• bvs23bkv33 (unregistered)

    what will be text of "Comment I"? i don't know

  • Little Bobby Tables (unregistered)

    Enter any comment when ready.

    Any comment except that one.

    Try again.

  • TruePony (unregistered)

    I have a script I use like the one in the “Any Key” picture that insults the user for bad input. In my case (and I’m guessing theirs) it helps make sure whoever’s running the script is paying attention :)

  • (nodebb)

    All keys are created equal, but some keys are more equal than others.

  • (nodebb)

    The drink article between impeachment news is the only thing that's truly bipartisan: everybody thinks the whole thing is a charade, but for different reasons.

  • Scott (unregistered)

    Guy needs to find the 'Any' key. Isn't that one of the oldest problems in IT?

  • (nodebb) in reply to Scott

    "The Any key? Oh, it's that big red one back there. Yeah, I know it say Power, but you push that one and you will solve all my problems."

  • Conradus (unregistered)

    I'm gonna be that guy. The State of the Union is not a Constitutionally mandated address, it's a Constitutionally mandated report. Nothing in the Constitution says the President has to give this report as an address in person to an assembled Congress, and in fact after Washington it was always delivered as a written report until 1913.

  • (nodebb)

    As part of a project in high school back in the 1980's, the students in my programming class wrote educational programs on the C64 computers in the classroom. Our teacher then invited a bunch of grade 3 students (their teacher was my teacher's sister) to test and evaluate the software. I started my program on 2 computers and stood back, watching, while two grade 3 students worked on my program (a multiplication drill program, if I recall properly); I was there only if they had questions about my program or if there was a problem. The girl on my left went in and started answering the questions posed by the program. The boy on my right was stuck at the title screen. After about 30 seconds of him just staring at the screen, I asked him if there was a problem. "It says to 'Press Any Key'. I don't know which one to pick." "It doesn't really matter. Just pick one." I think I eventually pointed to one for him to press. After that, I am specific about which key to press, often the Enter key, to advance the program.

  • WTFguy (unregistered)

    @Nutster:Very wise.

    Said another way, the smart UI designer always assumes the user is at best a grade 3 mentality. At least in the US, that means someone about 8 years old. Ever the paragons of reading comprehension, clear thinking, and goal-directed behavior those 8 year olds.

  • (nodebb)

    Press any key to continue or any other key to quit.

  • Steve (unregistered) in reply to Nutster

    Enter key? NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! Just think of all the fun that could ensue when they need to hit a key in future and the default button on the form is 'Delete'.

    I always recommend one of the shift keys, because of all the keys on the keyboard that's probably the one least likely to cause havoc in any conceivable scenario.

  • Llarry Amrose (unregistered)

    Back in prehistory (aka my college years), the Computer Purity Test included this series of questions:

    Has anyone asked you which one is the 'any' key?

    Did you tell them?

    Was it the power switch?

  • (nodebb) in reply to Conradus

    That's correct, thanks for pointing it out. The overall lack of civics education is astounding. Every bit of information helps somebody learn about our system.

  • sizer99 (google) in reply to Steve

    But often it fails to register a shift key and will only take a character generating key, so you have to do something like space bar. Which could cause havoc in another case, like you said. And I remember one program that said 'Hit any Key' but if you hit Esc it would terminate.

    'Hit any Key' is a stupid, broken lazy UX thing and is never appropriate unless you are actually prepared to handle every single key including the power/sleep key. Instead, just say 'Hit Enter' or 'Hit the Space Bar' and make sure you swallow those. Problem solved.

  • ooOOooGa (unregistered)

    Personally I like 'press a key to continue'. If someone feels like being pedantic about it, they will end up with, "so which one is the 'a' key?" Which just makes them look foolish.

  • Worf (unregistered)

    Such poor grammar. It should be PLURAL. Press any keyS because you're pressing 3 keys - A, N, and Y.

    No wonder there's so much confusion - the dropping of the 's' makes a huge difference. "Press ANY keys" makes it clearly obvious you need to press A, N and Y.

    The only question left is do you press them simultaneously or one after the other.

  • ... (unregistered)

    The worst is when games with cutscenes skip them if you press any keys. Including volume keys :)

  • Foo AKA Fooo (unregistered) in reply to Worf

    Screen: "Press any key to terminate application." User: "Alright." [looking at keyboard] A Screen: "Do you want to save your data?" User: N Screen: "Are you sure?" User: Y

  • Foo AKA Fooo (unregistered) in reply to Foo AKA Fooo

    Talking about bad UI design, e.g. swallowing line breaks ...

    Screen: "Press any key to terminate application."

    User: "Alright." [looking at keyboard] A

    Screen: "Do you want to save your data?"

    User: N

    Screen: "Are you sure?"

    User: Y

  • Zero (unregistered)

    Computer: Press any key.

    User: [Esc]

    Computer: How dare you!

    User: But you said any key!

    Computer: Are you going to pay attention to what I feel, or are you just going to pick on words?

    User: Okay, okay, I will try to be better next time.

    ... ... ...

    Computer: Press any key.

    User: [Shift]

    User: [Shift]

    User: ?

    User: [Ctrl]

    Computer: Are you paying attention? Press any key!

    User: I did! Three times! Shift two times, Control once!

    Computer: Look, we need to talk.

    User: Are you breaking up?

    Computer: We need to evaluate our relationship.

    User: No wait! Can't you see I am trying! And can't you just tell me which key to press?

    Computer: That's the point. There is nothing to try. You either understand, or you don't. In our case, you don't. It's not going to work out.

    User: Listen to me!

    Computer: [Shuts down.]

  • BIG BOBBEH TABLES (unregistered)



  • Gene Wirchenko (unregistered) in reply to WTFguy

    Why state "any key" if you do not mean it? Giving bad instructions and then complaining about the user is not good.

  • Gene Wirchenko (unregistered)

    Giving bad instructions to the user and then complaining about the user having difficulty is not good.

  • Some Ed (unregistered) in reply to sizer99

    I'm sure Steve was aware of this. Like any of us who ever made programs that were prepared for any key when they told the user to press said key. Or instead qualified the statement.

    C64: "Press any key single key" (due to the combination of RUN/STOP + RESTORE being uncatchable.

    Unix: "Press any non-modifier key" (Historically, one generally used a terminal which provide no indication to the host OS what their modifier keys are set to, unless another key is also being pressed. Today, this still happens, though it's not the nigh universal it once was.)

Leave a comment on “Press Any Key...EXCEPT THAT ONE!”

Log In or post as a guest

Replying to comment #:

« Return to Article