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'Cat on Keyboard' Key

Off, off, darned Mr.Fishbreath.
  [vote for,

Adorned with a suitable icon, the "Cat on Keyboard" key is a recessed hardware button on the keyboard that disables input devices; for when kitty decides you've been on the computer too long or, while you were away doing something else, has found a nice warm place to napfcep7fce g2r3 61cdcakfsc f412t3
FlyingToaster, Mar 23 2012

Keyboard Cat http://www.youtube....watch?v=sXCzwpeBJGs
I was hoping it was a key that plays this [jaksplat, Mar 23 2012]

PawSense http://www.bitboost.com/pawsense/
To guard against napfcep7fce g2r3 61cdcakfsc f412t3 [angel, Mar 26 2012]


       I'm sure we've done this one, at least in an annotation...   

       I think it was software, though.
spidermother, Mar 23 2012

       You'd think so: it's not like the idea requires any great stretch of the imagination. But I couldn't find one and neither could Google.   

       While software has the advantage of being able to disable other devices as well through the OS, it may interfere with an existing macro and requires installing a driver etc.   

       Hardware is pretty straightforward and of course will work exactly as advertised no matter what computer/OS it's on. Just short-circuit power to the keys section.
FlyingToaster, Mar 23 2012

       I can't find a specific mention of this idea either; I may have been thinking of general 'cat on keyboard' conversations. But there are a few halfbakery links to a baked software alternative called PawSense.   

       What you really want is an off switch. We should be more in the habit of turning things off when walking away, for reasons beyond power consumption.
spidermother, Mar 23 2012

       If you mean the computer on/off switch, then no, that doesn't cut it. Just 'cuz kitty has her own idea of what a "laptop" is doesn't mean the 'puters gonna get shut down while she gets a backrub.   

       The power consumption of a keyboard is less than minimal really: you'd use up more personal energy turning it on and off than would be consumed by the tiny LED's that mark cap/num/scrl, if that were the only consideration.
FlyingToaster, Mar 23 2012

       No, I meant an off switch on the keyboard. If you're going to have a physical switch, it just seems more parsimonious to make it 'off', rather than 'mode: execute ready'. I've often wished for a power switch on peripherals or components, for reasons that might have been hard to foresee.
spidermother, Mar 23 2012

       Well yes, so have I, though mostly for reasons quite easy to foresee, but the idea is to make it unobtrusive to the machine as well as the person.   

       A PC needs to "see" an attached keyboard or it goes nuts "Error: keyboard not found: press any key to continue..." sort of thing, so a main-power switch wouldn't work... plus, since the PC being turned off turns the keyboard off anyways, the button really would be a "cat on keyboard" button, for those occasions and similar.
FlyingToaster, Mar 23 2012

       Maybe RS-232 keyboards misbehave when you temporarily disconnect them, but PS-2 and USB are fine; I just checked. Nonetheless, what I really meant is that _I_ would prefer a power switch. Just to show 'em who's boss.   

       I just realised that this can be baked (well, my version) using a KVM switch. In fact, the old hardware KVM switches are proof that computers don't mind their keyboards being disconnected.
spidermother, Mar 23 2012

       Well, I remember the BIOS complaining a few times... doubtless plugging/unplugging a USB keyboard would result in the usual bother for the computer.   

       I haven't physically hacked any keyboards, but I imagine that for a PS2/5pin DIN you'd just close the circuit between power in and power out sticking the highest rated resistor between that you could and still keep the PC happy.   

       For a USB keyboard I don't imagine it'd be much different: in that case you'd just be opening the keys circuit, leaving the USB bit intact.   

       In both cases the switch would just be a latch.
FlyingToaster, Mar 23 2012

       My wireless keyboard has an 'off' switch on the bottom. I use it for this very purpose.
Alterother, Mar 23 2012

       ... how do you reach the bottom of the keyboard when the cat occupies the top?   

       Oh, and, yay for revisiting HB! I /become/ giddy every time I wander back here. And we still have familiar handles about, capital!
absterge, Mar 26 2012

       In my 'toddler on keyboard' events, I try to use Win+L to lock the machine, thus disabling the keyboard. It works quite well, though I wonder how long until she works out how to press ctr-alt-del.   

       Having said that, it would be great if it would lock only the keyboard, leaving the screen and mouse for me to keep reading.
Carmi, Mar 26 2012

       //       ... how do you reach the bottom of the keyboard when the cat occupies the top?    //   

       I'm extraordinarily clever. I do it before the cat arrives.
Alterother, Mar 26 2012

       Hi absterge, glad you wandered back in. Stay awhile. As for the idea, Claire used to just nudge my hand when she wanted me to get off the computer.
blissmiss, Mar 27 2012


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