Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    18
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    Hi all! This is my first post here, so please be gentle.

    Years and years ago, I used to have a Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard, which, to date, has been the only keyboard I've ever seen that has hardware macro facilities. I liked it so much that at one point, after it broke and I had used another keyboard for a long time after that, I finally gave in and got myself another one from eBay. I had to make do without the Windows keys in the one I got, but it was worth it.

    Due to what I assume is clumsiness, that one also went down the drain. :/ Since the only available AnyKeys on eBay now are a US layout (I live in the UK, and it wouldn't be so bad except that the US layout also means some keys disappear or get smaller, etc), I'm wondering if there are any other keyboards like it - perhaps even a bit more modern. (The AnyKey, good as it is, comes from before Windows 3.1 even, and can definitely show its age. It was updated for Windows 95 with Windows keys, but most are without those.)

    Lots of high-end keyboards nowadays have 'soft' macro keys which can be programmed via a piece of software to map to a set of keystrokes. However, this is all implemented in software, and as I run Linux as my main OS, these would not be suitable for me as there will probably not be any drivers for it. (It also means that it's subject to the program being continually running, making it unavailable for some tasks.) The AnyKey, on the other hand, had the controller built right into the keyboard itself as dedicated hardware, with a set of special keys to allow you to program any one of the other keys to a particular set of keystrokes, or to remap one key to another. This is invaluable for me as I do repetitive tasks on the keyboard a fair bit.

    Is there *any* other keyboard like this at all? I haven't come across anything, but maybe the Loungers have?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Dundee, Scotland
    Posts
    404
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Hi, Welcome to the forum.

    We have a couple of these x-keys desktops at work. They are available in the UK, but they're a bit dear. Also you might want to read*this article before you decide. There are also programmable gaming keyboards available and Cherry seem to do a Linux one (but I can't find it using Google )




    John (Unreconstructed Jacobite)

  3. #3
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    18
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    Thanks for the reply!

    The PS/2 versions look interesting. I like how it would be able to work with any PS/2 keyboard; that'll make some things a bit easier. I don't see anything on how to program them though, other than a note that a keyboard needs to be plugged in; I know the info will be available with the keyboard itself, but I should have mentioned that the other good thing about the AnyKey was how simple it was to do a new macro or remapping. (In fact, somewhat too simple as some people would accidentally remap their keyboard and not know how to get it back to normal.) It sounds like it would be fairly simple here too.

    [edit: I did actually find out how it works. From the site: "Programming is this simple: Flip a switch on the X–keys, tap a key, type on your keyboard, tap the key again, flip the switch back." That seems good to me. ]

    One thing; do you know if it supports mapping keyboard keys directly onto its buttons? This is slightly different from a macro with just one keystroke - holding down a button like that wouldn't cause the key to repeat, as the device would only fake a down/up motion per keystroke. Mapping, on the other hand, would allow, for example, mapping the arrow keys to the device, being able to hold them down, and expecting it to work.

    Thanks again!

  4. #4
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Dundee, Scotland
    Posts
    404
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Sophie Hamilton View Post
    One thing; do you know if it supports mapping keyboard keys directly onto its buttons? This is slightly different from a macro with just one keystroke - holding down a button like that wouldn't cause the key to repeat, as the device would only fake a down/up motion per keystroke. Mapping, on the other hand, would allow, for example, mapping the arrow keys to the device, being able to hold them down, and expecting it to work.
    I'm not sure about that. The ones we have were programmed on a Windows PC using the supplied software, then transferred to the PC where we use it. They are also Windows PCs, but the keyboard itself held all the configurations, so didn't need to be re-programmed. Maybe you could do this under WINE on Linux?


    good luck

    John (Unreconstructed Jacobite)

  5. #5
    WS Lounge VIP
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    8,180
    Thanks
    47
    Thanked 983 Times in 913 Posts
    My Microsoft keyboard has 5 programmable buttons - not that I use them.

    cheers, Paul

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •