If you’ve ever used a computer, you’ve probably seen it: A grid of numbers and mathematical operators on the far-right side of a keyboard. It’s a numeric keypad—but how did it get there, and why is it laid out the way it is? Let’s explore its origins. It’s All About the Math Computers have numeric keypads because they make repetitive data entry easier. They allow you to type numbers and perform mathematical operations rapidly, with only one hand. The modern design of numeric keypads may seem obvious today, but it is the product of decades of refinement in adding machine technology, most of which took place over 100 years ago. The modern numeric keypad layout—sometimes called a “tenkey” layout—can trace its roots back to David Sundstrand, whose company released the first commercial tenkey mechanical adding machine in 1914. In Sundstrand’s adding machine key layout, you can see the rudiments of now-standard setup: ten numeral keys, arranged in three rows of three with the … [Read more...] about Where Did the Numeric Keypads on PC Keyboards Come From?
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A family tree is a hierarchical chart that details the connection between members of a family . You can create your own family tree in PowerPoint by using one of Microsoft’s many hierarchy style SmartArt graphics. Here’s how. To get started, open PowerPoint and navigate to the “Insert” tab. In the “Illustrations” group, click “SmartArt.” The “Choose a SmartArt Graphic” window will appear. In the left-hand pane, click the “Hierarchy” tab. You’ll now see a small collection of hierarchy SmartArt graphics. For standard family trees, the “ Organizational Chart ” option is ideal. However, you can choose whichever SmartArt graphic works best for you. Select the chart you would like to use by clicking it. Once selected, a preview and a description of the chart will appear in the right-hand pane. Click “OK” to insert the chart. With the chart added to your presentation, you can start entering the names of the family members in each respective box. Do this … [Read more...] about How to Create a Family Tree in Microsoft PowerPoint
If you’re building a spreadsheet to share with others or simply one for your own tracking, using a checklist can make data entry a breeze in Microsoft Excel. Here’s how to create a checklist in your spreadsheet and make it look like your own. Why a checklist? You might use a checklist for tracking items to pack for a trip, products for your company, a holiday gift list, monthly bills, or keeping track of tasks. With a simple check box form control, you can create a checklist for anything you like in Excel. Access the Developer Tab Before you can use the check box form control in Microsoft Excel, you need to make sure that you have access to the Developer tab . If you don’t see this tab at the top of Excel, it takes only a minute to add it. Right-click anywhere on your Excel ribbon and select “Customize the Ribbon” from the drop-down list. Alternatively, you can click File > Options > Customize Ribbon from the menu. On the right side of the window, under … [Read more...] about How to Create a Checklist in Microsoft Excel
You might think that switching from Facebook Messenger to old-fashioned text messages would help protect your privacy. But standard SMS text messages aren’t very private or secure. SMS is like fax —an old, outdated standard that refuses to go away. Your Cellular Carrier Can See Your SMS Messages With SMS, messages you send are not end-to-end encrypted. Your cellular provider can see the contents of messages you send and receive. Those messages are stored on your cellular provider’s systems—so, instead of a tech company like Facebook seeing your messages, your cellular provider can see your messages. Cellular carriers store the contents of those messages for various amounts of time . Messages are often only retained for several days, but they store metadata (which number sent a message to which number, and at what time) for even longer. These records could be subject to subpoena in legal proceedings—for example, text message records are a common form of evidence in divorce … [Read more...] about Why SMS Text Messages Aren’t Private or Secure
Google changed the way custom searches work in Google Chrome. Now, you can no longer type your custom search keyword and press Space to quickly search. There’s an alternative, though—and a way to get the old custom search behavior back. What’s a Custom Search? Google Chrome has a search feature that lets you assign “keywords” to custom searches. For example, after you set it up, you could type “w chickadee” to search Wikipedia for “chickadee” or “h windows” to search How-To Geek for articles about Windows. You can control these in Chrome by clicking menu > Settings > Search engine > Manage search engines. The “Keyword” field defines the custom keyword that launches a custom search. Add a short one to speed things up. (To define a search keyword for a search engine, click the menu button to its right, click “Edit,” and enter the keyword into the Keyword box.) What Changed? Let’s say you have a search keyword “y” that searches YouTube. Previously, you could … [Read more...] about How to Fix and Use Custom Search Keywords in Google Chrome