March 16, 2010

How to use the System Keys of your Gateway Laptop

Probably this is the first time that you have ever heard of System keys. Well, these are the keyboard keys which are designed to have an alternate use aside from their normal use of representing digital letters and numbers or performing a programmed function.

Their normal use is represented on the key by the white marking and their alternate use is represented by the blue marking on the key. You need to press the Fn key and then press the system key on your keyboard to make use of the system key's alternate function. The Fn key is located on the leftmost part of the first line of keys of the keyboard of your Gateway laptop.

The system keys include the function keys 1 to 12 except function keys 5 and 7, a few page navigation keys, the up and down arrow keys, and the numeric pad keys. I don't know why F5 and F7 are not used but if you really need to know, you have to ask Gateway about it.

The page navigation keys used for alternate function include the End, Page Up and Page Down keys. The Home page navigation key is not used. The normal keys used alternatively as numeric pad keys include the numbers 7 up to 0, the letters U, I, O, P, J, K, L and M, and the characters semi-colon, period and forward slash.

You normally would not use the numeric pad of your laptop's keyboard. It just might interest you to know that your Gateway laptop offers this facility. To make use of this feature, you need to turn the numeric lock on your keyboard on by pressing Fn and then pressing the Scroll key on the right topmost line of keys on your Gateway laptop's keyboard. You can turn the numeric lock off by pressing the two keys one after another one more time.

Use the F1 system key to toggle the status indicators on your Gateway laptop to on or off position. The status indicators are located below the left and right buttons of your keyboard's touchpad. The indicators tell you if your wireless adapter is on, if you have pressed the Caps Lock key, if you have turned on the numeric lock, if your disc drive is reading or writing, and if your hard disk is in use.

Press the Fn key and then press the F2 key to turn your wireless adapter on or off. Check with the status indicators to find out whether your wireless adapter is turned on or off. Use the F3 key in conjunction with the Fn key to bring your Gateway laptop to Sleep of Hybrid Sleep mode. You can then press the Power button to leave make your laptop leave the Sleep mode.

The F4 key together with the Fn key is used to toggle your display to your laptop's LCD, an external monitor or projector, or both the LCD and the external monitor. The Fn key and the F6 keys are used to turn the optional internal Bluetooth device of your Gateway laptop on or off.

You can press the Fn and the F8 keys once to increase the intensity of your LCD's display. If you press the two keys again, the display will dim and if you press the keys a third time, your LCD's display intensity will return to normal.

The Fn key in conjunction with the F9 to F12 keys are used to control the playing of your CD or DVD disc. The Fn and F9 keys are used to play or pause the CD or DVD. Fn and F10 keys are used to stop the playing of the CD or DVD. Fn and F11 are used to skip back the CD or DVD one track or chapter respectively while the Fn and F12 keys are used to skip them ahead one track or chapter.

Use the Fn and the Up Arrow key to increase the brightness of your laptop's display. Press the Fn and the Down Arrow keys to dim your laptop's display. Use the Fn and PageUp keys to increase the volume of your laptop's speakers. Use the Fn and the PageDown keys to decrease the speakers' volume. To mute the sound on your laptop's speakers, press the Fn key and then the End key.

System keys provide additional functionalities that you might find useful someday. You don't really have to memorize their alternate functions. Just know that they are there and ready to be used whenever they are needed. The information I have presented here are based on the Reference Guide of my Gateway laptop computer.