort to make Windows suitable for both PC and Mobile devices and failed. Windows 8 was widely disliked, perhaps falling awkwardly between two stools, and Microsoft refocussed away from smart-phones with Windows 10. The strategic failure of Windows 8 hurt Microsoft, who currently have nothing to sell in the gigantic smart-phone market. I don't think they've given up: Windows 11 has a whiff of smart phone to it, and Microsoft have a history of getting stuff right in Version 3!

I've noticed older folk are more likely to end up lost deep inside cyberspace. I think it's a combination of factors: fat fingers, clicking a time sensitive mouse erratically, and above all not knowing how to get back to civilisation when they find themselves lost in the system's Great Grimpen Mire.

My brainy dad never got on with computers: his experience was with machines where pressing buttons only did one thing. He couldn't cope with keys that changed what they did depending on context. And thought it essential to understand how a computer worked as if it were a mechanism and consequently plunged into a tangle of over-thought confusion. Didn't help his 7 year old grandson took to the same computer like a duck to water, triggering a full-scale pensioner wobbler! Dad felt he couldn't look incompetent in front of youngsters! Not incompetence, just dad not realising the boy had big advantages: children don't start with unhelpful preconceptions, aren't proud, and don't beat themselves up when they mistakes.


Mark Rand31/05/2022 10:40:30
1314 forum posts
38 photos

In Firefox, the incantation is control-shift-M for the "responsive mode".

Frances IoM31/05/2022 11:08:20
1283 forum posts
28 photos
there is a built-in Linux kernel command cntrl+SysReq+alt (not too sure of alt) - this forces a reboot - not all keyboards (eg my Lenovo machines) have the sysreq key on many it is fn + prtscreen keys - my own thick finger is hitting the prtscreen key which is next to the oft used delete key

Edited By Frances IoM on 31/05/2022 11:09:51

Baldric31/05/2022 12:55:49
180 forum posts
30 photos

Playing with my PC, I have found the same as Mark Rand, in FireFox it is the responsive mode, toggled using control-shift-M, this is available in Microsoft's Edge as well, but you have to go via another menu first. In this case I don't think you can blame Microsoft, as FireFox is not their product. I also make keyboard mistakes like that and struggle to find what it is I did, this is especially true in some applications with many options & developer tools.

old mart31/05/2022 17:52:12
3908 forum posts
268 photos

Looks like you have stumbled on an obscure Windows shortcut key combination.

Mark Rand31/05/2022 19:14:12
1314 forum posts
38 photos
Posted by old mart on 31/05/2022 17:52:12:

Looks like you have stumbled on an obscure Windows shortcut key combination.

It's not obscure or a Windows shortcut. It's a browser setting to allow web site creators to see what they will look and perform like on different, mainly mobile, devices.

Extremely useful if you are creating a website.

old mart31/05/2022 20:41:05
3908 forum posts
268 photos

Not too clever to have a browser setting like that on by default, not many people would ever need it.

Nigel Graham 231/05/2022 22:18:43
2287 forum posts
33 photos

Mark -

Thank you for explaining it!

Old Mart -

It is not on by default. I found it only by pure accident; inadvertently pressing some key combination a web-site creator would know but as you say, is not part of normal use.

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