my name XAH

perm url with updates http://xahlee.org/PageTwo_dir/Personal_dir/naming_xah.html

The name XAH

Xah Lee, 2000

Btw, the name “XAH” is by design. It is not a Chinese transliteration. I choose XAH as my English legal name. I wanted a unique name. Out of myriad letter combinations, XAH came to be more or less because I am fascinated by symmetric alphabets since young. There are still a lot possibilities of names with symmetric letters, but XAH seems to be good and was chosen.

It would be fun to write a program to generate all plausible names that are composed of symmetric letters. Anyone risen for the challenge?

By the way, alphabet may have vertical mirror symmetry (A, M, U...) or horizontal (B, C, E...) or 2-fold rotational symmetry (N, Z, S), or 4-fold rotational symmetry with mirror (X, I), or diagonal symmetry (idealized L, Q), or a combination of the above (H, I, O). We might also consider lower cases. For example C, O, I ... has the property that the symmetry is invariant among lower or upper cases. Symmetry are exhibited in whole words in different ways. E.g. AHA, WOW; MOW, pod; DO, COX, BEE, EXCEED; DID, DEED; civic, eve, eye. When applied to sentences in left/right mirror without regards to letter shapes, it's called palindrome. That is, sentences that reads the same forward or backward. E.g. “god”, “A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!”. There are palindromes that are pages long, and I know there are books collecting it as wordy games.

By the by the way, speaking of symmetry... The mathematical study of symmetry is called group theory. Group theory is the abstraction of abstractions. Its beauty surpasses that of visual. Just about few years ago, I was very puzzled by such a idea. How could math, with all the formula and precision, codify such a non-numeric concept as symmetry? What's there to study about symmetry? Isn't it just all ‘looks’? Indeed, knowing what it's about has been a extreme satisfaction for me.

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Microsoft Windows keyboard shortcuts

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/mswin/windows_keyboard_shortcuts.html

Microsoft Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

Xah Lee, 2009-12-16, 2010-05-18, 2010-07-31, 2010-08-10

This page list some of the advanced keyboard shortcuts in Windows. The list on this page is chosen so it is practical, and it is organized by purpose. It is not a dumb list of keys.

The info on this page are tested in Windows Vista. They should also work in Windows XP and Windows 7.

Shortcuts Useful in All Apps

The following are shortcuts that are useful in most applications.

Closing App or Window or Tab

Hot KeyPurposeComment
Alt+F4quit appWorks in almost all apps
Alt+Space c quit appSame as “Alt+F4”
Ctrl+F4close current tab or window
Ctrl+wclose current tab or window
EscClose current dialogUsually does not Save changes or Apply changes.
Mouse ButtonGesture and PurposeComment
middle buttonClick on tab to Close tabWorks in Firefox, IE, Google Chrome, Safari, Opera

Full Screen and Hide/Show

Hot KeyPurposeComment
F11Full ScreenAdd Shift key to reverse direction.
Alt+Space nminimize current window
Win+dShow desktop (minimize all windows)
Win+mminimize all windowsWin+Shift+m” can bring all windows back if pressed right away

Switching App or Window or Tab

Hot KeyPurposeComment
Ctrl+Tabnext tabAdd Shift key to reverse direction.
Ctrl+PageDownnext tab“Ctrl+PageUp” for previous tab.
Hot KeyPurposeComment
Win+TabFlip 3D to next windowAdd Shift key to reverse direction.
Win+Alt+TabFlip 3D (don't go away mode)
Alt+Tabnext windowAdd Shift key to reverse direction.
Ctrl+Alt+Tabnext window (don't go away mode)

Open Folder, Start Application

Hot KeyPurposeComment
WinStart menuPress the Win key then start typing the app's name, will usually let you launch the app quickly.
Win+rrun program by name
Win+eopen a folder
Win+fsearch files

Win+1, Win+2, ...

“Win+1”, “Win+2” etc shortcuts are automatically created for launching apps. To have them, you need to have Quick Launch turned on in your Taskbar. To turn it on, right click on a empty area in your Taskbar, choose Properties, then Taskbar tab, check mark the Show Quick Launch. Then, you can drag-n-drop any desktop icon shortcut to the Quick Launch area and it'll show in your Taskbar. The number used for the shortcut is the same as the order of the apps shown. You can drag them to arrange them.

Set Your Own Hotkey to Launch App in Shortcut

You can create hotkeys to launch apps. Go to your desktop. Then click on a Shortcut, then press “Alt+Enter” to bring up its properties. Then, click the Shortcut tab, click the “Shortcut key” field, then just type a key combo to set a hotkey.

Folder List View, Icon View (Windows Explorer Keys)

When viewing a folder, you can view it as icons or list or detail. There's no direct keyboard shortcut, but you can do this:

  • Press “Alt v d” for detail view.
  • Press “Alt v m” for medium icon view.

“F2” is for renaming file in Explorer. And “Alt+Enter” is for getting properties of a file, folder, or getting info about something, in most apps.


Hot KeyPurposeComment
PrtScn/SysRqCopy screen image to clipboardTo copy just current window, add Alt key.
Win+llock screen
AltActivate menuAfter pressing Alt, use arrow keys to navigate, or press keys of the underlined letters.
Alt+SpaceStart current window's system menu

“F5” is for refresh in browsers and Explorer and most other apps that makes sense.

Less Useful

Here are some less useful ones.

Hot KeyPurposeComment
Win+tput focus on task bar
Win+bput focus on system notification area
Win+uopen ease of access folder


How to disable the Sleep key, Windows key, how to swap Caps Lock with Control, How to set a key to launch app... see: Windows Keyboard Shortcuts FAQ.



military combat in Second Life

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/sl/sl_military.html

Second Life Military

Xah Lee, 2009-12-14

Some great and not so great videos of Second Life's combat and military.

“The Ordo Imperialis: Litany”. Ordo is one of the biggest military in Second Life. This vid is rather professionally done, with much editing, and is not untouched recording of the game. The bluish glow building in the video is the base of another military, the Chthonic Syndicate.

“Merczateers MAC-10 '08”. Merczateers is one of the biggest military in Second Life. This one is funny. The red flag in the vid is another military, Chaos Decretum.

“Chthonic Syndicate - Recruitment Video”.

“Mercz vs Chtonic Syndicate”. This one shows a actual military battle in Second Life.

Some websites of SL militaries:

Someone made a video of my avatar in Second Life. “Second Rage - Xah Toll, fun with cheating.” By Lotsofpins (aka Annoying Blogger in Second Life)