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> IRK for Belkin F8U1500 Available
kopsis
post Oct 29 2004, 11:39 AM
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I've been using a Pocketop keyboard with the Zaurus ever since the first release of Craig Graham's IRK. I've always liked the Pocketop's small size but the lack of a number key row really hurts typing speed ... especially when writing code.

So after recently trying every IR PDA keyboard I could get my hands on, I decided my favorite was the Belkin F8U1500. It's almost the exact same design as the Pocketop but a little longer and wider with a full row of number/punctuation keys. Keyspacing is a little tighter than a standard laptop, but the layout is sane so it's not hard to get used to. The mirrored PDA stand that comes with the keyboard is a little flimsy, but with my C760 I don't have any need for the stand. Just swivel the screen around backwards and line up the IR ports. With the stand discarded, the Belkin is much more compact than the Targus (which was my second choice) and it has regular arrow keys instead of that funky Targus joypad thing. And to really clinch the deal, Amazon has the Belkin in stock for $40 with free shipping!

There's only one minor problem with the Belkin ... IRK 0.11.0 doesn't support it. Luckily Craig has been good enough to release the source code for IRK so it was a pretty simple matter to go in and hack it up to work with the Belkin. Since I'm sure there are other folks out there who would like to be able to use this keyboard, I'm releasing my Belkin version of IRK as IRK 0.11.1. When Craig finishes IRK 2 I'll be happy to merge this in so we'll have on IRK that supports everything, but until then this hacked up version should do nicely.

You can download my Belkin IRK from and if you'd like the source code just grab A few things you need to know before you install:
  • If you have a previous version of IRK installed, you must uninstall it before installing this one.
  • The Belkin support replaces the Targus support so this won't work with a Targus keyboard (Pocketop is still supported).
  • This is built for standard Sharp ROMs and tested on Cacko 1.21a. It should work on most Sharp-like ROMs but if you have OZ or pdaXrom, you're on your own.
  • Not all of the special functions on the keyboard work. I'll work on improving that but I wanted to get this out sooner rather than later.
  • This is unsupported, untested software! Back up anything you can't afford to lose before you try it!
Good luck. If you have problems, post here and I'll do what I can to help. Thanks and credit for this should really go to Craig Graham for writing and releasing IRK! If Craig ever decides to accept donations for IRK I'll be first in line smile.gif
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el_borak
post Oct 29 2004, 02:29 PM
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Hi Dave. Old-time Visor flash-adapter user here (homemade and commercial). Good to see you again in the Zaurus world!

Like yourself, I've been comparing various IR keyboards. Thus far I've picked up:
  • Micro Innovations MP-0118 (aka Pocketop)
  • Palm P10946U
  • Targus PA870U v2
  • Belkin F8U1500
I started with the Pocketop (Staples clearance). Certainly worth having, but the keys were too cramped and I found the orientation / positioning difficult with my SL-5500.

Next I ordered the Targus. It's still sealed in the original package. I could tell even without opening it that it was larger than I wanted.

Then I ordered the Palm. I'm very pleased with it and it is my current keyboard of choice. Its folded size is a nice compromise between the Pocketop and the Targus. Positioning was easier and I found the key size much easier to use and closer to full size. The Palm does not have a dedicated number row. This is clearly an issue for you. For me, I prefer the larger keys and will sacrifice the numbers for it. You must type a lot more numbers when you code than I do, Dave!

One oddity of the Palm is how it folds. Very Rube Goldberg.

I picked up the Belkin just recently (another Staples clearance) and haven't had a chance to give it a test yet. I do note that the folded size is almost identical to that of the Palm.

So my tentative evaluation is that Palm is better for those not needing a dedicated number row. Otherwise the Belkin looks nice. Pocketop is the choice if the smallest possible size is your priority.
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ltrm
post Oct 31 2004, 08:52 AM
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This is excellent. biggrin.gif

I bough a Belkina while back because I found my Pocketop hard to type with.

I assumed that there would be a driver for it but alas, its sat in a draw ever since I got it.

I'll try this out as soon as I get home.

Thanks.
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cwaig
post Nov 1 2004, 06:49 AM
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The issues with all these things should go away in the near future - I've been promising IRK2.0 for a while now, but other commitments have kept putting it off. Soon though...honest wink.gif
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kopsis
post Nov 1 2004, 07:30 AM
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QUOTE(el_borak @ Oct 29 2004, 02:29 PM)
Hi Dave. Old-time Visor flash-adapter user here (homemade and commercial). Good to see you again in the Zaurus world!

