S-Jog will probably help you if you are a VAIO user, it is controlled by the Sony Jog Wheel device and allows you to run a customizable list of applications and more important, set your screen brightness level in a very easy way.
After i bought my laptop 2 weeks ago, i quickly felt the need to have this nice toy but unfortunatly nothing existing really answered my needs. I decided to learn GTK and wrote a few lines of code which became S-Jog.
I'll add volume control very soon and probably much more in the futur. I'm very interested in any kind of feedback so if you have a VAIO, please take a look at the S-Jog homepage http://sjog.sourceforge.net/