Scott Hanselman

Gryoscopes and Remapping a Windows Button for the IBM ThinkPad

February 09, 2004 Comment on this post [9] Posted in Programming
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This Thinkpad that I am now using for my main work computer (I'm using the TabletPC for my personal computer) is the best Laptop I've ever used.  Had a few problems with their silly Utilities, but for the most part it's butter. 

The Good and Amazing:

  • It ALSO (the Toshiba m200 Tablet also has one) has a freakin' gyroscope in it.  Except, while the Toshiba uses the Gyro for scrolling (USELESS!) this IBM uses it to pause and park the hard drive (USEFUL!)  To the right is a picture of the Real-Time Status screen.  In the picture I've tipped the laptop to the right about 45 degress and it's parked the hard drive for safety.  This has already come in useful when a horrendously fat guy in the middle seat of a Delta flight that when I was saving a file was a perfect time for him to go to the can.  But I'm not bitter.

The Bad

  • It's got no freakin' Windows Key, which is slowing me down by at least 10 minutes a day. :) Thank the good lord for Windows Key Remapping.  Here's a registry key that will remap the RIGHT-ALT to the Windows Key (save it as a .REG file):

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout]
    "Scancode Map"=hex:00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,02,00,00,00,5B,E0,38,E0,00,00,00,00


About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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February 09, 2004 7:51
What's wrong with ctrl-esc?
February 09, 2004 12:10
Speed my friend...when you type as fast as I do (my friends and fellow bloggers will back me up on this one) 3 keys is slower than 2. Also, Ctrl-Esc doesn't give you access to any of the Window Shortcuts:

Window-M - Minimize All
Window-R - Run
Window-D - Desktop
Window-Break - System Properties
Window-E - Explorer

and the list goes on...
February 10, 2004 3:29
Wow, clever gyroscopes!

Don Box was whingeing about the lack of windows keys on keyboards a month or two back. Does he know about Key Remapping?

(I see it only works on XP or Win 2K. But I don't suppose the Don is using Win 95.)

February 10, 2004 6:45
Ahh you have finally converted to the dark side...
June 21, 2005 8:06
Only just saw this, linked off your Ultimate Developer Tool List...

On my A31p, I remapped the "Forward" and "Back" keys (wrapped around the cursor keys) to the Application Menu & Windows keys, respectively. Works like a charm... :D

"Scancode Map"=hex:00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,02,00,00,00,5b,e0,6a,e0,5d,e0,69,e0,00,00,00,00
June 25, 2005 17:47
Uh, Scott, I just noticed coming here from your 2005 Tools page that this page is named incorrectly:

GRYOscopes... instead of GYROscopes...
August 11, 2005 1:03
There is a tool that comes with the Thinkpad (I've just bought my T43p :)) that allows you to map several keys, it's called Keyboard Customizer Utility. Right Ctrl key is a better choice for the Win key as right alt is usually the "master" key for VPC.
January 31, 2006 0:06
Is there an app to remap other keys?
I have a toshiba tecra m2 and the `~ key is right where I want the windows key to be.
February 01, 2006 23:53
Any way to remap the "Access IBM" button into something useful like a Win key?

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.