microsoft natural keyboard 4000 F10/Spell

Frank Cox theatre at
Mon Aug 3 21:06:01 UTC 2009

On Mon, 03 Aug 2009 21:03:13 +0100
Marko Vojinovic wrote:

> On Monday 03 August 2009 07:28:33 Frank Cox wrote:
> > I have a Microsoft Natural 4000 keyboard on this computer.
> [snip]
> > Unfortunately, F10/Spell doesn't have a keycode according to xev.  In fact,
> > xev doesn't register any event at all when I press F10 with F-lock off. (Of
> > course, I get keycode 76 when F-lock is on.)
> >
> > So it appears that F10/Spell isn't recognized by the keyboard driver (or
> > something).  All the rest of the F-keys are recognized and have a keycode
> > when F-lock is off, with the single exception of F10/Spell.
> >
> > Am I just outta-luck here?
> First of all, is it a PS/2 or USB keyboard? They are handled differently at the 
> kernel level.

USB.  I had to buy a USB keyboard because this motherboard conveniently has no
keyboard plug and my old keyboard didn't appear to work through one of those
PS/2-to-USB adapters.  The marvels of modern technology.

> Does F10/Spell generate a scancode sequence when pressed? If it does, you just 
> need to assign a new unused keycode to this scancodes (using setkeycodes) and 
> go from there.

"showkey -s" gives me no output at all when I press F10/Spell.

"showkey" alone gives me keycode 432. 

It appears that I have a keycode but no scancode.  I don't know enough about
this to understand the implications.

> If it doesn't generate a scancode, then you're out of luck, i guess. Maybe 
> some way to force the keyboard to always fix the F-lock state to on?

The keyboard seems to remember the last state it was in between reboots, i.e.
if F-lock is on and I reboot the computer, it's still on afterward.  So that's
one good thing.

>  The least the designers could have done is to put a led 
> indicator showing the current state of lock-ness, without having me to guess 
> what will happen when I press the Fn key. 

This keyboard actually does have a little indicator light down at the bottom
along with the caps-lock, num-lock  and scroll-lock indicators.

Ultimately, it's not as bad as it could be, but it could still use some

MELVILLE THEATRE ~ Melville Sask ~

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