Miniature Keyboards for Linux


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Thread: Miniature Keyboards for Linux

  1. #1
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    Question Miniature Keyboards for Linux

    Hello, everyone.

    I have decided to stop dual-booting (between Linux and Windows) and use the 2.0-GHz Pentium-4 system that I built myself some time ago for SuSE Linux 10.1 (when it is released), and eventually adding other distributions.

    I recently purchased a used Dell Dimension 8300 (3.0-GHz Pentium 4) on which I plan to run Windows XP Professional and a free copy of the corporate version of Windows Vista that I will get sometime in 2007 (whenever Vista is released); this machine will be a Windows dual-boot computer.

    I have a PS/2 Zonet KVM switch that I plan to use, and I will be ordering a parallel printer A/B switch box to share a laser printer.

    My computer workstation's built-in keyboard/mouse shelf has limited space. I had to cut one-third of a mouse pad off in order to get a standard PS/2 keyboard and optical PS/2 mouse to fit on this shelf, and there is still very little space.

    Can anyone recommend a miniature PS/2 keyboard for use with Linux (and Windows) that does not have some of the awkward key layouts that I have seen in the mini keyboards by BTC, Adesso, and the Happy Hacker?

    I remember finding miniature ADB keyboards for pre-G4 Power Macintosh computers -- with key layouts that were basically the same as a full-sized keyboard; they simply lacked the numeric keypad. I have not, however, during hours of Web searching, found a miniature PS/2 keyboard that I consider to have a "natural" key layout.

    I would be grateful for any recommendations or suggestions, or any comments based upon personal experience (such as whether a particular keyboard is a high-quality, durable product).

    Thank you very much, in advance, for your help!

    Cordially,

    David
    --
    <http://ddickerson.igc.org/ >
    Linux Distribution: Debian GNU/Linux (Desktop & Server)


    Registered Linux User # 315892
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    <http://ddickerson.igc.org/>

    "In a world of absurdity, we must
    invent reason; we must create
    beauty out of nothingness."
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    Gary Arthur Weaver: 18 July 1942 - 29 December 2006

  2. #2
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    I have no idea about the keyboard, but don't plan on easily dual booting vista:
    http://www.theregister.com/2006/04/27/schneier_infosec/

    It's all about the lock-in.....
    Need help in realtime? Visit us at #linuxnewbie on irc.libera.chat

    Few of us will do as much for our fellow man as he has done.
    --Andrew Morton on RMS

  3. #3
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    Ah, but if you format the drive ahead of time it'll let you install it on a NTFS or FAT partition. At least so says Slashdot...

    As to the keyboards, I don't know. Have you tried looking on Thinkgeek or Newegg?

    Edit: Scratch Thinkgeek, nothing there. How about
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16823111005
    at Newegg?
    Last edited by Wurm; 05-01-2006 at 01:07 AM.

  4. #4
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    If there's a G4 keyboard you like, can you just buy that and get an adapter for it. Inelegant, true, but might be your surest bet.

  5. #5
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    just stumbled across this -- looks like a standard layout

    http://www.casco.com/products.htm

    Maybe try contacting them and see who sells their products retail.


    Rick D.

  6. #6
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    http://www.pckeyboard.com/surfer.html

    This looks neat. It at least has an integrated pointer, which I know the Happy Hacker is a lacker on. But, it's basically a laptop keyboard. In the name of space, could you live with something like that?
    Registered Linux user #230403! Since March 2001! YAY.

    Try doing a forum search or a google search before asking a question. And please don't use HELP! in the topic of your post... it's so lame... Please don't PM me for help-- post a question in the forum instead.

  7. #7
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    http://www.pckeyboard.com/pdf/Emulator.pdf
    Velcro one of these to the server rack, and you're in business.

    Anyway, I'll dig around in what I have in the shop...LOL...might come up with something.

  8. #8
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    http://shop2.outpost.com/product/363...H:MAIN_RSLT_PG

    That's the mini I use. Got to have USB support and all that jazz. I use this one because all my boxes that use this mini keyboard are 'legacy free'.
    "There's a big difference between "copy" and "use". It's exatcly the same
    issue whether it's music or code. You can't re-distribute other peoples
    music (becuase it's _their_ copyright), but they shouldn't put limits on
    how you personally _use_ it (because it's _your_ life)."

    --Linus Torvalds

  9. #9
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    It's interesting how people think that they get Microsoft Windows for "free" when they buy a computer.
    Saying it, as though there is no cost at all...

    No one ever says, "I bought a car and they gave me the engine for free...".

    Microsoft- "We're worth billions, but at least you never had to buy our product!"
    (And people in America wonder why we're suffering economically? I find it amazing that we're doing so well!)

  10. #10
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    Yeah it's all about lock in. (in my case vendor lock in) I had to buy preinstalled Windows XP with my Thinkpad even if the first thing i did was wipe the HD clean and install debian on it.

    Forcing people to pay for nothing. Nice market practise.
    ladoga

  11. #11
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    No offense intended toward you personally, DavidMD. I'm sure you know that you really are paying for it.

