So, today I was working normally, and suddenly I mispress something… and I can’t switch to other desktops anymore.

First thing I think: maybe some KDE global shortcut manager or whatever went nuts, and redefined my “Switch to Desktop” keys. So I go and check the preferences, and I find that everything is alright.

So I try to redefine the shortcuts again, and I notice that according to KDE, F1 produces XF86Launch0, and the rest of my F-keys just don’t do anything. I panic, think for a moment about changing the shortcuts to Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, etc., discard the idea because sooner or later I’ll need the F-keys anyway… and decide to reboot. But still I can’t use my F-keys.

Totally desperate, I ask on IRC and someone says “F Lock”. And I go “WTF is that?” but look at my keyboard, and see some key that is indeed labelled “F Lock”. I press it and everything goes back to normal.

Then, the person goes on to explain that Microsoft has very retarded keyboards (in particular, I was using a Microsoft Natural Keyboard) that “feature” a key called “F Lock”, that redefines the “F keys” (F1, F2, …) to be some “useful” idiotic retarded shortcuts for Office applications or who knows what. I was also told that apparently some of those keyboards, when they boot, they are by default in “retarded mode” (mine seemed to somehow remember the setting in my last reboot, because it has never done that).

I just had to blog about this. Amazing.