This is a varied group with a lot of useful experiences and solutions
for everyday problems.
My Problem. I am a two finger typist. I type fast enough (40wpm) for
what I need to do but I need to have my eyes on the keyboard to type.
Every now and then a finger will slip and half an hour of a well
thought out (to me anyway) argument will vanish into the blue screen
of death. Since I wouldn't know when I had dumped the article until I
look up from the keyboard there is no way I would have noticed which
keys(s) I had hit when that vanishing act happened. All I can say is
that its probably one of the special function keys (Alt, Ctrl) on the
bottom of the keyboard that I must have hit by mistake. Or is it the
glide pad and click keys of the laptop?
Does anyone know what possible combination of keys I must have hit to
suffer the loss of my work?
Nope, dunno what you might've hit, but I do sympathize. I'm an 80wpm
3-fingered typist (well, 5 if you count thumbs for the space bar and
such) and I'm one of those people who watch the keys instead of the
What you might have done is always inconsequential, since nothing gets
trashed unless you intentionally trash it (and often not even then,
because you have to intentionally empty/delete your trashcan). Just use
your operating system's "search" fuction to see where the "zapped" file
ended up, resurrect it, and go back to typing amazing arguments.
That is, provided you *do* basic disaster-proofing stuff like naming
your file when you create it and regularly saving your work as you go on.
It depends on the software -- it's not entirely universal -- but
inadvertently hitting CTL and A will select all of your text; the very
next key you hit will replace the selected text, thereby wiping it out.
Try it out with a simple experiment, and I'm sure you'll see.
With many programs (Word, etc) there's an Undo button, but not with any
browser I'm familiar with. Just be careful with that CTL button.
You're probably mistaking it for the shift key.
Thanks everyone for your responses.
Ask the right question and somehow the problem is better defined and
with the feedback points to an explanation and perhaps a solution.
I use a desktop as well as a laptop.
I don't have that great a problem losing work when done in an MS
Office Suite program. "undo" is often all that is required to recover
the work. My problem is when I write emails and arguments in freeware
limited feature programs. The arguments are mostly political or
current events, to newsgroups and the arguments are developed as I go
along. When that, emails or arguments, disappear before I get to
send it its gone for good. Its just not worth rewriting it and often
the rewrite is never as good as the original. Maybe its "it seems a
good idea at that time" argument but that's another story.(grin) One
remedy, is of course, to write the argument in MS-Word first, and
spell check too, but the majority of my posts are one or two
paragraphs and not worth the bother. On longer articles, by the time
I think I should transfer to MS-Word often a "disappearing article"
What happened with "disappearing articles" I think is, somwhere during
typing a block of text or the whole text is highlighted. Once I hit
the next key the highlighted block is replaced with that single letter
or, if I hit the spacebar, a blank page. The freeware programs do not
include safeties like "are you sure you want to replace/delete?"
On the desktop I'm not sure how the text gets highhlighted by mistake
but one possibility is that I nudged the mouse somehow and the cursor
jerks and pans the text body. And maybe its one of the wrong keys
(Alt) I could have hit by mistake.
On the laptop the plastic bezel that is on either side of the glide
pad is flexible and activated the mouse functions should I rest the
bottom of my palm on the surface. As a two finger typist I often do
support that part of the hand on this surface when I am typing or when
I change from typing to use the glide pad. Typed text often gets
garbled or deleted this way. For important documents I'll use the
Office Suite. For the rest I'll live with the gossipy disappearing
On the blue screen of death it was on the desktop only. In the middle
of a piece of work it would reset itself. Number one son (he works in
another city from across the continent) spent three days over
Christmas troubleshooting while trying to install WinXP and had to
settle for Win 2000 as the only stable platform. Its mostly stable
now and until it makes me tear my hair out there is no way I will
spend time to reinstall or upgrade anything on that PC anytime soon.
It still does weird things on occasion and we think it probably a SIMS
memory problem. But there's no way I'll go through that 3 day agony
again over an occasional glitch.
No combination of keys pressed should cause a "Blue Screen of Death" on a
Either your operating system or word processing program is corrupt.
The thing is is that it probably would happen even if you weren't typing.
You either need to un and reinstall your word processor or save all your
data and reinstall your operating system.
Just so you know I fix computers for a living and see this kind of thing all
the time. Most people think that I can just fix their computer by just
pressing a few keys, but in the long run you are better off just saving all
your data and reinstalling the operating system. Windows is a very complex
system with 1000's of files and trying to diagnose problems like this is a
waste of time. You could have a virus, tons of spyware or any of a number
of other problems.
It could also be a hardware problem. You also say that you are using a
laptop. The hardware on laptops breaks at a high rate than on desktops.
If you are computer novice then you will probably need the help of someone
who knows how to install an operating system.
I can't comment on what kills it off. But, I can comment that you oughta
click "file" and then "save as" and name the document. Then every five
minutes or so, click "file" and then "save", which will save to disk the
most current version.
This will cut your losses.
I've had machines do this to me, and it is quite frustrating.
Christopher A. Young
Jesus: The Reason for the Season
I think the problem comes from inadvertent dragging of a digit near the glide
I find an inadvetent touch selects a piece of typing and then it gets deleted.
You could try an exercise to test this idea.
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