Saturday, 16 March 2013

Hi New Keyboard, Bye Mute Button

I purchased a Microsoft Wireless Desktop 2000 to replace my old keyboard and mouse. Unfortunately its keyboard doesn't have a mute button, which is something I used to use quite often. I know the Windows volume control has a mute option, but when I'm gaming, the taskbar isn't visible. Is there a one-click, always visible mute feature hidden somewhere?

I hear you, and I'll do even better than that. I'll give you a little program with which you can toggle mute in several ways: say hello to Mutt, which you can download from here. Save the zip file and extract the two files into a new folder and double-click Mutt.exe; it doesn't need installing and it is of course free.

When you start Mutt, here's what you see:


And here's what all that means:
  • Toggle Mute now: switches from muted to unmuted or vice versa
  • NL: switches from English to Dutch
  • System Tray: tells Mutt to sit in the System Tray at the bottom right corner of the screen - see below for a screenshot
  • Desktop: tells Mutt to sit in the top-right corner of your desktop - see below for a screenshot
  • Desktop, always on top: tells Mutt to sit in the top-right corner of your desktop, and to be always visible (i.e., not hidden behind other windows)
  • Start when Windows starts: when checked, Mutt starts automatically when you log on to Windows
  • Hide me: hides this window and only leaves the icon in the System Tray or top right corner of your desktop visible
  • Check for updates: checks if a newer version of the program is available and, if so, installs it
This is what Mutt looks like when you've hidden the aforementioned window, depending on where you told it to sit:

Left-click the icon in the System Tray or on your desktop to toggle the mute status; right-click it to show Mutt's startup window.

By the way, your wireless desktop choice is a good one, as it uses AES encryption for its communication between keyboard and PC. That means that it won't be possible for dubious characters to just 'sniff the air' and pick up what's being sent wirelessly from your keyboard to your PC - like user IDs and passwords, for instance :)

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