I used the Teensy 2.0
, available directly from them or from Adafruit
for $20. It's got USB support built in, and can be programmed using the Arduino IDE
or directly with avr-gcc
as you prefer. We'll be using the Arduino IDE, so install that and TeensyDuino
We will program the Teensy to send a unique keystroke combination, Meta-Alt-Control-W, that will be intercepted on the computer - for Windows you can use AutoHotkey
, for Mac you can use QuickSilver
, and for Linux you can set it up directly in the Window Manager's preferences using xev
You'll need to do a little scripting, but the Lifehacker links I used above have many common script libraries to get you started.
Finally, you'll need an Easy Button
For tools you'll need a P0 or P1 philips screwdriver, a soldering iron, and about a foot of hookup wire. A coping saw or hacksaw is helpful for cutting the hole for the usb port into the side of the button, but a pair of pliers will do just fine with the relatively soft plastic, it will just look a bit more ragged. Not pictured are an xacto knife or small flat screwdriver, and a wire cutter/stripper.
Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with Microsoft, Apple, PJRC, Adafruit, Lifehacker, Quicksilver, Autohotkey, nor Staples. I just like their products and used them in this Instructable.
Any soldering or other hacking is at your own risk.