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One day I came into our office and found that a keyboard on the table of one of our leading developers was broken. Several buttons were missing. Horrible black gaps where keys used to be. We all were astonished. Who would commit this foolish crime? Soon, Mike, the keyboard owner, appeared and explained that he had broken the keyboard himself. The previous evening, he had lost a significant portion of his code by pressing one of the extended keys accidentally. After that, he got a screwdriver and picked out all the extended keys!
Thrilled with Mike's case, we decided to study less radical opportunities to solve this problem. Virtually all modern keyboards come with a set of extended keys: a pair of Windows Logo Keys and power control keys. Multimedia keys are normally hard to be pressed accidentally. They are small and located relatively far from the standard keys. The most dangerous extended keys are located within the standard key areas. These are Windows Logo keys, Caps and Num Locks, Insert and Power Control keys. You can easily touch them when typing or when playing games. Pressed in combination with other buttons, they can cause unpredictable effects.
The most versatile and flexible software solution that we've found is called "I Hate This Key" (did they know Mike's story?) This handy utility sits in the system tray and allows you to control special key behavior. You can either disarm the Windows Logo keys completely or in full-screen applications only, e.g. in games. The program lets you make your Caps and Num Lock buttons safer. No need to disable them completely. You can choose from "Doubleclick" or "Click and hold" modes. This is especially important for wireless keyboards that have no Caps and Num Lock indicators. "Insert" can be automatically disabled in text editors, yet, it can continue to function in combinations (Ctrl+Ins, Shift+Ins etc.) Power Keys and F-Lock can be configured as well.