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Ignition Key for Computers

Great for rednecks and other people
  (+14, -3)(+14, -3)
(+14, -3)
  [vote for,

Instead of having a password for your computer, have an ignition key.

Safe, secure, and no-one can sneak a look at your password.

Inspired after looking at the name of "Screw Ctrl+Alt+Del" and thinking, literally "screw" as in twist.

DesertFox, Dec 22 2005

Physical Keys in Computers https://www.youtube...v=y0zZqHOZq7M#t=55s
Youtube video about the use of physical keys on older computers [aguydude, Aug 02 2017]

Computer_20Starting_20Handle [xenzag, Aug 03 2017]


       I like it, I bun it, I want some more of it. I've seen stuff like this before... but I would never get one. All too often it is i need someone to use my computer to email me a file, or some such thing. I know, its iresponsible, but I need my computer to be a little bit accessible.
roleohibachi, Dec 22 2005

       <imagines someone opening the computer with a steel ruler, and then hot-wiring it>
Ling, Dec 22 2005

       It may surprise you to know that, back in the stone age, many computers came with a lockable hard drive (using actual, real keys & locks) as standard.
DrBob, Dec 22 2005

       will it make a revving noise?
po, Dec 22 2005

       Yep, I remember those locks on the PC that prevented the computer from being booted when locked. Also there was an additional lock on the tower that prevented employees from tampering with the PC or stealing the components from the inside. And if you managed to defeat the lock, there was a tamper mechanism that send out an alarm indicating that the case had been opened.   

       Machinery in factories that run on Windows have an "ignition key" which the user turns the key to the "ON" position to boot the on-board PC and then when they get to the login screen they turn the key to the "START" position to log on and log off.   

       This would be ideal for people who are somewhat PC illiterate to the point where they can never remember their login and password. If they can log in by inserting the key and cranking it up.
Jscotty, Dec 22 2005

       With all the different login screens (Windows, Network, Yahoo, eBay, Halfbakery, ...) you'd need a key for each and you'd have to carry a huge keychain with you at all times :)
phundug, Dec 22 2005

       Ironic really, when posh carmakers are all replacing keys with pushbuttons.
moomintroll, Dec 22 2005

       hey! I just came back to this idea and realized.. the computers in my school's library have lockable, removable hdds! hah, the things you ne'er notice.
roleohibachi, Dec 22 2005

       I think [po] has the right idea: instead of the normal welcome sound that microsoft use, change it to be Whirr, Whirr, Whirr, Brooom, Broooom.
Ling, Dec 23 2005

       Do rednecks have computers?
MikeOxbig, Dec 28 2005

       Pimp my 'puter?   

       I would love to hear that air brake sound when I temporarily "park" my PC while I go to the bathroom.
Jscotty, Dec 28 2005

       And my Alienware Athlon 64 would barrel along in the fast lane while your HP 386 with Win95 lumbers along in the slow lane.
dalziel, Dec 29 2005

       My new Fujitsu notebook has a fingerprint scanner for this purpose.
Spacecoyote, Oct 06 2008

       The other main PC in this house is an Apricot (Fujitsu nowadays but the BIOS says Apricot when booted) and has a lock.   

       They don't know they're born, these young'uns.
nineteenthly, Oct 06 2008

       Turkey-head knob with key shank protruding from bottom, fits into lock barrel on front of case.

       Keylock positions are:   

hardware - allows: access to BIOS/Console; non-default boot devices and diagnostics booting; physical access to case; fine settings for other lock positions.
software hook - allows OS Admin account(s) to be logged in from start (or SU from currently logged in User or Guest accounts).

hardware -
software - allows registered User account(s) to be logged in from login screen (or SU from currently logged in Guest account).

hardware -
software - auto-login of "Guest" account.

hardware - allows use of embedded bios apps (media playing, tivo,photocopying), UI may be restricted
software - may allow use of a very limited features one-program kiosk account (for instance a selection of videogames or jukebox

hardware: - UI locked out, monitor off
software -

       "Kiosk mode" specifics are set from Admin mode or a limited subset from User mode.   

       Reset and (hard) Power switches are separate.
FlyingToaster, Oct 07 2008

       //Do rednecks have computers?//   

       Many do. The vast majority of them aren't aware of this, though, being that it is under the hood of their pick-up trucks.
MikeD, Oct 07 2008

       [Spacecoyote] Did you happen to see the mythbusters episode where they bypassed computer (and door) fingerprint security systems. I think I'd rather trust a hard key.
MechE, Oct 08 2008


       1: Old computers did use a physical key to block access to the computer. The more common approach was to require a key to use the keyboard, since that approach avoids needing to shut down your computer every time you step away from the machine.   

       2: New computers often use a hardware key. Admittedly, it's mostly technical users using hardware keys as one factor in a two-factor authentication scheme.
aguydude, Aug 02 2017

       One of the old computers in the lab had the power button fall out years ago... I prod around in the hole with the key for my bike lock, I'm not convinced what that means.
bs0u0155, Aug 02 2017

       See last link for when the PC simply refuses to start.
xenzag, Aug 03 2017

       // I'm not convinced what that means. //   

       Well, if it's not a motorbike lock (in which case, no problem), it suggests that you are irredeemably stupid and have a death wish.
8th of 7, Aug 03 2017

       //...it suggests that you are irredeemably stupid and have a death wish.//   

       Do borg computers run on high voltage?   

       Perhaps they also have a Jacob's ladder?
Loris, Aug 03 2017

       // Do borg computers run on high voltage? //   

       Sp. "Borg".   

       No. Two "AA" alkaline cells (not included).   

       // Perhaps they also have a Jacob's ladder? //   

       No, but we have those neat flat-panel plasma-discharge discs over our regeneration modules. They're supposed to show useful information, apparently, but we seem to have mislaid the manual.   

       We could set up a Jacob's ladder - they're fun ...
8th of 7, Aug 03 2017

       Someone deleted my link.... why?.... I've just reposted it.
xenzag, Aug 03 2017

       //No. Two "AA" alkaline cells (not included).//   

       note to self : the Borg are pitifully susceptable to electricity.
Loris, Aug 03 2017


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