Sunday, January 4, 2009

BTC Keyboard driver and Netropa Internet Keyboard

This is basically a review of a software app

If anyone has a desire to download a keyboard driver (with an accompanying app) for a BTC keyboard (the model I encountered was a PS/2 model 5107), please be advised that the accompanying Netropa Internet Keyboard application also includes the Internet Receiver news ticker. Because of its annoying nature, I suggest that experimenting advanced users don't include that one when installing the app.

If, for some reason, Netropa Internet Keyboard or the Internet Ticker (which is still functional) cannot be uninstalled (by way of only having a limited user account), then just press the Print Scrn to turn it off.

The Channel Guide page for the Netropa Internet Receiver does not work.

Netropa Internet Keyboard itself modifies keyboard buttons' functions — F-buttons for web browsers and Print Screen, Scroll Lock and Pause|Break buttons.

The functionality that reorders F-buttons' usual intended functions affects browsers of the time when Netropa Internet Keyboard was released (typically in Internet Explorer). The reordered F-buttons target certain websites — some of which are offline and outdated. The functions can be re-set to a different website or portal from a selection of some preconfigured websites.

Changing or disabling the functions

The functions can be reordered or completely turned off for each button by pressing a function button for longer than a second, after which a menu appears and retargets the mouse cursor it. You can choose from a number of preconfigured websites.

To disable, take the cursor down to the Special sub-menu, then click Disable. The normal button behaviour will then return.

The reordered F-buttons don't work in Mozilla Firefox.


All in all, the additional functionality that captures/steals F-buttons' usual intended functions in a web browser is still annoying, as some of the normal functionality is also stolen. Neither is there a separate driver installed for the keyboard.

As it is, the intended target audience is probably a home user (who might wish to have quick access to certain websites), although advanced users are usually those who install drivers to devices.

Computer manufacturers or re-sellers might install accompanying applications in a new computer as part of one or many kickback agreements to lower the selling price of a new product.

Non-exhaustive list of some of the online stuff that isn't there or just online anymore:

iVillage /still operates, finally bought by NBC Universal, Inc. in 2006.
• GeoCities /acquired by Yahoo!, operating at

• Datek Online submenu /Datek Online Holdings Corporation merged with TD Ameritrade in 2002

• /totally defunct

Greetings /bought by American Greetings

MySimon /acquired by c|net in January 2000 during the height of the dot-com boom.
• /defunct? Domain owned by EXP Systems
• ExpertCentral / now redirects to

• Productopia /product review site launched in late July, 1999.
On Google, Productopia's top search result is
• now redirects to /still in shopping
• /acquired by eBay
I will update and reformat the article later on.

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