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This is a neat feature if my mouse decides to up and die on me but in the meantime I'd like to be able to enter numbers without hunting and pecking again! How can I switch this off?

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Ah I see this topic has been raised before. The solution is SHIFT+NUMLOCK. Somebody post an answer and you get free points!!! –  Steven Lu Jan 15 '12 at 1:01
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Shift numlock triggers this on and off.

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