Fixing laptop settings changed by feline random entry
March 12, 2006 5:07 PM   Subscribe

Two parter about cats walking on computer keyboards and havoc their little toes wreak:

1) One of our cats has managed to hit a random set of strokes on my wife's laptop, such that now every time she clicks on a message in Gmail it opens as a popup. This is really and truly a popup, not just opening in a new window: there's no address bar and the first time it happened, she was actually blocked from viewing the e-mail by the popup blocker in firefox. All of this occured while she had Firefox open to the Gmail page, on a dell laptop running XP home SP2. Can't seem to find the setting to switch them back to just opening in the current tab. Anybody know?

2) In general, is there any application that will let you lock keyboard input with a few keystrokes, or maybe as part of a right click menu to prevent these cat based random entires in the future? (And, speaking preemptively, PawSense is out: I'm not paying twenty bucks for something I can't at least demo before hand.)
posted by PinkStainlessTail to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Best answer: If you're using XP home, you can lock as you would in XP Pro -- just Winlogo key + L or CTRL-ALT-DEL, Enter. (Other ways here)

If Fast User switching is enabled, then you won't get very far, though. I'd recommend disabling it and then locking normally when you're away from desktop. Here's how to do that.
posted by gage at 5:16 PM on March 12, 2006

If you have your computer set up for user accounts, a Google says here's a page that details quick ways to lock the console. These steps will lock the account (so your screen changes and you can't see anything that you were doing; takes you back to the welcome screen).

If you just want to lock the keyboard quickly...hmm...give me a few more minutes.
posted by toomanyplugs at 5:26 PM on March 12, 2006

doh! too slow (hah... Win-L locked my screen until I could figure out getting back in).

Here's a program that seems to lock it without the welcome screen (Shareware)

and here's a program that makes funny colors and shapes so kids, etc. can bang all they want (Freeware)
posted by toomanyplugs at 5:32 PM on March 12, 2006

"The number of correct keys to deactivate BabyShield can be customized as your baby cat learns!"
posted by tellurian at 5:41 PM on March 12, 2006

You might want to set your power button to put your laptop to sleep rather than turning your machine off if the button is kitty togglable.
posted by Mitheral at 6:18 PM on March 12, 2006

Find a screensaver you want to use in your Windows directory. Drag it onto the Start Menu somewhere to create a shortcut. Right-click on the new menu entry. Put the cursor in the "Skortcut key" box then click a key combination that would make a good hot-key to start the screensaver. I recommend "CTRL + SHIFT + ALT + S".

Quick and easy way to start a screen saver. Put a password on it and you're done.
posted by krisjohn at 7:36 PM on March 12, 2006

I have no answers for you, just wanted to say that this screenshot from the PawSense site made me laugh out loud. Yes, I have cats that love my keyboard.
posted by DakotaPaul at 4:43 PM on March 13, 2006

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