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Old 07-13-2004, 11:19 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jul 2004
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 2

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Can Only Press 3 or 4 Keys At Once While Gaming

I've searched, and I've searched, and I've searched.. I've posted on Gentoo forums, to which I received rather snobbish remarks, and I've put up with this probme for far to long.. and I would love to start getting some insight into it.

First, let's get this out of the way:
- this does not happen in windows
- it is not keyboard specific, at least for me
- the games are being run natively
- ..?

The problem happens as such:
I use arrow keys to move, shift to run, control to crouch (just examples). If I'm holding all at once, and shooting with the mouse or what-have-you, and reloading with other keys, and pressing others, and so forth.. after I'm simultaneously pressing about .. 4 or 5 keys at once I'd say, the keyboard just halts, and I have to release the keys to continue moving, as no input will be accepted until the keys are released.

I must say again, this problem does not happen in Windows. It is deeply annoying.

A google search for ' "chrono trigger" keyboard' also clarifies that the problem exists (albeit, I can hold down more than one key). It's just frustrating to be in the heat of a battle, and all of a sudden I stop moving, stop shooting, etc.. gotta release my hand from all the keys, then continue.. by which time I'm kindly watching the game from Spectator as I've no doubt been killed.

I'm using Gentoo Linux (2004.1, base system 1.4.16), on a 2.4.26 kernel, XFree 4.3.0-r6.
My current keyboard is a Logitech Internet Navigator. It's happened on two other keyboards that I've had in the past. Always in Linux, and not Windows.

So please, if anyone has had this, and, although I doubt it, fixed it.. let me know what you did. Some users report that it is in fact the keyboard, while I cannot rule this out, I do believe there is an alternate solution that hasn't yet been found.

Old 07-14-2004, 12:08 AM   #2
LQ Veteran
Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Boise, ID
Distribution: Mint
Posts: 6,642

Rep: Reputation: 85
Welcome to LQ soroh. Unfortunately I cannot offer any suggestions on what the cause or the solution might be, but there are a lot of very smart and very experienced members here at LQ, and hopefully someone may be able to offer some advice. Welcome again and good luck with it.

To go out on a limb, I'm not all that familiar with Gentoo, but if your settings are stored in the XF86Config file, perhaps you could post the contents of that file (it probably lives in /etc/X11) It may be that you've select the wrong protocol for that keyboard. Also, is the keyboard PS/2, USB, or wireless? -- J.W.
Old 07-14-2004, 12:54 AM   #3
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Registered: Jul 2004
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 2

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J.W. -- my initials, that's kind of freaky. Thanks for the welcoming.

Yeah.. I've used Linux for a few years now, I've countlessly tried everything I could think of to be quite honest. LQ is kind of my last idea, heh. Kind of fed-up with the Gentoo forums. But that's off-topic.

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier  "Keyboard0"
        Driver      "keyboard"
        Option  "AutoRepeat" "500 30"
        Option  "XkbRules" "xfree86"
        Option  "XkbModel" "pc104"
        Option  "XkbLayout" "us"
That's what I'm presently using, it's a USB keyboard with a PS/2 adapter. (And, yeah, I've tried it as just USB).
Old 07-14-2004, 02:33 AM   #4
LQ Veteran
Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Boise, ID
Distribution: Mint
Posts: 6,642

Rep: Reputation: 85
Well, I don't have a clue. From the small amount I know, I was thinking that it may be that your keyboard model was incorrect (ie, 101 keys vs 104) but at least according to the picture I found of the keyboard you mentioned, it looks like it's got 104. The only other possible thing to try (I'm guessing here) would be to play around with the autorepeat settings. As I assume you know, the first number is the delay in milliseconds before the key starts repeating, and the second number is the number of repeats per second. My thought is that if you are pressing down on one key for a long time during play, maybe the keyboard buffer is overflowing, causing a hang. (Or maybe the game is processing the keystrokes faster than they're being generated, and thus totally emptying the buffer and causing a hang.)

Obviously this is pure speculation, but if you haven't already tried, it, it might be worthwhile systematically going through a series of tests where you incrementally vary the both of those speed settings both upwards and downwards. The reason I'm suggesting this is because if you get the exact same behavior with other keyboards, then it doesn't seem to be connected to the hardware, and instead seems to be a configuration issue. The only config items that seem to apply would be the Model and the Autorepeat parameters. Whether or not that logic actually applies is guesswork at this stage, but maybe a setting of "400 50" or "800 20" or whatever is what's really needed.

I'll reiterate that these comments are speculative, and not authoritative by any measure, and perhaps you've already been down this path countless times before, but good luck with it in either case. -- J.W.


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