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4 Jun 2007
A few months ago, I purchased a Think Outside Universal IR Keyboard to replace my Targus IR keyboard. It was so compact, I couldn't help but want to keep it, even though I couldn't get it to work! I couldn't get kbdd or zkbdd working, so that meant I had to write my own driver.
And I did! sort-of. I wrote it in Python, and it nicely reads all the scancodes. It requires python-pyserial to work (which, in turn, requires python-fcntl). Unfortunately, all it can do is print output to the screen, because I don't know how to "push" data to the operating system.
Is there a python module that will allow me to do this?
In kbdd and zkbdd, the method used is "uinput", but I suspect that one of the reasons it doesn't work on Collie is because it's my understanding that "uinput" doesn't work well under the 2.4 kernel.
My preference, however, would be to emit a Qt signal, as done in opie-jumpx and irk (the one that allows me to use Targus from OPIE's input devices); to do this, however, I would have to load a python script as an input method.
My greatest concern is that, to use either method, I would have to use C or C++. Besides liking Python (it's especially easy to work with!), I don't have the time to figure out why I can't get BitBake to work. (I've already spent a couple of weeks trying to figure that out! )
I have attached my source code (you will need to remove the ".txt" extensions after downloading it); it will need to be drastically rewritten once I can use it as an input method. It's designed to be flexible, too, so that I could easily convert it to Dvorak when it's convenient to do so.
Additionally, this information can be used for those who want to extend kbdd or zkbdd to this keyboard, assuming, of course, that these programs work for you
7 Mar 2007
Over the past couple of months my Targus keyboard has begun to fail. In my efforts to replace it, though, I learned that it's been replaced with a smaller Stowaway IR keyboard:
Stowaway IR keyboard at Amazon.com
Naturally, although I'd like to get this keyboard, I'm also weary of compatibility issues. I e-mailed Think Outside support, and they told me the following:
We produced the Targus keyboard and it's the same model as our current IR Keyboard.
However, we have not tested or support your device or OpenZaurus, so I wouldn't know how
to direct you further.
Think Outside Support
Does anyone have experience with this keyboard that confirms or contradicts this reply? If so, I would appreciate hearing it; if not, I'll probably be getting one and posting my experience.
As I learned more about the Dvorak layout, I stumbled on an IBM research project for improving PDA input called "SHARK" (using a specially designed keyboard called "ATOMIK"). More information can be found on the following link:
I think this is a really neat idea, although I can see a couple of issues (patent and closed-source copyright) that could keep this from getting to the Zaurus. Of course, since IBM has embraced Linux, they might even consider open-sourcing this project! especially since the web-page seems to be about two years old.
But then, since it is IBM, I'm not holding my breath!
Does anyone have a version of IRK for the Targus that has Dvorak keymappings? I recently started to type in Dvorak, and I enjoy it a lot! but it is currently not available on the Targus IRK keyboard that I downloaded from the OpenZaurus 3.5.4 feed for my Collie. I wanted to make the changes myself, but I can't figure out how to compile the driver once I make the changes.
If I had the time (both to make the alterations and to set up a compiler) I'd even put the mappings in a /etc/irk.keymap file so that any keymap could be set up (Qwerty, Dvorak, non-English-language or Custom)! Perhaps someone else could make that change instead.
Zaurus seems to lack straightforward tools for development.
This last couple of weeks I tried to compile an altered version of IRK (so that I could type Dvorak on my Targus and experiment with the layout). I didn't get very far, though, because I couldn't figure out what I needed to set up a compiling environment in a timely manner. I'm not even sure whether I could use Bitbake, or how to set up a non-2.95 cross-compiler (since I use OpenZaurus 3.5.4)!
It would be very nice if a tarball could be made that will set up all the needed tools immediately, all in one go, so that all that would be necessary would be to type something like
or something like
to cross-compile something for the Zaurus.
Furthermore, I would really like to be able to compile things in OpenZaurus directly, in an emulator, using a native compiler toolchain. I know from experience that it is very discouraging to try to set up such an environment! It would be really nice to be able to install a zaurus-compiler.ipk package that will give a hobbyist make, gcc, and so forth, the ability to try to compile whatever programs that tickles their fancy (particularly math programs in my case).
When I originally got my Zaurus, I looked forward to being able to do things like this. It's a little frustrating that doing this is just out of my reach! (But I still like my Zaurus; between Python and the fact that I can request something like this makes my Zaurus much closer to that ideal than a Palm or my old Windows-CE Cassiopeia!)
28 Jan 2008 - 19:41
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