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Out of the Blue

I just need to vent a little here. I ruined a keyboard with a coffee spill yesterday, and contrary to the logic that might suggest a cheap replacement was in order for an item that had suffered such a carelessness-related demise, I picked up a fancy Microsoft wireless desktop as a replacement. Now I am suffering with a couple of inconveniences using it, because they have decided that the small array of keys above the arrow keys (home, insert, etc.) needed rearranging. Specifically, the six keys are now five, and instead of being two rows and three columns, the keys are now in two columns, with the insert key removed from the mix and placed on the top row to share a key with PrtScrn and SysRq (talk about marginalized -- I guess some folks find accidentally hitting Insert as welcome as the Caps Lock). This all completely messes with my instinctive use of all these keys, and why? Because they decided the delete key needed to be twice as tall as it was for some reason. Also, the 12 function keys that are traditionally laid out in three groups of four are now four groups of three. WTF?

Nothing like a little change for change's sake. Too bad, because the keyboard has the nicest action I've ever used... but I still may have to return this. We shall see.

I guess today marks the true start of the holiday season, as the Festival of Lights begins tonight at sundown. Happy Chanukah!

Links of the Day: Seinfeld Dictionary. Yada yada yada.
Stories of the Day: Mother of the Matrix Victorious. Thanks Brandon.
Nativity Plays Boosting Tea Towel Sales.
Scientists Seek Limit on Shark Killings.
Science!: NASA Seeks Methods to Repair Shuttles in Flight. R2D2?
Science Is Eating His Dust.
Roads Gone Wild.
Media of the Day: Yiddish with Dick and Jane. Thanks RedAnt.
Gym Class. Thanks bowerbird.
Auction of the Day: 2nd-PC Natalie Realdoll type silicone doll. Thanks choke. Used?
Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant.

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102 Replies. 6 pages. Viewing page 2.
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82. Re: Today is December 7th right? Dec 7, 2004, 18:16 Moog Operator
 
"very astute.
and in a few short years someone will say "9/11" and people will wonder what he meant."

I figure the mass media (read: administration's propaganda arm) doesn't call much attention to so-called atrocities when the declassified record now shows that the administration at the time was totally complicit. Your comment on 9/11 will become true when the evidence contrary to the official party line is completely undeniable, and pertinent internal records are then declassified. Suddenly 9/11 will disappear from the public voice and record. This has been the USA M.O. for oh, lets call it 60 years now.

STAY RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE, GET OUT OF THAT BED AND GET DOWN ON THE FLOOR, GET OUTSIDE RIGHT NOW, RIGHT HERE: GET DOWN ON THE CEMENT, I DONT CARE IF YOU'RE NUDE, GET DOWN ON THE CEMENT, I DON'T CARE IF ITS FREEZING! WHERES THE DRUGS, WE KNOW YOU GOT THE DRU
 
STAY RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE, GET OUT OF THAT BED AND GET DOWN ON THE FLOOR, GET OUTSIDE RIGHT NOW, RIGHT HERE: GET DOWN ON THE CEMENT, I DONT CARE IF YOU'RE NUDE, GET DOWN ON THE CEMENT, I DON'T CARE IF ITS FREEZING! WHERES THE DRUGS, WE KNOW YOU GOT THE DRU
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81. Re: Tactile Pro keyboard Dec 7, 2004, 18:12 Jim
 
Yeah. I disable that whenever the stupid dialog box comes up, and then go fix it permanantly.

Control Panel->Accessibility Options

Turn off "Sticky Keys". It will never bug you again.

I do that every time it comes up, and it keeps coming up. Wanna swap computers? You seem to have found the magic button that REALLY disables it

I justed checked my control panel just now, ALL the checkboxes are empty- but I can guarantee that sometime in the next couple of weeks the bloody thing will rear its ugly head again.

Maybe there's a registry hack or a DLL I can trash. I tried googling it a while back and wasn't able to find anything beyond the control panel instructions you mention.

This comment was edited on Dec 7, 18:16.
 
Jim
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80. Re: Tactile Pro keyboard Dec 7, 2004, 18:09 Jim
 
In the control panel, there's an option called "Accessibility Options". Go in there and there'll be a keyboard tab. Uncheck all those options. In the "Advanced" settings, uncheck everything too.

I've done that--several times. Unchecking all the options to disable the feature, I eventually somehow am able to trip it in-game again. Seems to be one of those MS-undisableable features.

Similarly you can press shift a bunch of times rapidly and it'll do the same thing. I hate that.

Therein lies the problem.

If you're on a PC on some company network or something, the settings probably won't stick because your PC may get that setting from network server that controls it each login.

On home PC with no network server (except linux file server).

 
Jim
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79. Re: Keyboard Dec 7, 2004, 18:07 Quaternion
 
I have a standard Dell keyboard with windows keys at work and it's great! Well it has 4 extra buttons (email, homepage, search and sleep) but they're totally out of the way so they don't bother me.

