Monday, March 05, 2007

ugly hack

One keyboard key (in this case, "1" and "!") on an otherwise well-functioning mobile computer running Gnome on gNewSense is not working. Of course, the optimal solution is to physically fix the key. Perhaps another day.

Until then, the user is stuck selecting their "1"s and "!"s to copy and paste from other sources when needed.

Here's an ugly hack...

Go to System > Preferences > Keyboard and choose the "Layout Options" tab. There you will see a "Third level choosers" heading. Open it and select a key to act as a chooser. We chose the right "Alt" key.

Then you will want to edit your keyboard layout file (ours is "us") located at /etc/X11/xkb/symbols/ following the description under "Creating a custom keyboard layout" here.

For example, we turned two key sequences (right-Alt-a and right-Alt-q) into "1" and "!" substitutes like this:

key <AC01> { [a, A, 1] };
key <AD01> { [q, Q, exclam] };

Ugly until one finds the time and/or tools/money to fix the offending key(s), but this can make life easier in the meantime. Thanks to Daniel O'Donnell for the knowledge and Buck for helping hunt it down.

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