Anykey keyboard missing keypresses

Anykey keyboard missing keypresses

Post by Graham Clar » Sat, 25 Jan 1997 04:00:00

I recently purchased an Anykey keyboard from Gateway 2000. I mostly
use Linux (2.0.27), and noticed unusual behaviour when using emacs. It
seems that if certain keys are hit in rapid succession, some are
missed. For instance, in order to save a file, I hold down control,
then roll my fingers over `x' and then `s'. If I do this quickly, as I
would when working normally, the keyboard seems to miss the C-s,
leaving emacs displaying "C-x - " in the modeline. The behaviour is
the same, when using the control key with the following key
combinations: (z,a), (c,d), (v,f), (m,j) (and others), although
curiously, the keyboard has no problem with (b,g) and
(n,h). Furthermore, this problem seems not to be linux specific; under
Word for Windows version 6 (Windows 3.11), I believe C-x causes a
beep, and C-s brings up a dialog box. Holding down control, and
hitting `x' and `s' rapidly in succession causes the computer to beep,
but does not bring up the dialog box. Moreover, my keyboard is not
alone in this behaviour; I performed the experiment on a colleague's
Anykey keyboard (the only other one to which I have access), and the
behaviour matched mine. The linux utility "showkey", which outputs
keycodes to the console when keys are pushed or released, demonstrates
the problem simply.

I cannot explain this behaviour, other than to speculate that it is a
feature of the keyboard hardware. I phoned Gateway technical support,
and the technician insisted that he did not experience the behaviour I
described when he attempted the experiment. I have checked through the
linux hardware and keyboard FAQs, and also the Gateway 2000 FAQ, and
found no mention of this problem. I would be extremely grateful if
anyone could tell me if they have had similar behaviour from their
Anykey keyboards. My keyboard was bought as a replacement for an
"ordinary" Gateway keyboard which malfunctioned - however, the old
keyboard did not, and others I have used in the interim do not have
this problem. The problem is very irritating, especially because it is
evident each time I use a very common emacs key combination.

I have included some system details at the bottom. I appreciate this
problem does not seem to be linux specific, but I would imagine that
on balance, since the problem is noticeable under emacs, that if this
was a problem in general, someone using linux may have spotted it.

I note that if I use the "key swapping" ability of the Anykey, I can
switch the functionality of Caps-lock and control; then the keyboard
has no trouble with C-x C-s (using the "new" control key).

Thanks for any help offered,


My system is a Gateway 2000 P4D-66 DX2 PCI running Linux version
2.0.27 and Windows for Workgroups Version 3.11.

My colleague's system is a Gateway 2000 P5-166 PCI Multimedia PC
running Linux version 2.0.24 and Windows 95.

I believe both systems are using version 34 of the Anykey software.


Department of Computer Science  phone: (+44) (0)131-650-5162
The University of Edinburgh     fax:   (+44) (0)131-667-7209
Edinburgh EH9 3JZ, UK.          


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