Chapter 11. Input This!

In This Chapter

  • Understanding the keyboard

  • Using specific keys

  • Controlling the keyboard in Windows

  • Getting to know the mouse

  • Working with the mouse in Windows

  • Fixing various mouse issues

  • Adding a gamepad

Your computer doesn't do anything useful without proper input. For your PC, that input comes primarily from the keyboard. Assisting the keyboard in working the graphical fun and folly that is Windows is another input device: the computer mouse. Yet another type of input device is the joystick or gamepad, which I've also tossed into this enjoyable chapter on PC input.

Meet Mr. Keyboard

The PC's keyboard comes from its history — specifically, the shotgun marriage between the electric typewriter and the calculator. Yes, a lot of using the computer is about typing. You have to live with that. Sure, you could try talking to the computer. It's therapeutic, but not productive.

  • The keyboard is the computer's standard input device. Refer to Chapter 1 for more information on computer input.

  • Although you can talk to the computer, it doesn't work as smoothly as you see on those science fiction TV shows. See Chapter 27.

The keyboard connection

The PC keyboard plugs into either a USB port or the special keyboard port on the console.

A wireless PC keyboard uses a wireless receiver that must be connected to the console with either a USB or standard keyboard connection. Wireless keyboards operate off batteries that must be charged so that the keyboard can work.

A typical PC keyboard

There's ...

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