The volume buttons on my keyboard at work stopped functioning last week. While it’s not the end of the world, I do like dedicated volume buttons because they’re far easier to access. The bottom of the Logitech keyboard reports that it is an “Internet Keyboard.” Truly inspired naming. Given how generic it sounds, I thought I was in for trouble when it came to searching for drivers.

I wasn’t sure I needed a driver because I didn’t install one when I last installed XP, but it seemed the logical place to start. The Keyboard applet in the Control Panel had no settings that applied, as I expected.

So off I went to the Logitech web site and to my delight, I found the driver easily enough. Not quite so delightful is the driver download. Sixty-freaking-megabytes. All I want is the volume buttons! Okay, as much as I hate this kind of crap, I’ll probably get all sorts of whizz-bang options, and perhaps even something I can use.

After installation, I’m delighted so find the volume control functioning again! I’m not as pleased with the new icon in my system tray and the whizz-bang options it offers. Let me list them for you:

  • There’s a button to take me to the SetPoint Help Centre. I want to go there because the Help Centre can answer many questions and provide detailed explanations. Or so they tell me. Clicking the button, I find the Help Centre is a tarted-up help file.
  • There’s a button to take me to Ergonomics, Support, and Gadgets. This web site lets me get information on using my device, update my drivers, and download cool gadgets! The exclamation point is theirs, and ‘cool’ is anything but cool when used this way.
  • I can view the SetPoint driver and SetPoint Control Centre version numbers. They’re both 4.40.88, by the way. I know you were curious.
  • I can turn off the tray icon. I did this, immediately.
  • I can configure web updates. Yes, I want the software to update itself without telling me, so an update can break what’s currently working. Thanks, but no.
  • I can trigger an immediate web update.

That’s it. Sixty megabytes later, my keyboard buttons are working, and I have a SetPoint Control Centre that does virtually nothing. Certainly the driver download is universal to all their keyboards and many more options are available for more sophisticated hardware. This must also cut down on development costs. Still, I feel like I just paid $10 for shrimp when I was promised sea monkeys that would do tricks and be my pal.

Granted I didn’t pay anything, but come on already! Give me a zip archive with the driver files. Only rarely does anything good come from drivers that include an installer.