Crtl and also alt have end up being common place on just about any computer system keyboard sold almost everywhere in the people (I even saw a photo of castle on a typewriter...). Yet what were these sacred modifier keys first used for? What"s the difference between them and other secrets used as modifiers? How has their used evolved into what the is today?


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Short answer:

Ctrl stands for "Control Key". It to be originally supplied to send control personalities to terminals.Alt stands for "Alternate Key". It"s named so because it enables alternate offers for various other keys.

You are watching: What does alt stand for on keyboard

Long answer: check out Wikipedia:

Control Key

Alt Key


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Ctrl goes means back to the earliest days of computing and was used for beginning ASCII control characters on one ASR33 teletype maker (similar come the people you view in movies in the newsroom that make so lot noise). They could run at the blinding speed of 110 baud (or about 10 characters/second).

As much as the Alt key goes, I an initial saw the on the initial IBM PC. It"s main use then was the "three finger salute," or Ctrl+Alt+Delete.

A pair of interesting, and relevant articles with respect to control characters:

Control Character

Teleprinter

ASCII


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edited may 29 "13 in ~ 16:19
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The "Control" part comes native "carriage control". The platten (round rubber cylinder that keys bounce on) moves ago and forth and up and also down on a "carriage" in a typewriter and the teletype mimics a typewriter. However, in a usual teletype the platten just rotates and also the publish head only moves ago and forth. However in those job you gained so tired pushing the KSR-33 teletype keys down that any kind of abuse of the English language was lengthy forgotten.


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