Ah, the good ol' days of the FlashAdapter biggrin.gif It's almost scary to think how far PDA technology has come in such a short time. I designed the FlashAdapter so I could carry around 64MB of data, now with the Zaurus I have that much built-in plus another 4.5GB in storage!

The Palm keyboard looks like it would be a great choice for 5x00/6000 users. The Belkin is still using the "stand & mirror" approach which leaves a lot to be desired in a non-desktop environment (planes, trains, etc.). However, for clamshell Zaurus users, the separate stand is actually a plus because you can discard it and you're left with a very thin package when the keyboard is folded.

As for the row of number keys, it's actually having the punctuation keys in the expected place that is the big benefit for me. I do a good bit of low-level C coding and having {}*-_+&| where I expect them helps me out a lot. I know that it's no more keystrokes to use the punctuation shift on other keyboards but I just can't seem to train myself to do that without breaking my concentration to think about the keyboard. I noticed that the latest PalmOne "Universal Wireless Keyboard" now has a dedicated number/punctuation row. I don't know how that compares to the Palm keyboard you have but it would definitely push the Palm ahead of the Targus "brick" as my second choice.
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kopsis
post Nov 1 2004, 07:39 AM
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QUOTE(cwaig @ Nov 1 2004, 06:49 AM)
I've been promising IRK2.0 for a while now...

Craig, I'm looking forward to IRK 2 smile.gif If there's anything I can do to help get Belkin support in there, don't hesitate to ask! I also have plenty of web server space and bandwidth to mirror the release if desired. You can email me at dkessler(at)kopsisengineering.com.
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bakkeo
post Nov 8 2004, 07:40 AM
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Hi! I'm also looking forward to new IRK, Craig!
Recently, I bought a new ir keyboard, PalmOne Universal Wireless Keyboard 3169WW.
I've just added the suppot for this keyboard to IRK 0.11.
The files are uploaded here:
http://www.geocities.jp/bakkeo2004/
I made an ipk file but it may not work on the export (i.e. not japanese) models.
So someone help me to compile this.
I wish this will be included in IRK2.

Thanks.
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sunomi86
post Dec 27 2004, 08:45 PM
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How can I get this to work? I tried everything! I installed the ipk and I even put the keyboard reeeeeall close to make sure it was detecting it. But it doesn't detect a single button. I even changed the battery. Don't work. Thanks in advance all of you for all of your hard work.
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sunomi86
post Dec 28 2004, 11:00 AM
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oh and i'm running the cacko rom for 5500
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kopsis
post Dec 28 2004, 01:57 PM
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There are some "settings" in IRK that may have to be adjusted. In particular, your Zaurus model and the keyboard type (my IRK package supports both Belkin and Pocketop). Double check your settings and make sure they match your system. You may also want to try restarting Qtopia once all the settings are right.
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sunomi86
post Dec 28 2004, 03:20 PM
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I changed the Zaurus model to sl-5500 and the keyboard type to the Belkin irda keyboard i have. Is there any other setting I have to change? By changing both of those and then restarting qtopia, I still get no response from the keyboard. I tried replacing battery too. Still same prob. Thanks for your response. Any other suggestion? I know for sure the keyboard works though because when I tried using the targus option just to see if it worked on that option, it actually typed something when I pressed CAPS. But no other key worked. But that was for the targus option. I need to make this work for the Belkin option since thats the keyboard I have. Thanks
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kopsis
post Dec 29 2004, 01:52 PM
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QUOTE(sunomi86 @ Dec 28 2004, 06:20 PM)
I know for sure the keyboard works though because when I tried using the targus option just to see if it worked on that option, it actually typed something when I pressed CAPS.

My version of IRK with Belkin support doesn't have a "Targus" option. It supports only Belkin and Pocketop. Perhaps we should take a step back and verify exactly which IRK ipk you are using and which model keyboard you have.
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sunomi86
post Dec 29 2004, 06:44 PM
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ok my mistake. avoid whatever i said about the targus thing. But yeah I have a Belkin IrDa Keyboard F8U1500. And I am using your version of irk.
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kopsis
post Dec 31 2004, 01:46 PM
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sunomi68,

I'll be back in the office on Monday and then I can send you a test app that might give me an idea what the problem is. Please PM me with your preferred email address and I'll contact you next week.
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sunomi86
post Dec 31 2004, 04:29 PM
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Hi! my email address is sunomi86@yahoo.com , I'll send you an email of my email address too. Thank you so much for your time. rolleyes.gif
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