I have a pretty standard keyboard at home, except for the windows keys and a few other keys like shutdown, sleep, etc. I had to pop all those keys out with a flathead screwdriver. There's nothing more irritating than being dropped to the desktop because you accidently hit the windows key instead of ctrl or shut down your computer while trying to hit page up. ARGH!!! With those keys gone, the keyboard is da bomb!

 
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78. Keyboards and Gameplay Dec 7, 2004, 17:55 ReverendTed
 
Thanks for the info on keyboard layouts. So...is there no solution or do some keyboards handle things better?

The one thing that always gets me in games is when I'll want to check the leaderboard\scores and I'll crouch down somewhere to get a little cover for a moment while I check.
I'll crouch by holding down ALT and then just tap TAB to bring up the...DAGBLAMMIT! Alt-Tab = evil
While I was in the SoF2 closed beta, I noticed that if I was crouched with Alt and hit Enter to activate my infrared goggles, I'd get minimized. After a complaint, Raven implemented the cvar sys_noAltEnter so you could turn the key combo on or off. I thought that was a pretty nifty solution.

 
Avatar 13818
 
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77. Another keyboard Dec 7, 2004, 17:43 banddirector
 
I use this one:

http://www.microsoft.com/products/info/product.aspx?view=22&pcid=891bd524-19dc-4f53-9bb8-650aaf613c34&type=ovr

It works well, and avoids the things people hate ...

------------------------------------------------
Be sure to spread your goop
 
There's no place like 127.0.0.1
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76. Media of the Day Dec 7, 2004, 17:22 FourPak
 
Ho Ho Ho
http://www.vidlit.com/bookmarket/bookmarket001.html
VidLits = Good
http://www.vidlit.com/craziest/

 
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75. Re: OT: WoW Dec 7, 2004, 17:05 FourPak
 
is WoW the game that will win over those of us who aren't fans of the MMORPG genre?
it's the best, most representative test case to come along in years.
But you'll have to plop down the $ to find out for yourself since mmog satisfaction can't be explained or recommended, only Experienced and determined first hand. However it might be said that, if you don't like WoW you probably don't and never will like the genre in general.

 
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74. Re: Tactile Pro keyboard Dec 7, 2004, 17:01 Zathrus
 
Windows automatically engages some accessibility feature called "sticky keys". [...] Anyone know how to fix permanently?

Yeah. I disable that whenever the stupid dialog box comes up, and then go fix it permanantly.

Control Panel->Accessibility Options

Turn off "Sticky Keys". It will never bug you again.

Odds are, you want to disable EVERYTHING on EVERY tab -- with the exception of the General options regarding notification. Unless you have a physical disability, you almost certainly don't need/want any of the stuff.

 
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73. Re: Tactile Pro keyboard Dec 7, 2004, 17:01 indiv
 
It interrupts the game, puts the computer into some fucked up mode that prevents you from using the keyboard/mouse normally even after you quit the game, and even though you can disable it, it keeps re-enabling itself. Anyone know how to fix permanently?

In the control panel, there's an option called "Accessibility Options". Go in there and there'll be a keyboard tab. Uncheck all those options. In the "Advanced" settings, uncheck everything too. Similarly you can press shift a bunch of times rapidly and it'll do the same thing. I hate that.

If you're on a PC on some company network or something, the settings probably won't stick because your PC may get that setting from network server that controls it each login.

 
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72. Re: Keyboards Dec 7, 2004, 16:55 indiv
 
Sometimes, certain 3-key combinations won't work.

The reason is because despite each key being individually laid out on the keyboard, the circuitry that detects key presses actually uses one wire to detect key presses for more than one key. So imagine that when you press a key, a signal goes down the wire saying "hey, the user pressed a key" (note that the message doesn't say what key is pressed, only that a key is pressed). Now if you have multiple keys on the same wire and you press 2 or more of them down, the keyboard won't know that you pressed the others down. Basically your 2nd key press is lost because the wire is already in use telling the computer that the 1st key is held down.

In reality, you have a keyboard matrix, with rows and columns. You have multiple keys attached to each row, and multiple keys attached to each column. However, when you press a key the keyboard gets the "hey, a key is pressed" signal on the (row, column) pair, which the keyboard controller can use to figure out which key you pressed. Therefore, when you press 2 keys in the same row, it won't matter because they're also attached to a different column, so the keyboard can detect that you've pressed 2 unique keys.

But the problem is that even in this matrix format, there are key combinations you can press such that the keyboard can't figure out what keys you have pressed. Modern keyboards actually know when you do this, and they tell the computer to beep to tell you that the computer didn't read your key press.

I just did a search and found a good site that talks about this behavior:

http://www.idevgames.com/articles/programming/id154/

And this site links to one that goes into much more depth:

http://www.dribin.org/dave/keyboard/one_html/


 
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71. Re: Tactile Pro keyboard Dec 7, 2004, 16:52 Jim
 
Am I the only person on the planet that has never accidentally hit the Windows key while playing a game?

I mean, really... I've never even once had this problem. Maybe it's because I've been touch typing for over 20 years. Dunno.

