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A really rather useful little windows utility, which emulates in software the rather useful little habit of taking a butterknife to your keyboard and returning it to a sane 101 (or so) keys.

In english, it removes the 'windows' keys that don't ever seem to do anything except crash your game.

[Here we go]
And that is useful how?  The Windows and "application" keys save keypresses sometimes, and I can't see how having them available could ever do any harm.  Could you enlighten? --AlexChurchill

The only harm that I am aware of them doing is the aforementioned crashing of games.  Some games, the first Quake being the one I recall, really don't like you task switching out.  A mis-pressed Windows key was enough to bring the whole system down... - Kazuhiko
Yup.  Some games crash when you press them - and note that they are RIGHT where the standard configuration for DOOM (and thus many many fps games) put strafe.  And even if it doesn't crash, it still takes you back to the desktop, which at least kills immersion and often the game won't pause (or will unpause as soon as you context switch back but before the screen finishes drawing)  They are annoying, they do nothing useful and I'm surely not the ONLY  person who is willing to pay a little bit extra for a keyboard without them?

Oh, Left windows key = Ctrl-Escape Right windows key = Ctrl-Shift-F10  So yeah, they're slightly more conveniant - but would abe a damn sight nmore useful if they were just normal keys.
Okay, I can see the desire to sometimes switch them off then.  I won't let anyone say they "do nothing useful" though.  Windows+Pause/Break = System control panel, Windows+T = Task Manager, etc.  And I for one find the "application" key, next to Right windows, which simulates a right-mouse-click, utterly invaluable in certain tasks.  But like I say, I guess I can see the usefulness of being able to switch them off if you want to.  -- AlexChurchill
Having them rebindable would be ideal (and wkkill works simply, run once to turn them off, run again to turn them on, bind it to a hotkey and away you go) - but after the umpteenth time my game crashed, I pried them off the keyboard with a butterknife (and capslock for good measure)  They, to use a phrase, really get on my tits.  I don't see why rightclick is so useful, you have a mouse for that ;)  And if you really are keyboard jockeying, as I said, Ctrl-Shift-F10 does the same thing.  (Not a lot of people know that)  --Vitenka stops quoting.
Windows-T? Doesn't seem to do anything on my machine (XP-Pro). Windows-E, OTOH opens Windows Explorer. --CH

Just discovered that with a number of Microsoft Keyboards (the ones with special keys along the top which do silly things like pop up your web browser or useful things like play/pause music, but can be configured to open any program you like), you can also disable any or all of the Left Windows, Right Windows, Application, and Caps Lock keys individually or all at once.  I still use them far too much to want to, but for people who want a ButterKnifeDotExe, the Windows Keyboard Control Panel may do all you need.  --AlexChurchill
(If you are using NT5 or 6, anyway.  Win9x doesn't have such obvious and useful options.)  --Vitenka

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Last edited July 24, 2003 8:19 am (viewing revision 13, which is the newest) (diff)