Friday, July 19, 2013

The Numpad

On most standard keyboards, the four main mathematical operators can be found in two places: on the main keyboard, and over there on the numpad. Which one do you use?

For me, it depends on the context. If I'm typing something involving letters, such as "Fuquay-Varina", "rm *", or "C++", then I use the main keyboard. But if I'm typing equations, such as "7 * 9" or "10 / 5", then I use the numpad for the operators.

Or, to put it another way. If I'm typing + - * / for use in a non-mathematical context, I'll use the main keyboard. If I'm typing + - * / for use in a mathematical context, I'll use the numpad. It's almost as if I consider the operators used in those two distinct contexts to be completely different characters, even though they're interchangeable.

As for the numbers, and whether I use the main keyboard or the numpad for those...that's a little less clear. Basically, for short numbers (one or two digits), it's the main keyboard. For longer numbers, like zip codes and dates, it's the numpad, always. (Come to think of it, dates are a non-mathematical instance where I use the numpad for - and /.)

All told, I use the numpad enough, I couldn't do without it. (Well, I could, but I'd be grumpy, like I am when I have to use a numpad-less laptop.)

1 comment:

bubba0077 said...

The really annoying thing is that the Alt+ codes for getting other characters ONLY works on the numpad. Typing numbers on the regular keyboard will not work.