Well, while it's impressive to have repelled the forces of darkness for so long, Z, it only needs to happen once when you haven't recently saved the game it causes to crash before you come to know it as the most evil button on Earth (and possibly in space -- not sure)!

While it's evil but rare, perhaps THE MOST annoying problem I've had with games and keys--isn't really the keyboard's fault at all.

I'll be playing a game, say UT2k4, and have SHIFT as the crouch key. Now I'm ducking out somewhere, covertly waiting to launch an airstrike against an enemy powernode. I occasionally un-crouch (is that a word?) to check the situation, then re-crouch. Unfortunately, if you do this 2 or 3 times in a row, Windows automatically engages some accessibility feature called "sticky keys". It interrupts the game, puts the computer into some fucked up mode that prevents you from using the keyboard/mouse normally even after you quit the game, and even though you can disable it, it keeps re-enabling itself. Anyone know how to fix permanently?

 
Jim
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70. Re: Today is December 7th right? Dec 7, 2004, 16:49 FourPak
 
I guess the day doesn't live in infamy anymore.
very astute.
and in a few short years someone will say "9/11" and people will wonder what he meant.

 
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69. Re: Tactile Pro keyboard Dec 7, 2004, 16:43 MeatForce
 
Am I the only person on the planet that has never accidentally hit the Windows key while playing a game?

I mean, really... I've never even once had this problem. Maybe it's because I've been touch typing for over 20 years. Dunno.

Well, while it's impressive to have repelled the forces of darkness for so long, Z, it only needs to happen once when you haven't recently saved the game it causes to crash before you come to know it as the most evil button on Earth (and possibly in space -- not sure)!

-----
"I want my lamp back. I'm gonna need it to get out of this slimy mudhole."
 
-----
I'm not even angry. I'm being so sincere right now, even though you broke my heart and killed me.
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68. Re: Tactile Pro keyboard Dec 7, 2004, 16:36 xXBatmanXx
 
this key still works just like the Windows key in games, and is therefore an abomination.

Am I the only person on the planet that has never accidentally hit the Windows key while playing a game?

I mean, really... I've never even once had this problem. Maybe it's because I've been touch typing for over 20 years. Dunno.


I did when they first came out and was using someone else's machine. But I have the old keyboard. I have the windows key here at work, but NEVER use it.

If I remember correctly, can't you disable it?


BatmanX - fka Batman
(to match all of my online gaming activites)
 
Avatar 10714
 
In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. / Few men have virtue enough to withstand the highest bidder.
Playing: New dad
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67. Re: Tactile Pro keyboard Dec 7, 2004, 16:29 Warhawk
 
Am I the only person on the planet that has never accidentally hit the Windows key while playing a game?

I mean, really... I've never even once had this problem. Maybe it's because I've been touch typing for over 20 years. Dunno.

No, I don't think I ever have, and I'm still learning to touch-type (tried to take classes and they were always cancelled, finally tried one of those typing programs and it got me started... sad, I know, but I have seen the light and rarely revert to hunt-n-peck now. ).


*************
* Warhawk *
*************

You know what I'm going to get you next Christmas, Mom? A big wooden cross, so that every time you feel unappreciated for your sacrifices, you can climb on up and nail yourself to it.
 

Have I lied to you? I mean, in this room? Trust me, leave that thing alone. - GLaDOS

Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away? - Ripley
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66. Re: Tactile Pro keyboard Dec 7, 2004, 16:29 nin
 

The Windows Key is f$^*ing evil. E-VILE, I say...

Why not just call it the BillyG key?

http://tds.nin.com/
 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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65. M$ Keyboard Dec 7, 2004, 16:27 Tetsugaku-San
 
Keep it!! Microsoft don't do anything right other than keyboards and mice - you'll get used to it and it will become the best keyboard you've ever used - promise.  
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64. Re: Tactile Pro keyboard Dec 7, 2004, 16:12 Zathrus
 
this key still works just like the Windows key in games, and is therefore an abomination.

Am I the only person on the planet that has never accidentally hit the Windows key while playing a game?

I mean, really... I've never even once had this problem. Maybe it's because I've been touch typing for over 20 years. Dunno.

This comment was edited on Dec 7, 16:18.
 
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63. Re: Keyboards Dec 7, 2004, 16:08 Zathrus
 
Sometimes, certain 3-key combinations won't work.

That's pretty much up to the keyboard. Specifically, there's a chip in the keyboard that handles input and feeds it to the computer in a way the computer can handle. Some chips can handle more keys at once than others.

And no, I know of no way to predict this behavior other than buying a keyboard and seeing if it works. Nor do I know of any keyboard controllers that are "better" than another, or even any site that attempts to review keyboards on this basis.

FWIW, we have Memorex keyboards on both of our PCs. I have some real IBM PS/2 keyboards too, but Heather glares at me when I type on them due to the noise, so they've been relegated to the server and a spare keyboard.

 
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102 Replies. 6 pages. Viewing page 2.
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