Dogs, cats, small children, and computer keyboards: as they say on "Sesame Street," three of these things belong together. Obviously, PC keyboards are the odd man out in this group, but how can they all get along together in a world (your living room, for instance) in which three out of four respondents think "software" means plush toys? The answer may be as simple as KeyboardLock, a free tool from Booring that locks and unlocks your keyboard and mouse when you enter a password. Say you want to watch a movie on your laptop with pets and progeny loose in the room. KeyboardLock prevents "accidental contact" from activating your mouse or keyboard. And is it really an "accident" when it's practically guaranteed to happen?
We had KeyboardLock install a desktop shortcut, but the program sets up conventionally. KeyboardLock's tiny interface is about the size of a cell phone on the screen, which looks smaller than it sounds. It has two fields, "Lock password" and "Unlock password," and a Start button. We replaced the simple default passwords with equally simple passwords of our own and clicked Start. Following the program's brief onscreen instructions, we typed in our lock password, which prevented our mouse buttons and keys from activating or entering anything, though we could still move the cursor around and highlight objects. We typed in our unlock password, and KeyboardLock restored normal operation to our mouse and keyboard. Clicking an About link opened a dialog with version and contact info as well as a few command-line arguments for power users.
Laptops on coffee tables are like magnets to children and other small furry creatures. Before you lose your place in a movie, or, worse, lose a night's work from home, try KeyboardLock. The passwords don't need to be complex, especially if the would-be violators can't read; memorable, but not something you're likely to type. We used "smith" and "jones." What could be simpler?