    The problem is that a tech person saying something like that makes an impression on the minds of non-techs. We are viewed as "knowledgable in the computer field", and basically what we say about computers is regarded with 99% accuracy. Non-techs then repeat what we have said to other non-techs... and so the word(virus) spreads.

    The Microsoft license is not free and never will be, no matter how many computers a person buys. In fact, they never even own a copy of Microsoft Windows, they only lease it.

  12. #12
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdeschene2
    http://www.casco.com/products.htm

    Maybe try contacting them and see who sells their products retail.
    Don't bother. Membrane keyboards are pure crap.

  14. #14
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    Post Re: Miniature Keyboards for Linux

    Hello, je_fro.
    Quote Originally Posted by je_fro
    I have no idea about the keyboard, but don't plan on easily dual booting vista:
    http://www.theregister.com/2006/04/27/schneier_infosec/

    It's all about the lock-in.....
    Actually, I am not sure that BitLocker Drive Encryption applies to my situation.

    I got sick of dual-booting between Windows XP Profesional and SuSE Linux, so I bought a second PC. I will be running Linux distributions only on the computer I built myself, and Windows on the other computer, until I can eventually dump Windows.

    In other words, I will be dual-booting Windows XP Pro and the copy of Vista that I am receiving as payment for a Linux Web advertisement that I wrote (ironic, is it not?).

    I plan to use my self-built, original PC as a separate Linux box, but keep Windows around, because I am a technical writer and, unfortunately, most companies for which I work standardize on Windows tools.

    To save desktop space, however, I was planning on using a KVM switch, but the BitLocker Drive Encryption in Vista may prevent me from doing so, and I don't have space for two monitors and two keyboards on my big workstation. (My small workstation has a Power Mac on it.)

    Ironically, my larger workstation has room for two computers and one 21-inch, CRT monitor, but I am cramped for space with a standard PS/2 keyboard, even though I have a neat "Linux keyboard" (with Tux instead of the Windows logo). I barely have room to move my mouse with a full-sized keyboard.

    Thanks!

    Cordially,

    David
    --
    <http://ddickerson.igc.org/>
    Linux Distribution: Debian GNU/Linux (Desktop & Server)


    Registered Linux User # 315892
    * * *
    <http://ddickerson.igc.org/>

    "In a world of absurdity, we must
    invent reason; we must create
    beauty out of nothingness."
    -- Elie Wiesel


    Gary Arthur Weaver: 18 July 1942 - 29 December 2006

  15. #15
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    Post Re: Miniature Keyboards for Linux

    Hello, Sepero.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sepero
    No offense intended toward you personally, DavidMD. I'm sure you know that you really are paying for it.

    The problem is that a tech person saying something like that makes an impression on the minds of non-techs. We are viewed as "knowledgable in the computer field", and basically what we say about computers is regarded with 99% accuracy. Non-techs then repeat what we have said to other non-techs... and so the word(virus) spreads.

    The Microsoft license is not free and never will be, no matter how many computers a person buys. In fact, they never even own a copy of Microsoft Windows, they only lease it.
    Actually, I'd not wanted to discuss Windows and I will restrain myself from a rave about all of the control and freedom that Linux offers, versus all that I feel is wrong with Microsoft.

    Ironically, I am being "given"/"loaned" a licensed copy of Vista as part of payment for writing the text for an audio Web advertisement for a company that sells Linux distributions and training CDs on-line. I am basically employed by this company, but the amount of work I get varies, depending on how well their business is doing -- and they are a great company. (Obviously, they do use Microsoft products and have a "genuine," legal affiliation with Microsoft, for whatever necessity exists.)

    The exciting part of the payment for the advertisement is a copy of SuSE Linux 10.1 and some Linux training videos on CD. I plan to do some freelance articles on Linux for someone else, so I should have access to multiple distributions.

    Perhaps I will learn enough about Linux that I won't need Windows at all by the time Vista is released -- or perhaps I can find some other way to break with Windows -- but there are some programs I need for technical writing, for most companies and my employer, that are available for Windows only (e.g., FrameMaker). Clients and employers have their standard tools that run on Windows only, and I must follow their guidelines. I know that many Linux users are stuck in the same bind: Their work demands certain tools that run on Windows only, and they cannot afford VMware or similar virtual environments.

    Anyway, I hope that I have clarified that I know that Windows never is free.

    Again, I will avoid praising Linux or criticizing Microsoft.

    I just wanted a smaller keyboard that I could use with my KVM and my Linux and Windows computers, but perhaps I'd better stick with a standard keyboard, despite my cramped space for a mouse.

    Thanks!

    Cordially,

    David
    Linux Distribution: Debian GNU/Linux (Desktop & Server)


    Registered Linux User # 315892
    * * *
    <http://ddickerson.igc.org/>

    "In a world of absurdity, we must
    invent reason; we must create
    beauty out of nothingness."
    -- Elie Wiesel


    Gary Arthur Weaver: 18 July 1942 - 29 December 2006

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