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Old 11-02-2005, 09:17 PM   #1
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Unresolved Keyboard Related Issues

There are several keyboard related issues that I have been yet unable to solve. I possess a copy of the Keyboard-and-Console-HOWTO, but I'm still at a loss to resolving my questions.

1. I have been a Num Lock user for more than two decades. My BIOS is configured to enable the Num Lock key upon booting. But Linus insists upon overriding my personal preference when the kernel boots. Thus, in my rc.local script I have some setleds commands to re-enable Num Lock. When X starts, either through the startx script or through the KDE login manager, Num Lock is once again disabled. Of course, I have configured KDE to re-enable Num Lock after KDE completes the login. In short this is nuts! How do I override the kernel, X, and the KDM to once and for all leave my Num Lock key alone?

2. The Scroll Lock LED never functions in KDE/X. The LED works fine in console mode and when using those other operating systems. This seems to be a KDE/X issue. How do I remedy this?

3. I sometimes suffer from "fat fingers." In Windows I have enabled the Accessibility utility that beeps whenever I toggle the Caps Lock, Num Lock, or Scroll Lock keys. More importantly, I use a third party utility that beeps whenever I toggle the Insert key. As I tend to suffer from fat finger syndrome, and that the Insert key is a next door neighbor to both the much-used Backspace and Home keys, I find that latter utility invaluable. Especially because many programs are designed to recognize that toggle as shifting from Insert to Overwrite mode, such as Kate, in which I am currently writing. I want all of my beeps restored in Slackware, whether in an X session or in console. How? I get the impression that restoring these beeps is possible using something called xkbcomp? But I want the beeps restored in console mode too.

4. For more than 14 years I have used a faithful and dependable Northgate Omnikey Ultra keyboard. A keyboard that is a true keyboard and not a mere sponge. I have no desire to use any other keyboard and I even possess a spare Omnikey. This keyboard provides an extra row of function keys at the top of the keyboard, as well as the standard 12 function keys at the left side. The top row of function keys are programmable and I like to toggle them all into Shift-Fn mode. Once upon a time, the since-disappeared Northgate people provided a DOS utility to programmatically configure the upper functions keys when booting. Just insert the command in the old autoexec.bat and all was done. I sure miss that simple utility! Other than running that old utility under DOSEMU or some other DOS emulator (seems a rather clunky approach), does there exist an old 'nix hack from days of old that provides the same function? Northgate Omnikey keyboards once were quite popular and I suspect they were popular among 'nix people too. I am inclined to think that a hack exists somewhere. Anybody know of a native hack?

5. I use KDE and I enjoy the Konsole, usually keeping one open as I continue to learn my way around Slackware. However, I'd like to change the Edit keyboard shortcuts for copying and pasting. Currently there is no Konsole keyboard shortcut for Copy and the mapped shortcut for Paste is Shift-Insert. I'd like to add Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V, which are the respective standard shortcuts elsewhere in KDE for Copy and Paste, as well as that other OS where I formed these keyboard habits. I realize that Ctrl-C is the console break command and therefore I probably need to consider Alt-Ctrl-C as my Copy shortcut. Likewise for Paste. But how do I add these shortcuts to Konsole and how do I modify the Edit menu to reflect the changes? I did not see anything intuitively obvious when in the K Control Center.

6. Although not a current problem I am posting this last paragraph in the hopes of helping other people. For a long time I was frustrated when in console mode because I was unable to use my Right Alt key as a modifier key to switch consoles. In traditional console mode this has something to do with mapping the Right Alt key to something called AltGr. When in KDE/X, where I spend most of my time, thankfully the Right Alt key works exactly the same as the Left Alt key. However, I solved the console problem by creating a modified file, which I load at boot-up with /etc/rc.d/rc.keymap. The solution requires modifying an include line from linux-with-alt-and-altgr to linux-with-two-alt-keys.

As always thanks for any help or appropriate links!

Last edited by Woodsman; 11-02-2005 at 09:19 PM.
Old 11-02-2005, 11:02 PM   #2
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Distribution: Slackware 14.1
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Regarding Item 5, Konsole, problem solved! The trick was not to look in the KDE Control Center to modify keyboard shortcuts but in the Konsole Settings menu option. Found the answer in another discussion (not at LQ). Seems so obvious, but I guess I sometimes cannot see the tip of my own nose!

Regarding Item 3, I have found a utility called Locktones. I cannot figure out how to change the tone, and the program does not work for the Insert key in either X or console. The tones also do not work with the Scroll Lock key while in X, but works fine in console mode. I'm guessing the latter issue is related to Item 2 in my list.


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