On most modern keyboards, manufacturers have decided to add an assortment of random keys, sometimes above the Function keys, sometimes on the left or right. For the most part, these are called “Media” keys. They often posess play/pause, skip next/previous, volume controls, etc. Sensible.
My Wireless keyboard has these. I don’t use it because- well, I don’t exactly have a magic battery maker machine, the Fome/End/Insert keys are configured “wrong” (well actually the way I’m used to is wrong, but I prefer to absolve the confusion by avoid it entirely for now, it just causes headaches while editing source code). that combined with the seeming inconsistency in how well it works have caused me to switch back to my wireless-500. Not to mention the fact that it gobbles up batteries.
Now with the MS wireless-500 keyboard, it has media keys as well. Play/Pause, Volume Up/Down, Mute. “My Computer” “Calculator” favourites, home, and E-mail.
My question here is why they are called “media” keys? I mean, I don’t have Skip Next/previous, which I would find MOST useful, but I have a bunch of other keys. They shouldn’t be called “Media” keys, they should be called “start random shit” keys. Because, you know, I start calculator sooo often I simply need to have it available at the press of a button. And I start thunderbird soo often I simply need it with a single keypress; even though if I started it often I could either pin it to the taskbar, put it on the desktop, or put it in startup. Not to mention that Vista/7 will keep applications that are started frequently right there on the start menu, so if I started thunderbird frequently, it would only be two keystrokes. Of course, that is more than the one keystroke to press the button marked with a envelope- but It just seems kind of silly to have these types of controls for other actions that can be done with only the keyboard, and yet leave out stuff like volume control, which are a defined media “key” but are suspiciously absent from this keyboard. Who seriously uses these keys? Am I wrong to assume they are, or at least, were, some silly marketing gimmick for when people thought the more keys a keyboard had the better it was?
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