Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I frequently come in contact with people who absolutely cannot operate a PC, no matter how much training they get.

I need some sort of programmable physical button or remote control that executes a script on a Windows machine when it is pressed. (And no, wiseguys, a mouse won't do.)

Does such a thing exist? If so, how can I set it up?

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

The USB Panic Button is scriptable. Of course it looks pretty silly.

share|improve this answer
This needs a siren and big red flashing lights when pressed. – Troggy Aug 3 '09 at 20:19

You could map a physical button to some script using autohotkey. For instance I use to map my CAPS-LOCK key to SHIFT :) It is very powerful with its own macro language and loads of tutorials out on the web.

share|improve this answer

Maybe combine Vdex's idea with a cheapo USB Presenter gadget to get a more "phyiscal" button.

share|improve this answer

This is kind of out-of-the-box, but you can buy buttons designed for arcade machines. Such buttons will require soldering and programming, or you can wire them into a keyboard.

Barring that, look for emergency switches (think "the big red button" buttons) which can be built into a system and are very easy to operate once installed.

share|improve this answer

My Microsoft Wireless Keyboard 4000 has 5 programmable buttons across the top labeled by number. I put little sticky labels above them to remember which one did what.

You can assign each of these buttons to open an executable. So you could write a script in your favorite language and have the buttons invoke it (call the interpreter to execute a script, maybe).

Microsoft Wireless Comfort Keyboard 4000

Note: I don't believe Microsoft sells this particular keyboard anymore but I'm sure there are others like it.

share|improve this answer
I bought mine a month ago :D – voyager Aug 4 '09 at 1:27

Maybe somthing like this could be useful:

usb button set

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.